Welcome to Julie Roberts, one of the talented contenders for this year's Joan Hessayon Award and graduate of the RNA New Writers' Scheme. Thank you for answering our questions, Julie.
How long have you been writing? 10 years. I started writing short stories, then novellas and now full length novels.
Is this your first published piece? This is.my first published commercial novel, titled The Hidden Legacy. I write with four co-authors themed anthology books.
Titled: Fish Pie & Laughter, The Guilty Suitcase, The Virgin Sardine and our latest, Aphrodite’s Picnic.
How many years were you a member of the NWS and did you submit a manuscript each year?
I was a member of the NWS for nine years. I submitted to the NWS a full length novel each year. On two occasions they were resubmissions.
What came first, agent or publisher?
Publisher; I am with Accent Press
How did you find your publisher? I started out ‘hunting the agents’ at the 2014 Winter Party. Five very kindly asked me to submit. I had replies of ‘I’m tempted, but …’ or ‘I like it, you have a good voice, but …’ or ‘Good luck, you can write, but …’ I then submitted my manuscript to Jay Dixon, Commissioning Editor for Accent Press. And three days before Christmas I was offered a contract. What better present could anyone give me!
Do you have a contract for one book or more?
My contract is for two books
When was your book published?
Publication day is 23 June 2016. I was thrilled when I had this date given to me. BUT it’s now Referendum Day! Is this good or bad? Are there any authors out there with suggestions of how I can use this to maximize sales?
Tell us something about your book
It's 1815. Meredith Sanders is a female artist in a man’s world. When she receives a legacy from her deceased guardian, she is drawn into his criminal past and into danger.
Export businessman Adam Fox suspects Meredith may be involved in an art fraud. Despite her fear of betrayal, she sees he is the only man she can turn to and trust. Together they face the dangers of trying to find a Turner that must be returned to the Royal Academy before their Summer Exhibition opens.
And whatever her feelings for Adam, Meredith will not reveal the secrets of her own humble past…
What are you currently working on?
I have the first draft of another historical novel set in 1822. The working title is A Tangle of Secrets.
What piece of advice would you give current members of the NWS?
Firstly, you are very lucky to be a member.
Secondly, don’t waste those precious writing months before the end of August dallying. Get writing, keep writing and where possible send in a full manuscript. This gives your critique author the opportunity to assess all the aspects required in the novel. Some of their comments are harsh, but they are meant to help you. Cry a few tears, have a glass of wine and put the manuscript away in a drawer. But only for a couple of weeks, then get it out, re-read the report and get started on your revisions. And most important, don’t forget to renew your NWS subscription. It is the best value for money you will ever spend. I know, I’ve done it and come out a published writer. And I record here my heartfelt thanks to all the authors who take on the role of assessor. Best of luck, you could be writing on this form next year.
Thank you, Julie, we hope you have a fabulous evening at the RNA Summer Party and good luck with your writing career.
The RNA blog is brought to you by
Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman
If you would like to write for the RNA blog please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org