It’s been my dream to be published since I was a small child. But as a young, black woman growing up in London (vibrant, but expensive London), the concept of being an author was appealing, but being an author was never truly feasible. I was raised on the immigrant idea that I must become either a doctor, an engineer (if you’re a boy, of course) or a teacher. But I couldn’t stop dreaming about characters and worlds that were so vivid I had to write them down. And I didn’t just want to write, I wanted to write romance. Really sexy, steamy, stirring romance. I’ve been reading romance stories for it feels like most of my life, from Nora Roberts to Nalini Singh and Brenda Jackson to Charish Reid. And what I’ve realized is that publishing is a hard and deeply personal journey that doesn’t always happen the way that you expect, but nonetheless you must continue to strive and push forward to reach your goals and your dreams. I’m glad I never gave up writing.
While I was at university, I wrote Dirty Tactics, mostly in a café near my house and at other times in my bedroom under my covers. I’m pretty old school and mainly write with pen and paper and then later write it up on my laptop, editing along the way. I have piles and piles of notebooks, some with words in the margin and others only half-filled. Reagan and Zac’s story is special to me since it was the first story I finished and I didn’t immediately think: this doesn’t make any sense so I’m going to start again from scratch. I felt really proud that I managed to capture their spirit of playfulness, but also the undercurrent of passion and hurt that also comes from suppressing their feelings for each other for so long. Still, I focused on finishing my degree and didn’t do anything with the book until I started actively using Twitter (a wonderful but confusing place that I have an ongoing complicated relationship with). I participated in the #carinapitch challenge back in 2019 (oh, how the world has changed dramatically in one year) and it was how I met my Editor, Kate Marope. And the rest was history- wait, no, it wasn’t.
I screamed so hard when I got the ‘call’ that Dirty Tactics was being published. I kept it together with a polite smile, but really hoped no one could hear the barely restrained excitement in my voice or see the wild elation behind my eyes. Not very cool, calm and collected. The whole process has been incredibly rewarding and I have learnt so much about myself as a writer. I thought that Reagan and Zac’s story was complete, but my editor helped me bring out so much more from my characters and the plot itself. Every editing round, a layer was peeled away and there was just so much more I wanted to include, but hopefully this won’t be the last you’ll see of the world. I can’t wait for you all to read Dirty Tactics and learn about the Thomas’ siblings and their hot and fun romances.
Title: Dirty Tactics
Author: Emma Salah
Length: approx. 70,000 words / 288 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Imprint: Carina Press
eBook On-Sale: July 20, 2020
His best friend’s little sister never looked so good…
A trial period, in which hockey superstar Zac Quinn will prove to Reagan Thomas—his best friend’s younger sister and the one woman he can’t seem to keep his hands off of—that they can’t possibly date for real.
After all, the Thomas family is the only family he’s ever had. He can’t risk losing them, no matter how much he wants Reagan. She’s too important to him; he can’t let things get weird.
But Reagan has known they’re meant to be since forever. She’s not about to back down now.
If she has to play dirty to bring him around?
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
My name is Emma Salah and I was born and raised in London. I spent my childhood climbing mountains, killing (or petting, depending on the breed) dragons and sneaking romance books into my bedroom as a teenager. While only one of those is true, I did go off to seek adventure after getting a degree in Literature and Creative Writing, back-packing through South-East Asia, living in colourful Istanbul and teaching for over a year in Japan. As a young black woman, I’m interested in telling stories that don’t always get heard. That means lots and lots of diverse heroines doing amazing things!