This week I'm joined by Sam Tonge, author of Doubting Abbey and Game of Scones.
Want To Be A Writer?
When reading through magazines or newspapers, you often see an advert headed “Want to be a Writer?” This got me thinking... would I actually recommend it as a profession. Whilst I have five romantic comedies published now, I still remember The Wilderness Years as I remember them, full of rejection, tears, the occasional high but a lot of lows, accompanied by my (futile) declarations that I would give up my passion.
Yet, having though about this question I have quickly decided, yes I definitely would, because I’ve been lucky enough to have enjoyed so many amazing experience since signing my deal that, in my opinion, are made all the sweeter because of the hard times I went through. And here are my top five experiences you can look forward to, if you stay determined, develop a tough skin and never stop believing you could be just moments away from finding that one person (agent or publisher) who loves your work:
- Seeing the cover of your first book. It is impossible to imagine what it will look like and fascinating to see how the design team transfer your story into pictures. I loved mine – the Christmas cover to Doubting Abbey – with snowflakes falling and a beautiful mansion in the background. I had it printed onto canvas (as I do with all my covers) so that it now hangs on the wall.
- Getting your first round of revisions from an editor, because whilst this is scary, it’s proof that your writing is being taken seriously and a chance to learn from the experts how to improve your own ability. I am continually in awe of how my editors pick out flaws, minor and major, that I would never have seen on my own.
- Reading your first great review. The rush of relief, pride and gratitude. Yes, bad reviews happen to us all and can be painful, but in my experience, they are forgotten in the face of just one great one where a reader has totally understood why you have written the book and what you wanted to achieve. And I am particularly fond of reviews where readers say my books have cheered up their day. Nothing can make me feel more satisfied.
- Having more opportunities to meet authors in the flesh, at writing events. Since becoming published I have joined the Romantic Novelists Association and attended several glitzy events, with Prosecco flowing and laughter filling the room. Those days are ones I dreamed of before getting published and kept me going through the tough times.
- Getting to know readers and bloggers. I have made some lovely, supportive, generous friends during the last two years and their friendship means such a lot. Promoting a book is hard work and I never forget the selfless help of others who support me.
In putting this list together, I realize, I could go on and on. 2015 has been a great year for me, with my summer bestseller Game of Scones winning the Love Stories Best Ebook Award at a fancy ceremony in London, and two of my other books going into shops. But whilst the big things are fantastic, it just means everything that my work is finally reaching people. All I have ever wanted is an audience. So keep on going. It’s great to want to be a writer. Let your dreams fuel you along the rocky road to publication.
Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Her summer 2015 novel Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart.
BlurbThings don’t always run smoothly in the game of love…
As her Christmas wedding approaches, a trip back to snowy England for her ex’s engagement party makes her wonder if those are wedding bells she’s hearing in her mind, or warning bells. She longs for the excitement of her old London life – the glamour, the regular pedicures. Can she really give that all up to be…a fishwife? There’s nothing for it but to throw herself into bringing a little Christmas magic to the struggling village in the form of a Christmas fair. Somewhere in amidst the sparkly bauble cakes and stollen scones, she’s sure she’ll come to the right decision about where she belongs…hopefully in time for the wedding…
Perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk and Debbie Johnson. Don’t miss the Christmas Wedding of the year!