In January, I was accepted on the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I feel honoured to be in the company of proper published authors whose members have sold aeons of books. I’ve found it a friendly, inclusive group whose members do not differentiate between published and newbies. On the contrary, they are very encouraging!
I polished up my grand’oeuvre and sent it off for reading by an experienced, published author. Imagine the state my nerves were in when I opened the envelope containing my returned typescript and THE REPORT.
I received 6 pages of encouraging, helpful constructive and practical guidance. I was called ‘a talented author’, my style was ‘wonderful – it has real fluency, humour, warmth and zest’, I would be ‘getting published in the future’. There’s more: ‘this book is so inventive’ and ‘Congrats to the author for creating such an appealing hero’ and ‘The author is brilliant at plot’.
But it wasn’t ready for publication and needed work. She was 100% right. Each point she made was practical, unfailingly helpful as well as being kindly delivered. It spurred me on to re-examining and reworking a load of other areas.
This wasn’t just feedback from my friend, my mum or Auntie Flo. This was professional and worth its weight in gold.