Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Writers Scheme and Beyond

Today we welcome Natalie Kleinman who is going to tell us about her graduation from the New Writers Scheme

Welcome Natalie.

You are a graduate of the RNA’s New Writers Scheme. Why did you decide to join the scheme?
I was very lucky to be a student of The Write Place where I was pointed in the right direction. Frankly I didn’t have a clue! At the designated time in January 2013 I emailed my application and I have nothing but good things to say about the RNA and its NWS.

Did you find the report from your reader helpful?
Immensely helpful and very encouraging. You can imagine how I felt when I read. ‘Your ability with dialogue is excellent’.

How long after receiving the report did you send your book out into the big wide world?
There were edits to do, naturally, but not huge changes to make. I fired it off pretty quickly.

How did you find your publisher?
Again I have The Write Place to thank. Safkhet was just one of the publishers on a list that was made available to the students. Submission was by email and I was offered a contract within a week

I understand you attended the Conference at Sheffield last year. Would you recommend it to new members of the RNA?
Without a moment’s hesitation. I learned so much in that one weekend, knowledge that has been invaluable. I would recommend it to anyone aspiring to be published.

How about RNA chapters? Do you attend one? What do you gain from your chapter?
I attend the London and Southeast Chapter as often as I can, which is most meetings. Unfortunately I can’t make the next one as I have a wedding to go to. People are so inconsiderate aren’t they?

I suppose I’d better ask about the parties. Great or Fabulous?
Both. People are so helpful and welcoming that after my first party in the summer of 2013, when I went with my ‘comfort group’, I had enough confidence to attend the winter party on my own as they had something else arranged for that evening. Glass in hand, naturally, I moved into a hall so teeming with people there was barely room to stand. At first I only recognised one person…but that was enough. I was taken by the hand, literally, and introduced first to one member, then another, then…

How important is your relationship with your publisher?
It’s very important. While there is necessarily the business side of things to deal with, it’s been a joy to liaise with people who have a wonderful off the wall sense of humour that I can relate to and which frankly suits me down to the ground.

Your book, Voyage of Desire was published two weeks ago. You must be busy with promotions? Is this important and how are you coping?
I had a lovely time organising an online ‘launch’ party (sorry about the pun) on Facebook and am at present in the middle of a blog tour. How am I coping? A year ago I would have had no conception of the amount of work and time involved in promoting a novel. Had I done so I might have headed for the hills. I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m enjoying every moment and have been privileged to meet new people and make new friends. I’m overwhelmed by how supportive other writers have been, helping to promote me on Facebook, tweeting and retweeting. So yes, it’s been important both in terms of raising my profile and affirming my faith in human nature.

Would you encourage new writers to join the RNA New Writer Scheme?
Unreservedly! I have never wanted to go the self-publishing route and there is no question in my mind that without the RNA and its wonderful scheme I would not yet be published. It was wonderful, too, to graduate in my first year.

So, what’s next for Natalie Kleinman, author and RNA member?
I am fortunate enough to have a People’s Friend pocket novel, Secret Love, (DC Thomson) hitting the newsagents and supermarkets shelves on 17th July. In the meantime I have dug out a manuscript from my bottom drawer and am in the process of rewriting my first book – different point of view, different hero, same basic story. It was written four years ago and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in that time. I almost put it back in the drawer but I do so like a challenge.
Thank you, Natalie.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.kleinman

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