Tuesday 14 August 2012

Unexpected Happy News!

I received a set of revisions this week on the first three chapters of 'The Date Pool'. Not too bad thankfully, and as usual all the suggestions are wish-I'd-thought-of-that brilliant. I know they will make the story much stronger. I've already started on them and hope to get them out of the way this week, then I move on to writing chapters 4-6 and submit to my editor again at the half-way point.

I wanted to discuss one of the revision points before I got stuck in and emailed my editor to let her know, so when I got a phone call from her later in the day I naturally expected it to be about that. I was absolutely floored when instead she offered to buy my very first MS, the one I submitted via slush back in summer 2010, which went through two rounds of revisions under her supervision and was eventually rejected.

I am thrilled to announce that 'The Proposal Plan' (as I called it, the name may yet be changed) will be published by Mills & Boon RIVA in the UK only, in Spring of 2013!

Following the relaunch of RIVA in the UK and the introduction of the KISS line in North America, the intention is that titles will be simultaneously released in both lines from the middle of next year. In order to line the releases up in this way, there will be a short period early next year where a slot is available for a UK-only release. 'The Proposal Plan' will take up one of these slots.

I am absolutely over the moon that this story - which really was my baby - will finally see the light of day. I started it twenty-odd years ago, stuck it in the wardrobe when life and kids took over and only finished it when I stopped work to have the small one. With the encouragement of DH I finished it and sent it off, thinking that it might be rubbish but at least it wouldn't be rubbish cluttering up my cupboard anymore. The revisions were tough. The final third of the book was total cliche *toes curl as I remember*, and had to be completely rewritten, I had to cut one of the characters out and there were some major scene changes. But I loved the end result and I was so disappointed when it was rejected. I always hoped if I got published that I might be able to rework it one day and get it out there. I just didn't expect it to be anytime in this decade!

I am waiting to hear about the title and release details, and in the meantime I am cracking on with 'The Date Pool' with renewed enthusiasm.

So my message of the week is: never give up hope on those rejected MS's. They might make it out there one day!

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Loveable Heroines

I thought I'd post this week about heroines, since I am up to my ears in my new MS and (as is usual for me) my heroine, Alice, feels like my best mate and is hogging the story and my hero, the gorgeous Harry, feels a bit of an enigma to me. I have just submitted my partial of the story to my editor and I know the revisions she comes back with will relate to him.

My favourite heroines have always been quirky, funny and loveable and they are exactly the kind I like to write now. I remember watching a romantic comedy while I was at university and wishing I was the heroine, or failing that her best friend. In fact, I think my love of romantic comedy stems from that film even though it wasn't mainstream.

What film was this? I hear you ask.

In the early 1990s Rik Mayall did a series of three hour-long shows for ITV, called Rik Mayall Presents... and one of these was a romantic comedy called 'Dancing Queen'. Rik starred as Neil, a spoilt yuppy whose mates play a stag night prank on him. First they hire a stripper and ply him with alcohol, and then they steal his trousers and stick him on a train. He wakes up on his way to Scarborough with the stripper, Julie, sitting opposite him.

Julie was played by Helena Bonham Carter, totally against her usual type, and she is absolutely adorable.

The music is wonderful - Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel singing 'Come Up and See Me' as Neil runs trouserless around Scarborough clutching an alarm clock trying to work out how to get back to London in time for his wedding. And in the final scene Julie is twirling an umbrella about as she dances to ABBA on the beach and Neil speeds across the sand to find her   in his BMW.

Rik Mayall is surprisingly perfect as the hero. But Helena Bonham-Carter's Northerner Julie steals the show as she talks about her conflict ('I were too young, he were too fat') and asks about Neil's wedding ('What's your fiancee's name? Sophie? That's a pretty name. Julie's horrible. Makes you think of Julie Andrews.'). I don't think I've ever rooted for someone more.

Unfortunately I think the only way you can watch this now is on YouTube, but if you ever get the chance to see it, I can't recommend it highly enough. Very much in the mould of Four Weddings and a Funeral, the sheer delicious happy-ever-afterness of it is fabulous.

Anyone else remember it? And is there a film or story that really fed your love of romance or a hero/heroine that you really love?

I am off to get to know my hero a bit better.