forget me not
suzanne snow
forget me not
suzanne snow, romantic fiction author

My Path To Publication

I’d have to start by saying my path to publication is both a long and quite short one. Long, because I began writing as a child, dreaming up stories about adventurous girls and their ponies, before moving to romantic fiction later on (sometimes I kept the ponies in!). A short path, because I joined the Romantic Novelists Association in January 2018 and publication of my first novel is today, just over two and a half years later. This may sound like a long time but most things in publishing move slowly and the time since signing my professional contracts, first with my agent Susan Yearwood in 2019 and then with Canelo in 2020, has whizzed by.

The New Writers Scheme in the RNA works by offering 300 places to unpublished writers with a romantic element to their work every January. Places fill up almost at once and membership enables you to submit a manuscript to the scheme, to be read and reported on by a professional author. We don’t know who this person is and the coordinator of the scheme tries to match author and manuscript as closely as possible. I received a lovely report for what is now The Cottage of New Beginnings and I began to submit to agents, feeling hopeful. Most writers can tell you what happens next and my experience was no different. The rejections followed and I persevered, knowing that I already had a second completed manuscript ready for the NWS the following year. Matching writer to agent and/or publisher is subjective, like reading, and all about the right fit.

My second manuscript also received a good report in 2019 but required more work. I set about re-writing it and readying it for submission. One of the great joys of the RNA is the Conference they run every July (a shortened, online version this year, of course), and the opportunity to request up to three 1-2-1 meetings with agents, publishers or editors. We choose who we would like to meet, send the email on the dot of submission time and wait. I had already had positive meetings with agents previously, for whom my work was not the right fit and still they offered encouragement. I was thankful to have a 1-2-1 with Susan and thrilled to leave our meeting with her request for both of my manuscripts ringing in my ears. Off they went to her within a few days and an offer of representation soon followed.

Then editing began. Susan requested some changes to my first manuscript which I was happy to do. I put aside my third, which I was currently writing, to return to number one. Once this is ready to everyone’s satisfaction (which takes weeks and sometimes months), Susan began the process of submitting it to publishers. Jump to April of this year and we were able to choose Canelo as the publisher we felt was right for my writing. Susan has been a brilliant support and source of information during this time, and working with her and Emily Bedford, my editor, has been a real pleasure. My family, friends and the community of writers I have met through the RNA have also been a great encouragement and I’m thankful for the support, laughter and advice I’ve received.

So today, what would I tell my eight year-old self with her handwritten stories and dreams? Keep going, because one day you just might be a published author with readers who find happiness in what you have written.

Thank you for joining me here, happy reading, whichever books you choose.

Suzanne x

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