Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Write Stuff with... Caroline Roberts

Today it's my stop on the My Summer of Magic Moments so I'm delighted to be handing the blog over to author Caroline Roberts with her tips for aspiring authors.

Hi, it took me quite some time to get published, it was a huge learning curve along the way and still is! But I got there, I somehow managed to hold on to the dream and believe in my stories, and I’m so proud that my fourth book ‘My Summer of Magic Moments’ is about to be published with Harper Collins. So here are my writing tips:  

Write what you are passionate about. If you love what you write this will make the writing process so much easier, and it will come through to readers (and hopefully publishers/agents if you are looking to be published) and spark their imagination and interest too.

Finish the book! Don’t pressure yourself that it has to be perfect, just keep going forward and get the story down. Make time to write regularly, and you will get there. Remember: ‘Don’t get it Right, Get it Written’. Editing is for later.

Submitting – If publication is your aim, write the whole book first, then polish up your first 3 chapters, spending time on your synopsis and cover letter too, and only then start sending it out. If you can afford to get a professional edit done do so, or at least ask someone you trust (ideally an avid reader or another writer) to read it over and give you some honest feedback. Try and be as professional as possible. Do your research on who you are submitting to and send exactly what they ask for by checking their websites and submission details. Do try and personalise your cover e-mail/letter to show you have spent time finding out about them/their company.

Check who are open to submissions and actively looking for new clients – find out which agents and publishers are going along to writing festivals such as The York Literature Festival, Winchester Writers’ Festival, or genre events with the Romantic Novelists’ Association or the Crime Writers’ Association. Go along if you can, that’s how I found my publisher and later my agent, from one-to-one interviews (you will be nervous but do some research then take a deep breath and go for it!). And if you can’t get there in person, at least you can check online  who is actively looking for submissions.

Persevere – This is my biggest tip of all! The submission process can be long and hard, and rejection is never easy. It took me many years to find a publisher and I had so many rejections. Try not to take it too personally, easier said than done I know, but keep going and try and learn from any critical feedback you might get.  If I hadn’t have persevered and held on to my dream, I would never be here today with my fourth book about to be published and another out in November 2017. 

Link up with other writers. Look for local groups, or link up with groups in your genre. The support and friendship within organisations such as the Romantic Novelists’ Association is invaluable. 

Take a look at my blog for further tips and feedback on writing and submitting:  
In particular, the blogs called The Submission Rollercoaster and Riding the Rejections from 2014 when I was still trying to get published.
The very best of luck to you! With a little hard work, dreams can come true!

When a seaside escape spells a little romance . . .

Claire is ready for a bright new chapter. Winding her way to the coast for a cosy cottage retreat, she prays that three weeks of blissful peace and summer sunshine will wash away the pain of the last year.

Claire’s a survivor – she’s growing proud of the scars that prove it – and she’s determined to make the most of each and every day, to seize those little magic moments that give life its sparkle.

Her plan for peaceful solitude goes awry when handsome, brooding Ed turns up in the cottage next door. Will a little summer romance prove the worst distraction? Or might it be the perfect remedy?

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