Monthly Archives: October 2012

On Becoming an Author

9781908208149 - Goodbye Henrietta Street cov

Due for publication 1st July 2013

I visited London in September to meet my Romantic Novelists’ Association colleagues; some for the first  time, others I have met before. They’re a jolly bunch of like minded people and we had a most enjoyable couple of hours together, with guest speaker Lyn Vernham from publisher Choc-Lit.

After a great summer and plenty of hard work, it was good to socialise again. Writing is a lonely occupation and thank goodness for Twitter and Facebook, but it still doesn’t make up for the cameraderie of meeting your colleagues face to face.

I’d had a few rejections, the usual stuff ‘ Sorry we cannot accept your submission at this time.’ Or ‘ Yes you can write really well but…’  I think I must have done twenty submissions before my novel began to create some interest. Three e-publishers wanted the book, but somehow this didn’t seem to suit what I was looking for – yes I really did turned down three publishers! ’ The contracts were either in the US and I didn’t want to be paid in dollars due to the exchange rate at this time, or the wording wasn’t suitable for my needs.

My friends at the RNA meeting prompted me to do another manuscript submission. A few days later I went through all the procedures again looking for the right publisher. I needed someone who understood what I wanted for my romance novel ‘Goodbye Henrietta Street’, someone who would appreciate my aspirations. This book was written as a holiday read, something to enjoy whilst sitting on the beach and not many publishers are interested in such a small market for this story, although once the novel is published on 1st July 2013, who knows how far it will travel? Within a day or so, I found a publisher who wanted to publish my novel, their aspirations matched my own and they accepted my submission.   With Safkhet Publishing, we are putting together a plan of action for next year and to date, it sounds exactly what I want. A book launch will be held on The Isles of Scilly and plenty of other great places to do book signings throughout the UK and if I happen to be in the USA, I can promote there too.

The novel is a romance saga located around the islands in Cornwall and in Whitby, Yorkshire where the title of the book is from a real street in that town. I am not looking for stardom and fame, and any new writer who thinks that way might need to think again. All I wanted was to find a publisher who would take a summer-read for tourists on the islands and to say thank you to the islanders for all their kindness and wonderful hospitality. Scilly is a very special place. It’s also a very romantic location and writing a romance surrounded by all the beauty of the islands seemed the right way to go. The other location in the book is Whitby,Yorkshire, written with all the memories of the area I used to live. Safkhet Publishing are very much into the environment, as is myself.  We seemed perfect for each other.  I support  nature as a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as well as the Natuurmonmenten in The Netherlands. Safkhet are very keen to make their contribution too.

My story begins as Pippa Lambton leaves her home after a tragedy, she is looking for respite and a time to reflect. On the Isles of Scilly she meets Sven Jorgensen, a bird watcher and naturalist who befriends her and shows her how to live again through the birds, scenery and wildlife. But during her visit what  has happened to her husband and best friends back home in Whitby? The man she met at the cemetery, was his comment her destiny?  Will the gorgeous Sven tempt her to take one step too far?

The story will allow visitors to the islands and to Whitby to retrace the steps of Pippa and Sven.  I hope they feel they were there too.

I would hope this book helps to advertise the Isles of Scilly at such a turbulent time. The helicopter will cease to operate this year, flights from Southampton and Bristol also. Transport will now be via flights from the south west of England, closer to the islands, and more tourists will travel with the ferry, Scillonian III. It’s not all gloom and doom. I am sure that by condensing the passengers into a smaller travel area will not stop people from visiting, but as yet this is something to be tried and tested.  I shall miss the helicopter very much and my flights from Southampton.

 I hope to go to Yorkshire next year too and take a journey to my own roots. More PR for the title of the book. I was born in Saltburn by the Sea and lived in various towns in the area throughout my life. I absolutely love the North Yorkshire Moors and when I go there I stay with a friend in the village of Commondale. My aim is to go back and see old friends and a couple of relatives and then finish writing my next novel.

To all new writers everywhere my message to you would be to keep going, decide what you want from your novel and stick with it.  Don’t be too possessive, allow critique to flow through you and out the other side, and learn from it. You will have to be thick-skinned. Without the Romantic Novelists Association I don’t feel I would have got this far. Being a member of an organisation is so very important if you want to get your book out there.  It helps you to understand the techniques required to make it all work. The RNA have their own New Writers’ Scheme, enabling the new writer to gain a full professional report each year on their novel until they find a publisher.

I wish every new writer success, just keep going.



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