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Goodbye To A Dear Friend

This week I parted company from a dear 'friend'. For almost six years this 'friend' has been in the back of my mind. Entertaining and interesting, this 'friend' fostered both affection and loyalty from me - although at times it also caused me to want to tear my hair out due to its occasional habit of throwing a surprising tantrum at me. This friend was not a person or an animal but a blog which shared the musings, experiences and tips of seven writers (of which I was one).  Over the years the blog paid back my hours of writing by providing me with many new friends. Its contributors and readers have changed over the years, a natural development which also provides the catalyst for fresh content and a new perspective on the writing world. After many years as a contributor it is now my time to leave the blog so another writer can take my place. What is the name of this blog? Why am I leaving? And what do I mean when I say tantrums? Read on to find out.

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Writing and Bleeding

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.'   Ernest Hemingway

Although there is some controversy as to whether the above gem can be attributed to Hemingway, I think many writers will intuitively understand what he meant when he said it. Sometimes it is fun to write, some may even say cathartic, but there are also times when it can be a chore, disheartening and exposing. Having said all that, every relationship in life can have those strains, whether it's a relationship with work, a hobby, a pet or... dare I say it... another human being!

As with everything that features in one's life, there are many ups and downs and long periods when it appears little has changed. These periods can be viewed as stable and safe or stagnating and unchallenging, depending on your mindset at the time. I have been a traditionally published writer since my first release on 1st January, 2017. In those five years I have had six historical novels published and have come to realise that a writing career is as changeable as the careers of the people who work around and alongside you.

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Attending the RNA's 2021 Virtual Conference

The Romantic Novelists' Association holds a yearly writers' conference. It's a great opportunity for members of the RNA, both established authors and aspiring writers who are members of the RNA's New Writers' Scheme, to meet up with agents, editors and other industry professionals for talks, workshops and some social networking. There is also an opportunity to book a 10 minute pitching slot with an agent or editor. This is an amazing opportunity for any writer seeking representation or hoping to further their career.

I have never been to the conference, but when the pandemic forced the conference online, it seemed the perfect time to 'attend', albeit from the comfort of my own home. So what is the event all about?

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Behind The Scenes Of The RoNA Awards 2021

On the evening of 8th March, 2021, the Romantic Novelists’ Association hosted the online Romantic Novel Awards event. The presentations of these prestigious awards are usually held at a grand establishment somewhere "up country" to Cornwall. However, due to the Covid restrictions, this year the event was held entirely online and live streamed via Twitter, Facebook and the RNA’s website. This meant that although I was a finalist, I didn't have to cross Cornwall's border to take part.

An online event does not just happen. A lot of hard work goes into organising it which, thankfully, in this case I had nothing to do with. It started in December, when I received the wonderful news, via my publisher, that my novel, Daniel’s Daughter, had been shortlisted for the historical romantic fiction category. The notification came in December, but I, along with all the other finalists, were sworn to secrecy until it was formally announced in February. The online event on the 8th March was to announce the winners. As one of the finalists, I am going to take you behind the scenes of the event as I share my experience.

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