Monday, April 27, 2015

Kathy Jay: Joan Hessayon award contender 2015

Welcome to Kathy Jay, another of our fifteen contenders for this year’s Joan Hessayon Award.

Congratulations on graduating the RNA New Writers’ Scheme. Can you tell us when
you first decided that you wished to become a romantic novelist?
Thank you! When I was a teenager I read a magazine article about a romantic novelist and decided that I’d like to write romance too. I sent for guidelines, and still have them. They’re a reminder that I held on to the dream. Success in a short story competition got me writing again.
How many years were you a member of the NWS scheme and did you submit a different book each year? Which year’s book did you graduate with?
I was a member of the New Writers’ Scheme for two years. I submitted two different manuscripts. I graduated with the first book.  
How did you find your publisher?
A few months after HarperCollins launched HarperImpulse, they announced a competition. That gave me the push I needed to submit.  I was one of the winners. They offered me a three-book contract and invited me for afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason.
Promotion is a big part of an author’s working life. How did you promote your novel?
HarperImpulse are fabulous with all things promotion. But I have some catching up to do. I didn’t have a social media presence as a pre-published author. I now have a website, a Facebook page, and twitter.  
What has happened to you as an author since that first sale?
I had a revision letter to work through for What If He’s The One, followed by edits, and a cover brief. Then there was a proof-read for the epub, and another for the paperback. I’ve submitted the second book in my contract, and I’m writing the third.
How did you celebrate your first book sale?
I opened a bottle of Prosecco. Nothing beats a glass of fizz when there’s something to celebrate.

About Kathy:
I live in Cheshire with my family which includes a large dog and a cat. I love the changing seasons. I like pyjama days and cosy log fires in winter. In summer, my top things are strawberries and walking on the beautiful beaches in North Wales. I started writing my first romance on a vintage typewriter – way back when. Writing got put on hold while I studied for a degree in Drama and French. I’ve been an au pair, a teaching assistant, an office temp and a bilingual PA. I write fun, flirty romance for HarperImpulse.
Thank you, Kathy and good luck with your writing career. 


Kathy Jay said...

Thanks for posting my interview here on the blog today.

Natalie Kleinman said...

I like the style of being invited to tea at Fortnum & Mason, Kathy

Unknown said...

Your interview resonates so well with me Kathy. Except the tea at Fortnum & Mason!! Congratulations! I look forward to seeing you at the Award night x

Kathy Jay said...

Thanks Natalie. It was in December so London felt very Christmassy. And the afternoon tea was lovely.

Kathy Jay said...

Thanks Karen. Congratulations to you too!

Janice Preston said...

I loved reading about your journey, Kathy - and deeply envious of tea at Fortnum's! I look forward to meeting you on 21st May. Not long now!

Unknown said...

I love the idea that you still have those author guidelines, Kathy. You must post them sometime. Congratulations, and see you in May!

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Kathy

Joan Fleming said...

A winner in the competition AND tea at Fortnum's, Kathy! How fabulous is that? Congratulations!Looking forward to meeting you at the party.

Georgina Troy said...

Congratulations, Kathy. I love visiting Fortnums, but have never had tea there. One day. Looking forward to meeting you at the party.

Elaine Everest said...

Thank you for a lovely interview, Kathy and good luck! x