I have just realised that it is exactly twelve months ago - 14th September - that I pressed 'send' on my New Voices entry - and what a year it has been! I've found out just how naive I was about the publishing industry and writing in general, and, as I've said before, I have learned so much from all the wonderful generous people I have met online.
So I'm really pleased that I can announce my latest bit of news properly today. I've not been picked up by Mills and Boon, but I have had a contemporary romance accepted for publication.
As some of you will know, I've had erotic romances published this year under my pen name Zara Stoneley, but I still love writing contemporary romance and so this means a lot to me (a huge amount!).
I had several offers for 'Text me, Tweet me, Need me' (my working title - but I must admit I like it!) and I am so grateful to the publishers that were prepared to invest in me. I spent some time deliberating and am delighted to say that I have now signed a contract with Lyrical Press, who have impressed me with their professional attitude. They have some great covers and I felt that it was the right home for 'Text me' - and hopefully many more stories that I write.
The other massive bonus for me is that my editor is someone I already know, and have huge respect for, Ann-Marie Smith (aka and writing as Annie Seaton) will be knocking me and my ms into shape! I love Annie's books, she's had huge success this year (long may it continue) but she's also an awesome editor. I know that I have a distinctive 'voice', which also includes breaking some grammar rules, and having an editor that appreciates this is a huge bonus for me. I'm more than happy to make any changes I'm asked to - but it is so nice to go in confident that the real me will still be there at the end.
I've completed all the paperwork now so I'm champing at the bit (no, I'm not a patient person, I want to do it!) waiting for the first round of edits. And hoping I will get a lovely new cover soon!!
So, it's a celebration weekend again here in Cheshire. Does using two names mean I'm a debut author twice?!
Good luck to everyone out there who is entering SYTYCW, and any other competitions. I got my first novel published as the result of entering a competition I didn't win - and I wouldn't be working with Lyrical now if I hadn't hit 'send' exactly twelve months ago on that NV entry.
p.s. I'm also totally gobsmacked (sorry, can I use that word?!) that 'Freefalling' is #25 in the erotica/adult fiction category on amazon uk at the moment!