Tear of the Cheetah

T.M.Clark

 

A personal insight and date line into the journey of Tears of the Cheetah.


This started out with a more romance plot - but highly erotic content. Not for the U18’s. It’s so not how it landed up at all..


It first saw a publisher in June 2008 as a full request, and in Feb 2009 got the standard rejections from M&B on this full. Tried again, this time to a different line within Harlequin,  and in Jan 2010 I got another full request. I sent that in almost immediately, and in April, got the Big R - but it was a nice  personal one. And an invite to see more of my work - so not all bad! (Although at the time it was tears and tissues...in hindsight the amazing Brenda Chin could see that this story was bigger than what I was trying to squish it into...only I couldn’t...)


So In January 2011: I entered this book in to the 2011 5DI - and oh my holy aunty, I was accepted - with the book as a Category romance. So in July 2011, I attended a weeks mentoring with the amazing Marian Lennox!!!! Learnt so much from her about who I was as a writer and also, we redefined this book into a new category. ( Yes, I was stubborn, still trying to fit it into someone else's guidelines. But we also laid out a plan, because she could see I was being stubborn, and she was saying, perhaps I’m writing in the wrong genre and I have more words than what I’m allowed in category.... ( sound very familiar to what happened the year before....) So many insightful people along the way - and yet - did I listen? I thought at the time I was....)


The book then came 10th in the Emerald Category Section 2012. (Yeah!!) Rapped... a turbulent time followed where I pitched and got edits from Entangled, and my awesome crit partners Amy Andrews and Rachel Bailey read it again, and tried to help me with it. But by March 2013 it was clear that this book needed more emotion, less characters and a smaller story, and now that I had sold as a single title author to Mira, I had a big decision to make on my work...


Was I going to keep hitting my head against a wall of the category romance genre? And what was the reason I so wanted to be one of their authors? ( well the reason was easy: most of my author friends were published in Category, it seemed like that was my logical place to be, and I loved reading category romances...)

or

Was I going to take the story - and rewrite it, into a stand alone story and give it the space that it wanted to take up, and tell the story I wanted to tell? And was I going to try and stay as a Mira author.


There wasn’t much of a competition, my heart and my head at last agreed, that single title and bigger books was where I wanted to fit.


I pitched it to my wonderful editor at Harlequin, and Tears OF The Cheetah became ‘Book 2’ in my second contract with Harlequin, Mira. I rewrote it, yes again, and told the story I wanted to tell, and had my full cast of characters, and told my story...


So the lesson I have learnt from all three books so far...


Tell the story you want to tell, write the book you want to write. It will sell!




The fight to save the cheetahs is a race against time


Mackenzie came to South Africa to escape the trauma of her past and build herself a bright new future: love is the last thing on her mind. But she’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore her feelings for the strong-minded Cole, who runs the game reserve for cheetahs just outside her town. Cole has made no secret of his feelings for her, but he realises that Mackenzie cannot be rushed so he is prepared to wait.


However, neither could have predicted the terrifying events that are about to overtake them. When Cole saves Mackenzie from a vicious attack, it is only the beginning of an ever-spiralling maelstrom of violence.


Someone is decimating Africa’s cheetah population, and when the poaching threat comes to their door, Mackenzie and Cole have only one option: they must fight to save the animals and life they love.

Tears of the Cheetah

Published by: Mira, Harlequin Australia

Release date: November 2015

Available at Booktopia, Dymocks, Target, Big W, Kmart and all good book shops or online


Classification: Contemporary General fiction


“ Africa is the evocative backdrop to this unputdownable thriller and the story of a fierce fight to save its threatened wildlife.” ~ Cherry Adair - New York Time Bestselling Author.