Welcome Charlotte - and thanks so much for stopping by to tell your story. I remember your NV entry ‘Honeymoon With A Stranger’ and belated congratulations on making it to the Final Four. Over to you....
NV was the first writing competition I entered. Prior to entering I’d submitted a story to Mills & Boon which was picked up from the slush pile. I went through two rounds of revisions before it was eventually rejected. I was disappointed, but spurred on to keep writing, and when I heard about NV I dashed off a chapter and submitted it, more for the objective feedback the competition offered than anything else. No one was more surprised than me when ‘Honeymoon With A Stranger’ went through to the final 4.
NV has played a big part in my writing career. I got the chance to work with Liz Fielding as my mentor, which was a fantastic experience. I probably learned more in that month than I had in two years of reading How-To books and surfing the Internet. It also got me noticed, and I think that’s the great thing about that competition and about the other writing opportunities M&B offer, such as SYTYCW and the Fast Tracks – it’s a chance to get your work in front of an editor. Although I didn’t win, part of the runner up prize was a phone call with an editor, and I was really happy that I got to deal with the editor who’d taken me through the revisions for my previous submission. The story I wrote for NV wasn’t considered strong enough to pursue, but instead I was asked to work with the editor on a new story, submitting three chapters at a time. That is the manuscript that sold to RIVA in May of this year. It now has a title – ‘Secrets of the Rich & Famous’ but I am still waiting for a mainstream release date because RIVA is currently undergoing a relaunch. It’s a great time to join the line and I can’t wait to see how it develops from here. I’m currently working on my second story for RIVA and looking forward excitedly to the relaunch later in the year.
I haven’t submitted to any other publishers. I like the discipline of writing category length romance and Harlequin M&B were my first choice as a publisher, although there are a number of other excellent publishers out there. I like the fact that M&B work on developing your career as an author – it isn’t just about that first book, they are looking to the long term.
‘Secrets of the Rich & Famous’ is set in Chelsea, my heroine is an undercover journalist and my hero is an award-winning film producer caught in the middle of a casting-couch scandal. It will be published by M&B RIVA, date to be confirmed. If you would like to follow my progress I can be found at charlotte-phillips.blogspot.com or on twitter @charlieflips
Thanks so much Charlotte. I can't wait to see ‘Secrets of the Rich & Famous’ hit the shelves. Good Luck.