Uncategorized

A Writer’s Life: After Rejections A Magical Boost

Rejections are part of a writer’s journey. We have all heard about how hard it is to find an agent or publisher for the manuscript you have spent hours on and given part of your soul to write but I don’t think anyone quite prepares you for emotions you feel when one arrives in your inbox. This time last year, the idea I would have a complete manuscript to submit seemed unlikely. I had received positive feedback from my first 1:1s at the RNA conference, but my word count was lacking. With The End now reached and submissions to agents began the dreaded rejections have appeared in my inbox. I thought I was prepared after listening to agents and publishers talk about the criteria and slush pile, but I was amazed at how low you feel when you read the words it’s not for us. Thankfully, I have my tribe of writers to rely on to lift the mood and remember each rejection is a rite of passage in the transformation of becoming an author. As they stack up, it is proof I have finished my book and had the courage to send it off into the world. It is a sign of how far I have come from; in my local writing group I was scared to say my name, never mind share my work with others, and now I can chat about my characters and read aloud my flash fiction.* Rather than aspiring to be a writer, I am one. Next step up the ladder is the coveted title – author.

 

*I am still scared to speak to people I don’t know, but that is another work in progress.

 

My reward for finishing A Blend of Magic – a painting of The Enchanted Emporium by Jess Titcombe

 

Another way to battle the low after receiving a rejections is to highlight and collect the positives you have heard about your work. Stick them in a file,ย  a book or copy them on a trusty post-it note to remind yourself someone liked it or loved a character.ย  A comment I have nearby from my NWS reader:

Everything needed for a cracking good story is here in this full length draft.

Along with the positive feedback from my first beta reader, it gives me hope that with polish and changes it can become a novel readers can enjoy.

 

How do you deal with rejections? All tips are welcome.

Stay safe, keep writing and reading!

Love

 

 

 

 

Just life, Writing journey

Writing, Lockdown and June Update

I have written June update in the title but it should read 2020 update because this poor blog has remained largely untouched since the RNA Afternoon tea last year. Why, when I have exciting good news to tell you? The answer may not be what you expect. 2020 has been a dystopian year throwing life unimaginable challenges but the main reason I have been missing is I have been writing. Yes, writing, editing and The End has been typed on the last page of A Blend of Magic.

But first, a catch up of the year.

This Year’s News

  • Last year I won a free six-month mentorship with Alison May, which started in January. This has been a turning point in my writing, confidence and determination to finish A Blend of Magic and not hide it away in a drawer but send it out in the world. I just need to keep my fear of failure under control. Her advice and support has been invaluable.
  • I was given another bursary for the New writer’s Scheme at the Romantic Novelist’s Association. If you write any form of novel with a romantic thread, check it out. As with my mentorship, the warmth and support of the Association has had a massive influence in my writing. Or check out the speech from the Queen of Romantic Fiction Milly Johnson speech. She says it all.

 

 

  • Lockdown happened and I was placed in the shielding category. As I am usually at home not much changed except, I can not see my aunt or meet up with my local writing group on a Friday. It is amazing how much two hours a week of human company can be missed. Thank heavens for WhatsApp. As doom and gloom raged outside the bubble around me, I decided to hide in my imagination. I have surfaced to catch up with my writing friends and drink tea. This was the best decision as I have been productive and words have been written (except on here – oops).
  • I finished umpteen drafts of A Blend of Magic and sent it off to be critiqued with the NWS and within 3 weeks it was returned. The reader liked it and only a few tweaks are needed to improve it – phew!
  • For the first time I sent it off to an agentย  (eek) and I have entered more competitions.
  • I have started a new project which I am so excited about. I wake in the morning wanting to connect with the characters and write their stories. Where they will take me? I don’t know and it is exciting to find out. I hope the enthusiasm lasts and does not dwindle the further I am into the manuscript as I am only 6000 words in. It is a step away from magic into the world of dance.
still-life-with-pointe-shoes-4673922_1920
All about the dance

The question is should Willow and Vincent make a fleeting cameo appearance or should it be set in a completely different world?

I hope you are all staying safe and as lockdown is easing you remain so. I have chosen to remain in my creative bubble a while longer and am grateful I am able to do so while others can not.

Take care

Love

just Kate

 

 

Just life, Writing journey

Awards, Afternoon Tea and Friends

As many of you know, I am on the New Writer’s Scheme (NWS) with the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) and it has been an invaluable experience this year. Last Saturday was the annual York Afternoon Tea with the announcement of the winner of the Joan Hessayon Award at the stunning Merchant Taylor Hall. After meeting new friends at the conference in July, I had been looking forward to this event for weeks. There was a moment when it looked as if I would not be able to attend but to my surprise offers of lifts soon arrived. This is the kindest organisation I have come across. Everyone is warm, friendly and supportive. Many are willing to step out of the box to help. Going to one of those events is like coming home, you are greeted with hugs, wonderful food, encouraged to tell your news, and achievements, however small they are in the scheme of things, are celebrated and any falls commiserated. You also want to spend longer there than planned to soak up the love. I truly have found my tribe.

FB_IMG_1568482129587.jpg
Food Glorious Food

 

The spread of food was amazing and the macaroons were divine. While drinking lots of cups of tea I caught up with all the positive news from friends old and new. I am proud of all of them and excited that the conference and RNA has boosted their work and confidence too. Watch this space as I believe they will be up for the Joan Hessayon Award in the next couple of years.

The author’s of one of my favourite books, The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker was nominated for the award. The Joan Hessayon Award is for published books by new writers. Jenni Keer’s books always make me smile with the subtle strands of magic running through them. Her warmth shines on the page making them ideal snuggling under the duvet. The mutual love of teacups is also a draw. My review for this is here.

FB_IMG_1568660532344.jpg
Alison May, Lorna Cooke and Hannah Begbie

There were fifteen contenders and more books have been added to my TBR list.ย  The worthy winner was Lorna Cook with The Forgotten Village. I am looking forward to reading this as soon as I can. The speech from last year’s winner Hannah Begbie with her novel, Mother, was inspiring and emotional making me more determined to write.

Other News

My NWS report from the RNA is back; it was positive and my novel, A Blend of Magic has promise. The readers comments were upbeat and encouraging so along with the weekend’s event I have a boost of energy to finish this latest draft.

Researching A Blend of Magic has reignited my interest in the paranormal, magic and witchcraft. What better way to learn more on these subjects than to enrol as an apprentice at my own The Enchanted Emporium. My journey as a rookie witch can be found here.

NanoWriMo is fast approaching and I have plans if A Blend of Magic can be rested in a drawer. Watch this space!

Thank you John Jackson for the use of the photos.

Happy writing!

Love

Kate Kenzie's Blog