Today we welcome a special guest, our new guest blogger Mia Botha, winner of the 2010 Essentials magazine short story contest. Congratulations, Mia, and welcome.
It’s been more than a month and I still find myself peeking at the Essentials magazine to see if it's really me. I had considered making the deadline an achievement, being a finalist was certainly a fine feather in my cap and then to be told I’d won well, like I said, my Essentials is well thumbed this month.
My name is Mia and I am a writer. I like words. I like books. And most of all I love stories. Short ones, long ones. Happy ones, sad ones. I love them all. (although, right now I am rather partial to short, happy ones.)
I have been asked many questions since I received “the call” . The most annoying “Where do you get your ideas from?” has been asked repeatedly. Mostly by people who have never written a word in their lives. I generally don’t have a clue where the ideas come from. They just come. Some times its a hug at the airport, sometimes it’s an odd person in a coffee shop. You’re a writer, you know what I mean.
Jake and Claire’s story came from a simple writing exercise at a Writers Write dinner. (I will never under estimate writing exercises ever again.) Anthony Ehlers, my fellow finalist, was one of the hosts for the evening. His theme for the dinner was “Romance in unlikely places”. He was there when Jake and Claire first arrived. He was one of the first to read their story, and he encouraged me to enter. (Bet he wishes he was a little less encouraging, but I promise there’ll be a little something in my suitcase for you, Ant).
The prize is truly amazing, a trip to London with tons of stuff included, but best of all I get to meet a Mills & Boon editor.
I am waiting to confirm the final dates of the trip. It all depends on the availability of the editors. If all goes according to plan I’ll be in London sometime in November. I don’t know which editor I’ll meet. I do know we’ll be going to lunch at the fabulous Gaucho Restaurant. I will let you know as soon as I have more information. Here’s hoping I don’t confuse my cutlery while I attempt to gain inside knowledge of a romance editors mind. By the way, which one is the salad fork?
Mia will be posting here roughly once a month, through her journey to London and beyond, so keep an eye on this spot. And with a bit of luck we'll get the gremlins sorted and she'll be able to post on her own behalf.