Love At First Flight by Tess Woods
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication date: April 1st 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary,
Looking back on it now, I can see it was instant. The second we locked eyes. Boom. Just like that. The me I had spent a lifetime perfecting began its disintegration from that moment. And despite the carnage it brought to all our lives, I still don’t regret it.
What would you risk to be with the love of your life? And what if your soul mate is the one who will destroy you?
Mel is living the dream. She’s a successful GP, married to a charming anaesthetist and raising a beautiful family in their plush home in Perth. But when she boards a flight to Melbourne, she meets Matt and her picture perfect Stepford life unravels as she falls in love for the first time ever.
What begins as a flirty conversation between strangers quickly develops into a hot and obsessive affair with disastrous consequences neither Mel nor Matt could have ever seen coming. Mel’s dream life turns into her worst nightmare.
Love at First Flight will take everything you believe about what true love is and spin it on its head.
What was your road to publication like?
It was a long and windy road with many speed humps and detours!
I wrote Love at First Flight in a week. Six years later it was published. In the meantime it was rejected by all twenty-two literary agents in Australia who represented commercial women’s fiction writers. Every last one of them.
After opening the front door to find my manuscript sitting on the porch in the reply paid envelope I had provided for the last remaining agent, I slid the manuscript under the spare bed, dusted myself off and forgot I had written a book. The submission process to agents had been exhausting and soul destroying. I couldn’t face beginning the submission process again with publishing houses. I figured I was in with a slim with to none chance with a publisher anyway if none of the agents wanted it. I was done.
“I’ll self publish it one day when I’m rich,” I thought. “I’ll give a copy to my mum and to my kids. The end.”
Then along came an email. It was from literary agent Jacinta Di Mase. Jacinta had considered Love at First Flight two years earlier before deciding she didn’t want it. I was particularly devastated when Jacinta had initially rejected the book, because I was convinced she would take it. It was just this really strong gut feeling that I had a connection with her and she would be my agent. In the end, my gut was right (always trust your gut!)
Jacinta emailed me in 2013 and it went something like this, “Hey, I still have that book of yours in my mind even though it’s been a couple of years since I read it. So, did you sell it yet? And if not, are you prepared to make some pretty big changes I want done so that I believe in it enough to go in and bat for you with publishers?”
Excuse me, what? YES I would be prepared to make changes!
So I started re-writing and this re-write was huge. A year later, in April 2014, I was ready to resubmit it to Jacinta. I hit send on the email and the next day headed off to Europe for the trip of a life-time with hubby and kids in tow and tried to put it out of my mind. If Jacinta wanted it, great, if not, I would self-publish it one day and sign the inside cover for my mum.
Four weeks later, we were in Cornwall on our “book tour of the UK”. We were visiting places based on books we loved. Cornwall was my choice because of my love of The Shellseekers by Rosamunde Pilcher which was set there. We had arrived the night before from London (where we did all things Harry Potter). I checked emails from home and wow! Jacinta loved the new version and she had already started the rounds of publishers. That this happened the day I was living out a long held dream to go shell-seeking just like a favourite character from a book was pure magic.
Fast forward eight months of nail-biting, finger crossing, acquisitions meetings where it was rejected at the last minute, editors loving it and then not loving it and then loving it again before deciding no they really didn’t love it after all and then along came an editor who believed in my writing and was passionate enough to stand by the story until it had full approval from everyone in her publishing team. And that was Anna Valdinger at HarperCollins. Oh how I love her! So I finally had a contract. With an April 2015 release, this is just over six years since I sat down and put pen to paper.
Tess Woods is a health professional who lives in Perth, Australia with one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over all of them. Love at First Flight is her first novel. When she isn’t working or being a personal assistant to her kids, Tess enjoys reading and all kinds of grannyish pleasures like knitting, baking, drinking tea, watching Downton Abbey and tending to the veggie patch.