It's appropriate that I get to talk about my first editor, this week. Because my first editor is also my latest editor, for the new imprint I'm working for - the one that is launching properly this week.
Yep, my first editor was Adam Nevill, at Black Lace. And he is now my editor, at Mischief. And there's a reason for that.
It's because Adam Nevill is, and always has been, hugely supportive of my work. Not just kind about it. Not just an editor of it. A supporter of it. And I think it's safe to say that without him, I wouldn't be where I am now.
I just wouldn't.
If there's one thing that defines me, as a writer, it's fear. I'm afraid to fail. Afraid to succeed. I spent years and years and years too scared to submit, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I had submitted and been rejected, I might not have tried again.
So thank God for Adam Nevill, who wrote me the loveliest and yet most matter of fact email in response to my first ever (paper!) short story submission, to the Love At First Bite anthology. It was like...he just expected me to expect acceptance. As though he thought I already knew it was a given, and if it was okay with me, could he publish the story?
When in truth, I never expected anything of the kind. I thought that his response would mark the end of my silly dream to be a writer - that finally, I would get my head out of the clouds, and be normal. And instead, it marked the one occasion in my life where dreaming actually turned out okay.
It didn't slap me in the face. I didn't have to be sorry that I'd done this thing.
Adam made me not sorry. And not only did he make me not sorry, he encouraged me to sub more. He accepted my next three stories. And then he did something unimaginable, something that to this day reminds me that all of this was worthwhile and that sometimes, dreams do come true:
He asked me to write my own collection of short stories. He just flat out asked me, in that same sturdy, matter of fact sort of manner I've come to depend on, from him. If there's anything you could wish for, from an editor - wish for them to be levelheaded.
Because I am not levelheaded. I am up and down, excitable, neurotic. I can't handle stuff, and never imagine that I'm good enough to flat out ask for something. So to have an editor - a first editor - who offered things...
Well, that was something. It helped my courage. It bolstered me, for times to come - and believe me, they weren't easy. It was the only experience I could have had with a first editor, and come out fighting on the other side. Things could easily have been different - I could have been crushed, forever.
But I wasn't. And that's thanks to one of the greatest editors in the business, one of the best erotic editors the world has ever known:
His support, his guidance, his help has meant the world to me, and continues to do so now. It's meant that I got to write my first novel - Control - because when he moved to Xcite he asked me if I wanted to write for him there. It's meant that I now get to write for another fantastic imprint - Mischief - because he emailed me when he was first looking for authors to fill the line.
I don't know why he likes my writing, but I do know this: all of these things make me a very, very lucky person. He could have easily hated my work. He could have thought I was nonsense. But he didn't, and so here I am:
A published author of over 30 short stories, 20 novellas, and five novels, with a new one released last week. Without Adam I wouldn't have a career, and for that, I thank him. He is the best first editor an author could hope for.
Want to find out more about Mischief, the line Adam edits? Go here:
And if you want to find out about my new book with them, you can find an excerpt, buy links and a bit about it here: