California Dreamin’ Success Story: Diane Benefiel

This is the final month for our Early Bird Pricing, so get your registrations in by July 31st if you’d like to take advantage of the discount.

We’re excited to share another Success Story from Diane Benefiel!

DianeBenefielI attended my very first romance writers’ conference, the SoCal RWA California Dreamin’ conference in March, 2013 with great anticipation. All of the sessions and extras looked like so much fun.

There was a bit of anxiety, however, about pitching my just-completed novel. I’d never pitched before but knew if I wanted to publish I had to do it.

I attended the evening session where I could practice my pitch on an experienced author and this helped a lot. The next morning I was there, bright and early, ready to meet the agent and two editors I was scheduled for. Each was a different experience, but all asked to see at least a partial. 

I sent thirty pages to the editor who sent back a very positive rejection letter. I say that because while she didn’t want to represent me she was very encouraging and had some good suggestions.

Next, I sent my manuscript to the editor who had requested the whole thing, didn’t hear a peep for two months, sent a follow up email, waited, sent another and still nothing, a-need-to-protect-highres-nologonot even an acknowledgment of having received my submission. I informed that editor I was going to submit elsewhere and then sent it to the second editor who represented Decadent Publishing. Within a day I had received confirmation they had received my submission; within a month they asked to see the whole thing.

By October I had gotten that wonderful email saying they loved A Need to Protect, my romantic suspense, and would like to offer me a contract. Throughout the entire process, the Decadent staff has been amazing. They respond promptly (even on weekends!), are full of helpful suggestions, and have been amazingly friendly. A Need to Protect was released on March 14, 2014, just one short year after the conference. I can’t wait to see what the 2015 conference will bring!

Diane Benefiel


Thanks Diane! We can’t wait for March!  Don’t miss out on your chance to hone your craft, practice your pitches and take your publishing career to the next level.

Lisa Kessler