Now, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, I’m really not. I’m the kind of girl (woman) that sits quietly in the corner, watching everyone else have their fun, smiling broadly to let them know I’m part of it, but not really joining in kind of introvert.
When other people have got something to be proud of, I’m really happy for them and amazed by their luck and good fortune and kind of hope that one day that luck and fortune might smile my way.
And you know what? It has.
My release last year of Seven Nights With Her Ex is a finalist in the RoNA Rose Awards!
This kind of thing never happens to me. It just doesn’t. But I submitted my book to the awards, just to see what would happen. I didn’t expect it to get anywhere, because, let’s face it, there’s some amazing Mills and Boon authors out there in every line and there are some amazing stories out there, too. Authors that have been writing for years, who know what they’re doing (I still feel like an amateur) and I couldn’t possibly hope to compete with them.
And then I got an email. Back in November, I think it was, informing me that I had made it to the finals and could I please keep it a secret until they announced it on February 7th?
O. M. G.
Me? Little ole’ me?
Let me tell you something about Seven Nights With Her Ex. I was looking to set my book somewhere other than the UK and thought about the place I wanted to visit the most. That place was Yellowstone Park. I suggested a research trip to my husband, who was up for that, but then we ran the plan past our children and my eldest (who frets about these things) told us that there was no way in hell we were going to a park that happened to be sitting on a giant super volcano that was past its due date to go off!
Now I may have downplayed the ‘frets’ thing. My eldest suffers with anxiety, panic disorder and OCD and our suggesting the trip, made him bad. So much so, we cancelled the idea and I bought myself a Lonely Planet guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Hey, I had Google Earth, right? I could research it instead. Problem solved, I thought.
Only the problem wasn’t solved. I got about four chapters in and the writing dried up. I couldn’t think what to put next, I was completely frozen, tearing my hair out one day and crying the next, why on earth did I think it was a good idea to set a MEDICAL in the middle of a national park, instead of a hospital???
My husband would calm me down when I got frantic, tossing bits of paper here, there and everywhere, muttering “no, that won’t work. Nor that. This is stupid!”
He picked up the books I’d written before and placed them before me. “See those?”
I looked at them. “Yes?”
“You wrote those.” he said. “You can do this. Now get on with it.”
Okay, so it wasn’t an inspiring speech on par with the world’s greatest orators, but it did its job. I stopped freaking out, I got a grip of myself and I wrote. And wrote.Until it was done (disclaimer : I made this sound easier than it actually was) and then I sent it in to my editor to see what she thought.
It needed revisions. Two lots of revisions, suggestions that filled several pages, that I highlighted and diligently worked through until she finally accepted it.
This book was hard to write. It almost defeated me.
And now its up for an award. Which is odd and strange and delightful in equal measure.
Even if I don’t win, I will still feel like a winner.
Because I won the second I typed, ‘The End.’
So keep your fingers crossed for me. The awards night is March 13th in London. In fact, please keep your fingers crossed for those lovely ladies who are finalists with me – Scarlet Wilson (Cherish); Christy McKellen (Cherish); Virginia Heath (Historical) and Kate Hardy (Cherish)
We have all written the stories of our hearts and poured a bit of ourselves into each and every one. That they are recognised for that is pure joy for a writer, especially when we hear from readers just how much those stories mean to them, too.
So raise your glasses and toast the finalists.
We’re all winners in my book.