Okay, so now you know a bit about me (believe me the last post only scratched the surface) I’ll tell you a bit about my writing.
Yes, this will involve blowing my own trumpet, which makes me want to look at the floor bashfully and say ‘aw shucks’ whilst scuffing my heels, however I understand that this is a necessary evil for every aspiring writer 🙂
- Starting a category romance as a single mum when I was 21.
- Finishing it when I was 22!
- Finally being brave enough a few months later to send a partial submission – first three chapters and a synopsis – out to Harlequin Mills and Boon. (I have found that, quite apart from having the discipline to sit in the darned chair and get on with the writing, sending it out to people has its own blood, sweat and tears attached to it ). I am thinking from conversation I have with now published authors that I am not the only one…
- Being asked to send the rest of the manuscript to them. Cue a 9 month wait…and a (very nice) rejection.
- Writing a 2nd category romance whilst waiting for the first to be looked at.
- Having interest from another romance publisher after sending out a query letter regarding the 2nd MS.
- But…was asked to change it so much I decided to put it in a drawer and come back to it with fresh eyes. Cue a six-year break from writing whilst I pursued my HR career and professional qualifications, though I use the term ‘break’ loosely as I was still writing short stories in my spare time (just not sending them out to anyone!) and I was also a ‘reader’ for the RNA awards for a few years.
- Realising back in March 2009 that the kids were getting a little older and slightly less reliant on me in terms of time, that I had gotten to a good place with my career, and that I missed writing so much I could hardly stand it, therefore deciding to stop procrastinating and just GET ON WITH IT!
- Starting to write again (Seriously)! Out went the soap operas and the evenings of listening to music and surfing the net, in came in the evenings spent slaving over a laptop.
- Realising that I love doing the above! (Though I do still have a tendency to watch TV, listen to music and surf the net for gorgeous new shoes – oh how I love shoes – albeit on a much reduced basis).
- Rejoining the Romantic Novelists’ Association (see link for the RNA below) in January of this year.
- Since then, being a runner-up in a non-fiction article competition ‘How to Write a Bestseller’ under the name of Veronique Moorcroft; you can see the proof (!) at http://www.thewritershandbook.com/GetPublishedCompetition.asp. (BTW, my aunt is Sue Moorcroft, prolific short story writer and published novelist, oh, how lucky I am to have writing resources – her brain and substantial writing experience/knowledge – that I can utilise for free. But more about her later; I have a whole post devoted to her in the works).
- Receiving an Honourable Mention for the short story I wrote for the Elizabeth Goudge trophy (run by the RNA) with entries from unpublished, published and bestselling authors. The entries were sent in anonymously and judged by bestselling author Katie Fforde, Chairwoman of the RNA, who I then had a very encouraging phone call with after the award had been announced at the RNA annual conference in July. She’s so lovely! Here’s the link to her presenting the trophy to the winner, Elizabeth Fearon. http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/index.php/activities/photo_gallery/katie_fforde_presents_the_elizabeth_goudge_award_to_elizabeth_fearon/
- Having two very nice ‘rejections’ from a romantic fiction publisher re two partial MS’s that I sent in over the spring/summer, both of which provided positive feedback and constructive criticism of my work. Immensely helpful, and whilst not a ‘yes, we’d like to see the rest please’ still very encouraging.
- Being told by an Executive Editor at HM&B that I am talented and should keep on writing.
- Receiving a report from my reader on the New Writer’s Scheme (of the RNA) about my full length women’s fiction MS that was helpful and positive and said that I was at publishable standard for the market. Yay!
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, I can crawl back under my rock, blushing.
Take care all!