Monday, 27 September 2010

New Voices.... Top Ten Announced!!

So, I've been keeping my eye on the New Voices site this morning to see the top ten announcement... And what a treasure of riches those top ten are.

But before I start waxing lyrical about the two fantastic chapters that Sally Williamson and I will be mentoring... And that I have to say I am excited out of my mind about!!

I'd like to say commiserations to those who entered and didn't place. It's always gutting investing all your hopes and dreams (not to mention your time and effort) in putting your stuff out there and not getting a mention - and given the stunning quality of some of the chapters that I read which didn't place I know just how high the standards were for this competition. Please don't feel discouraged, speaking as someone who has a fairly chequered history with competitions (ie, I never managed to win any either, folks!) in this case it really is the taking part that counts. You've got your stuff out there, you got some valueable feedback and hopefully some all-important pats on the back to help you keep going, and an editor has read it (and I suspect more than ten entries will have caught their eye). Maybe you didn't make the grade this time (and there will be all sorts of reasons for that quite apart from quality) but remember there's always a next time... And never loose sight of the fact that the end game here is to get published and keep getting published and simply entering a competition like this one is going to help you do that, no matter where you placed.

All right... So on to my entries, which once I saw them listed under Team Heidi I immediately ran off to read because I'd somehow managed to miss them both.

The Royal Marriage Rescue by Kara Jacobe is a heartbreakingly compelling tale of a couple in crisis. A couple who are deeply in love but are being emotionally torn apart by their inability to communicate their pain to one another. The hero Rafiq, a desert prince, is bound by duty, determined to remain strong through anything, leaving his wife Joselyn to cope alone when she needs him the most. Written in a richly evocative style with a stunningly original premise, this story takes a mega-glamorous fairytale setting and makes it rivettingly real. I can absolutely see why this entry caught the editors attention - and held it.

Thigh Noon by Kat Cantrell is a dazzlingly funny but also brilliantly conflict-driven tale of romance and revenge and thigh-shapers... Not necessarily in that order! Honestly this entry made me laugh out loud but at the same time managed to move me. No easy feat. And again the premise is fabulously fresh and original. Ambitious fledgling entrepeneur Alexia is the jilted ex-wife of suave, sexy and super sneaky CEO Jesse Hennessey. Jesse's put his name with hers on the patent of the Thigh Thing that she invented and now she wants it back - and absolutely nothing more to do with the ex who discarded her - but Jesse's going to make her jump through some serious emotional hoops to get what she wants! The dialogue in particular in this story is so smart, sassy, sexy and quick fire it's liable to give you whiplash... The hero oozes sex appeal and the heroine's someone I want to be!

I haven't had a chance to read the other mentor teams entries, but I'm sure I've got the cream of the crop. Woohoo!! Surely there cannot be any entries better than these two.

Cannot wait to read the second chapters!!


Aideen said...

Have read Thigh Noon and had a great laugh. Very fresh & funky, I really enjoyed this chapter and seeing it make the top ten is fantastic. Must read the other chapter you've mentioned but it sounds delicious, even if antying Prince related has never been my thing! You're certainly going to have fun working with these two ladies and they in return will get to share in the wisdom of yourself & Sally. Win win situation.

And as for the rest of us, we did a wonderful brave thing putting our work out there and all of us should remember that this is just the beginning. I think we all rocked! And really, published authors encouraging us and spurring is on is icing on the cake. Thanks Heidi!


Aideen said...

Excuse spelling errors, I'm still carrying around a hangover from Saturday night!!

Rachael Johns said...

So nice to see your excitement for your mentee's chapters shining through. Somehow I'd only read one of the Top Ten entries, so see I'm gonna have to get busy catching up :)

Lorraine said...

Thanks for the advice Heidi, wise words.

Good luck to your mentees, they've certainly got a great team advising them :-)

katcantrell said...

WOW - thanks for these great comments Heidi! I'm super excited to be working with you and I'm blushing over your praise. I second your words about the guts it takes to enter a competition like this and honestly, I am overwhelmed and blessed to have been chosen over so many other deserving entries.

I love the Royal Marriage Rescue and think it's a great twist on the classic royalty premise. Can't wait to see more it! Congrats to all the other finalists and to those who were brave enough to enter.

Heidi said...

Aideen, I'm gonna have to go hunt up your chapter now... Looking forward to reading it too. And having had so much encouragement from published authors myself in the past, I feel it's the least I can do... This is a hard road, and as we all know there's a lot of knock backs along the way, but the great thing about romance writers is they're a pretty supportive bunch, so we should all give ourselves a pat on the back. (and I didn't notice your spelling mistakes, I must be hung over too!!)

Rachael and Lorraine, as you know I thought you both did mighty fine entries, it's clear you both have a lot of talent, so I know I'll be hearing more from you both soon.

And Kat, thanks so much for dropping by. I loved your chapter (as you can probably tell from all the gushing!!). And Kara's too. This is gonna be soooo much fun. I can't wait to get started.

Teresa Morgan said...

Heidi, thanks for the wise words... I too entered, but I knew - especially when we reached 800 entries - I was highly unlikely to be in the top ten lol! But I've had such great fun, met knew writer buddies and got some great feedback which I'll be using when editing my story.

The other day I read your interview over in the Guardian, too. And just want to say how inspiring, and funny, it was. (Loved that your mum thought you used 'erection' too much lol!) - couldn't really leave comments there unless I registered etc.

So, when you say mentoring... will you be helping your 'team' polish up their second chapters for submission... or are you there, handing out wine and chocolate?

Just read The Royal Marriage Rescue and it was very good. I need to catch up with the others now! The ten picked were the ones I never got around to reading!

joanne pibworth said...

Thanks for the wise words of encouragement Heidi. :o
Best of luck to Team Heidi going forwards in the competition.


Elissa Graham said...

Heidi, just wanted to second your comment about how supportive everyone has been with regard to our entries. I read quite a few of the chapters and only saw positive, motivational comments and some very good constructive criticism (which I was lucky enough to receive and so gratefully appreciated). That really was the reason I entered, to get some feedback on my writing. I have to say, it's a very nice feeling knowing you belong to such a generous community.

Lacey Devlin said...

I'm like Rach in having managed to read only one of the top ten entries so I have catching up to do :). Both entries sound fabulous. Heaps of luck to Kat and Kara!

Roanne said...

Hi Heidi,
Thank you for your wise words and encouragement. I knew from the get go that this competition was going to be huge and highly competitive but it was definitely a rush to have my work be put out there for all to see, so I'm just happy I had the courage to do that.

Best of luck to the Top Ten!