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Getting the call for my first romance novel

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Scenes of joy

Please take a minute to check out the header at the top of my blog.  Notice any changes in the text since last time you visited?… What do you mean, no? You mean you haven’t you been concentrating??  OK, then I’ll tell you!

When I first started this blog a few weeks ago I described myself as a ‘Fledgling romance writer’.   Now I call myself…Have you spotted it?  Yes! Yes, and yes!!  I call myself a real and actual ‘Romance author’!  I’ve just signed a contract with the most excellent (and SO discerning) and lovely people at MuseItUp Publishing.  And now my first book, The Silk Romance, will be published in May next year, and I can’t tell you the scenes of joy in my household!  Flowers and champagne, and two helpings of Cumberland sausage for the dog!

Where to begin?   Well, perhaps first things first, with my book.  This is a story I’d been thinking of writing on and off for some time, but authors will know that thinking of writing, and actually writing, are two very different things! I joined the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme.   Joining this scheme meant that the book just HAD to be written, in order to get the finished manuscript off in time to meet the scheme’s deadline, and so I was forced to sit down and write, write, write.  It was a tortuous process, and took me far longer than I’d planned, until finally I had a book that I thought worth submitting.

An excellent and detailed critique duly came back from the RNA.   My reader thoroughly enjoyed my story (I was so happy to hear this, I can’t tell you!), and basically had just a few minor suggestions to make regarding emphasising the conflict between hero and heroine.  So, off I went again, setting my poor brain to work, trying to work out how to fit her suggestions into my already completed manuscript, until I finally worked out a neat way of doing so.  Then, to cut a long story short (…see, I’ve learned some editing techniques now!) I sent my beloved MS to MuseItUp Publishing and within a few weeks…well, now you know the rest!

romance, romance novel, romantic novel, writers, authors
My story’s hero is based on my sporting hero, the complex, brilliant and devastatingly handsome Ayrton Senna

And my story?  Here’s a little of the blurb:   Sophie Challoner still dreams of the night she spent with Jean-Luc Olivier – but a promise she made her mother before she died means leaving her handsome racing driver in France to return to London, where she must try her best to forget him.   But Jean-Luc is not the sort of man to allow Sophie to slip away.  After his retirement from the race track he engineers a job offer she can’t refuse, and so Sophie finds herself in Lyon, the romantic city of silk, working for Jean-Luc in the fashionable silk mill he now owns.  Thrown together for a few short weeks in this romantic city, their mutual love begins to grow, until a disaster at home in London leaves Sophie with a choice – stay in this glamorous world with the man she loves, or return to her family to keep the promise she made her mother.

(And if you’d like a delicious taster of the romantic city of Lyon, try this blog post by  Muse’s Lyonnaise author, Marie Laval, and check out her novel Angel Heart.)

MuseItUp Publishing are a Canadian publishing house, started in 2010.  They’re a new business and not massively well known (yet!) in the UK.   I did a lot of research before submitting and the comments from other authors at this publishing blog are just a few of the excellent things people have had to say about writing for Muse.

Now my novel has been accepted and I’ve joined Muse’s growing circle of authors.  I’ve had a great welcome and can whole-heartedly endorse every one of the comments I read. I’m so excited and happy to be working with such a great bunch of people.  As a newbie, it means a lot to have their support and friendship.

I’ve just finished my second manuscript, The Antique Romance, and am in the process of giving it a final read through.  Am hoping it will join my other baby, The Silk Romance, at Muse – fingers crossed and I’ll keep you posted!

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11 thoughts on “Getting the call for my first romance novel

  1. Hi Helena, or should I say ‘bonjour’? How great to meet you and read about your romance set in Lyon. It is a fabulous city. Congratulations on signing your first contract with MuseitUp Publishing. I look forward to reading your novel!

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  2. What wonderful news! Congratuations! Enjoy the champagne and flowers. I am sure your rescue dog will manage to walk off that extra sausage on the moors of Bronte Country!

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