Friday, August 27, 2010

Eating with an editor

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.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Local 19 Year Old Sells His First Romance Novel

Yes you did read that correctly ... it does say "his"!

There's a wonderful article up over on the Times Live web site about Fezekile Cokile - the teenager who has just sold his first Mills & Boon style romance novel. It's been published by Kwela Books.

To read the article and find out more about the book and what Fezekile was paid - click here.

To find out more about Kwela Books and see what their writing guidelines are - click here. Then just click on the Kwela romance writing guidelines!

If any of our readers have any experience with Kwela please let us know what your experience was like! Input gladly received!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In the mood for some Scottish loving?

Hello all *waving from across the pond, although I still consider myself a bona-fida South African*

My medieval Scottish romance, Betrayed, is now available from Carina Press. If you like your hero alpha with a sexy burr and a sparky heroine to tempt the blackness from his grouchy mood... read on:)

Two Feuding Families
Amber Jardin has no taste for the bitter feud started before her father's banishment. But now that he's passed, she's had to return to Scotland and his barbaric people. After her bloodthirsty uncle kidnaps one of the family's rivals, Amber is in turn captured by Krayne Johnstone, the enemy laird. Despite their enmity, their attraction is immediate—and unfortunate, as Amber has sworn to escape.

One Lusty Temptation
Krayne is amazed at the wildcat's repeated attempts to flee. He should steel himself against her beguiling ways—yet with time, he is driven more witless with lust. When the ransom exchange fails and Krayne is left with Amber, he finds he cannot tolerate the thought of her with another man—and she cannot tolerate the thought of returning to her uncle's home.

Will passion and love win out over mistrust and betrayal in time to prevent an all-out war?

Read an excerpt

BETRAYED was released to some stunning reviews...

Among The Muses  ~ In this debut novel by Claire Robyns, you will be transported back to a medieval time were deceit and betrayal were everyday occurrences, and difficult choices were often made for you. Betrayed will take you on an engaging, action-packed, wildly sexy adventure, that will keep you turning the pages!
Long and Short Romance Reviews ~ Historical romance fans will enjoy Betrayed. There is romance, a multitude of thrills, and enough sexual chemistry and tension to keep you squirming in your seat.

The Electic Review ~ Ms. Robyns leaves no prisoners with this action-packed romance. I am a big fan of highlander romances and this one did not disappoint.

A  little bit about me...
As you've realised by now, Betrayed is my debut book. When my husband suggested we pack in the sunny beaches of Cape Town for overcast, rainy, freezing England, I jumped up and down in glee! I would be that little bit closer to the ragged, stormy coastline of Scotland filled with the lore of my wild fantasies. It didn't take long for me to pen my first Scottish romance and Betrayed was born.

Betrayed is now available from
Carina Press
Barnes and Noble
Books On Board

Monday, August 2, 2010

Essentials Voice of Africa Winner Announced

The August edition has already been on the shelves a week, so my apologies if this is old news to you, but Essentials magazine has announced the winner: Mia Botha, with her story Stained by Love.
Congratulations, Mia!

And of course a huge 'well done' to everyone who was brave enough to enter, as well as to the other four finalists. We look forward to reading your stories in next month's Essentials.

I'm very happy to announce that Mia has agreed to visit us here at SA Romance Writers, so keep watching this space for more information.