Friday, January 24, 2014

Celebrating a new author

Yesterday I was talking about the new courses I will be running this year.(I'll come back to talk about the second one - Leeds - October  later) But anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that one of my favourite places for teaching a writing course  is the one that's coming up at the end of February as it has done for the past few years.

At the very first Fishguard course I ever taught I met a lovely lady who has gone on to be one of my favourite students   and a dear friend.  Rachael Thomas started with the earliest, basic course I ran there and then she joined me on the Advanced Romance Writing Course that I organised to take the basic tuition on to another stage.

Away from the course she worked hard,  writing when she could grab time as well as  caring for her family, helping run the family farm. She  joined the RNA's  New Writers' Scheme, submitted manuscripts and learned from  the critiques - she worked and worked and she didn't give in. Like so many of us - me included - she had rejections that knocked her confidence but she picked herself up and had the courage to keep on going, keep trying.

Last year she entered the  huge So You Think You Can Write contest   and her story - Behind The Scandalous Facade  was chosen as one of that contests Top Ten - out of the huge number of entries.  She didn't win first place  and the publishing contract  that was part of the prize - but the editor who had read her entry loved it so much that she sent revision suggestions for Rachael to work on, which she did.

And yesterday I heard the very special, wonderful news that another of my students has received The Call.

I love this moment -  sharing the success of someone who has worked so  hard, learned so much, had the courage to pick herself up from rejection and  keep on going, keep on trying -  and now has the wonderful achievement of knowing that her dream has come true. Rachael is the perfect example of how you should never give in because this story, this  manuscript, might just one day be The One.

2014 is a special year for me. In  December it will be 30 years since my own very first book was published.  I remember only too well (even after all these years) how it  felt to wake up the morning after I received  the Call (though in those days it was a letter!) - the way that Rachael is feeling this morning. So I'm delighted to share this special year  with her and her first book ever.

Last year at Fishguard I helped celebrate Rachael's birthday by giving her a cake  in the shape of a book with her name on it - in the hope that one day that cake would become a real book. I'm so happy that this year  we will be able to celebrate her wonderful success.  And I'm so happy to have been able to help just a bit in getting to this special day.

Many many  congratulations Rachael -  I'm so happy for you. Here's to your  first book - I can't wait to read it -  and let's hope it's just  number one  of many for the future in your career as a published romance writer!


Rachael Thomas said...

Thank you Kate. I still haven't quite come down to earth yet! I'm so looking forward to being at Fishguard again next month. Thanks for all your help along the way!

Caroline said...

Yes. Massive congratulations, Rachel. We met at Kate's famous6 Fishguard courses. Great fun and anyone determined to succeed in the romance writing business would be well advised to attend. And also check out Kate's 12 Point Writing book.

Anonymous said...

Yay Rachael!! I'm so thoroughly delighted for you :)) We met at Fishguard at one of Kate's courses a few years back also. It's so wonderful to see your hard work and determination finally pay off!

Looking forward to reading your first of many.
Congratulations again.

Waves to Kate.

Mary Preston said...

I love happy endings, especially real ones. I also love being there at the very beginning of long writing careers. It's exciting.

Rachael Thomas said...

Thanks for the congratulations from past Fishguard students and as Caroline said, check out Kate's 12 point guide. Mine is very well used!!!


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