Thursday, 7 August 2014

Our Path to Publication Summer Blog Feature - Sharon Booth

This week sees the fourth post in the Our Path to Publication Summer Blog Feature and it comes from Yorkshire lass Sharon Booth. Sharon is lucky enough to live in the stunning landscape of East Yorkshire and is an avid fan of all forms of social media as you can see from the links at the end of her post!

Have you always been a writer?

I think I’ve written stories ever since I learned how to write. For me it went hand in hand with reading. I was a voracious reader and lost myself in the worlds created by Enid Blyton from a very young age. I also read weekly comics which featured stories about ponies or ballet schools. I was a proud member of The Tammy Club when I was seven and that comic inspired me to write my very first novel – about a ballet school, funnily enough. I’d never been to a ballet school and didn’t know much about ballet dancing but that didn’t stop me. It was over a hundred pages long, fully illustrated and the first novel I ever completed. Thankfully, no copy remains. All through my childhood and early teens I wrote short stories and hundreds of Chapter Ones. Unfortunately, I was my own harshest critic and rarely progressed to Chapter Two!
What prompted you to join the RNA NWS this year?

This year is my second year of NWS membership. I thought long and hard before joining last year as I live “oop north” and don’t have unlimited finances and I don’t drive, so I knew that getting to events would be difficult, if not downright impossible. However, I thought being part of such a prestigious organisation could only be beneficial in terms of contacts, advice, friendly online chat and an end to that feeling of isolation that writing can bring. I love receiving the quarterly magazine Romance Matters and I lurk on Romna, the online branch of the RNA and read the most interesting and informative posts! Most of all, I thought the membership price was well worth it for the critique alone. Such professional advice and guidance is priceless. Last year’s critique was so helpful to me; it made all the difference to my novel and so there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to rejoin this year. It was through the NWS and Romna that I met two fellow Yorkshire members and we chat online all the time, meet up for cake, coffee and lots of writerly chat, and generally support and encourage each other. Plus, I feel that belonging to the RNA makes me take myself more seriously as a writer and shows the world that I really am going to do this!
Have you attended any events?

No! And I’m gutted about that. I really, really wanted to attend the conference this year but we’d just moved house, had booked a holiday for a couple of weeks before the date and my brother’s wedding is the week after. Finances and work commitments just didn’t allow for everything. I really hope I can make the conference next year, although I’m rather nervous about going to “that there London” for the first time in my life. It seems like a really big deal to me although I’m sure most people reading this will find that ridiculous and probably pop off to London like I pop to Sainsbury’s. I can’t imagine ever having the nerve to attend any of the parties, though. It all seems very glamorous and sophisticated and not like me at all. I do have friends who have attended the conference and it seems they met a lot of writers I really admire and would love to meet. They also said the workshops were very useful and the goody bags were fab!

What are you planning today with the MS you submit?

I’ve already submitted this year’s manuscript. It’s the second in a series of four romantic comedies set on the North Yorkshire coast. The first one, There Must Be An Angel, was last year’s submission. This year’s is called A Kiss from a Rose. I’m chewing my nails and nervously awaiting its return. I’ll probably read the report, have a good cry, wallow in misery and decide I’m useless for a day or two and then get back to work on it. Last year’s report was spot on. It helped me identify the problems that I knew were in the manuscript but just couldn’t put my finger on. It was extremely positive and encouraging. I’m hoping this one will be just as useful and not too soul-destroying! 

What are your literary aspirations?

I just want to see my books in print. I want to be able to hand my mother a copy of my own novel and see her face when she realises that I actually did it. I want readers to read my novels and enjoy them and wait eagerly for the next one. Most of all, I just want to keep writing and keep enjoying it. It’s hard work but it’s fabulous fun, too. I couldn’t give it up now – not for anything.

You can read more about me and my writing journey on my blog, The Moongazing Hare :
You can also see the people and locations that inspired my first novel, There Must Be An Angel, on Pinterest:

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