Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Newest Harlequin Romance/Riva Author

I was going to be talking about my latest Harlequin Romance — The Last Woman He’d Ever Date — today, but instead I’m making way for the newest Harlequin Romance/Riva author in the Harlequin Mills and Boon line-up.

Charlotte Phillips entered the Mills and Boon New Voices competition last autumn and when she made it through the first round, I was the lucky author who was tasked with the job of mentoring her through her second chapter.

It wasn’t my job to write her second chapter for her, but to work with her to show her where her own writing could be strengthened, offer a little advice on what could usefully be left out, give her pointers on what made a scene work and writing technique. Charlotte, let me tell you, was a joy to work with. Full of enthusiasm, excitement, passion, eager to learn, ready to listen, but with that deep down faith in what she’d written, in her story.

When she made it through to the final four I was absolutely overjoyed and although she didn’t win the competition I never doubted that she would make it through to publication.

Since reaching the final four of the competition, she has been working on a new story with the same wonderful editor who works with my own editor and does for me, what I did for Charlotte. Flo keeps me afloat, telling me what she loves about my story while homing in on the slightest weakness because, even after sixty plus books, an editor — standing back from the intense involvement that writing entails — brings a fresh eye to the work.

It’s part of the process.

I have known really good writers who have had wonderfully encouraging letters from publishers but instead of buckling down to the revisions suggested, were affronted, outraged by the suggestion that they change a word. Their mss are returned, untouched, to the drawer and never become that magic thing, a book. It’s their decision, their right, but while a mss is the sole effort of its author, a book is a collaborative effort. The ability to accept that your book isn’t perfect, that it is capable of stepping up another gear, is one of the essential elements that make a published author.

Meanwhile, if you want to share the advice that I gave to Charlotte, you can download Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony


Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations to Charlotte! I look forward to reading her works one day! Thanks also to authors like yourself
who take up-and-coming young writers
in hand and guide them!

Pat Cochran

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks, Pat. So looking forward to reading Charlotte's book. December will be here before we know it!

Nas said...

Congrats to Charlotte! Well done!

And kudos to you, Liz!