At the end of my romantic comedy STOP THE WEDDING! in my From the Author note, I mention that I’d love to see STW! as a movie someday. And it’s happening: STOP THE WEDDING! is in development for a movie on the Hallmark Channel! I’m so, so pleased….especially considering the history of this book.
Seventeen years ago, an editor asked me to write a romantic comedy for her “line,” which at that time, was known for more serious stories. I pitched her the concept for STOP THE WEDDING! and she liked it, but said in order to convince her senior editor, she’d need to see the completed manuscript. I agreed, but warned her it would be a few months while I finished writing books I already had under contract. A few months later when STW! was finished, I learned she’d left the company…and her senior editor wasn’t interested in even reading the manuscript. So I offered it to another editor I was working with, but she turned it down, too, also unread. Over the next decade or so, any time an editor asked me for more material, I offered up STW!, but it was always rejected, always unread. I believe it was rejected 7 times.
Fast forward to 2012 when the books I’d revamped and republished on my own the previous year were selling well. I remembered STOP THE WEDDING! and wondered if it was salvageable….but first I had to find the files! I finally located them on a dusty 3 1/2″ diskette languishing in a desk drawer. The problem was I no longer had a computer with a drive that would read the diskette. I sent it off to a service to have the files transferred to a CD, not knowing if the files were even readable. When I got the CD, I put it in my computer and held my breath…and the files were still intact! The next test was to see if the story still held up after all that time…and it had. It needed to be updated, of course, but I still liked the characters and the plot. So I polished it and published it on my own, with no great expectations.
And wouldn’t you know–to-date, it is my best-selling book. 🙂 Isn’t that the way of things? Thanks to wonderful readers like you, STOP THE WEDDING! has been at the top of the Kindle charts in English, German, and French. (Italian and Spanish-language versions coming soon.)
I credit a lot of those sales to the great cover designed by Andrew Brown of Click Twice Design. He “gets” the way I like my covers–simple, clean and bright. And even though editors didn’t fall in love with the concept, readers seemed to embrace the idea of a man and woman determined to stop their parents from getting married wind up falling in love with each other. It’s a light, fun romantic comedy meant to entertain–and I assume (hope) the people at Hallmark agreed! I’ll keep you posted on an airdate. I’m SO excited to see who is cast as Belle and Martin, Annabelle and Clay.
After its bumpy, circuitous route to publication, I refer to STOP THE WEDDING! as The Little Book That Could. The book business is a rollercoaster–you never know what’s around the corner. But I’m hands-up for the ride!