After the euphoria of my astounding
win of Choc Lit Publishing's Search for a Star competition with my novel 'Who
is Harry Dixon?', I started to feel a little strange. It finally struck me that
my goalposts have moved!
I have spent a few years learning
as much as I can about the craft of writing by attending courses, reading and
writing numerous short stories and novel drafts. Each month I'd trawl through
the competition pages of the writing magazines and decide which ones I wanted
to enter and also work out any pitches I wanted to make to publishers or agents.
After my win, it feels as if I’m
walking along, but the path has moved. I now need to enter a new phase of my
writing life. Besides handling edits and getting more novels completed, I need
to think about marketing my first book when it is e-published later in the
This is both exciting and daunting.
I've begun planning for a new website and blog, author pages on Facebook,
Goodreads, Amazon, etc. I need to decide how to describe myself and my work. If
any of you have any advice from your own journey, then please share it
I turn my thoughts to people I'd
like to thank for help so far.
I began the writing journey with my
best friend, Susan Wood. We had such fun in the early days, laughing in cafes
as we shared our writing. She has since headed off in a poetry direction,
although I still hope she'll finish her novel set on a caravan site one day. We
still meet in cafes and there are lots of laughs.
Then there are the tutors of all
the writing courses I've attended over the years. In particular, Sue Johnson,
whose weekly term time course I have been attending for years. When I attended
the RoNAs awards in London recently, the top award went to Iona Grey and I
remembered that her course on heroes and heroines, was a turning point for my
writing in the romance genres. Add to this Sue Moorcroft - I've appeared in her
classes many times. Alison May's course de-mystified editing for me.
The Romantic Novelists' Association
and in particular the New Writers’' Scheme, my readers, particularly the one
for Harry Dixon and the members of the RNA Birmingham Chapter.
Thanks must go to those who listen
to my doubts, moans and give advice - Alison May, Janice Preston, Margaret
Ruess-Newland, Georgia Hill, Heather King, Elizabeth Hanbury, Lisa Hill, Wendy
Jones, Lynn Forth, Bella Osborne, Bernadette ODwyer.
My family for supporting and
putting up with me disappearing into my study.
I'm sure there are many others too.
A special thanks has to go to Julie
King and her photography http://juliekingphotography.co.uk/ I hate having my
picture taken, but she always manages to make me laugh and I can thoroughly
recommend her services. I had to have some shots taken for publicity and, of
course, I will use them for my marketing. Which picture do you like best -
blue, orange or green?
I’ll be back soon to tell you about
some more milestones on this journey. I’ve been having fun with Susan Wood
thinking up hashtags for Harry Dixon.