Guess what’s 30 years old this month? My first novel, that’s what. I wrote Texas Wildflower in longhand and typed it up on a Brother “Correct-O-Ball” electric typewriter, and sent a synopsis and sample chapters to Kensington Books.
I didn’t have a literary agent. It’s hard to get an agent when you’re new and don’t have a publisher. The offer came by phone, and I was gobsmacked to hear that it was Wendy McCurdy, an editor at Kensington Books. She made an extremely modest offer, and I thanked her and said I’d call her back.
[Wendy and me in 2016, still friends after all these years.]
Loud screams of wonder and joy ensued. And then I called her back, and said of course I’d accept the offer. No negotiating. Nada. I didn’t have anything to bargain with other than an unfinished manuscript. So we made the deal, and Texas Wildflower became my first published novel.
[This cover is so legit, I can’t even.]
It’s a sexy historical romance set in the days of the Republic of Texas, featuring the spirited, implausibly buxom Shiloh Mulvane and the square-jawed, even more implausibly sensitive spy posing as an outlaw, Justin McCord. Between gunfights and barroom brawls, they have frequent, orgasmic sex and eventually resolve their trust issues, saving not only their relationship, but the Republic itself!
The ever-tactful Shelley Mosley summarizes the novel this way in Booklist:
“Shiloh Mulvane’s father is one of Texas’ greatest detectives, and she wants to be just like him. She gets her break when she’s hired by a powerful judge to capture Justin McCord, the man who stole his daughter’s virtue. It’s fairly easy for Shiloh to capture the prospective bridegroom, but Justin, knowing the real reason the judge wants him for a son-in-law, turns the tables on her and tricks her into marrying him. From that point on, the tale is rife with espionage, murder, mayhem, intrigue, and dirty politics. Written before Wiggs evolved her current masterful style, this tale is as much a history of Texas gaining its statehood as it is a romance. Even though the book is long and the ending seems a bit rushed, fans will cheer for the spunky heroine who keeps putting herself at risk to be accepted by her father. This tale will please readers who enjoy Jodi Thomas and Lorraine Heath.” –Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fair enough. It was the start of something special for me, a major leap forward in something I’d been striving toward since I was old enough to hold a crayon.
Over the years, Shiloh and Justin have been reissued several times.
[Lilacs don’t actually grow in Texas, but whatever.]
They’ve even traveled to distant lands, as evidenced in this Indonesian (I think) edition.
But no matter how many years have passed, one thing remains the same–that indisputable happy ending.
Happy work-i-versary to my career!