My ambition to write professionally dates back to when I was a child. I taught myself to touch type as a teenager, so that I could record my stories more easily, and holed up in my room, conjuring up adventures for imaginary people. Put like that it sounds a bit mad. I did have friends, but where writing was concerned, it was a solitary activity.
That’s why it’s been so nice, in recent years, to see how sociable writing can be. My publisher is Choc Lit, and its established group of authors have made me feel hugely welcome. This week, we’ve got a joint publication out: an e-book anthology featuring both cake recipes and short stories. My contribution is A Cambridge Rumour, and the associated recipe produces something like this:
If you’d like to find out more or download a copy, please click on the links!
And in terms of sociable opportunities, I benefit because my stories cross two genres. The fact that they feature love affairs, as well as mystery, has enabled me to join the wonderful Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA). Each year, the RNA has 250 spaces on its New Writers’ Scheme (NWS) for those working towards publication. If you’re lucky enough to get a place, you can have your novel reviewed by an anonymous member of the scheme’s fantastic reading panel. I benefitted from this twice before getting a publishing contract, and joining as a full member. The feedback was incredibly detailed and useful.
But on a par, in terms of importance, are the opportunities to get to know other members. This happens online, (via social media and the RNA’s cyber chapter), through local groups, at the summer and winter parties, and the annual conference. I’ve yet to make the latter, but am determined to go next year.
The insight from the online group is invaluable. Whether you’re struggling with some knotty bit of research, or looking for ideas on your upcoming book launch, members are generous with their knowledge.
So all in all, writing’s seemed like a very sociable business just lately.