Monday, September 27, 2010

I made the New Voices Top 10!!!!!!!!

I went to bed last night - at 2am (thank you jetlag) a little disappointed that I hadn't received an email, and therefore sure I'd not made it into the next round of New Voices.

And then I wake up this morning to the fabulous subject line: You are through to the New Voices Top Ten!!

I didn't even read the email, just ran to my fiance (who was having a shower) and told him, while shaking :) Then ran back to get the laptop, and read the email to him (hands still shaking).

My mentoring team is Jessica Hart and Meg Lewis. I feel so incredibly fortunate!

Now, I just need to start Chapter Two...

Well done to everyone who entered - so many of you are super talented and I was surprised not to see your names in the Top 10. Please still submit your partials!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I just discovered something mildly terrifying (New Voices related)


Heidi Rice's blog that says the New Voices top 10 have been chosen

The Top 10 will be announced on Monday. For some reason I had thought the announcement was on Wednesday, not Monday. Argh! It is no longer reassuringly far off.

In other news, I'm home! My holiday is over :( I'm currently in a strange exhausted-but-can't-sleep limbo,  after arriving home this afternoon from London. That's 13 hours London -> Singapore than a stop over, then 5 hours Singapore -> Perth. It's about as pleasant as it sounds. In London it is currently 3pm, so I guess I'm experiencing my first bout of jet lag - lucky me :)

New Voices entries are, however, brilliant to read when your brain is too mushy to comprehend an actual novel - a chapter is perfect. So, back to reading (and eventually, I hope, sleeping) I go...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lacey Devlin rocks!

The lovely Lacey has put me on her New Voices Wall of Fame! I feel very special :) I've also added her you-beaut New Voices badge to my blog -->

If you haven't already, go read Lacey's first chapter - it has some fantastic, snappy dialogue and a seriously page turning ending!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Voices - entered!

Well, I did it! My entry is up: Secrets & Speed Dating.

I would love to hear what you think!

Writing at the beach in Croatia
Thank goodness that's done :) It was written over the past week, while I've been in Vela Luka, Croatia. However, it turned out to be a little frustrating to write. My first version, I liked. After writing the first 2000 words, I happily emailed it to my amazing crit partners, confident that I was on the right track. I kept on typing, and by the time I heard back from them the next day, I had a good 3500 words down. For me - Captain Slow Writer - this was super sonic speed!

Sadly, what I'd written was crap. This took me a few hours to digest, as I'd been told in the nicest possible way :) But basically I'd lost my voice, it just wasn't "me".

Where had I gone wrong? I think the problem was I was trying to write what I thought Mills & Boon wanted. I think I figured that with the changes from Sweet/Romance to Cherish and Riva, that I was more a Cherish writer, so I need something a bit gentler than my normal style. Clearly, this was a stupid mistake - I'm not capable of this style, and my chapter featured a neurotic, unlikeable heroine and a plot that was going nowhere.

So, I started again. I was able to salvage much of the first scene, but the rest - thrown out. Almost 3000 words! And only three days to go before the deadline!

But, I managed it. I know it isn't perfect, but it's me. It is in my voice. So if it crashes and burns in the competition, and least I've got that.

At the beach with my own hero :)
Due to lack of consistent Internet (I need to buy it in 24 hour blocks) I've been lurking a bit on the New Voices web site, but there are some very impressive entries there. Including the work of some of my favourite bloggers! Here are their excellent entries:

Sorry if I've missed anyone!

Also, I must mention how sad I was to lose all of my (possibly overused) italics when I pasted in my entry. Poor italics :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Real life romance (and New Voices)

Sorry to have been so absent - I will write a long, detailed, many-pictured blog post soon that covers my fabulous time at the Romance Writers of Australia conference.

But I DO have a good excuse. On arriving home from Sydney I immediately launched into last minute panicking (and packing) prior to leaving on a one month holiday to the UK and Croatia. Getting everything sorted at work, and the house half-decent for our house sitter, took up a stupid amount of time.

And then... on the Saturday afternoon before we left (our flight was 1am Sunday), my boyfriend and I took our dogs down to the park for a walk. We read the paper, ate fish and chips, and the dogs ran around in circles. Then I look up - and my boyfriend is on his knee, with the most incredible ring (box upside down). I cried for about a minute, so he had to ask me again... but of course I said yes.

It was at the park where we first met 3.5 years ago. He'd intended to ask me in Croatia, but thought that I'd want to be able to share it with my family and friends before we left. Plus he wanted the dogs to be there.

So I'm feeling incredibly happy, and incredibly lucky.

The last week has been a bit of a blur, can't quite believe I've been in London more than a week! But my visit to London turned out to be very timely, as I was able to attend one of the New Voices workshops. It was this afternoon in East Sheen, which is absolutely nowhere near where I'm staying with my sisters. So I was super brave and battled the tube strikes to take a combination of buses and the overland train to actually get to the library - and even be on time!

The editors gave a great overview of how to write for Mills & Boon, and I even got to take home some books - yay! It was great motivation to sit down and get my new chapter together and enter New Voices, which I'll do over the next week or so.

I've been very absent from blogland the past 10 days, I can't wait to read everyone's entries - it looks like competition will be fierce!!