Have you visited our Aspiring Authors Group and Forum yet? Christy Kate McKenzie catches us up on everything that's been happening there and what's coming up next.
October is by far my favourite month of the year. Seriously—scarves, boots, hot apple cider (the American, non-alcoholic kind), crunchy leaves… and Halloween! And just as the cooler weather encourages us to curl up under the duvet with a good book, the PHS Aspiring Authors group has been heating up! If you aren’t already a member of the PHS Aspiring Author Facebook Group, let me tell you what you've been missing...
Workshops Old & New
In September, author Avril Tremayne turned up the heat in our Forum with her workshop, Let’s Talk About Sex! If you haven’t already joined in, it's not too late to go over it. Just remember, this workshop is smoking hot and definitely NSFW!
And coming up? Not only does October bring my favourite holiday - Halloween! - it also gives us the perfect atmosphere to read something spooky. Better yet, write something spooky! If paranormal is your thing, or if you want to try your hand at it, join us later this month when Linda Thomas-Sundstrom joins us on the Forum to deliver a workshop on writing paranormal romance.
After sorting through entries for the Summer Lovin’ Story Contest, we are pleased to announce the winner is Janna Roznos! The PHS Team loved Janna’s sexy story The Blind Date and are working with her on a final polish before publishing it in next month’s edition of The Pink Heart Society. Get ready for Xavier and Melissa’s story and congratulations Janna!
Our Team is Growing
The PHS Aspiring Authors Group on Facebook grows daily. Currently we have over 140 members! And our editorial team is growing, too. This month we officially welcome Alexis Jakes to the team and she's here today to tell us about her journey...
Back in the early seventies when I was still at secondary school, I used to love writing stories. It was a real passion of mine. My English teacher thought they were okay, too—or so he told me. He asked me to try and develop my story-telling, but I’d no idea what he meant, and besides I’d met my husband by then (yes, really) and school work went out of the window.
Fast forward to 1974. I'd left school and worked at the local town hall. Interestingly, I remember turning up for the interview still dressed in my school uniform—I think they’d rung me at school—and loved that job, but little did I know back then that the date at which I thought I’d draw my state pension (sixty years of age) would change to sixty-six!
These days, having already turned sixty, I work two days a week in a university, and write for the rest of the time. And—back in 1991 when I first submitted to HM&B and received my first rejection—to be honest I can hardly remember writing the story! Rejections hurt, of course they do, but did it hurt so much that I decided to stop writing and to stop submitting for all of that time?
It must have. In any case, life got in the way and by then we had two young, lively boys to bring up. I don’t think even I realised I wouldn’t submit to HM&B again until 2015, when I discovered I made it into the top fifty in their global writing contest, SYTYCW15 (So You Think You Can Write 2015). After that competition, my first three chapters were accepted but when I submitted the full manuscript, it was rejected.
My two lively boys are now twenty-nine and thirty-two, and since 2015 I’ve written four more books—one of which I’m about to submit. The others weren’t quite right for HM&B in one way or another, but my last story received some very positive comments from one of the editors.
So, for the moment I’m an aspiring author. I’ll always aspire until I'm published by HM&B. Writing is part of who I am and that will never change.
To learn more about the leader of our Aspiring Authors team, Christy Kate McKenzie, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Is there something you would like to see us doing in the #AspiringAuthors Facebook Group or our Forum? A workshop you would be interested in? A Beta-reader/Critique partner date night? Advice from editors on pitchfests? You tell us. Your wish is our command!