It is always lovely to hear good news and when this news comes from one of the graduates of the RNA New Writers’ Scheme we want to share it. When Heidi Swain named popped up in The Bookseller then of course it followed that we wanted her to visit our blog! Welcome Heidi.
Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to Elaine Everest for inviting me to feature today and
secondly, wave a cheery ‘hello’ to all you lucky folk who have secured a spot on the New Writers Scheme this year. May I suggest that you all take a big breath and brace yourselves because if you are determined, focused and ready, big things could be about to happen!
2015 was a truly monumental year for me and I put much of my good fortune down to securing a space on the New Writers Scheme the year before and then joining the RNA as a full member.
In 2014 I submitted my novel, The Cherry Tree Café, to the scheme and then, having worked through the insightful critique, which flagged up some typical rookie errors, and met with the other ladies in my wonderful local chapter, set about considering where and how to submit.
In summer 2014 I then sent the freshly edited manuscript off to Books and The City (the digital imprint of Simon and Schuster) and in December of that year signed my first two book deal, initially to have the novels published in e-book format. Needless to say I was absolutely delighted, but the hard work of course was just about to begin. Along with getting to grips with editing deadlines and traveling to London for meetings, there was also the business of promotion to get to grips with. Love it or hate it authors need a solid social media platform and as an unrestrained chatterbox I personally
found Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and guesting, as well as posting on Instagram and Pinterest, great fun. I was also invited to take part in the Books and The City Spring Blogger Evening last March which meant giving a reading and taking part in a Q and A. Fortunately Milly Johnson and Jane Costello were there to guide me through, which is another great thing about writing romance – we are a very friendly bunch of authors.
So, The Cherry Tree Café was published on July the 16th and the launch party, blog tour, press feature and radio spots all happened in the weeks that followed. It was crazy, it was hectic and of course there was still the next novel, Summer at Skylark Farm, to polish, edit and present in preparation for publication on June 2nd 2016!
It is, in some respects, impossible to believe that so much has happened in such a short space of time and having attended my first RNA conference last year and made such good friends with my Norfolk chapter ladies and beyond (thank you Facebook), I am exceedingly thankful to have such a caring association to help keep me on the straight and narrow and support the next leg of my author journey. If you are new to the scheme this year then I would say, do not delay, get involved as soon as you can and make the most of your membership.
My own journey took a very exciting turn at the end of 2015 as I not only had the extreme pleasure of seeing my name in The Bookseller, I also signed another two book deal and this time around for both
novels to be published in print as well as in e-book format.
The success of The Cherry Tree Café, which I am proud to say became an Amazon Number 1 Bestseller last autumn, played a huge part in securing this latest deal and I am eternally grateful to the New Writers Scheme and the RNA for giving me the confidence to put my work out there and pursue my lifelong dream.
Whether you are new to the scheme this year, or have renewed your membership, I wish you all the very best of luck, because if you have set your sights on publication and are determined to make it happen, then it will and I can’t wait to read all about your success.
Happy New Year everyone!
Thank you, Heidi. We are both graduates of the NWS and agree it’s a fabulous scheme for all new writers of romance. Good luck for 2016 and thank you for sharing.
The RNA blog is brought to you by
Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman
If you would like to write for the blog please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org