Hello everyone, I hope you’re all well. It’s the start of another week and this Monday author Caroline Roberts tells us all about her journey to writing her first book and also, with tips to help other budding authors, too.
Hi Caroline, I really appreciate you taking the time to join me on my blog. How are you today?
Hi Clare, I’m great thank you. Just on my way to visit some old friends for a catch up in York, so I’m writing this on the train down.
Hold Tight to Your Dreams is your latest novel, what can you tell us about the story?
“Hold Tight to Your Dreams” is a heart-warming, romantic comedy. Ellie leaves the cloying safety of her family home and dull office job to run the Tea Rooms at Claverham Castle in the stunning Northumbrian countryside, with only her love of baking to drive her on – her lack of business skills soon becoming apparent. Sworn off men by her philandering ex-fiancé, she is confused to find herself falling for the gorgeous, estate manager, Joe. Their love affair is compromised by the fact that he is her boss; Joe also has issues and secrets of his own to deal with. Love makes you vulnerable, and dreams can fail. Can Ellie risk falling in love again, and will she be able to make a success of the Tea Room venture?
Your blog is really inspiring and it gives a great insight into how you balance your day to day life with writing a novel. Do you have any tips to help aspiring writers like yourself?
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed my blog.
And yes, to other aspiring writers just do it. Set yourself some regular time and get your story written. Don’t worry about it being perfect first time, that’s what editing’s for!
Life does and will get in the way, and writing a novel takes many, many hours, so you will have to be committed. Think of it in terms of training for a marathon. It certainly won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. But to have fun along the way, choose a subject you really love. If your story inspires you, it will be much easier to write. And if you’re new to writing I’d chose a subject and/or a setting you are familiar with. Yes, you can always research, as everything must be believable for your reader , but I wouldn’t give yourself too big a task initially. Be true to yourself and that will shine through in your writing.
Find a friend! Or a writing group. Writing can be very solitary, so a support network with other writers is so helpful. For Romance Writers (and this is in its broad sense, with “romantic content and love interest being integral to the story”), then the Romantic Novelists’ Association has a brilliant New Writers’ Scheme. You need to apply quickly in early January to get in, and there are local chapters for you to meet with and other events across the UK. And if you are writing in other genres, your local library may have details of nearby writing groups, or look online. Get connected.
Twitter, Blogging and Facebook are also a great way of connecting with other writers, readers publishers, agents etc . But beware, never try and submit this way. Always use the proper channels for submissions and follow guidelines on the Agents or Publisher own websites.
Submissions: Once you’ve written your novel, if you are serious about getting published, be aware that the submission process is not always easy. You need to be very professional about this and be prepared to market both yourself as a writer and your book. You have to develop a thick skin – rejections can feel quite gutting at first after all those hours of work – but pick yourself up, learn from them if there are useful critical comments, and move on. Most published writers have had several rejections in their past.
See more on this on my blogspot : http://carolinerobertswriter.blogspot.co.uk The Submission Rollercoaster.
When you’re writing what are your staple items that help you write? Do you have a favourite drink or do you have to wear a favourite jumper?
All I need is a pen, paper and ideally a cup of coffee or tea and a bar of chocolate. That way I can write absolutely anywhere. I always write longhand first, as I find my typing skills can’t keep up with my mind as the story flows. That way I also get to do an edit soon after writing a piece, as I usually type it up on to my laptop within a couple of days of writing it and amend initial errors then.
I don’t have any lucky pants or special clothes to write in, just something comfy and practical so I don’t really have to think about it. I’m a jeans and top girl most of the time, so that’ll probably be it.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you are working on?
I’m between novels at the moment, though I am hatching ideas for my fourth. So I’m focusing on short stories and entering some competitions. I’m enjoying creating something in a week or two rather than a year!
Before you go everyone gets asked this question, how do you take your tea?
Tetleys, quite strong, dash of milk, no sugar. Even better with a good book to read! Occasionally partial to a cup of Earl Grey.
Clare, thanks so much for featuring me on your Blog. I really appreciate it. Hopefully next time I’m on I’ll be telling you all about my new book launch and publishing contract! And best of luck to all you other new writers out there!
About the Author
I love writing heartwarming, emotional women’s fiction – stories that explore our relationships, love, loss, betrayal and more… I live in beautiful rural Northumberland with my family and I enjoy taking long beach walks with my dog, Meg. Friends, family, cava, laughter, and tasty food, make for my ideal night in or out!