‘You Won’t Do Anything Unless You Try’
When I first wrote my novel Goodbye, Henrietta Street, I never expected my efforts would be published, still less being a contender for an award.
It all started at school I suppose; I used to enjoy writing essays. As I got into my twenties, I travelled around the world and wrote a journal about my travels.
Unfortunately, during my time in the maternity hospital having my first child, my husband took it on himself to tidy out the loft. I could have kicked and screamed when I discovered that the black bin liner where I had kept my journal, was considered rubbish and thrown out. I suppose it was my own fault for keeping it in that way. I regret having lost it and all the moments of my past life were gone at some council rubbish tip. It was like losing a part of me. You can imagine the blue conversation afterwards. I suppose at that time I didn’t ever think I might need it again.
Years later, we laugh about it, but all those moment in Singapore, South Africa, Australia and the rest of the world were lost and sadly, much of the information has been forgotten. Lesson learned— don’t keep your journal in a bin liner!
Writing, for me, is very satisfying and therapeutic. I have enjoyed being an author and working side by side with the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Their new Writers’ Scheme is the best way to go if you want to be published as a romance author. They were most helpful in showing me the way forward and I have made many new friends through attending conferences and networking parties in the association. It has been fun to mingle with names you see in the bookshops and all of them are great and helpful people.
This year is special. There are 17 contenders for the Joan Hessayon Award. A prestigious award for new writers. The Award is generously sponsored by gardening expert Dr. David Hessayon OBE, in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a great supporter of its New Writers’ Scheme.
Everyone on the list below has had a book published in the last year or so. I feel this shows that with the right support, you have every chance of winning prizes, me included.
The following authors are strutting proudly in London on 22nd May 2014.
• Celia J Anderson Sweet Proposal, Piatkus
• Elaine Everest Gracie’s War, Pulse
• Helena Fairfax The Silk Romance, MuseItUp
• Sue Fortin United States of Love, Harper Impulse
• Kathryn Freeman Too Charming, Choc Lit
• Jessica Gilmore The Return of Mrs Jones, Harlequin Mills & Boon
• Laura E James Truth or Dare?, Choc Lit
• Jennie Jones The House on Burra Burra Lane, Harlequin Australia
• Alison May Sweet Nothing, Choc Lit
• Teresa F. Morgan Plus One is a Lucky, Number Harper Impulse
• Jane O’Reilly Once a Bad Girl, Escape
• Helen Phifer The Ghost House, Carina UK
• Jill Steeples Desperately Seeking Heaven, Carina UK
• Jo Thomas The Oyster Catcher, Accent Press
• Lin Treadgold Goodbye Henrietta Street, Safkhet Publishing
• Susan Willis Yes Chef, No Chef, Endeavour
• Jennifer Young Thank You For the Music, Tirgearr
If you would like to see the book titles and the authors please visit:
I am looking forward very much to meeting with all my friends again. It has changed my life and I am having a thoroughly wonderful year.
If you want to become a writer, do ensure that you mingle with all the right people to help you make it. Ask an author to point you in the right direction. They are very approachable people and love to help new writers succeed. We are all in this together.
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