Paths to Publishing: Striving for excellence by Barbara Meyers #amwriting

Paths to publishing

Barbara is sponsoring a giveaway for published books from her back list. Please check below for instructions on how to enter for a chance to win.


I don’t suppose many authors begin their writing careers by throwing another author’s book across the room and declaring, “I can write better than that,” but that’s how I started. It was a long time ago but I was that disgusted with a poorly written romance novel when I arrived at “the end.”

When I started writing contemporary romance I had no clear goal and no idea what I was doing. I loved creating stories and characters, but I was truly clueless about plot development. I had a lot of ideas and when I “finished” one manuscript I’d start another. The queries I sent out never went anywhere but I didn’t care. I just kept writing.

Until one day I looked around and realized I had a lot of unpublished manuscripts. I was either going to have to get serious about pursuing publishing or give it up. If no one was reading my work, what was the point of writing all these stories? I’d had a little success with a small publisher but those early books weren’t really what I wanted to write. All the good stuff was edited out!

I picked up one of my “almost done” rough drafts, the one I thought would be the easiest to revise with the best chance of publication, blew the dust off it and went to work. My goal was to query a hundred editors and agents before I gave up.

Imagine my surprise when (about thirty queries in) an editor at Samhain Publishing emailed saying she wanted to offer a contract. I was beyond dubious and questioned her at length because I didn’t quite believe she knew what she was doing. Turns out she did!

That book was A MONTH FROM MIAMI. I’d written the original draft in 1998. It was published in 2008. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it was also to be the first in a series of stand-alone but connected books from Samhain called the Braddock Brotherhood. Book four, WHAT A RICH WOMAN WANTS, is due out in May 2015.

If you are just starting out as a writer, I suggest you put a date on everything you write and never get rid of anything!

I started NOBODY’S FOOL the year my son graduated high school. His BFF since age 15 was a girl he was crazy about who wouldn’t date him. She finally gave in when she was in college. They broke up twice and were apart for a long time before they reconnected again. They are now engaged. NOBODY’S FOOL isn’t based on them but it was inspired by them. I loved the idea of “no one knows you like I do and loves you anyway.” I couldn’t seem to finish my story until I knew how theirs was going to end.

I still write in a rather erratic pattern, working on two or three things at once. I’ve come to terms with my process, but I don’t recommend it. A friend gave me Debra Dixon’s book GOAL, MOTIVATION AND CONFLICT a few years ago which helped me straighten out my plot development.

I hope to continue putting well-written, enjoyable books into the marketplace where readers can find a pleasurable escape.


Watch for AJ Tillock’s GRINDING REALITY book number two, Cool Beans, due out summer 2015.


GIVEAWAY: Win a Barbara Meyers book of your choice by doing one or more of the following before January 31, 2015. 

Comment on this blog (leave an email addy) = one entry

 OR Follow and DM me on Twitter (cleverness counts!) @barbmeyers = one entry

 OR Any new followers who LIKE my Facebook Author Page AND post a comment or send me a message = one entry



Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date Published: 1/6/2015

Genre: romantic comedy

Word Count:61,000


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Samhain Publishing



She’s home to make amends. He’s out to get a little revenge. But the heart he breaks could be his own.

The Jolie Kramer who left Oak Ridge at eighteen isn’t the same one who’s home for her ten-year high school reunion. The old Jolie hid her secrets and insecurities behind her popular-girl image.

The new Jolie has returned triumphant from NYC older, wiser, and ready to make amends for the bridges she burned. Especially the one between her and Court Harrison, her biggest supporter since childhood.

Court hates to admit he’s still hung up on Jolie, and he’s vowed to finally put the past way, way behind him. She wants to kiss and make up? He’ll give her a taste of her own medicine. Make her fall for him—only this time, he’ll be the one walking away.

But his plan works a little too well, and by the time he realizes their feelings are real, it’s too late. She’s onto him, and he’s lost the only woman he’ll ever want. Unless she falls for plan B, which contains two things she can’t resist: a career challenge, and a chance to get a little revenge of her own.

Warning: Rife with broken hearts and burning desires. A class geek turned super-stud, and an ex-prom queen whose tiara is a bit tarnished. Three-hankie breakup scenes and three-alarm make-up sex. You’re welcome!



He finally had everything he wanted. Jolie telling him she loved him. Jolie making love with him, spending the night with him. For years he’d dreamt of this.

Why then did he feel so rotten?

Because he wanted to believe in Jolie, in her love. He wanted to believe she could finally see they were meant for each other. But he wasn’t convinced that had happened at all. He knew Jolie too well. Everything came easily for her. She took it as her due. She always had.

He was afraid he hadn’t been much of a conquest. He’d fallen into her trap while trying to set one of his own.

He didn’t want to be another notch on her bedpost. Another man she’d had, one she could walk away from and not think twice. He wished he was one of those guys who could have sex and not think too much about it, but he wasn’t wired that way. His feelings for Jolie ran too deep. They’d been with him for as far back as he could remember. He couldn’t discard them. Not now. Not after she’d met or exceeded every fantasy he’d ever had about her.

He hadn’t expected her to be so eager, so open, so loving. He’d expected her to lie back and be worshipped by him. Yet she’d been more than engaged in the act from beginning to end. She’d surprised him that first time. And shocked him with her enthusiasm the second time.

Slowly, carefully, Court turned to his side away from her. He had to figure this out. Somewhere along the way his plan to prove that he was over Jolie had gone horribly awry. He wanted to walk away and never look back. He hadn’t realized the cost of doing so would be so high.


Author Bio:

I am the author of The Braddock Brotherhood series of sweet, spicy, sexy contemporary romances published by Samhain Publishing and two other novels. My short story, Katy’s Place, appeared in the 2013 Novelists, Inc. anthology.

Under the pen name, AJ Tillock, I venture into off-the-wall comedic fantasy with The Forbidden Bean, the first in the GRINDING REALITY series.

When not writing fiction, Dr. Seuss-like poetry or song lyrics, I disguise myself behind a green apron and supply caffeine-laced substances to addicted consumers for a world-wide coffee company.

I am still married to my first husband, have two fantastic children and one almost perfect dog. I’m originally from Southwest Missouri, and now reside in Central Florida.


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6 thoughts on “Paths to Publishing: Striving for excellence by Barbara Meyers #amwriting


    Hi Barbara,
    Welcome to the Snarkology. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. And congratulations on that 30th query being your big score. Samhain is a fantastic publisher. 🙂

  2. Melissa, Thanks for the opportunity to share my story. I’m always happy to talk…about myself! And my escapist/beach reads. 🙂

  3. Loved hearing your story, Barbara.

  4. I’ve heard other authors say they started that way, Barbara – but not all of them go on to have such success! Enjoyed reading your post.

  5. Art following real life. I hope your son and his daughter have their happily ever after! Good advice.

    • Jennifer L. Carson, you are the winner of one of my books. Thanks for commenting. Contact me at so I can send the book of your choice along.

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