Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hashtag Author 101 Fail

Dani Collins
By Dani Collins

I’m accidentally on Book Four of a series I didn’t know I was writing. That’s why it doesn’t have a name. Hashtag Author 101 Fail.

Here’s what happened:

I was invited to send a novella to Tule’s Montana Born imprint last year. At first it was going to have a Fair theme so I thought, Hmm, summer, fair, baseball… I made my hero a pro ball player. By the time I submitted it, the Fair series was full, but they were doing a Homecoming series. So that story turned into Hometown Hero.

Initially I was intimidated to write shorter stories (about 35-40,000 words, whereas I’m used to 50-55 for Harlequin.) I was pleasantly surprised to find I loved the length and I especially loved the tone and the town and everything about writing these fast-paced, sexy contemporaries.

So when they asked if I wanted to write a Christmas book, I said, “Sure.” Keep in mind that my family all gave me horrified looks when I told them. I’m the original Grinch. They were pretty sure I’d tank, but my heroine Liz was in need of the Christmas spirit and by the time I’d finished that book, we both had some.

Now, when I started Blame The Mistletoe, I was still getting my feet wet with the town of Marietta, which is the fictional town where most of the Montana Born series. 

His Blushing Bride
Authors are encouraged to overlap characters to give the reader more of a sense that the town is real. Since I was still a bit of a newcomer to Marietta, I opened my Christmas story in the home of Skye and Chase from Hometown Hero, so those stories wound up connected.

Then along came the Bachelor Auction series. Fortunately, I was finishing up Blame The Mistletoe so I gave the hero a sister, Meg, who winds up bidding on Linc and having The Bachelor’s Baby.

And then… This year’s wedding series. By this time I was begging to be included. I love writing for Tule, love Marietta and love everything about writing these stories.

Fortunately, I was getting smart and had already set up Liz with a brother, Bastian. He comes to Marietta for her wedding and falls for Piper, the high school music teacher. Bastian is a playboy, she’s a virgin… His niece is a hoot and the rest of the cast from the other books all make an appearance.

If only the series had a name. Have you read any of my Montana Born stories? Got any suggestions?


Award winning author Dani Collins writes sexy, witty, vibrant romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Tule’s Montana Born and herself.

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