Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thank you to New Voices

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:

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, 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.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

To sub or not to sub

While over 800 aspirant writers anxiously await The List (for those who aren't as obssessed by the New Voices contest as I am, this is the list HMB have promised us of entries they want to see more of), I have a question to pose: 
If HMB does not request your contest entry, do you plan to stick it in a bottom drawer or to sub this story elsewhere?

Of course, I'm one of the 814 hoping this is not a situation I'll have to face, but even so I know exactly what I'd do: the bottom drawer.

Because when I do sell to HMB one day (and I'm determined to!) I want to have a whole bunch of manuscripts ready to be re-worked and re-submitted. I'm hoping that by then I'll be more experienced and know how to 'fix' them, so that instead of making just the one sale, I'll be able to sell a whole bunch more to my dream publisher!

But I also realise that there are times when submitting to A.N. Other publisher might be a better option for a manuscript. If you know the story doesn't really fit the targeted HMB line but it'd break your heart to change it to fit, then you need to follow your heart.

There are also times when the validation of having an editor say "I love this and I want to buy it" is more important than sticking to the longer term dream.

So if Harlequin Mills & Boon is your dream, what would you do?