Friday, 7 December 2012

And the winners were ...

I'm always on about free to enter writing competitions and although I'm going to keep on giving you links for those, I thought you might like to hear about a few winners for a change. 

Mandy Shearing, Katie L Thompson, Gretchen Elhassini and myself have all won the same competition in different months. It was run by Creative Print Publishing (and mentioned on my blog when entries were open). The prize for each of us was a publishing contract. I take credit for telling Mandy about the competition, but the other two found it before I did.

Tell us about your book.
Katie - DYING TO LIVE (US link) is a romantic novella about Alicia’s journey to freedom. Alicia is married to a man who abuses her but a potentially fatal incident changes Alicia’s life for the better.
Gretchen - THE LINCOLN LETTER (US link), Historical Conspiracy.  This book was inspired by Dan Brown. I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code and wanted to bring the story back to America, to explore some piece from our past that could potentially affect the future.
Mandy - TRANSMISSION OF EVIL (US link)is a supernatural thriller based in a quiet village on the South Coast where an archaeological dig unearths something far more sinister than pottery when a perfectly preserved body is discovered. The circumstances of this long-ago death and the nearby siting of a communications mast provide a conduit for an ancient evil that seeks the weakest, most corrupted mind in the village to continue its work.
I've always been fascinated by the supernatural and I'd love to think that reverberations from our lives survive to be felt by future generations, although hopefully not with such tragic consequences as I've written about in Transmission of Evil!
Patsy - ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY. (US link) Lighthearted crime/romance. It was inspired by the years I spent on a farm and my love of food and wine!

How did you feel when you learned your book would be published?
For a long time I didn’t believe it was true and I didn’t tell anyone in case it turned out to be a con. It wasn’t until the paper book came through the post that it suddenly hit me, I’m an author. It was amazing.
It was the most amazing feeling.  I couldn’t believe the email I received, and I still remember it: “your well written book has been chosen as the winner.”  Fantastic.
After reading the email telling me my book was to be published, I think I finally managed to stop grinning about a week later! It had always been an ambition of mine to see my name on the cover of a real printed book and, when my copy arrived, I still couldn't quite believe it. Even now, if I'm feeling a bit low I prop my book up and stare at my name on the cover (yes, I probably do need to get out more, but I don't care!)
What's the most exciting, fun or odd thing you've done to promote your book?
I did a two day book signing in November but the most exciting thing had to be the book signing at Waterstones. I’d never even dreamt of doing a book signing at Waterstones and I got to meet lots of lovely people. I’d never imagined that so many people would be interested in my book.
I went to a Civil War Reenactment dressed up in 1860s hoop skirts to sell the book.                                 I was lucky that my boss at the time was quite forceful and I was amazed how many people I'd never met came up to me at work and said she'd "advised" them to buy a copy! Promotion with menaces - works every time!
I've done a series of radio interviews and also taken bookmarks to a talk in the library and left them on people's seats.

What difference, if any, has becoming a published novelist made to you?
Before becoming a published novelist I’d write books but never finish them because I didn’t really see the point but since ‘Dying to Live’ was published I’ve become a lot more confident in my ability to write. It’s given me the incentive to finish writing books and given me the courage to self-publish. I’m one of those people that write because if I don’t I go crazy.
It hasn’t made as big a difference as I thought it would have. Of course I imagined myself being a New York Times bestseller with the first novel and that hasn’t happened.  I’m plugging away though, trying new things, pushing frontiers.
I feel more confident in my writing now. Before, I wrote because I personally enjoyed my stories but I had no idea whether "real" readers would like them. Now, I can point to my book and say that my work is out there and people have enjoyed it. That's a feeling worth more than gold. Although it's also a bit weird to be discussing characters and events that previously existed only inside my head!
Like the others, I think it's increased my confidence in my writing. It's great to have a book with my name on the cover, but I've not yet given up the day job.

Are you writing anything now?
I’m writing many things at the moment including several romance books, ‘Cameron’ and ‘Kelly’ (sequels to ‘Daisy’) and a variety of short erotic romance stories.
I have about 3 novels that are part way done.  I’m shopping my latest finished product around to agents in the hopes of securing representation.  I also just “sold” a screenplay and am busy writing character backgrounds for the producer.  And due to the success of selling the first screenplay, I started working on another.
I am writing a sequel to Transmission of Evil at the moment but as I killed off some of my favourite characters in the first book, I'm introducing a few more. Whether they survive for yet another story in the series though, is still to be decided....!
I'm always writing something. Currently I'm working on the last edits of A YEAR AND A DAY, which will hopefully be published next year.

Where can we learn more about you?
Katie's blog is here and this is her facebook page.
Mandy is on twitter @MandyShearring
Gretchen's blog is here.
Here's my facebook page.

Coming soon ... lots more free to enter writing competitions and hopefully lots more winners amongst my writing friends.


  1. Well done to all of you winners!

  2. Congratulations!
    And the hoop skirt one wins.

    1. I was impressed by the skirt, Alex. (still trying to get stripey socks like my character wears on the book cover)

  3. Thanks for the blog post Patsy! It is great to read about other winners.

    1. It's always good to know real people actually win these competitions, isn't it?

  4. Wonderful stories! Thanks for sharing! And congratulations to all of you!

  5. Well done to you all!!!! Yay!!!!!! Take care

  6. Hi Patsy .. well done on your win - and also congratulations to the other winners. We all like to win don't we ... so pleased for you though - as you do so much for others ... and you've had one wonderful year.

    Cheers and enjoy the Christmas run up - Hilary

    1. Hilary, I have indeed had a wonderful year!

  7. Well done to all. Hope you continue the same into next year...xxxxx

  8. Congrats all round - and a great post, too! I love reading about other writers :-)

    1. Thanks, Linda - I like hearing good news too.


Thanks so much for commenting!