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Saturday, 29 September 2012

So Much Talent (SYTYCW 2012)

(scroll down for update)

Approximately ten days ago I was doing my best to fight off flu. I was working on the book I wanted to enter So You Think You Can Write, Harlequin Mills & Boons competition where the winner gets a book contract with them. I am now ineligible! (I'm sorry, I'm still struggling to come to terms with being a bona-fide HMB author and keep squealing at random intervals). Having entered New Voices in 2010 and 2011, I know all about the craziness that can take you when entering a competition of this magnitude, and while I am relieved I can no longer enter, a part of me is jealous that I'm missing out on all the camaraderie that occurs between the contestants. At least it means I can read the entries without constantly comparing the writing and storyline with my own and trying to second guess the judges. I can read them simply for the pleasure of reading, and it really has been a pleasure. For me, the only disappointment with the competition is the lack of facility to leave comments on the entries - there are some fantastic entries out there and I would have loved to shout it out to the world what I loved about them. Instead, I am providing the links to the ones I particularly enjoyed.

So, without any further ado, here are my recommended reads:

Joanne Cleary (Catherine Coles): The Midwife's Reluctant Family

Aimee Duffy: Flirting With Trouble

Amalie Berlin: Mountain Man MD

Joanne Ryves (Jo Fereday): The Sweetest Gig of All

Fiona Marsden: After the Funeral

Jennifer Drogell: The Divorce Party

Incy Black: Sins of the Fathers

Jennifer Stroka (Jennifer Faye): Her Cowboy Hero

Update 2nd October 2012:

Unfortunately I have not had the time to read many more entries but here are a couple more of my recommended reads:

Jennifer Satterfield (Edie Danford): Maid by Day

Jane O'Reilly: Once a Bad Girl

I really wish I had more time to read some more - unfortunately stupid life keeps getting in the way of my reading pleasure! There's a few I want to read tomorrow but I can't guarantee I'll be able to put any more recs up. If anyone wants to post the link to their entry in the comments below then please feel free and hopefully your chapters should find some new readers.

To those of you who don't make it into the top 28, please, try not to be too dejected (it's hard, I know). I entered New Voices 2010 and 2011 and got nowhere. Nada. The slush pile worked for me and it can work for you too.

I wish you all the very best of luck.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Call!!!

As I'm sure the whole world and its cat knows by now, yesterday I received The Call. Yes, Harlequin Mills & Boon want to give me a two book contract for the Presents/Modern line. Naturally, I turned it down... Not!

I am over the moon! I have wanted to write for them since I was fifteen years old, and have spent the past five years actively trying to get published with them. This really is a dream come true.

The actual call came out of the blue. I knew my editor there was moving on to a different position and would no longer be my editor. When she emailed me last Friday to confirm this, she said she would be in touch early this week with her thoughts on my ms and promised I wouldn't be left stranded. I was gutted at the news but delighted for her. I sent her a card to congratulate her and to say thank you for everything she had done for me. Then, yesterday just after 5pm (I so wish I'd looked at my watch) she called me. First of all she said thank you for the card. Just as was thinking how sweet she was to call me about  a card, she followed it with "and I want to offer you a contract." At least I think that's what she said. It's all a bit of a blur!

Suffice it to say, I've been offered a two book contract and appointed a new editor to work with, who everyone tells me is lovely. If you want to read more details of The Call, you can find it on the eHarlequin site - go into forums, then writers circle. There you will find the party thread.

This really means the world to me and to my family (my kids are already asking for iPads the cheeky sods). Thank you all for your support and I promise (again!!!) to keep this blog updated more frequently. I'll certainly try my best to share my journey through to publication with you all.

Take care, xxx