Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Heidi Swain's welcome to the 2016 intake of the New Writers’ Scheme

It is always lovely to hear good news and when this news comes from one of the graduates of the RNA New Writers’ Scheme we want to share it. When Heidi Swain named popped up in The Bookseller then of course it followed that we wanted her to visit our blog! Welcome Heidi.

Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to Elaine Everest for inviting me to feature today and
secondly, wave a cheery ‘hello’ to all you lucky folk who have secured a spot on the New Writers Scheme this year. May I suggest that you all take a big breath and brace yourselves because if you are determined, focused and ready, big things could be about to happen!

2015 was a truly monumental year for me and I put much of my good fortune down to securing a space on the New Writers Scheme the year before and then joining the RNA as a full member.
In 2014 I submitted my novel, The Cherry Tree Café, to the scheme and then, having worked through the insightful critique, which flagged up some typical rookie errors, and met with the other ladies in my wonderful local chapter, set about considering where and how to submit.

In summer 2014 I then sent the freshly edited manuscript off to Books and The City (the digital imprint of Simon and Schuster) and in December of that year signed my first two book deal, initially to have the novels published in e-book format. Needless to say I was absolutely delighted, but the hard work of course was just about to begin. Along with getting to grips with editing deadlines and traveling to London for meetings, there was also the business of promotion to get to grips with. Love it or hate it authors need a solid social media platform and as an unrestrained chatterbox I personally
found Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and guesting, as well as posting on Instagram and Pinterest, great fun. I was also invited to take part in the Books and The City Spring Blogger Evening last March which meant giving a reading and taking part in a Q and A. Fortunately Milly Johnson and Jane Costello were there to guide me through, which is another great thing about writing romance – we are a very friendly bunch of authors.

So, The Cherry Tree Café was published on July the 16th and the launch party, blog tour, press feature and radio spots all happened in the weeks that followed. It was crazy, it was hectic and of course there was still the next novel, Summer at Skylark Farm, to polish, edit and present in preparation for publication on June 2nd 2016!

It is, in some respects, impossible to believe that so much has happened in such a short space of time and having attended my first RNA conference last year and made such good friends with my Norfolk chapter ladies and beyond (thank you Facebook), I am exceedingly thankful to have such a caring association to help keep me on the straight and narrow and support the next leg of my author journey. If you are new to the scheme this year then I would say, do not delay, get involved as soon as you can and make the most of your membership.

My own journey took a very exciting turn at the end of 2015 as I not only had the extreme pleasure of seeing my name in The Bookseller, I also signed another two book deal and this time around for both
novels to be published in print as well as in e-book format.

The success of The Cherry Tree Café, which I am proud to say became an Amazon Number 1 Bestseller last autumn, played a huge part in securing this latest deal and I am eternally grateful to the New Writers Scheme and the RNA for giving me the confidence to put my work out there and pursue my lifelong dream.

Whether you are new to the scheme this year, or have renewed your membership, I wish you all the very best of luck, because if you have set your sights on publication and are determined to make it happen, then it will and I can’t wait to read all about your success.

Happy New Year everyone!
Heidi Swain

Heidi’s Links:

Thank you, Heidi. We are both graduates of the NWS and agree it’s a fabulous scheme for all new writers of romance. Good luck for 2016 and thank you for sharing.

The RNA blog is brought to you by

Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman

If you would like to write for the blog please contact us on elaineeverest@aol.com


Jan Baynham said...

What an inspiring post, Heidi, and thank you for the welcome to the NWS scheme. Congratulations on your success! I'm lucky enough to be one of the new members and hope I can justify my place by working hard on my ms to get it the best I can ready to submit for a critique. Thank you, Elaine and Natalie.

Moira said...

Thanks Heidi. I'm one of the new intake too. I'll be going to my first RNA Chapter meeting next week in Exeter and I'm really looking forward to it. I hope I'm as successful as you are. Moira x

Heidi Swain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi Swain said...

Hello Jan. Congratulations on securing a spot on the NWS. I hope you are poised for the great things that are peeping over the horizon? You certainly sound committed and to be honest, I think that is half the battle. Very best of luck with the ms. H x

Heidi Swain said...

Hello Moira. I'm delighted you have already joined your local chapter and look forward to spotting your name badge at an RNA party very soon! Wishing you every success. H x

Suzy Henderson said...

Hi Heidi. How fabulous to hear of your success - and definitely inspiring. I'm now entering my 2nd year in the NWS, and having worked on my manuscript following last year's read, I'm almost ready to begin submissions. I'm taking a deep breath ... All best wishes to you. :)

Unknown said...

Fabulous interview Heidi. I too went through the RNA NWS and the support and events are amazing. Good luck to all those on the scheme this year and Congratulations on your success Heidi xx

Unknown said...

Fabulous interview Heidi. I too went through the RNA NWS and the support and events are amazing. Good luck to all those on the scheme this year and Congratulations on your success Heidi xx

Deedee said...

I missed the deadline for the New Writers Scheme for this year but cannot wait to join the next intake hopefully. A great post that has just made me more excited about the whole thing! Wishing you continued success. x

Heidi Swain said...

Thank you ladies. I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading the post and appreciate your comments. Yes Karen, the RNA really is The Best at everything isn't it? Very best of luck with your submissions Suzy (perhaps we will get to meet at a party or three), and JB Johnston, you simply must be poised at midnight! Hope you have more success next year and in the meantime, keep writing! H x

Sue McDonagh said...

Such an inspiring read Heidi, thankyou for posting it! I read your Cherry Tree Cafe only recently and loved it - great sense of place - I feel privileged now to be in contact with you.

Also lucky enough to be a first year NWS member, I've been honing my manuscript ready to be assessed and am poised over the keyboard, waiting for submissions to be open.

Thankyou for your encouraging words x

Heidi Swain said...

Oh thank you Sue! Blushes all round. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the Cherry Tree. A debut author can't hear that enough so thank you, thank you, thank you. Very best of luck with your ms. The advice you receive will be second to none. Hope to meet you at a party soon! H x

Rae Cowie said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Heidi. A rousing post - proving that, with hard work and support, publication can be more than just a dream. And I've found the NWS to be an amazing support - welcome and good luck to all new members. :-)

Heidi Swain said...

Thank you Rae. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the post. Yes, the support is certainly as important as the hours you put in! Happy writing! H x

Gina Rossi said...

Great post, Heidi, and inspiring to all! What I loved about the NWS was that not only did they tell me what I was doing wrong, they also underlined the things I was doing right. Vitally important step in my writing career :) I've published 5 books since 2012, with 2 in the pipeline for 2016 - all thanks - in my view - to the confidence and direction gained from being part of the NWS. Good luck to everyone in the 2016 scheme.

Heidi Swain said...

Thank you Gina. I'm delighted you enjoyed the post and yes, highlighting the good as well as identifying the bad is paramount isn't it? Congratulations on your success. Long may it continue! H x

Joan Fleming said...

Thank you, Heidi, for an inspiring interview. Congratulations on your success.

I graduated from the NWS and had my first e-book published in July 2014. Since then I had a second book accepted by my publisher (Tirgearr Publishing), which was published in November last year. I'm now writing a third book for the Magic of Mull Series.

My success wasn't as whirlwind as yours, Heidi. I spent several years in the NWS but publication was so sweet when it came.

To all the new and returning NWS members this year: the RNA support system is second to none, and will help you to achieve your goal. Good luck!

Heidi Swain said...

Thank you for commenting Joan. I would love to know how many NWS members have gone on to see their novels published. Huge congratulations to you. I hope we will get to meet soon! H x

Tammy said...

Thank you for this welcoming post- as a new member of NWS it's very encouraging to read!

Heidi Swain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi Swain said...

You are most welcome Tammy. I wish you every success. Happy writing! H x