I'd been writing for about three years when I found myself impulsively entering the Emerald, the Romance Writers of Australia's annual contest for unpublished manuscripts. At this point, no one had read my stories except for a few trusted friends, and I hadn't even given editing a thought. My technical knowledge in terms of formatting was so bad, the contest coordinator had to instruct me on how to set a margin in a Word document!
I sent off my entry, and decided it was all good experience. Perhaps I'd get some constructive feedback...even if I came last.
When I made it through to the second round of the contest, I was stunned. When I made it to the finals I was flabbergasted.
When I won...well, let's just say everyone is very polite when they talk about it, but I know for a fact I staggered up to the stage at the awards ceremony and rambled incoherently for about five minutes in front of three hundred people whilst clutching a trophy in shaking hands. It was one the scariest, and most proud moments of my life.
My first foray into the world of being a published author was with an independent USA publishing house called Secret Cravings. Although they ceased trading in 2015, they made my first publishing experience a joy and I will always be grateful for everything they taught me. Some of my Secret Cravings back-list have now been acquired by Serenity Press. The rest are happily sitting on my desktop. One day I'll find them a new home.
SERENITY PRESS VISION: To build a successful publishing house that creates opportunities for Australian authors through publication, writers' retreats, and workshops. SERENITY PRESS MISSION: To create beautiful books by inspiring and nurturing writers' journeys - one story at a time.