Helena Fairfax is usually to be found interviewing literary agents on the RNA blog. Today we're delighted to welcome Helena as one of the authors in the 'Letterbox Love Stories' anthology, a recent release by the World Romance Writers Group.
My first two novels were published by Canadian publishers MuseItUp, and since then I’ve made wonderful cyber friends across the pond. I joined several American author groups – the excellent Marketing for Romance Writers, for example, and Exquisite Quills – and I’ve found tremendous support there, as well as a wealth of advice from fellow group members.
Late last year I was approached by American author Gemma Juliana, and she asked if I’d be interested in being part of a new, international group of writers. Gemma’s idea was to put together a series of anthologies in order to reach out to new readers on both sides of the Atlantic. I’ve collaborated with Gemma before on a Christmas anthology (Exquisite Christmas came out last year) and it was great fun to do…so of course I said yes!
The World Romance Writers Group now consists of nine authors: three of us are RNA members –Lindsay Townsend, French author Marie Laval, and myself - plus British author Jenny Twist, who lives in Spain, Canadian Denysé Bridger, and Americans Cara Marsi, Gemma Juliana, Rose Anderson, and Lynn Crain, who lives in Austria.
Right from the start we decided the setting for all our stories should be Europe – but with such a range of writers, and from both sides of the pond, what should be their common theme? We talked about and discarded several ideas for something to bind our first anthology together until finally we hit on a theme that excited all of us: What if you received a letter that changed your life forever?
With that one simple idea – and with 10,000-15,000 words to play with - we each went away and worked on our own individual story. The imagination is a great thing, and I found it fascinating to watch completely different stories grow out of this one premise. And this is how our anthology, Letterbox Love Stories, was born. Our stories range in time from the medieval to the contemporary and even the futuristic, and have a range of settings across Europe, from Turkey to northern England – but they all begin with a letter.
Here are the blurbs of the RNA members’ stories, as a taster...!
Come Date Me in Paris, by Helena Fairfax (that's me :) )
When a letter arrives telling Alice she's won a place on a TV blind date show, she should be excited - only trouble is, the show involves cooking for your date, and in the country of haute cuisine, Alice can't even boil an egg. Forced to throw herself on the mercy of her chef neighbour, Edmond, Alice asks him for lessons. But will she be cooking up a romance...or cooking up disaster?
Sons of the Wind, by Marie Laval
Provence 1826. Ten years after her brother disappeared in the marshes of the Camargue, Venetia Rigby receives a letter suggesting he is alive. Will Philippe Dantès, half-gipsy master of Terres Mortes, help her find him when he has his own demons to fight?
Plain Harry, by Lindsay Townsend
Recovering from a brutal marriage, Esther is living quietly as a widow when a letter from her brother Sir Stephen destroys her contented life by ordering her to marry Sir Henry - but who is this “Plain Harry” and how will he treat her? Set in medieval England when women had few rights, this story shows how love can flourish between the unlikeliest of people.
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Each of our stories is very different but besides the letter theme they all have one other thing in common - they all end happily!
We’re very excited to say that Letterbox Love Stories was released on 4th July
And if you’d like to find out more about our World Romance Writers group, please visit our website, where you can find out about my own story, Come Date Me in Paris, here on our blog.
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Helena Fairfax was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She's grown used to the cold now, and these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire. Helena walks the Yorkshire moors every day with her rescue dog, finding this romantic landscape the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings. Her first novel was written through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and was shortlisted for the Global Ebook Awards, and in 2014 she was shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize
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