Mina is an award-winning author, mixed-media artist, and amateur photographer. She and her husband live on a farm in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains populated with rescue dogs, miniature horses, and donkeys. Life in her corner of the world consists of long winter nights curled up by the fire, cheering on her favorite football teams in the fall, enduring March Madness in the spring, and fireflies at sunset accompanied by a serenade of crickets and frogs, and lazy nights in the porch swing.
I’ve been a hardcore romance addict since I was fifteen, cutting my reading teeth on every Harlequin romance I could get my hands on. I devoured three to four books a day during summer breaks. Elizabeth Lowell. The Rocking M Collection. Never play cards with a man named Cash unless he’s good-looking, of course. Diana Palmer. I named my son after one hero in her Long Tall Texan series.
I started my writing career in 2008 when I published my first book with a small press publisher. I churned out two more books between a full-time job, baseball and football games, and graduate school. I wrote on my lunch breaks, in class, and at my son’s athletic competitions.
Those were the days.
I wrote my master’s thesis along with a book that had been in rolling around in my head for years, The Heartbreak Cowboy.
Soon after, I attended a Romance Writers of America conference and sat in on a class with Liz Maverick. She was such a dear and so supportive. I came back home armed with stacks of notes and wrote a proposal for the Coldiron Cowboy series. I submitted to agents, and in a few weeks, I signed with a literary agency.
I was thrilled!
I was also blessed to work with an outstanding agent who helped me navigate through the arduous process of conference calls, emails, and rejections from publishers. During one of those conference calls, I was given the opportunity to do a major rewrite for one of the top five publishers in the business. However, after months of writing, I was told the rewrite was a no-go and that I needed to write a Debbie Macomber sort of novel or maybe a shape-shifting cowboy romance.
I love Debbie’s stories, but no.
I’M. NOT. DEBBIE
My cowboys might howl at the moon, but they don’t turn into werewolves. At least, not in the Coldiron Cowboys series.
I was devastated. Not that the acquiring editor wasn’t happy with my rewrite, but that she wanted me to change my writing style to mimic someone else’s.
In 2018, I became an indie author and published The Heartbreak Cowboy under my publishing company, CurtissLynn Publishing. I’ve learned so much since then. The most important being that my voice and my stories are as unique as I am. And there’s nothing wrong with that.