So…This Happened.

In November 2009, I set upon a two-pronged experiment: write a 50,000-word romance novel during NaNoWriMo. It was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo as well as my first attempt at a romance novel.

I started off with nothing more than the genre. I just wanted to see if I could do it and what a romance novel written by someone who traditionally didn’t write, you know, happy characters or endings would look like.

At the end of the month, I didn’t have an answer. I stuck the project in a metaphorical drawer where it remained until July 2017, when I pulled it back out in an attempt to finish it.

It soon became known as the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Bad Romance Novel because, according to my CPs, I had completely missed the mark on that whole ‘romance’ aspect of the romance novel. As one CP said, “I don’t want these two characters to spend any more time together.”

Clearly, I had my work cut out for me.

And because I am the slowest writer on the face of the earth, it took a while to figure things out. The urge to shove the damn thing back into the metaphorical drawer was strong. Just so, so strong.

Fast forward to January 2019, when my beloved goddaughter expressed a desire to read this book. I love my godchildren and would do anything for them…even finish and publish a terrible romance novel.

Which (deep breath) I did.

Last month.

See, I set a goal to publish it in time for my beloved goddaughter’s birthday. I wanted it to be a surprise, so I didn’t announce it. Against all odds, I actually achieved this goal ( I know. I still can’t believe it, either).

And because I am a marketing guru, even after the birthday surprise, I didn’t announce the book. (I have issues. I know.)

But this past weekend, it was revealed (not by me because, again, I have issues) that the Terrible Romance Novel (at some point, I should probably start referring to it by its actual name) had been set loose upon the world.

Which, yes, is technically true, if you want to get all technical about it.

The Terrible Romance Novel is the product of years of neglect and massive rewrites. It somehow managed to survive having me as its author and because of that, it is now available for Kindle and in paperback.

My goddaughter loved it, and should anyone out there choose to read it, I hope you enjoy it, too.

Oh, and because my goddaughter wants to read it, I’m scheduled to start the second book in the Terrible Romance Series on November 1st.

One last thing…

Back in March 2019, I ran a contest. You may not remember it because it was back in 2019, and we’ve all had MUCH larger concerns since then, but it was a contest to guess how many pens and highlighters I would go through in the Terrible Romance Novel’s revision process. (Thank you to everyone who entered!)

There were three people who guessed exactly right (two pens, two highlighters). Their names were put into a metaphorical hat, and the winner was…

JE Oneil

Thanks again to everyone who entered. Maybe I’ll do another contest whenever I have another manuscript ready for revisions. So…like, ten, twenty years from now, maybe?

25 Commentsto So…This Happened.

  1. Congratulations! Yes, start calling it by its name. And more people will know as I’ll be spreading the word in my next IWSG post.

  2. Congrats, MJ! Fun cover. 🙂

    And yeh for beloved goddaughters who are way better for getting things done than any deadlines!

  3. Congrats, it’s out there!

  4. Jemi Fraser says:

    Congrats!!!
    Your story is currently on my Kindle! Started it last night and am enjoying it – can’t wait to see where the story goes from that great first chapter!

  5. With a build-up like that, who could resist checking that book out? And I do appreciate the plug for my latest, Against All Odds (your line–“Against all odds, I actually achieved this goal”–cleverly including my book title). I will definitely check it out!

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Who wouldn’t want to read a book billed as ‘terrible’ and ‘the product of years of neglect’? I truly am a marketing genius.

  6. Kate says:

    Congratulations on getting it out there! I can’t wait to read it!

  7. J E Oneil says:

    I was so amazing that I won a copy! I’m not even a big romance fan, but I like your writing and am so looking forward to reading it. Great work, MJ!

  8. Liz A. says:

    Congrats on getting it published. I think you subscribe to my method of goals–don’t tell anyone about them. I don’t know what it is, if I make a goal public, it won’t happen. But if I make the goal personal and secret, I more often than not manage to get it done in the time frame I have set.

    Looking forward to reading it.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Normally, I make writing/publishing goals/deadlines public for the accountability…and we’ve all seen how that plays out. Maybe keeping them secret is the key to my success? Or, it’s just getting my goddaughter involved. 🙂

  9. I already told you what your first mistake was on twitter. 😉 Congrats!

  10. Steve MC says:

    Congrats to you and your goddaughter!

    Great post, plus a most awesome cover! And not just because it has a dog.

  11. Congratulations! You’re so self-deprecating in all your posts, but I hope you are proud of yourself for getting this book finished and out there!

  12. Yes! I want to read it!
    If you wrote it, it can’t be that bad. 😛

  13. CONGRATULATIONS!
    You can write in two different genres… wow! That’s so COOL!
    I’m sure the romance book is wonderful!

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