Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Joan Hessayon Award 2016 contender: Debbie Flint

Today we have the next in our series featuring this year’s Joan Hessayon Award contenders. Welcome to Debbie Flint and thank you for answering our questions.

How long have you been writing? Is this your first published piece?
I’ve always written, but nothing serious. Then I went to a Mills and Boon writing workshop in Tuscany with top M&B author Jessica Hart in 2009. A writing exercise there, eventually became this book! It is my first finished novel and was initially self-published.

How many years were you a member of the NWS and did you submit a manuscript each year?
I joined NWS in around 2011, and submitted the draft versions of what became Take a Chance on Me two consecutive years, before I eventually self-published the book summer 2013.

What came first, agent or publisher?  
Choc lit do not deal with agents so I haven't really approached anyone with my romance. That’s on the cards for another project however, which I am working on with another writer.

How did you find your publisher?
Choc Lit became interested in it since I kept meeting Lyn Vernham, the MD, at various writing events, and in Summer 2014 I met Lyn to ask her about an offer concerning my day job. That deal didn’t come off, instead I did something else with QVC. As a result, I told Lyn I’d like them to publish my book and once it had been through their testing team they offered me a contract :-)
Lyn Vernham was present at several workshops and also RNA events and I used to chat to her there. Plus I was regularly featuring Choc Lit authors as my Book of the Week on my writing blog, 'Read it Write it Sell it,' on my website. Then I met Lyn to ask her advice about a book project involving my day job, QVC. I decided to submit to Choc Lit around that time and thankfully it passed their tasting panel, the beta readers who have to like a new novel in order for Lyn to consider taking it. When I chose to do a different book project with QVC, I told Lyn I’d be delighted for them to take it.

Do you have a contract for one book or more?
The contract for the first in the trilogy came next with the option for the other two if all went well.

When was your book published?
With Choc Lit, Ebook went out April 2015, paperback end of November 2015.

Tell us something about your book
Feisty single mum and businesswoman Sadie Turner is on a man ban. She needs an investor fast for a life-changing offer but salvation comes in the form of a playboy billionaire. Poor-boy made good, Mac, has a rule never to mix business with pleasure – until Sadie. From Monaco to Hawaii, via luxury yacht and private jet they have thirty days to seal the deal – and stay out of love.
It’s a steamy romance with a twist. First in the new ‘Hot Choc’ imprint, it has ‘slightly raised’ heat levels! Not quite 50 shades – about 7 or 8 – and all vanilla!

What are you currently working on?
The follow up which is the story of Sadie’s sister Helen. As she flies around the world on assignments for her famous ‘Try it For the First Time Club’ online column, a secret from her past throws up a bigger challenge than any she has ever faced – involving a mystery man, the father she never knew, and a dangerous sports event in Hawaii!

What piece of advice would you give current members of the NWS?
Realise there is such a thing as a SFD, shabby first draft (ok some don’t say shabby but you can guess!)  This revelation meant I did not feel I had to make every paragraph perfect before I wrote the next one, rather, aim to get to the end of your first draft and THEN go back and edit. Emma Darwin told me at a workshop that you use a different part of your brain for writing the first draft, and a different part for editing, and it takes a while to get from one part to the other and back again. So stop toggling between the two and just write and write and write – get the story down on paper or screen. Plus, top author Elizabeth Chadwick says you can't edit a blank page, that was another little gem. I love the editing stage best, and procrastinate along with the best of them whilst writing the first draft. But finishing that final sentence and writing the first ‘The end’ is such a satisfying feeling, it's all worth it.

Twitter - @debbieflint

Thank you, Debbie, 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 elaineeverest@aol.com


Julie Vince said...

Such an interesting interview, Debbie. Have a great time at the party and congratulations at being a John Hessayon Award contender.

Debbie Flint said...

thanks so much hon! Am very excited! x

Bagpuss said...

Wonderful to know this came from a Mills and Boon connection!! I used to work for their Reader service in Croydon!!! Am so so thrilled to see you nominated for this award as know how hard you have worked Looking forward to reading more. Well done Debbie x

Happy Jill said...

What an informative and interesting interview! It is wonderful to read how what was once only a hobby developed into a part-time career as a writer!

I have read several of Debbie's books and have found them to be a total joy to read. Her characterisations are always well-rounded and she manages to drop intrigue and curiosity into every plot.

So pleased she is being considered for this award as she has worked so diligently and creatively to bring her writing to fruition!

Well done Debbie!

Debbie Flint said...

thanks girls - it's all been worthwhile! x

Pam M said...

Well done Debbie on being nominated - totally deserved. I love your books - pure escapism and well written. You so deserve to win! Good luck Debbie and I can't wait to read more from you.

Elaine Feather said...

Absolutely brilliant Debbie and well deserved! I have ALL your books!
I used to love writing and there's nothing quite like living your dream.
So glad you have been nominated and really, really hope you win. Much love x

PADLEY Joy said...

A very much deserved nomination Debbie.
It takes a lot of perseverance to see your dream in print
and you made it.
Loved Take a Chance on Me and I look forward
to future books. Good luck!

Maureen Brookes said...

So pleased for you Debbie. I really enjoyed all your books they are so well written, you feel you know the characters and can relate to them easily. You are an inspiration. Good luck x

Debbie Flint said...

gosh thanks so much everyone! I recognise some of the names from facebook - thanks for reading this blog! xx

Carolyn Mahony said...

Well done Debs - great interview and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you (and toes!).

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