Thursday, May 11, 2017

Joan Hessayon Contenders 2017: Kate Field

Today we welcome another of our talented contenders for the Joan Hessayon award.

Welcome to the RNS blog, Kate, and many congratulations on being one of the contenders for this year’s award.

How long have you been writing - Is this your first published piece?
The Magic of Ramblings is the sixth novel I've written, but the first one to be published. I wrote my
first novel nearly twenty-five years ago: it was a Regency romance, inspired by my love of Georgette Heyer books. I’ve served a long apprenticeship to reach publication!

How many years were you a member of the NWS and did you submit a manuscript each year?
I was a member of the NWS for six years in total, spread over the last three decades! I submitted a completed manuscript each year, starting with Regency romances, until a reader advised me to try contemporary romance instead. I'm hugely grateful to that reader for steering me the right way. I joined the NWS for the third time in 2014, after taking another reader’s advice to learn as much as I could about writing and make contact with other writers, and it was third time lucky!

What came first, agent or publisher?
I don't have an agent. My publisher, Accent Press, accepts submissions from unrepresented authors.

How did you find your publisher?
I was a runner up in a competition for unpublished writers held by Accent and Woman Magazine in 2014, so that gave me hope that my writing might be a good fit with Accent. I then met an editor from Accent for a one to one at the RNA conference in London in 2015. I sent in the first chapter of The Magic of Ramblings, which was a gamble as it was my NWS submission that year and I hadn't received my report at the time, so I had no idea if it was any good. Fortunately the editor loved it and asked to see the whole manuscript, and I was subsequently offered a contract.

Do you have a contract for one book or more?
I have a two-book contract. My second book, The Truth about You, Me and Us, comes out in August and went through the NWS in 2014.

When was your book published?
The Magic of Ramblings was published on 8 September 2016.

Please tell us something about your book
Cassie accepts a job as companion to an old lady in a remote Lancashire village, hoping for a quiet life where she can forget herself, her past and most especially men. The last thing she wants is to be drawn into saving a community that seems determined to take her to its heart – and to resuscitate hers…
Frances lives a reclusive life at Ramblings and now Barney is hiding away there, after his career ended in scandal. He doesn’t trust the mysterious woman who comes to live with his aunt, especially when she starts to steal Frances’ affection – and maybe his own too…

What are you currently working on?
I’ve written two more books since The Magic of Ramblings – I still try to stick to the NWS deadline even though I've graduated! They are both contemporary romance/ women’s fiction, and I’m now editing them so they are ready for submission.

What piece of advice would you give current members of the NWS?
I know what it’s like when you're desperate to be published, but be patient. The first book you write might not be the best one to publish – mine certainly wasn't! Take feedback, write more books, and develop your style. You only have one debut, so make sure it's the best book it can be and shows who you are as a writer.

Twitter:  @katehaswords

Thank you, Kate. Congratulations again on graduating the New Writers’ Scheme and I hope you enjoy the Summer Party.


Julie Stock said...

Congratulations, Kate! It really has been a long apprenticeship for you and to reach the Joan Hessayon shortlist finally is so well deserved! The Magic of Ramblings is a wonderful book and you can be very proud of yourself for writing it and for getting your contract as a result. I'm so looking forward to the party and to seeing you amongst all those contenders. You are all winners, no matter the final result!

Kate Field said...

Thanks for your lovely comment, Julie. See you at the party! x

Anonymous said...

Extremely wise words and I totally agree with all Kate has said here. With every book you learn more about the craft of writing

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