The Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop author Caroline Roberts offers some advice for aspiring authors.
Write what you are passionate about.
If you love what you write this will make the writing process so much easier, and it will come through to readers (and hopefully publishers/agents if you are looking to be published) and spark their imagination and interest too.
Finish the book!
Don’t pressure yourself that it has to be perfect. Just keep going forward and get the story out. Make time to write regularly, and you will get there. Editing is for later.
If publication is your aim, finish the whole book, check it over and polish up your first 3 chapters, spend time on your synopsis and cover letter, and only then start sending it out. Try to be as professional as possible. Do your research on who you are submitting to – and send exactly what they ask for. (Try the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and use Google to help find suitable agents and publishers, then read their websites carefully). Do try and personalise your cover letter to show you have spent time finding out about them/their company.
PERSEVERE – the submission process can be long and hard, and rejection is never easy.
Try not to take it too personally – easier said than done, I know – but keep going and try to learn from any critical feedback you might get and keep writing. It might be your second or third novel or even a short story or poem that gets someone’s attention. Don’t give up!
Link up with other writers.
Look for local groups, or groups within your genre. For me, the support and friendship within organisations such as The Romantic Novelists’ Association was, and still is, invaluable. (It was only by taking a deep breath and pitching at the RNA Conference that I got my book deal with HarperCollins and my agent.)
When Emma opened her gorgeous little chocolate shop in the harbour village of Warkton-by-the-Sea, she realised a lifelong dream. Love is also blossoming with her hunky beau, Max, who’s slowly healing her fragile heart.
Summer is here and life has never felt so sweet. Until the rainclouds start to gather… A rival sweet shop and killjoy landlord give Emma a headache, and when a face from the past turns up unannounced, Emma finds herself spiralling down memory lane.
With Max’s crazy work schedule driving him to distraction, Emma’s in danger of making some choices she might regret . . . With close friends, spaniel Alfie, and the whole village behind her, can Emma get the chocolate shop and her love life back on track?
Only time will tell in this deliciously romantic novel of love, loss, hope and second chances.
Caroline Roberts is all about family, friends, food, a glass of bubbly and, of course, a good book to make her smile. She loves writing emotional stories about love, loss, and family, that explore how complex and yet beautiful love can be. Caroline lives in stunning Northumberland – sandy beaches, castles and gorgeous countryside have all inspired her writing.