April 2022 Featured Article
What are the Chances? With God, all things are possible!
A number of years ago, my editor with Summerside contacted me, saying they were in desperate need of a book set in Sundance, Wyoming, for their Love Finds You line, and asked if I had sold one that I’d written yet. I said no, but my agent was shopping it as a three-book series. Long story short, their contracted author had some kind of setback, and she was unable to fulfill the contract and turn in the book on time. They offered it to me, but at a lower rate than I or my agent wanted to accept. Finally, I reluctantly decided to move forward and give up my plan of using it as the first book in a new series. After all, I’d first written it thinking it might be a good fit for the LFY line.
The book was published in the late summer of 2011, a very fast turnaround time. A couple of years later, I got word that a Hollywood production company had optioned several of the LFY titles, including mine set in Sundance. Three Love Finds You movies were made and aired on the UP Channel over the next two years, but nothing more was said about Sundance.
Then, in 2015, I received an email from Chevonne, the associate producer who had made those movies, followed by a phone call. Imagine my surprise when she asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them. They were no longer producing the Love Finds You books into movies and were working on a totally different project for UP, a possible three-movie series, and she hoped I might be able to work with them. As anyone would be, I was curious why she’d chosen me. She explained that she’d optioned Sundance two or three years earlier and loved it. Of the thirty-five or so titles she’d read of the line, that was her favorite. However, UP didn’t want to make historical or Old West movies, so she’d had to shelve it.
During that time period, I’d gotten my rights back to all of my LFY books and had retitled them Finding Love in Last Chance, California; Finding Love in Tombstone, Arizona; and Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon. Love Finds You in Sundance became Outlaw Angel, and all four are still in print.
Here’s the amazing part. I came very, very close to turning down that contract offer with Summerside for Sundance. I was disappointed in the advance and royalty rate, and shortly after they released it, they sold the line to Guideposts, and that company didn’t continue the line much longer. Understandably, sales waned on their final releases, and I was disappointed with my sales from that final book as all three of my others had done quite well.
For a long time, I wished I hadn’t taken that contract and held out for one with another company for a three-book series. However, had I done that, I doubt Runaway Romance or From the Heart would ever have been written. It was Sundance that grabbed Chevonne’s attention and caused her to contact me.
Since then, I’ve been blessed to get to meet Chevonne and her husband George (the producer) a couple of times, and we’ve developed a friendship. We chat often on the phone or email, and I’ve been able to help brainstorm several projects. Right now, we have three movies that have been filmed, and two of them, From the Heart (aired on Hallmark in early 2021) and Finding Love in Mountainview (based on the book Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon) last fall on Hallmark as well. I am currently working on Finding Love in San Antonio, only I’m writing that one with a good friend and new co-author, Kimberly Rose Johnson, which will release as an ebook and print book May of 2022, and will also become a TV movie, although it hasn’t been slotted on a channel yet. God has indeed blessed me, and He’s allowed me to learn so much that I didn’t know about the movie industry—it’s a ton of work, it moves very slowly, but it contains wonderful people whom I’ve loved getting to know.
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About the Article Author
Miralee Ferrell is an award-winning, best-selling author of 27 books with three having been made into TV movies, and two more on the way. She lives in the Pacific N.W. with her husband, two cats, sixteen chickens, and one very spoiled little dog.