Saturday, 12 December 2009

Red Letter Day!

December 1st 2009. 3.30pm. One of the best moments of my life so far!

That was the moment when lovely Joanne Grant from Harlequin Mills & Boon called me to let me know i'd placed as runner up in the 2009 competition. I was totally shocked, and don't think i said anything coherent at all during the conversation. I was thoroughly flu-ed up and on anti-biotics, and I found myself wondering for a few minutes if i'd hallucinated the whole thing. :o) - like lots of others, i'd gone to sleep hoping and imagining that that phone call would come for weeks, and for it to actually happen was ...bonkers! Needless to say, Joanne was lovely, really excited and bubbly, and it was everything you hope the phone call will be.
Then a Congrats email pinged in from Lovely Joanne (new official name), so I felt safe enough to call my husband, my sister, my brother, my mum....and of course try to remember that i'd been asked to tell no-one until December 11th! I was at home with my two little boys (3&5), and we had ten minutes of crazily dancing around the living room,punching the air, whooping and clutching of cheeks in shock - bless kids, they just go with it don't they, no questions asked. Actually, since then, whenever I mention the competition, my eldest eyes me warily and mutters 'not the crazy dancing again mum'....
Fast forward to yesterday, announcement day. My husband sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and my friends and family were over the moon - it was such a relief to be able to tell them all! It was another big moment to see the announcement in black and white on iheartpresents, just so, so thrilling. I feel so, so, SO lucky! I'm still on cloud nine, i've never won anything in my life.
I'm hugely grateful to all at Mills & Boon for running the competition, it's been a massive experience to take part, and to place is the stuff that dreams are made of.
I'm also aware it's been a huge experience for 540 other women around the world, and I am crossing my fingers and hoping that they all get happy news too soon. I sweat blood and tears over my entry and have bitten my nails to the quick waiting for the results, and I know that every one else who entered did exactly the same. It's not an easy thing to throw your hat into the ring, so Congrats to every last one who entered and lots of luck.
The romance writing community has been a complete revelation to me. It's uniquely friendly & supportive to all, and I have to say a big thank you for the encouragement and advice i've been given over the last few months. Extra special thanks to Robyn, who held my hand and gave such wise advice - I am indebted.
Now I have to get on with the business of writing the rest of the book....eeep!


  1. Oh, what fun! I get to be first!

    Congratulations Joanne! It's wonderful news and I am hugely pleased for you.

    I don't know how you managed not to explode, having to keep the news quiet for a that time!

    I hope we get your acceptance Call story soon, and that working with Kimberley is hugely supportive and productive.

  2. Congratulations Joanne - I hope this is the start of a a great writing career. Good luck with the next stage - and enjoy working with your editor


  3. Joanne, major congrats! It's a huge thrill isn't it? And like I said in subcare, it doesn't stop with the critique. If you show her you can take on board her feedback, then you'll be away. Mine was sadly rejected after a couple of revisions to the full, but it hasn't been the end. The contest placing is only the start.Good luck!

  4. Thank you Mulberry, you're lovely! I'm really looking forward to talking to Kimberley, but also completely terrified at the prospect, you know? I can't think beyond it at the moment. Gosh, acceptance call stories...something to dream about and hope for in the future. I really hope to hear yours too.

    Thanks Jackie, it really is a complete thrill. I've scoured your blog for snippets of how your consultation went! It's a brilliant read, so much to think about. It's so encouraging to know that you have benefitted so much from placing last year, as you say it's something to grab with both hands and make the most of.

    Kate - thank you! I have to tell you that I read your book cover to cover, and it has been and will continue to be invaluable to me. I am so happy to see you on here!

  5. Hi Joanne,

    huge congratulations, once again. I love that it all came together so well for you and I hope to be able to buy this story off the shelves some time soon.


  6. Hi Robyn! So good to see you. What a dream that would be huh?
    I def plan to be buying yours first though - I am completely convinced they'll snap you up very soon. You have such a lovely way with words and you just know so much. :o)
    It'll be a happy & richly deserved day when you get the call.

  7. Hey Joanne

    Just found your gorgeous blog! So lovely to see your excitement shining through in your post! I remember the dancing around the loungeroom with my boys last year when I got the email.

    Good luck on your journey!


  8. Rach, Helloooo! Thank you for dropping by, I follow your blog as part of my addiction to romance writing blogs ( I am sure that must be an actual condition) ) and wish you lots of luck too. Exciting eh?!

  9. Hi Joanne,

    I thought it might be safe (now that everyone's moved onto the next post) to pop in and say thanks. I'm still way back at the partial stage on my current submission, so there's no chance of me getting a call anytime soon. But one day...