Author Emelle Gamble
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Emelle GambleI’ve been writing fiction my whole life…first story at five was about a lost bunny asking all his fellow creatures if they could tell him what kind of animal he was… “Am I a deer, Mrs. Bambi…Am I a cat, Mrs. Kitten?”

From there it was bad teen poetry, stab-in-the-dark attempts at ‘real’ literature and then college, marriage, blessed motherhood, several moves around this great country of ours and write, study, submit. I was first published by Harlequin Intrigue’s line of romantic suspense as ‘M. L. Gamble’ and wrote seven books for them. During those simpler days of the 1990s, when publishing meant submit through the United States Postal Service (I’m not kidding) wait eight weeks, get lucky and get a contract and a year later you’ll hold a printed book in your hands, I realized writing wasn’t just a hobby, it was my vocation, the closest thing to meaningful work I ever wanted to do.

I did it happily for a decade, but it didn’t pay the mortgage. So, despite my epiphany, I stopped writing for a few years and concentrated on my family, a pay-the-bills career marketing security software, and gave up those hours sitting at the computer writing, though I still constructed stories in my mind, promising myself that someday I’d get back to them.

Flash ahead to six years ago. Life suddenly seemed a little more manageable, and after dinner and dishes were done during the week, and on weekend afternoons, I started sitting at the computer again and Secret Sister was born. It’s published by Soul Mate Publishing, a company that embraces ‘blended genre’ novels, books that don’t have to be just one thing, and one thing only. My ideas have always been relationship stories about women and the men they love and the friends they hold dearest, but they’ve also always had a little touch of something else, a mystery here, a ghost there, something extraordinary that gave the folks in my imagined world a little extra to deal with.

These ideas were not the easiest to sell to the New York publishers who want books to be one thing, and one thing only… ‘romance’ or ‘horror’ or ‘vampire’ or ‘50 Shades of May’ (that’s a book, right?).

But I wasn’t so good at that “one-thing, and one-thing only” thing. So I flailed around and collected a truly impressive folder of rejections for three novels. Finally I realized I should try another tactic, so I entered a writing contest with Secret Sister and was blessed by having one of the judges turn out to be an acquisition editor for Soul Mate. She liked it enough to request the entire manuscript, and then contracted for it.

And that serendipity, that business decision by a company that embraces books that aren’t just clearly ‘one thing’, gave me the encouragement to again be the one thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up. A writer.


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