Today we welcome, Caitlyn Callery to the blog. Caitlyn is another of our contenders for the Joan Hessayon Award 2015
Congratulations on graduating the RNA New Writers’ Scheme. Can you tell us when you first decided that you wished to become a romantic novelist?
I have always wanted to be a writer, and my first love was romance, especially historical romance, so I wanted to put the two together from the start. I started writing at the age of eight and dreamed of the great love stories I would write. Of course, it wasn’t as simple as that. I had to learn about life and love in order to write about them, and I had to do my writing apprenticeship before I was anywhere near ready to unleash my work on an unsuspecting world.
How many years were you a member of the NWS scheme and did you submit a different book each year? Which year’s book did you graduate with?
I was really blessed. I only joined the NWS scheme in 2014 and put “The Bankrupt Viscount” through. The feedback I received was excellent and made the book a much better read, as well as picking up flaws in research and my writing style. I sold it to the first publisher I approached after taking the advice on board, which tells you all you need to know about the scheme, really.
How did you find your publisher?
I read a couple of books by authors I liked and noticed they were published by Museitup. I looked them up online and decided to go for it. It took some months to get a reply but it was worth the wait.
Promotion is a big part of an author’s working life. How did you promote your novel?
I use Twitter and Facebook, and encouraged readers to give honest reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I gave a few people copies of the book in return for an honest review, which seems a popular promotion tool. I also have a website (hilarymackelden.com) with a page for Caitlyn Callery novels, and a Caitlyn Callery blog at Wordpress. I also did an interview for my local paper and have given talks to local writers’ groups.
What has happened to you as an author since that first sale?
I have sold two more books to Museitup, a dark novella entitled “The Last Word” and a second Regency Romance entitled “Incognito”. Both will be released as e-books shortly. I have also sold a Christian play to Eldridge Publishing in America and a pantomime to Lazy Bee Scripts here in the UK, both under the name Hilary Mackelden. As Caitlyn Callery, I am currently working on my third Regency Romance.
How did you celebrate your first book sale?
Would you believe with a cup of tea? Seriously, I phoned my writing friend, Karen, and she came to me. She brought cake, we hugged and toasted the book with tea. After that, I told everyone who would listen before taking a deep breath and getting on with book two.
Born in Coventry and educated in Leicestershire, I have lived all my adult life in Sussex, between the Regency towns of Tunbridge Wells and Brighton. When I am not working as PR Officer for the charity, World In Need, I enjoy spending time with my three grown up children and my three wonderful grandsons. I love football and am involved with the local junior football club. I’m also part of my town’s horticultural society, although I’m not very green fingered. Other interests include historical research, swimming, church events, amateur dramatics and visits to the professional theatre and cinema, as well as knitting, crochet and reading. For World In Need, I visited Africa and fell in love. I look forward to returning one day.
Thank you, Caitlyn and good luck with your future writing career.