We are delighted to introduce you to the seventeen authors contending for the coveted Joan Hessayon Award in 2018. Before the winner is announced at the RNA’s Summer Party in Oxford in May, you can find out more about each of the authors here.
Welcome to the RNA blog, Lynn, and congratulations on being one of the contenders for this year’s award. How long have you been writing? Is this your first published piece?
Like most writers, I’ve been scribbling stuff down since childhood. But everything went on the back burner while raising a family and pursuing a career as a full time College Lecturer. So I only got down to ‘serious’ novel writing about 6 years ago and Love in La La Land is my first published piece.
How many years were you a member of the NWS and did you submit a manuscript each year?
I joined the NWS in 2015 and have submitted a manuscript each year since. It’s thanks to the robust but encouraging critique on my first NWS submission that Love in La La Land was eventually accepted for publication. Jules Wake outed herself as my report writer and her honest and inspiring advice on my last NWS manuscript has been invaluable in obtaining a contract for my second novel, Love, Lies and Café au Lait. So, as you can see, I am enormously indebted to the NWS generally, and Jules Wake in particular.
What came first, agent or publisher?
I have no agent as I found my publisher, Crooked Cat, first.
How did you find your publisher?
Prior to joining the RNA, I was submitting to relevant publishers I found in the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook. However, once I’d joined, I took lots of advice from fellow RNA members about the best routes to go for my genre. I then submitted to approximately 10 publishers before being accepted by Crooked Cat. Some of my rejections were very encouraging and each time I took advice regarding possible improvements, which further refined my final manuscript.
Do you have a contract for one book or more?
So far, I have a contract for my next book, Love, Lies and Café au Lait, due out in autumn 2018 and hope to submit my third novel this summer.
When was your book published?
Love in La La Land was published in October 2017 in both print version and as an ebook.
Tell us something about your book.
Love in La La Land is a romantic comedy set in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, where English writer, Jane Jones, is thrilled at the prospect of meeting hunky star, Scott Flynn, during filming of her novel. Unfortunately, she is accompanied by the cynical Jack Clancy, the screen writer who is totally unrepentant about the sweeping changes he’s made to her original story.
One of my lovely reviewers wrote a poem which I think sums up the themes very well:
Nothing violent, nothing gory,
A sunny, warm, romantic story,
Of writer Jane in La-La-Land,
And two men vying for her hand.
One is Jack, first foe, then friend,
Will HE get her, in the end?
The other, dishy actor Scott,
Will HE get her, will he not?
But in this world
Of La La land
Against the sleaze
Jane takes a stand.
What are you currently working on?
I am now editing my next book set in Nice called Love, Lies and Café au Lait which is due out in the autumn. I’m also working on my next novel, tentatively titled Just Jane.
What piece of advice would you give current members of the NWS?
Persevere, take advice and try to find a local, lively community of authors for encouragement, information and a shared passion for writing.
Find out more about Lynn: