Clare Chase, Lizzie Lamb and Mandy Baggot.
In our second programme of the day, we share our sparkling interviews with Creative Writing Matters, Cathie Hartigan, our very own agented, lovely Lucie Wheeler, and, bringing up the rear, and on the other side of the camera, Romaniac, Laura E James.
Details of websites can be found on the videos.
Part Three and Four tomorrow.
They’re here! The Sparkle Spotlight interviews!
During the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Conference, July 2015, The Romaniacs set up the Sparkle Corner, equipped with a red carpet, chilled Prosecco, the Romaniac banner, and a camera. Interested to learn more about our writing friends, we invited delegates to answer three questions, which tie in with our regular, weekly feature, Life Cycle Of A Writer.
We asked our sparkling guests to tell us about their writing highlight, lowlight and to tell us a little about their current project. Over the following days, we will be airing our videos, which include authors, an editor and an agent.
Thank you to everyone who took part with such fun and enthusiasm, and please feel free to share the link and spread the word; the writing world rocks, and romance is alive and kicking.
First up, we have the marvellous main conference organiser, Jan Jones, the elegant editor of the RNA magazine, Romance Matters, Adrienne Vaughan, and the Chairman of the RNA, Eileen Ramsay.
Take it away, Jan …
Part Two will follow later today … Come back and find out who we’ve put in the Sparkle Spotlight.
Watch this space! First conference video coming later today!
And here it is! Grab your cup of coffee, tea, or wine, sit back, and put your feet up for five minutes, and relive the experience that is the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference.
We’d like to thank the entire Conference Committee for another amazing event, and thank everyone who took part in our Sparkle videos, including this one, with such fun and sense of adventure.
Our Sparkle Spotlight videos will follow throughout the week, where you will see and hear from authors, editors and agents about the life cycle of the writing world.
We had a great time bringing this new element to the fabulous RNA conference and hope you enjoy watching.
The last couple of months have seen a few changes for me – I’m back to the day-job now as my writing bursary period has come to an end. It was wonderful to have so much time to write and I’m hugely grateful to Literature Wales for awarding me a bursary. I achieved more than I hoped to – my work-in-progress has moved on and been through a whole new re-write and edit and I’m almost ready to press send… and I’m keeping everything crossed that the faith shown in me and this book will be rewarded with some good news.
I also attended Crimefest in Bristol last month – my first ever crime writing conference. I’ve always loved attending the annual RNA conferences but as my current book is a domestic noir / psychological thriller, I was keen to hear other writers in the crime/thriller genre speak about their books and their writing. Each day of the conference began with a debut authors panel and as an unpublished writer, it was interesting to hear about all the journeys to publication. The conference is for readers as much as writers so I got to discover dozens of new authors I can’t wait to read – and, of course, I ended up spending far too much money at the bookstall! As well as all the interviews, panels and spotlight sessions, there were several drinks receptions hosted by publishers plus a reception to announce the CWA Dagger Shortlists. I didn’t make the pub quiz or gala dinner this year, but I’ll definitely be there next time!
As well as dabbling in crime, I’ve been indulging in a bit of flashing… Flash fiction is my other writing love – when I find myself floundering in a 100,000 word ms, writing something 500 words long – or 300, or 100 – is a breath of fresh air, a pit stop, a power nap. If I write a tiny flash piece, I go back to the novel refreshed. National Flash-Fiction Day is on 27th June and I’m happy to report my story Useless Without The Other Half will be in the upcoming NFFD anthology http://nationalflashfictionday.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/presenting-landmarks_17.html
Almost more rewarding than any of that was the eureka moment when the fragments of ideas floating around for my next book came together – so my next couple of months are now set: After I’ve sent off The Murder House, I won’t allow myself too much time for obsessive in-box watching because I’ll be straight onto the first draft of the next one! I’ve bought the post-it notes, a new notebook and three new pens. I’m ready!
Well, since my last update, things have gone ever so slightly crazy. Wonderfully crazy! All in all, it has been a sparkling six weeks.
I’d made the final six!
Cue stupid grins and shrieks aplenty at both Chez Brigden and Romaniac HQ. It was going to be an extra special Valentine’s Day.
I then discovered I’d made the final two!
And THEN … on Saturday March 14th (I’ve decided I rather like the number 14!) came the official announcement that I’d won the Search for a Star Competition
I can’t describe how elated I felt. Choc Lit would be offering me a contract. As Weekends Go was really going to be published.
It was a mad, mad day – lots of celebratory hugs and loving, supportive messages, both off and online. Mum and Dad came over, bearing choccies and flowers. I had some fab cards, tweets and emails from family and friends, and messages of welcome from head of Choc Lit, Lyn Vernham, the whole team and the lovely authors.
I’ll admit that, on the Monday morning, when I logged on to see a special surprise post from my fantastic Romaniac buddies, I was bit of a blubbering Briggy!
More good cheer followed when my older sister treated me to a yummy congratulatory lunch.
And then this week, I saw my first published Press Release. To say I am excited about the future is putting it mildly. I know I’ve said it before, but I truly am thankful for all the love and wise words of support and encouragement I’ve received from everyone, especially Mr B who has been chief cuddler, co-editor, sounding board, morale booster, tantrum-dodger and counsellor extraordinaire all rolled into one. I will also be eternally grateful to my Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme reader, whose suggestions and advice when I originally submitted my novel for critique, were invaluable.
As Weekends Go is a contemporary multi POV tale – three interwoven stories – about two couples and the emotional havoc created during and beyond their eventful weekend clash of agendas, involving a ‘girls only’ trip to York, a Brighton sales conference and a Spanish stag do.
I can’t wait for you to meet the cast.
So many things and people have in the past, and continue to, inspire my writing, it’s difficult to know where to begin.
Going way back to my childhood, I suppose my first influence was Enid Blyton. I loved her books, especially anything where a mystery was involved, ‘The Secret Seven‘, ‘The Famous Five’ and my favourite series, ‘The Mystery of ….‘ books. Later on, I became a fan of Agatha Christie and more darker authors, such as, Minette Walters or thriller writers like, Chris Kuzneski and James Patterson with his ‘Women’s Murder Club’. As you can see, mystery and thrillers have been a long held passion of mine.
At the other end of the scale, I do enjoy a good romance and it was through reading Jilly Cooper‘s ‘Riders‘ that I learned how, over a period of time, you could turn a villain into a hero – think Rupert Campbell-Black. Through reading Sue Moorcroft‘s novel ‘Starting Over‘ I discovered the Romantic Novelists’ Association and I was delighted to be able to join under their New Writers’ Scheme. Without the support of the RNA and the wonderful people I have met through it, I’m not sure I would have made it this far in my writing adventure.
Special thanks must also go to Julie Cohen, Sarah Duncan, Sue Moorcroft (again :-) ) and Margaret James as I have attended or been enrolled on courses delivered by each of them at some point over the past four or five years. Words of encouragement, advice and general support is much appreciated – they’ve fulfilled their end of the deal by inspiring me to continue with my writing, now it’s up to me to fulfil mine.
It’s not only people who inspire me but the whole world around me, locally, nationally and internationally. Absorbing everything around me, consciously or sub-consciously, it all go into the Ideas and Inspiration Pot.
I couldn’t close without saying that daily, not only do my family and fellow Romaniac girls encourage me to keep writing but readers do too. Hearing how much someone has enjoyed one of my books both humbles me and inspires my writing.