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Real-Life Romance to Become a Book: Did This Really Happen to Me?

sampayshieMy love of romance began with The Love Boat and that flirtation between Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner in Wonder Woman. I consumed stories more feverishly when Nici, my high school BFF and future matron-of-honor, handed me my first Harlequin Presents circa 1983–when I was negative 10 years old. There were a few detours before I wound up editing romance novels full-time and–shockingly–finding a hero of my own.

My husband and I have a great love story, but I didn’t consider writing about it for public consumption, aside from the occasional mention on social media. Even though we got to meet Anderson Cooper and appear on the Rachael Ray Show, I still thought, we are far too boring. Secretly, I wrote a few versions of our romance with the intention of stowing them in my closet, along with my many pairs of black shoes and questionable knitting projects.

Late last year, I was telling someone about how Sam and I reconnected, and it hit home how uplifting our story is. It’s about finding love after you’ve given up (and the irony of editing romance through nasty breakups). One of the reasons why I read romance is that the stories make me happy. Of course, I want to write my happy story. In February, this book sold to Dutton and will be coming out early next year. It details my growing love of the romance genre, running parallel to my decreasing interest in real-life romance–until Sam.

I still can’t believe this happened to me, even though I spent the last five months writing and writing. I can’t believe it to the point where I haven’t said much except to a few friends, colleagues and family. Well, until now! What an extraordinary journey this has been.

Please pinch me.

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38 thoughts on “Real-Life Romance to Become a Book: Did This Really Happen to Me?”

  1. That’s so great for you, Patience. The love story and the book. You get a chance to be on the other end of things this time. Can’t wait to read it. And I’ve been reading Harlequins since I was 12. I won’t say how many years that’s been. I’ll blame it on my lack of math skills.

  2. Thanks, Kari! I’ve heard many say they started reading Harlequins in their teens. They always seemed like these forbidden stories–and way more fun than studying!

  3. Absolutely thrilled at this new twist in your love story! Can’t wait to download it onto my Kindle. Your Number 1 fan, Patt.

  4. Patience, I’m so excited for you. This reaffirms my belief that everything happens for a reason. Look how far you’ve come. You are one of the lucky ones who may fall hard, but continually land on your feet. I’m so glad you’ve both found the other “pea in the pod.” I can’t wait to read it. I’d like a signed copy, please. XOXOXO

    1. Thanks, Leila, and of course! Is it okay for me to admit now that I loved watching you be a soccer star way back when and secretly wished I could play half as well as you?

  5. Out of all the romances I have read, and we both know that’s no small number, nothing comes close to your extraordinary story and how much I have enjoyed watching it unfold. I can’t wait to see who’s going to play us in the movie! xo

  6. *pinch* It really is amazing, isn’t it? And it couldn’t happen to a nicer person. So happy that even your “happily ever after” has a “happily ever after” 🙂

  7. That’s so wonderful, Patience! Congratulations to you, and I can’t wait to read the book!

  8. As someone who watched you (and Nici) devour those romances when you were teenager (and who has read more than a few myself.) I admit that I laughed when I found out you edited romance for a living…and I remember being so excited for you when you and Sam reconnected. This “happily ever after” couldn’t have happened to two nicer people.

    1. Haha, thanks, Debra! You did indeed see us with our romance-covered glasses, though you were solely responsible for getting us hooked on Tom Cruise circa the mid-eighties by letting us see Risky Business.

  9. What a lovely story, Patience. And congratulations on the book deal. Be sure to let us know when it’s up for pre-order!

    1. Thanks, Dorien! Your speech at the recent Washington retreat was an inspiration! I will never forget it. 🙂

  10. So exciting! I love that it follows the parallel of your day job and life until Sam. I can’t wait to read it!

    My mom set my husband and I up.. They worked together and for years he would steal my picture off her desk and put it on his own, calling me his wife. Amazing how life works out the way it’s supposed to, isn’t it? *g*

    Big congrats on your happily ever after!

  11. Thanks for sharing! This is pretty wonderful and I cannot wait to read about your journey to happy ever after. I consider myself a professional romance fan — spreading the love of romance and the authors that write them and cheering on the incredible readers that enjoy them. Here’s a small world moment. A college friend of mine told your brother that he should share your story with me since we all went to school together and I’m a long time reader and lover of romance novels. I’ve always known your name but it did not occur to me to connect you to Patrick! I love it! Be well — and again, thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey, I know you! Were you all those plays with Patrick? I was obsessed with all his theater friends. Small world indeed! Glad to see you in it. Thanks for dropping by!

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