I can't believe it's been a year since New Voices! I entered the competition in 2011 because I think not only is it a great chance to get work in front of an editor, but also I think it's a great chance to get some valuable feedback from other writers. Writing can be something we do in a vacuum and I don't know about other writers, but I certainly enjoy getting feedback on my work. Personally, I have no real perspective around what I write. Dependent upon how I'm feeling on any particular day (or sometimes any given hour) my work vacillates from the heady heights of brilliance to the lowly depths of total crap! I need readers to give me the perspective I don't have myself.
You can read a short extract of 'SECOND CHANCE MOM on my website http://www.tonikenyon.com - or the full chapter can still be found on the New Voices website.
Unfortunately, Mills & Boon didn't 'discover' me through New Voices, but I did discover a whole new bunch of writing buddies. *waves* at the New Voices FB gals. There's nothing like holding hands with a group of writers who are all waiting for the outcome of a romance competition. One of the things I really love about romance writers is the camaraderie and the encouragement we all give each other. I'm a member of Romance Writers of New Zealand and RWA and I spend a lot of time hanging out on the community boards at Harlequin. I've met friends on-line, who I've never met face-to-face, who understand the inner workings of a writer's brain and have been with me every step of the way on the road to publication. I don't know anywhere else I can find this kind of loyal support.
I remain a fan of on-line competitions, because they have been good to me. Harlequin SuperRomance ran a Memorial Day Challenge in 2011 and I came runner up in that competition. As a result the revised/requested full of RETURN TO ALA MOANA BEACH is with an editor in Toronto. You can read the winning extract on my website.
The writing, submitting and waiting process can be harsh (that's where your on-line buddies come in) and I don't like to dwell on the ever-increasing pile of rejections I've accumulated over the years. I believe that does not equate to the standard of my writing, but is more related to the turmoil the 'market' finds itself in in recent times.
Mags and Julian's story crosses some boundaries in genre fiction, so after much soul searching, I have decided to press on and publish their story myself. I know I wouldn't have had the courage and the confidence to take this step if it had not been for the support and encouragement I have received from the wider romance writing community. Another great reason to get involved.
I would encourage anyone who is thinking about entering an on-line competition like New Voices to take the plunge and press the 'send' button. You just never know where you may end up.
Good luck everyone - and may the Goddess of Publication Shine on You
"PRIVATE LOVE IN A PUBLIC PLACE:
Mags O'Brien lives on the alcohol-soaked, drug-enhanced concert circuit, managing out-of-control rocker Julian MacAvoy. She helps him spread his musical gospel to his adoring followers, despite the fast-spinning turnstile on his bedroom door, and the broken hearts he leaves in his wake.
Mags believes she’s immune to Julian’s magnetic personality but when controversy hits the tour, she finds herself in danger of falling at his feet, slave to his appetites and her own desire and need.
Julian refuses to be tamed, but the pressure of the ravenous crowds clamps tighter and tighter around him. His chaotic world starts to crumble when he realizes his motivation to continue touring comes from an unobtainable woman. Can he force her to make the agonizing choice between himself and her estranged husband?
An erotic and candid look at life on the road."
Toni Kenyon lives in Auckland with her husband-to-be (and their two dogs) her son (and his cat) – the goldfish is just squatting! She’s a Registered Legal Executive by day and sings in a band by night. In her spare (yeah, right) time she continues to pursue the dream of one day getting ‘the call’. In the meantime she's indy publishing. Follow the journey on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Toni.Kenyon.Author or visit her website at www.tonikenyon.com