It’s a tough competition to enter – anyone who took part in New Voices or SYTYCW will know that. I don’t just mean in terms of the amazing standard of work that gets uploaded, I mean emotionally too.
I had a lot invested in my entry. At that time, almost fourteen years of work. That’s how long I’d been creating the world of Blackthorn – producing stories, world building and pulling together overarching plotlines. I entered New Voices for one simple reason – to find out if I had what it took to write romance. It was a potential make or break situation in terms of my future writing plans.
Blood Roses, my 2010 entry, made it into the final. I was thrilled when the same thing happened again in 2011. This time it was with Blood Shadows (previously known as Beguiling The Enemy) – another book in the Blackthorn series.
Despite a positive response from editors at HQN, my dark paranormal romances weren’t right for Nocturne. In some ways it almost felt inevitable. ‘Fitting in’ has never been my forte. I tried not to let it set me back – and the amazing support I got from fans that I generated from that competition kept my self-belief sufficient enough to keep trying.
As the dust settled, I mused over what to do. Everywhere I looked, nowhere felt quite ‘right’ for Blackthorn. Then a bizarre twist of fate struck befitting of a work of fiction. I was contacted by Oliver Rhodes, founder of Bookouture. He knew of me and my stories – afterall, as the ex head of Marketing at M&B UK, New Voices was his brainchild.
And now here I am today. Following the critically acclaimed Blood Shadows that launched last November, today is the release of book 2 in the Blackthorn series, Blood Roses. Blood Torn will be out in the Autumn.
If you’re in the position I was once in – still chasing that publishing dream – hold on as tight as you can. You never know what is waiting beyond tomorrow.