There is no other way to describe this year other than to say it has been EPIC! Unlike most years in a writer’s life, this one has been a rollercoaster of HIGHs. Since our last Sparkle Party, my reasons to celebrate have been immense:
- Miles Between Us won Just Write’s Monthly Masterpiece
- Baby Number Two was highly commended in the Accent Press/Women’s Magazine Writing Competition
- I won the 2015 Katie Fforde bursary
- I was a finalist at the London Book Fair Write Stuff event.
- I was offered a two-book contract with Carina UK
- The Romaniacs won Media Star at the RNA Industry Awards
Sue, Catherine, jan, Laura, Debbie & Vanessa, with Celia & Lucie holding the fort back at Romaniac HQ, but with us in spirit.
So overall, my writing CV is somewhat shinier than it was this time last year, but none of this has come without sheer determination and grit. I’ve only listed the good stuff here because those are the parts I’m choosing to dwell on. There are of course the occasions I’ve submitted to agents and been rejected or not received a reply. There are the competitions I’ve entered and not even been placed in. To those occasions I say Pah! Because what do they matter? Those occasions won’t stop me from writing something new, from doing something different, from finding someone who loves my style of writing as much as I do.
As this is my last LCOAW this year, I’m going to encourage you to write some lists. One for the things you have achieved this year however big or small, writing related or not. Then write a second list for the things you want to achieve in 2016. I’ve been doing this every year for the past five years and without encouraging myself, half of the above wouldn’t have happened. I’ll be writing mine up soon and I break it down into categories: Family/Health/Writing/Competitions. (I have a feeling I might have to add spring cleaning the house once Book Two is written.) Once you have those lists, continue celebrating the good stuff, even if it’s the simple things like writing The End.
Then find a group to celebrate with like The Romaniacs. Because on the occasions I haven’t triumphed, they have. On the occasions I’ve wanted to grumble, they’ve listened. When I’m not sure where I’m going wrong, they’ve pointed me in the right direction. And vice versa. In just under two weeks when we meet up for our next Sparkle event, I know this whole life cycle of a writer gets to start all over again! And who knows what the next year will bring?
Romaniac HQ has been revision central of late. In this week’s Life Cycle Of A Writer, I talk about how in my first set of revisions with Carina UK I’ve moved my manuscript from three points of view to one.
My next set of revisions came in yesterday afternoon, so I’ll be a busy Romaniac for a while. Please send chocolate, ready meals and babysitters.
CATHERINE CONTRACTED BY CARINA!
Catherine & her two beautiful girls
We have superb news for you.
Our very own Catherine Miller has signed a two-book deal with Carina UK!
We’ve been celebrating in style at the Romantic Novelists’ Association annual conference and at Romaniac HQ, with wine and cake aplenty.
We are absolutely delighted for you.
Many congratulations on your wonderful news.
Baby Number Two is a fabulous read and we cannot wait to see your first book baby making its way in the big, wide world :D
Now, lets hear from the chilled-out mum-of-two and lovely lady herself …
Your Romaniac Buddies
As Baby Number Two has gone off to the New Writers’ Scheme, I’m enjoying a few weeks of blissful ignorance of how much more work there is to come. I’ve been able to read, something which has been lacking these last few months when evenings and nap times have been dedicated to writing.
My mind is already toying with the next project. Looking back, Baby Number Two arrived after two light bulb moments. One was at a dinner party with friends when we were discussing the number of children we’d like to have. It created a What If? question in my head and I realised it would make a good story. The second light bulb moment was when I was at the London Paralympics where I realised it would be good to make the story into a documentary and it gave me the hero I needed. There were lots of smaller moments of inspiration along the way, but those were the main two.
Currently, for my next project, I have half an idea and I need a spark to come along to complete the idea. Personally, I find sitting at a keyboard is not the way to find the next eureka moment, so I tend to get out in the sunshine and seek the answers there. Although, as this project will involve some research, I might have to start reading up and hope there is inspiration amongst the pages.
Over the next few weeks I will be doing a further revision of Baby Number Two before sending it out to publishers and agents. And whilst I wait, I’m planning to make a start on my next project. So let’s hope the other half of the story comes to mind.
Where do you find your sparks of inspiration? Or is there no telling when they might pop up?
We’re joining in with Read On Get On and Southampton City Libraries with their campaign to encourage reading. They’re asking everyone to share photos of where they read and to share those pictures on facebook and twitter using the hashtag #ReadOnGetOn. All the details can be found on their website here. So here are some of the places we read:
This is me(Laura) reading in my conservatory. It’s south-facing, and is the perfect place to read while I warm up.
Daisy thinks so, too.
The chair is a recliner, and I have a table and lamp next to it, with a space for a mug. I often come in here to write, as well.
Sue: When travelling; land, sea or air. Was handy today when I had to take a 20 minute bus ride.
Sue: Reading in the garden – such a treat after the winter
Catherine: My girls enjoying our local library!
Who needs a reading snug when you can have a basket?
Catherine: My couch, where i collapse at the end of the day and where most of my reading and writing happens. It’s moulded to my shape!
So please join in on Facebook and twitter showing us where you read using the hashtag #ReadOnGetOn.