That magic book deal!

Natalie Kleinman shares her experience of graduating from the Romantic Novelists Association’s New Writers Scheme.

I considered myself very lucky when I was accepted into the RNA New Writers Scheme in January 2013 at my first time of trying. The discipline of the end of August deadline made sure I finished on time and the knowledge my novel would be scrutinised by other writers seemed far more daunting than submitting to a publisher. I lost count of the number of edits – there were many – before I parcelled up my contemporary romance and sent it in with fingers crossed. Then came the wait but when my critique arrived I was astonished at the attention to detail given by my reader along with such comments as led me to believe I was close. There followed another edit and submission to Safkhet Publishing who came back very quickly with the offer of a contract. That’s when everything changed.

Now might be a good time to backtrack a little. I have been attending The Write Place Creative Writing School for two years. So busy was I writing that I had no idea about the greater picture until doors were opened to me, or at least presented so I could open them myself. With their knowledge of the market I have now had numerous short stories published, something I am sure wouldn’t have happened had I been ‘out there’ on my own. It was TWP who pointed me to the RNA and the entrance to another world. I recently attended the RNA Winter Party where I was greeted by a wall of sound from what seemed like hundreds of people all talking at once; daunting to say the least. I needn’t have worried. I was greeted, enfolded and made to feel I belonged. From 1st January 2014 I will be a full member of the RNA. It’s been quite a year.

So is that the end of the story? No, it’s merely the start. I have learned that writing a book, though huge in itself, is the forerunner to a number of activities which till now had only been words but recently added to my vocabulary. Facebook; Twitter; Blog; Social Networking. I have been comfortable with Facebook for some time now and have made some lovely friends. I am familiarising myself with Twitter. This is my first blog! Terrified? You bet, but I’m hoping to be at ease with it very soon. I will be visiting nearby bookshops, contacting the local paper, introducing myself to any organisations I can persuade to listen. All this seems a million miles away from my first love, writing, but is a necessary part of the whole procedure. If my heroine can leave her life behind to work on a cruise liner, well maybe I too can embark on my own journey into the unknown. I hope to see some of you there.



18 thoughts on “That magic book deal!

  1. What a journey, it sounds like it’s been full of experiences. Your story shows it’s all about the hard work and perseverance, while trying to enjoy it at the same time. Well done Natalie

    • Thank you, Carol. It’s a kind of buzzy feeling inside. As Julie Andrews said in (I think) Sound of Music, and I’m paraphrasing here, When one door closes, somewhere another one opens.

  2. Great to see that hard work and determination can get you where you want to be! And it’s good to know that we older ladies have as much chance of being published as all the young novelists who get most of the publicity. If our story is good enough it will be read! Go, Natalie!!

  3. It certainly beats putting my feet up and watching the television. Retirement! What’s that? Thank you for your good wishes, Viv.

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