I'll admit to feeling a tad disappointed when I saw The List on the New Voices contest site and not only did I not make it, but none of my CPs or online friends did either. (And by the way, you were all fantastic!)
On the plus side, this contest has been an awesome experience for me, because it introduced me to a whole new bunch of aspiring South African authors. For more information on the South African entrants and other entries set in Africa or with South African characters, you can view the list here: http://saromancewriters.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-voices-entries.html
Our country is a little backward when it comes to genre fiction, and until now most romance writers battle away quietly on their own while lots of fuss gets made about literary authors and poets. So we're not going to win any Booker or Nobel prizes (which have both incidentally been awarded this last week, in case you've missed the news) but we are steadily growing in numbers and in strength.
Just watch this space: we South African romance writers are going to take on the world!
Finally, I'd like to congratulate the Top 10 New Voices Finalists. Their second chapters are currently up at www.romanceisnotdead.com, and there is still time to vote, so please head on over and support these new writers. Good luck to all of them!
I've read all ten and voted, and I'll admit it was a tough choice. There were some really good entries. I would, however, like to do a shout out here for my friend Leah Ashton, who has broken the mould with her very yummy bartender hero.