Happy 3rd Birthday to us!

1st April is a special day for the Write Romantics. It’s our 3rd birthday!

When Jo Bartlett and I ‘met’ virtually through the Romantic Novelists’ Association and came up with the idea of blogging together, we were two unpublished writers who weren’t even ready to submit our manuscripts. We realised quite quickly that we were going to struggle to post regularly about our ‘not quite ready to explore being published’ status, so we invited a few more RNA members to join in. The Write Romantics grew from two to ten, dipped down to nine for a while, then went back up to ten again.

One of the fascinating aspects of this group of female writers (other than the fact that we have never all been in the same place at the same time (except virtually) and therefore haven’t all physically met yet), is that we were nearly all aspiring writers when we joined forces. Only one of the group had a publishing deal. Move forward three years and it’s a very different picture.

We thought this would be the perfect opportunity for the Write Romantics to tell you about their last three years.

Jessica xx

book14Jo Bartlett

Three years ago, I was unpublished and dreaming of one day walking into a bookshop and seeing my name on the cover of a novel on sale there. I’d just finished my debut novel and was sending it out to publishers… Fast forward three years and my novel, Among a Thousand Stars, has now been out for nine months with So Vain Books and I have my coveted paperback! I’ve also had two pocket novels published by DC Thomson, so I got to see my name on a book in WHSmiths on several occasions. Both novels were picked up by Ulverscroft, a third pocket novel has just gone in to DC Thomson and I have also had a short story published with them in The People’s Friend. In the second half of last year, I signed a women’s fiction four book deal with Accent Press, the first two books will be coming out in 2016 and the second two next year. AATS CoverIn October, I finished second in the WHSmiths/Kobo/Harlequin romance writing competition and I am currently working with an editor at the world’s most famous romance publishing house on something that will be a significant departure for me and hence is being written under another name. Most of this has happened in the past twelve months and I definitely don’t appreciate how far I’ve come in three years for the vast majority of the time. Seeing it all written down like this makes a big difference though and, for once, I feel like there’s something to celebrate. The WRs birthday is the perfect excuse!

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100% genuine *cough*

Sharon Booth

Gosh! Three years ago I wasn’t part of the Write Romantics. In fact, I hadn’t heard of them (sorry!) I started writing my first full-length novel in November of that year, for NaNoWriMo. I met Jessica and Alys in June of 2014, having connected with Alys on Romna, as we were members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. I had a half-baked, patchwork story called Angel in the Marble, and was convinced it was rubbish. Jessica and Alys persuaded me to work on it and submit it to the RNA. I did, and got very positive and encouraging feedback. That September, I was invited to join the Write Romantics This Other Eden ebook cover V4 (1)(yay!) and in November, we released a charity anthology, Winter Tales, which included my short story, The Other Side of Christmas. I got Angel in the Marble edited and proofread, changed its name to There Must Be An Angel, and it was published in March 2015. Now I’m on the brink of publishing my third full-length novel, This Other Eden, having also had a pocket novel published by DC Thomson, and another short story in print, this time for The People’s Friend. Things really started to happen for me when I met the Write Romantics, so I’m very grateful to be part of this lovely group.

Jackie Ladbury

conf 2014 12In April 2013 I was faffing around with at least three half written books on the go. I now have three fully written books and am still faffing around! Have decided to pitch three novels as airline series and am finally getting my act together with A Plan! (I think!) Was shortlisted for a Mills and Boon first chapter competition and that complete novel is now part of The Plan. Am considering self-publishing another novel, but thinking about it makes me want to have a lie down, or take to the bottle. Could do that in reverse order I suppose!

my pic for blog postDeirdre Palmer

When we began, I was in the midst of submitting my novel, Remarkable Things, which has themes of motherhood, family relationships and later-life love. More revisions and another year on, I finally secured that elusive FINAL FINAL COVER with taglinecontract, and the book was published by Crooked Cat. Meanwhile, I’d written a 1960s’ comedy drama called Dirty Weekend, which Crooked Cat also published, a few months after the first. An excellent year! Now I’ve just finished another novel and started on another, the sequel to Dirty Weekend. Looking back, I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved in the last three years 🙂

 

DSCN1701Lynne Pardoe

I had barely started my first novel three years ago when my mum became ill. Stuck for things to speak about mum and I talked about my plot, the more it took shape, the quicker I wrote it! That was eventually sold to D.C.Thompson and it came out in January 2015 as ‘Made for Each Other.’ Since then I self published ‘Please Adopt Me‘ on Amazon at first. Now I’m just waiting for my second to be edited and am well into my third! I’m loving having a cottage industry all to myself and so are my readers, judging by the quantity of good reviews I have!! 🙂

helen phiferHelen Phifer

Three years ago I’d been offered my first two book contract with Carina and I was busy working on the rewrites for my debut novel The Ghost House. Which was to be published in October. Now I’m in the middle of writing my sixth Annie Graham novel. Book five The Girls in the Woods was published in January and I have a paperback of The Ghost House on my shelf, plus I have a standalone horror story that will be published by Carina in September and Annie book six will be published around December 2016. I’m in the process of something very exciting for next year which will take me in a whole different direction as I’m working on a brand new crime series. Which I’ll share with you once it’s all finalised. All in all, I’m one very busy, extremely happy writer.

 

_MG_4982Jessica Redland

‪In April 2013, I was working on my debut novel, Searching for Steven. It had gone through the RNA’s NWS once and I was preparing to put it through the NWS for a second time later that year because I’d made significant changes to it. The idea of becoming published was a distant dream. Eighteen months later, I received two publishing deals and decided to go with a new UK-based publisher Screenshot 2015-12-16 18.08.14called So Vain Books. In June 2015, Searching for Steven was released. It’s the first book in a trilogy of romantic comedies with deeper issues set in a fictional North Yorkshire seaside town called Whitsborough Bay. The follow up, Getting Over Gary, was released last month
and the final part of the trilogy will be out in August this year. I’ve also released a novella, Raving About Rhys, which is set in the same town but with a different cast of characters. I have a deadline for submission of book 3 in about six weeks’ time then I get to write something new which is incredibly exciting. It’s been an amazing few years. Eek! Dreams really can come true 🙂

 

Author photo - Helen J RolfeHelen J Rolfe

Three years ago, I was getting ready to send my second attempt at a novel to the RNA NWS. As I was living in Australia this was always interesting at a cost of more than a hundred dollars plus an anxious wait to find out whether it had arrived in the UK safely. But it was so worth it! ‪Three years on and that novel, The Friendship Tree, was the first of three I have had published. I went on to indie publish Handle Me with Care and What Rosie Found Next  and I have another two novels already in the pipeline. ‪It’s been an interesting and busy time but a lot of fun. I’ve learnt so much about writing and the publishing industry and I’m hoping the next three years bring just as much success for all The Write Romantics!

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Handle Me with Care final front cover - for KDPWhat Rosie Found Next - bookcover - KDP version

 

 

 

 

 

photo (10)Rachael Thomas

In April 2013 I had just had my latest rejection and as usual was gutted. After the customary sulk, I began work on my next book, which I submitted to Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write competition in September 2013. That book made it to the Top 10 at the end of the year and Christmas 2013 saw me working on revisions which I submitted early in 2014 and within two weeks, I The Sheikh's Last Mistress-UK covergot ‘the call’. My debut, A Deal Before the Altar was published by Harlequin Mills and Boon in October 2014. Now three years on from the launch of The Write Romantics blog my sixth book, The Sheikh’s Last Mistress is about to be released. What is even more special, is that this book is a rewrite of the one rejected in April 2013, which just goes to show, nothing you write is ever wasted. Happy Birthday everyone!

Alys West Christmas 2015Alys West

Three years ago, I was working on the first book of an urban fantasy trilogy, Beltane. My dream was to secure an agent and I was thrilled in summer 2014 to be invited to London to meet an agent who wanted to represent me! Since then, Beltane has been published and I’ve been working on the rest of the series. I’ve also discovered a new passion for steampunk and wrote a story called The Dirigible King’s Daughter which I released on Wattpad. It’s been fascinating reading feedback from those who’ve followed the release of each chapter. The Dirigible King’s Daughter will be available on Amazon in the early summer. My novel writing is taking a bit of a back seat at the Beltane finalmoment because I’m studying towards a Masters in Creative Writing, but I’ll be back to it very soon.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of the last three years. If you’re just starting your writing journey, or you’re submitting and dealing with rejections at the moment, please keep on believing in your work because, as you can see from our summaries, dreams really do come true xxx

 

 

 

 

 

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A great start to the New Year – by Rachael

First of all, on behalf of The Write Romantics I’d like to wish all our readers A Happy New Year. I hope that you were having a wonderful time wherever you were when the clock struck midnight and chimed in 2015. Even it was tucked up in bed like me!

Paper happy new year confetti sign.

The Write Romantics enjoyed a fabulous year in 2014 with book publications and contract signings galore and with more debuts to come in the next twelve months. I have a feeling this year is going to be even more exciting and fabulous.

I’m so pleased to here starting 2015 with news of my next book.

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Claimed by the Sheikh is my second book and after the excitement of finally achieving my dream and seeing my first book on the shelves, the experience of seeing my second book is just as surreal.

I started writing this story whilst the So You Think You Can Write 2013 competition was on, never thinking for one moment I’d become a finalist, let alone be offered a two book contract. So to suddenly find my work in progress was to be second published book gave me the jitters to say the least, but I persevered through all those second book nerves and several rounds of revisions.

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As with most of my stories, I saw the moment my characters first met, or in this case, were reunited and began to ask questions, the answers building up until the story just had to be written. When I saw the review in Romantic Times Book Reviews I was overjoyed.

Thomas’s tale is full of secrets, lies and veiled passion. Her visual depiction of the exotic, opulent desert locales and the emotionally heartrending ending is excellent.

 

Claimed by the Sheikh will be published by Harlequin Mills and Boon as a February release, but is available now from their website or on pre-order from Amazon and will be on WHSmith’s shelves from the middle of January.

I’m currently running a competition on my author Facebook page to win a signed hardback copy. All you need to do is comment on the competition post, saying how you most like to celebrate New Year’s Eve – but the closing date is Sunday 4th January at midday, so hurry!

Entitled to Change a Title

“We were thinking about the titles of your trilogy. The second book is absolutely fine, but are you sure about the third title…?”

Eek! The email from my editor stopped me in my tracks. (Well, it would have done if I hadn’t already been sat down at my desk but you get the picture.) I knew that many writers had their titles changed by their publishers but, as there’d been no indication of changing any of mine, I thought I was “safe”. Until the email.

The Moon on a Stick‘Searching for Steven’ – the title for book 1 – materialised at the same time as the idea and I’ve lived with it for eleven years. It absolutely works and, thankfully, my publishers agree. I’d have struggled so much if somebody had asked me to change it.

‘Getting Over Gary’ – the title for book 2 – came to me a couple of years later. I knew I wanted the title to include alliteration and a man’s name so that the trilogy felt connected and this title suddenly popped into my head. The character Gary was called something different at the time but I had no qualms about changing his name and it’s clearly been the right move because I can’t remember what I called him originally! Thankfully, my publishers like that title too.

Book 3 remained nameless for a while. The story was less developed and I wasn’t as sure about the characters but, as the plot progressed, ‘Discovering David’ came to mind. It still had a man’s name in. It still had alliteration. But it was missing the middle word. I hmmm’d and haaa’d about it for ages but ‘Discovering ABOUT David’ didn’t sound right and, by then, I absolutely loved the word “discovering”. I don’t want to give any spoilers away about the book but “discovering” absolutely fits with what the book is all about.

A Cottage by the SeaThere are options. I’m not massively precious about David being called David and there are other characters who could be the focus of the title instead but I keep coming back to the “discovering” part being right. No decisions need to be made just yet so we’ll see how that one goes.

I should actually rejoice in the fact that my publishers love the first two titles and not focus on the fact they don’t (yet) love the third because title changes are so commonplace. I was the fourth Write Romantic to be offered a publishing deal and the previous three have all had their titles changed. Helen Phifer had her debut novel changed from “Deadly Obsession” to “The Ghost House” but she admits that she absolutely loves the new title (and so do I). The next published WR, Rachael Thomas, entered the “So You Think You Can Write” competition using the title, “Behind the Scandalous Façade.” She got a publishing deal with Harlequin M&B on the back of this but the title was changed to “A Deal Before the Altar”. Jay Bartlett’s debut novel “Among a Thousand Stars” (out in June 2015) had two different titles before agreeing on the final version with her publisher. So I really shouldn’t be surprised that the subject of titles has arisen. I’m delighted to say that Helen, Rachael and Jay all love their new titles but all would admit it was hard to hear initially that the title they’d been living with for so long wasn’t going to be the final one. A lot of writers refer to their novel (particularly their debut one) as their “baby” so I suppose this could be likened to naming your child then having them start primary school only to be told that their child now needs to be known as a completely different name.

The Memory GardenI’m curious as to which path book 3’s title will take. One thing that I feel very fortunate about is that I have a wonderful publisher who sees this as a shared journey and will work towards finding a title that works for both of us; not one that they impose on me. I know many writers aren’t that lucky.

Which got me onto thinking about titles for books. How important are they? I did a quick survey amongst the Write Romantics to ask them three questions:

  1. Have you ever bought a book simply because you loved the title? (If so, what was it and why did the title speak to you?)
  2. Have you ever not read a book because of the title?
  3. What’s your favourite title for a book and why?

I’ll take each in turn …

Buying a book because of the title:

P1050743The general consensus was that they were more likely to be drawn to reading the blurb on the book because of a title rather than purchasing a book because of the title. Having said that, certain words drew the WRs. Helen R loves books with the word “secret” in the title because she loves to know things and curiosity gets the better of her. Harriet is drawn to titles with the homely feel of the words “cottage”, “house”, “street” or “road” in them or any reference to Cornwall as she adores Rosamund Pilcher’s books. Lynne is drawn towards ones that feature “sun” or “old houses.”

Helen P bought Stephen King’s “It” purely on the title and it’s turned into her all-time favourite. Sharon bought Carole Matthews’s “A Cottage by the Sea” based purely on title although she had enjoyed other books by her. She wasn’t familiar with Valerie-Anne Baglietto’s books but bought both “Once Upon a Winter” and “The Moon on a Stick” on titles alone and was very pleased that she did.

I personally bought “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” because the title massively intrigued me. I knew nothing about the book or the author at the time but I just loved that title!

Avoiding a book because of the title:

P1050742Jay admits that she was once recommended a book called “The Billionaire’s Virgin” on her newsfeed which was an absolute no-no for her. Any book titles including the words “desire” or “virgin” are inclined to put her off. Helen R avoids the words “sexy” in titles. I’m with both of them on this.

Lynne was put off reading “Hideous Kinky” for years, simply because of the title although she loved it when she finally settled down to read it.

On the whole, the WRs were of the feeling that certain titles fit with certain genres and, if that’s not the genre for them, they’d probably be avoiding that book anyway.

Favourite Book Titles:

There are some crackers out there but we’ve all agreed that our memories are like sieves and we’ve struggled to come up with them all. We’re bound to think of loads after this post comes out!

Some great examples are:

  • Harriet loves “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn as it’s a short, snappy title
  • Sharon loves “Honeycote” by Veronica Henry because it sounds so lovely and “The Memory Garden” by Rachel Hore
  • Jay is drawn towards our very own Helen R’s “The Friendship Tree” (out next year) and “The Divorce Domino” by friend of the blog Kerry Fisher (out soon)
  • Helen R loves Hazel Gayor’s new title: “Memory of Violets”. She says it’s “such a gorgeous title and sounds cosy”

P1050744Browsing along my bookshelves, some of my personal favourites are:

  • “The Truth About Melody Browne” by Lisa Jewell. I love her books anyway but I found this title particularly intriguing. I think I’m very similar to Helen R in that I’m also drawn to the word “secret” in a title
  • “A Quiet Belief in Angels” by R J Ellory. I was in a writing group once and one of the members was raving about this book. It stuck in my mind because of the title … although I confess that it’s been on my TBR pile for years so title adoration doesn’t always turn into the actual art of reading!
  • “The Book of Tomorrow” by Cecelia Ahern. Also on my TBR pile although I’ve read several of hers. It’s my favourite title of hers closely followed by “A Place Called Here” which I have read

There are two other fairly recent books whose titles intrigue me. I don’t own them but I keep meaning to download them – “We Need to Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver and “The Last Time We Saw Marion” by Tracey Scott-Townsend. Even though I love romantic comedies and that’s the genre I write, I do have a penchant for mystery and intrigue and the titles of both of these draw me in. We’re back to that secrets thing again.

What about you? What titles do you love? Have you ever bought a book purely on the title? I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks to The Write Romantics for their contributions to this post 🙂 x

Jessica xx

Rachael’s release day.

My first book, A Deal Before the Altar is now available, online and in store. It is the realisation of a dream I’ve been seriously chasing for the last seven years and I still have to pinch myself!

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Since ‘the call’ in January offering me a two book contract, I’ve encountered all sorts of new experiences, from doing revisions to seeing my first cover. I’ve held a Goodreads giveaway and Romantic Times gave my book a 4star review, saying Thomas’ high-society romance is a terrific debut. I’ve also appeared in my local paper. Even more excitingly, today I am returning from London and my first Mills and Boon author lunch – but that’s a post for another day!

This is the first cover I saw, the North American cover and I was totally blown away by it, but somehow it still didn’t feel real. I was after all, used to seeing the UK covers. I finally realised it was real when I opened the parcel with my UK books inside.

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It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was just about to enter Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write. It was the start of something special and I’d like to thank everyone who supported me in the competition.

From my experience, I would definitely advise aspiring writers to enter competitions. Success isn’t guaranteed, but perseverance and love of writing will certainly help.

 

We’re Wednesday Wondering how NaNoWriMo was for you?

As regular readers of the blog will know, seven of the nine Write Romantics ventured forth into the scary but exciting world of writing a novel in a single month during November – well 50,000 words of it at least, and here’s how we got on:

Deirdre:

I registered with NaNo on a wing and a prayer, having decided on day 4 that I didn’t want to be left out!  I had every intention of giving it my best shot but got really tired after the first ten days (it’s old age, you know!) then stuff happened which prevented me from getting to the keyboard (excuses, excuses!) but if I allow myself a couple of extra days to make up for starting late, I’ll be up to 30,000 words, and I’m really pleased with that.  I started a new novel entirely for this project.  Spurred on by the target I raced on without editing or researching and since I had no idea I could write in that way, it’s been quite a revelation. I am finding though, that the further I get into the story, the slower I become as the little plot holes are starting to show up and I worry that if I plough on regardless I could end up with too much to alter later if I’ve gone up the wrong alleyway somewhere, or I could even find the story doesn’t work at all, which wouldn’t surprise me as I only spent about 5 minutes planning the thing!

Helen P:

I had to stop Nano to concentrate on getting my second book finished and sent off to my publishers and I think I was using Nano as an excuse to put it off when I knew it needed to be done. So I made an executive decision to stop the Nano and I’m pleased to say I did get book two finished and sent off to my editor Lucy, who I’m praying will love it.

I’ve also made a cracking start on my third book which will be a stand alone novel and already I’m up to over 15,000 words of that which I’m thrilled about. So I’ve probably typed well over the 50,000 words but they are just on different projects.

I’m very proud of all my Write Romantics who have completed Nano and all my other writing friends who have taken part whether they have won or not, it’s the taking part that counts.

Jackie:

I started off well with Nano and was really pleased with myself for the first week or so. I think my downfall was spending time poring over the old MS that I was re-modelling. I copied and pasted some of my old story and started editing it. Nooooo, I hear you cry, but I just can’t seem to write without editing now, which is not what Nano is about. My writing then felt like I was swimming in treacle and I wasn’t getting the buzz I had when I started. I knew that I’d failed in meeting my target, so just for a couple of days,  because I couldn’t bear to look at my Nano Novel anymore, I dug out my Victorian Potteries novel that I’d done two years previously at Nano time and not done much with since. Enjoyed musing over the changes I would make and after that enjoyed writing my Nano Novel again although I knew I was out of the running. Now am back in the saddle and although I’m disappointed that I didn’t complete the 50,000 it has given me 30,000 odd thousand words that I didn’t have at the beginning of November, so I take my hat off to Mr. Nanowrimo, whoever you are, and- see you next year!

The NaNoWriMo’ers are dog tired!

Jo:

Early on in the month I was well ahead of my NaNo target and was on course to write about 60,000 words.  However, life got in the way a bit, as it did for so many of the Write Romantics, and I saw that head start run off into the distance and leave me trailing in its wake.  By the final week, I had about 8,000, words catch-up to do in order to hit the 50,000 word target and I managed it… Just!  I had to finish a day early, as I was away for the weekend that marked the end of NaNo, and I limped over the finish line at about 5 pm on the 29<sup>th</sup> November with a validated word count of 50,028.

I’m sure I wouldn’t have written anything like that much without NaNo, though, and in fact I have written a word since.  I am planning to get back in the saddle next week, though, with the view to having a full first draft (about another 50,000 words) by the end of January.  I am going to have my personal FiNoByFe period (finish novel by Feb), if anyone wants to join me?

I can’t promise sophisticated software to work out your word count or motivational meet-ups in coffee shops for sprints, but I will be drinking lots of wine and mostly sitting around in my PJs with un-brushed hair hoping that staring at the laptop screen for long enough will magic up those remaining words!

Sadly, due to unexpected circumstances, I didn’t get to go to any NaNo meets for real this year, but I ‘met’ some really interesting people on the forums and I hope to do better next time.  In the words of Arnie, I’ll be back J

Julie:

At the start of the month, I hoped to win NaNo but was slightly dubious that my job hunt and working 3 jobs across a 7-day week was going to mean I didn’t realistically have time to do it but I’m delighted to say that I won NaNo and even finished a day early (on 29th November) with an impressive 50,521 words.

I’m also delighted to say that draft 1 of novel 2 in my trilogy is finished and I’m probably about a quarter to a third of the way through draft 1 of novel 3.

I said that I wasn’t going to do anything with NaNo other than enter my word count i.e. not get involved in forum discussions or meet-ups and I had to stick to that. It’s not that I don’t believe that these tools would have been helpful or enjoyable but simply that time was of such a premium that there was no way I could do any of those things and write as well. I confess I didn’t even read any of the motivational emails. The only things I did were enter my word count daily, scowl as my bar chart seemed to dip further and further away from the goal line and check the stats of a writing pal who had hooked up to my profile so we could see each other’s progress.

So, what did I get out of NaNo if I did nothing except enter my word count? Oodles and oodles. Because, for me, the “just write” approach is so refreshing. I started book 2 doing it and NaNo enabled me to continue in that “don’t you dare edit or you’ll get a slap” mindset so I could just get the story out there and worry about the descriptions and emotions later instead of spending days/weeks/months re-writing and re-editing the start and never actually moving on. With everything that’s going on in my life at the moment, November would probably have been a 5,000 word month if I’m lucky instead of the 50,500 month it turned out to be and I’m so grateful. It means that, with book 1 in the big bad world seeking representation, I can say to an agent or publisher that book 2 AND 3 are well on their way instead of just ideas. Without the goal of 50k words, I know I would have let life take over.

I had some sticky moments. I had 4 days of doing nothing. One of these was a day off inbetween book 2 and 3 which made sense to clear my head. Another was a night out but the other two were days where I felt shattered. On top of that, I had five days under 1,000 words and another 3 under the daily target which meant I had to do some real hard grafting at the end but a couple of days at the 4.5k mark and another couple at 2.5 recovered things quickly. The one thing I don’t understand, though, is why I can’t apply that same discipline, willpower and determination to my diet. Hmmmm. Answers on a postcard please! 😉

Lynne:

I got off to a great start, then life caught up with me. I had so much on at home I dipped out and didn’t finish. But I will do next year, I consider my efforts this year as an aperitife! 🙂

Rachael:

I didn’t get much more than 16,000 done this time and will give a better go next time.  However, I have had a bit of an excuse having been promo’ing like mad as a result of making the top ten in the HMB So You Think You Can Write competition.  All of that and still running a  business was amazingly time consuming, but the results are in today so expect a posting with some news from me on here soon…..

Technically speaking, we only had two winners but, we hope you’ll agree, there were no losers here.  We produced over 200,000 words in the month between us, had a top ten finalist in an international romance writing competition, from HMB no less, and a second novel winging its way to the publishers – all in the space of 30 days.  So here’s to NaNoWriMo and the other mad folk who joined us in our month of frenzied creativity.  We can’t wait to hear how you got on too, so please, if you can bear to type just a few more few words, we’d love to know!

Saturday Spotlight – Putting Myself in the Spotlight by Rachael Thomas

A few weeks ago I answered a question on Wednesday Wondering about spontaneity. Being spontaneous just isn’t something I do, so when I suddenly decided I’d enter my newly completed story into the global competition So You Think You Can Write I shocked myself.

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After an editor appointment at this year’s RNA conference, where my first chapter was given good feedback, I felt encouraged to complete the story. It was at that point only two chapters. Needless to say I have been very busy all summer.

So when a friend asked if I was going to enter the competition, I thought, why not. What did I have to lose?

I’m still in a state of shock from all the lovely comments it has received, the interest it is getting and the number of Facebook likes and tweets it is generating. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I make it into the next round, where the top 50 are chosen to send in the full manuscripts to the editors, but with over 400 entries so far and stiff competition from other great chapters who knows what will happen.

If you’d like to stop by and read my chapter, comment, like or tweet about it that would be fantastic. It is Behind the Scandalous Façade and is aimed at the Harlequin Presents/Mills and Boon Modern line.

In the meantime I’m keeping my fingers crossed and starting a new story.