2009-2019: A look back at how I got published…

This year, 2019, marks my tenth anniversary as a published author. In July 2009 I signed my first book publishing contract. Writing books and getting published was always my BIG DREAM.  It was the one thing I wanted more than anything else in the entire world. So I stuck to it, even when it seemed like I wasn’t getting anywhere.

Before my publishing debut, over a period of two decades, I’d written four novels (women’s fiction, not romance), had two literary agents, and received hundreds of rejections.

After completing the four novels, I switched to short stories. I’d sold several to magazines (one to Good Housekeeping!), won quite a few writing awards and was working toward the goal of submitting a collection to a publisher.


I’m a lifelong romance reader, but sometime in the early 2000s, I’d begun reading erotic romance. Well, one day in 2009, I got bored so I sat down at the computer to play. Just for fun, I wrote a short erotic romance about a woman at a job interview who has sex with the man who would be her boss. I threw in every kinky sex act I’d ever heard of. Remember, I was only playing. But, when I finished the story, I thought, hey, this isn’t bad. Maybe I can sell this. (Why I would think that after receiving hundreds of rejections, I don’t know. I guess I’m tenacious—besides being modest. Lol).

I found a call for submissions from a little publisher called Black Velvet Seductions and submitted Intimate Submission. BVS accepted it. Every single book I’d written and submitted since then was accepted by the first publisher I submitted to.

In July 2009, I signed a publishing contract with Black Velvet Seductions, and in September of that year, Intimate Submission was published. (That book is no longer available). I published a second story with BVS and an anthology, before moving to Loose Id, which published eight books of mine. I’d also been published by Decadent Publishing and Lazy Day (now part of Blushing Books). In total, I’d had 15 romances published by publishers when I went Indie in 2015.

Under Fyre, to be released in May, will be my 36th title. Since 2009, I’ve written about 1.5 million words, and have hit the USA Today bestseller list twice.

I got my foot in the door to the publishing world with spanking romance.  I kind of fell into the niche after discovering there was a market for spanking stories. But, after a while, I found the genre limited what kind of story I could write. I desired more creative freedom. I wanted to emphasize the romance, the characters, the plots, and not spanking or Domination/submission (D/s). And frankly, I wanted to be able to tell my neighbors what I wrote and still be invited for dinner!

So, I switched to mainstream science fiction romance (SFR)  because of the creative potential. I’ve been writing sci-fi romance exclusively since late 2015. I have now five science fiction romance series under my belt:

I want to celebrate my 10th Authorversary with you, my readers, because you made the dream come true. I want to thank you for buying my books and supporting me. What better way to celebrate than with presents?  You can get the Prequel to Under Fyre for FREE by subscribing to my newsletter ( download it here). There will be a unique prize drawing for the release of Under Fyre, flash giveaways throughout the year, and in July, there will a big prize giveaway.

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15 Responses to 2009-2019: A look back at how I got published…

  1. Livia Grant says:

    Congratulations, Cara! You have been both an inspiration and a mentor to me and I thank you for that. I found your Rod and Cane Society books and loved them even before I was writing myself. I’ve so enjoyed watching your success and can’t wait to see how you continue to grow your career!!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Livia! I’m glad I was able to help. Your writing career seems to be flourishing! Your Black Light series is very popular. What a great concept.

  2. Congratulations! Your persistence has really paid off. You’re a true inspiration. Wishing you even more success in your next ten years.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you so much! I wish you all the best, too. You’ve been in the trenches with me. Can’t wait to see what the next 10 years holds.

  3. P. L. Parker says:

    I have to say I am so very impressed with your successes. I also am aware of the lengths you go to help other authors and as one of them, I am so appreciative. You do inspire!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Patsy. I know what it’s like to stumble around trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learned so much for other authors; I try to pay it forward.

  4. Congratulations, Cara!
    Your writing is amazing, as are you.

    ~Pippa

  5. Alison Aimes says:

    Wow. It’s fun to read the trajectory of your writing career. What a great climb to reach where you are now. Very impressive. And very inspiring. Thank you for all you do in the science fi romance author works. People like you are why it’s suvh a warm, welcoming place.

  6. Sue Lyndon says:

    Congrats, Cara! I remember reading Unexpected Consequences way back when and then getting excited when you talked to me for the first time. Happy 10 years and here’s to many more! 😉

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Sue! I remember seeing your name as a reviewer on my Rod and Cane books when I needed every review I could get. Your reviews meant a lot to me. You’ve come a long way in your writing career! It will really be interesting to see what happens for both of us in the next 10 years.

  7. Celeste Jones says:

    What a great post. Congratulations. You deserve every bit of praise you get. You’re hardworking, good at what you do and a generous member of the writing community. You were one of the first people I met when I started writing and your encouragement and help has meant a huge amount to me.

    Every now and then I think about when you and I and a few others were just starting out and finding our way doing blog hops and guest posts on each others blogs. What a long way we’ve all come. Congrats to you. I’m grateful for your professional guidance and your friendship.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Celeste. I’ve appreciated all your support over the years. I was nervous/undecided about going Indie, but your example encouraged me. You were indie “way back when.” I’m so glad I made the leap.

      Blogging…it used to be a big part of promotion and getting the word out. Not so anymore. Very few authors blog these days; I’m one of the few, and I’ve cut way back. I still do it because I enjoy it, but it’s not the big thing it used to be.

      A LOT has changed since we started.

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