We are delighted to have as our guest today, Adrienne Vaughan.
Thank you for finding time to speak with us, Adrienne.
When did you first take over the editorship of Romance Matters?
2012 was a hugely significant year for me, it was the year my first novel, The Hollow Heart, was published and the year I started working on Romance Matters. I joined the RNA NWS – it took a couple of goes – and one of the first editions of the magazine I received had a notice asking for a volunteer to take over from the then editor, the lovely Myra Kersner, who was standing down after an eight year editorship.
A tough act to follow, but I put my hand up, as a new kid on the block, who loves magazines, what better way to get to know people and learn about the business in which I was becoming immersed.
Have you worked in the world of magazine publication in the past?
I was given a turquoise Petite typewriter as a child, and my fate was sealed. I would sit for hours at the kitchen table, cutting out photos and pictures and sticking pages together to make my own magazines. I would often hear my mother, sitting down with a well-earned cup of tea, scream because I’d cut out the middle of Woman’s Own.
I always wanted to be a journalist and having achieved the necessary qualifications, was lucky enough to gain a place at the Dublin College of Journalism. My first stint at work experience on a national pop magazine, catapulted me into a glitzy press reception where I chatted with Rod Stewart and the stunning Brit Eckland. I was hooked.
We’ve seen changes to the latest edition of the magazine. Do you have any plans for further changes?
For many members the magazine is the only channel of communication, so it’s important it not only reflects the organisation, communicating important issues, but gives a feeling of inclusiveness for many who may not be able to make meetings, parties or the conference.
It also needs to be an important source of industry information, this is our professional role and our magazine needs to reflect that. It should be fun too, so it’s a balancing act.
I like to think of the magazine as evolving rather than changing and the more membership participation the better. Instigating the idea that members can advertise their services to each other is positive, encouraging us to use the vast and expansive range of experience and expertise our membership has at its fingertips.
Romance Matters is the association’s shop window, I strive for it to reflect our diversity, our talent and our professionalism and I’m thrilled when I get messages from readers saying they’ve enjoyed an issue, it sounds corny, but it really does make it all worthwhile.
If a member wishes to contribute an article can you advise on the type of topics you would like covered as well as word count? Should they pitch the idea to you first?
As I’ve said, I’m only the custodian of the magazine, it belongs to the membership, so the more contributions the better. Articles about technical issues, the mores of social media, how to write for a particular genre, how to tackle research, any and all of these are welcome. Please check deadlines and get in touch with me as soon as possible so I can plan a particular idea in, and always get in touch with me first, because we can often work ideas into a future issue. I’m not too worried about word count, if an article is particularly lengthy we can turn it into a series.
How about advertising? Who do members contact and are there any guidelines?
Again, just contact me. Members can advertise their books, editorial services, writer retreats, indeed anything that’s of interest to the rest of the membership, just get in touch and we’ll sort the artwork out and get things moving.
Tell us something about your own writing and how do you manage to fit it in amongst your RNA duties?
I’ve always written creatively, I think if you’re a writer, you just write. Professionally, I have been a journalist and today I run a busy PR practice, setting my alarm clock to rise early and do my creative stuff - novels, short stories and poems - before heading to the office to work with the media, create corporate publications and co-ordinate launches and lunches!
Through the RNA I met three fantastic writers, Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford and in 2012 we set up an independent publishing group, now known as the New Romantics Press and in less than two years we’ve published nine full length novels between us. My latest, the final in the Heartfelt trilogy, Secrets of the Heart, has just been published and for me, it’s now time to seek representation and that elusive publishing deal. In the meantime I’ll continue to work in PR, edit Romance Matters and write and write and write. Well, the do say sleep is overrated!
Thank you for sparing the time to speak with us, Adrienne.
Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure, as is working on our fabulous magazine, thanks again.
Adrienne is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the British Horse Society and the proud owner of a Powerboat Driver’s Certificate …just in case she gets the call to be a Bond girl!
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