Sunday, 28 July 2013

Time to 'fess up!

Yes, it's confession time. I've had my reader's critique on A Suitable Young Man/Save The Last Dance For Me from the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme for a few weeks now and said nothing about it. The reason I haven't mentioned it before is because the reader had written quite a harsh report, leaving me devastated and demoralised, especially after such a good report last year. 

However, while at the RNA Conference, I had a lovely chat with the New Writers' Scheme, Melanie Hilton (who writes Regency romances as Louise Allen.) She agreed that the report was harsh but said that, had the reader not believed it was worthwhile, she wouldn't have written such a comprenhensive report. Melanie also confessed that even after having numerous books published, she still gets reports like that from her editor!

She advised starting with the easier edits; that way the rewrite wouldn't be as daunting. In fact, when I finally looked at the manuscript, I discovered that the reader had comprehensively annotated pages in much the sam way I would imagine an editor would do. These suggestions are extremely helpful and it's those I will be making a start with. Once I've done those, I'll look again at the report to see how much of her other suggestions I can take on board.

Although my heart quails at the thought of yet another rewrite, I know that it has to be done if ever I am to be published.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A steamy experience!

Ha! That got your attention, didn't it? Actually, I was talking about last weekend (12th-14th July) when I was a delegate at this year's Romantic Novelists' Association Conference. The steamy experience stems from the fact that the air conditioning in The 
Edge Conference Centre had broken down. Although portable air con units and fans had been hired, we still steamed in the extremely warm temperatures. Here are some random thoughts of the weekend.

Who designs a building with windows that don't open especially when, predictably, the air con breaks down during the hottest weekend of the year - meeting up with old friends and making new contacts - established authors are some of the nicest people around and so generous with their time - the abundant greenery of Endcliffe Student Village - interesting and informative workshops - pity I had to come out of a couple before I flaked out - spendid Gala dinner on Saturday night with everyone dressed in their finest, fancy shoes, plenty of wine - hard-working organisers and committee members - sitting out in the blissfully cool night air - regret that I hadn't taken my comfy old sandals and paying the price with swollen feet and blisters - saying goodbye to everyone - regret that it was over with for another year - roll on next year!

Yours truly at the Gala Dinner.