Posted by Lizzie Lamb
Three years ago this month New Romantics Press was born, huddled together in the backroom of a village pub in the wilds of rural Leicestershire. Trembling with fear and trepidation, four fledgling authors launched themselves on the world …
Dozens of book launches, blogs, reviews, newspaper reports, radio interviews and videos later, we’ve embraced each and every element of what being an author in today’s multi-media environment entails; standing shoulder to shoulder, through drafts, edits, rewrites and great big gaping holes of self-confidence…
Yet at the very essence our passion, our need to tell our stories our way, remains. The highlight of our journey so far? Holding a book launch in Waterstones, Kensington. That’s Kensington, London -in case you’re wondering. We were hoping that Dustin Hoffman (who regularly shops there) was going to turn up, but alas he was otherwise engaged.
Ten acclaimed novels later … the dream is a reality and the greatest reward? Every single time a reader says: “I loved your book, when is the next one coming out?”
Happy birthday sisters, fairy Godmothers one and all. Cue music: ‘Sisters Doing it For Themselves’, and exit stage left.
So what are we up to ATM?
Here’s our news, hot off the press . . .
Adrienne? “I’m currently working on my fourth novel, Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel, a contemporary Irish American romantic suspense, steeped in mystery from World War II.”
Lizzie? “I’ve started novel number four – working title: THIS HIGHLAND MAGIC. I hope to publish it on our fourth anniversary November 2016. No pressure, then. I have a heroine with a secret and gorgeous new hero who has his own demons to confront. I’m keeping him all to myself until then, ladies.”
Mags? “I’m currently working on novel number three (as yet, untitled). Here’s the blurb so far – After her mother’s fatal car accident, Lexie Neave receives four threatening anonymous letters. Private investigator Forbes’s brief is to identify the writer and discover what it is Lexie has that’s “valuable, very valuable; which by rights is mine”. Lexie hasn’t a clue. Forbes’s preliminary investigations convince him Lexie is in danger.”
June? “Until October this year, I’d been playing out scenes, progressing the story in my historical romance set in 1960’s London and San Francisco, (all going pretty well, I thought!) Then, I went back to SF, imagination took over and the story just went whizzing off in directions I hadn’t expected! So now, here I am – hanging on, getting it all down!”
So, it’s happy birthday to us and a big thank you to everyone who’s helped us on our way. Christmas is just around the corner and what could be better than to find a copy of one of our books in your Christmas stocking? Diamonds, you say? OK – we’re on the case.
Posted by newromantics4
We are happy to ask you to join us in celebrating an exciting and successful year for the New Romantics Press.
When you think about it, our story might not be amazing, show-stopping or world-breaking …but it is interesting. What started as June’s original concept: “Let’s hold a showcase for our work.” Quickly followed by Amanda Grange’s advice: “Publish independently and then you’ll have something to show.” Add Lizzie’s gritty determination to keep us all on track; my PR background and Mag’s literary connections and I must admit, as my third novel sits patiently in the wings (ready to be launched at the end of this month), I feel a tiny smidgen of pride for what we have achieved. Nine novels, each individually penned, and one anthology of short stories, to which Lizzie and I have contributed … in just two years, is not bad going.
Add, excellent reviews, not-to-be-sniffed at sales and some fabulous author-events, topped off with our ‘packed-house’ showcase at Waterstones, Kensington earlier this month and well, it could all be deemed rather dazzling, and perhaps one could take just a second or two to rest on one’s laurels. Ah, what a team!
Not flippin’ likely. Bag about to be packed for the ‘World Premiere’ of Secrets of the Heart, to take place where the story opens, Neary’s Cocktail Bar, Chatham Street, Dublin 2 on Wednesday, December 3rd, 7.30pm – 9pm. See you there? Did I ever tell you, “Don’t Stop Me Now,” by Queen, is my anthem?
Too far out? Too close to the City.
Pub, Club? Bar or Bookshop.
When son Patrick and his partner Tom suggested hosting a launch for us in London, it set them off searching the streets for weeks – (a bit like trying to find a house, but cheaper.)
Tricky stairs, dicky lift. Too blow-all-of-the-budget? Ooh, no buzz. A little bit Rovers Return?
Then Adrienne wrapped it all up with her cracking connection – Waterstones!
And, it was wonderful – a real winner,(see pictures!)
Wine flowed, books were sold, lots of lovely people came to support us,(thank you, all of you!!) and, as you can see from those pics – apart from missing Mags and her fab new book – we all had A Jolly Good Time.
At a Romantic Novelists Association conference I remember a talk by a Literary Agent with a fearsome reputation saying she expected her writers to be healthy, and had no time for sickly ones. How ruthless, how unfeeling, I thought, but as an Indie author-cum-agent-publisher I now understand her. I was gutted not to be able to join my three New Romantics mates, Adrienne, June and Lizzie at our Author Showcase at Waterstones Kensington just 4 weeks after I had a much-needed, total right-knee replacement. Although in my head I believed I could be there, it finally dawned – duhh, no way. To compound my disappointment, my second novel Twins of a Gazelle was ready to be uploaded as a paperback on Create Space, and as an eBook ready for the event. I believed as soon as I was home from hospital I would steam ahead with this. Well, what did I know about how I’d actually feel in the aftermath of surgery?
I published my debut novel Last Bite of the Cherry) in 2012, and my second, Twins of a Gazelle will be available, I hope, in a couple of weeks. I can’t claim either novel is ‘romantic’, though both have a similar theme – clever woman, emotionally naïve, initially makes disastrous choice of man (men) before meeting ‘The One’. Not the conventional Girl-Meets-Boy love stories, but about love in its many guises nevertheless. To quote the latest reviewer of Last Bite of the Cherry, “This wasn’t going to be a straightforward romance. There were darker layers to this story. I was intrigued.” (Sharon Booth, Amazon and Goodreads). I hope readers will be equally intrigued by Twins of a Gazelle.
We little thought when we published Tall, Dark and Kilted, The Hollow Heart, An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy and Last Bite of the Cherry two years ago that we would go on to write second and third novels. Nor did we imagine, even in our wildest dreams, that we would hold an Author Event in a top London Bookshop – yet that’s exactly what we’ve accomplished. How? Through team work, keeping our eye on the ever changing publishing world and having determination by the shedload. For me, the Waterstones evening was a personal and professional milestone. When I set out to become a published author I thought I’d be happy with a few paperbacks to give to friends and rellies at Christmas, and to have the satisfaction of seeing my work in print. Yet, here I am – with readers emailing how much they loved both books; and with an accountant who, when asked what I could do to make his life better, said: “Get another book out there.” No pressure then.
Writing is a bit like trying to climb K9 – just when you think you’ve reached the summit, there’s another hill to climb to break through the clouds and into the sunshine. I couldn’t have got this far without the help of my husband Bongo Man, my many friends and fellow writers. So . . . Thanks to everyone who came to our Waterstones gig, even the Russian gentleman in tracksuit and combat jacket who drank a bottle and a half of red wine, ate all of M&S canapés and then scarpered when asked to buy one of our books. I only hope he wasn’t a famous editor/agent in disguise – or one of Vladimir Putin’s henchmen.
Thank you for helping us have such a terrific year and here’s to a wonderful 2015 for everyone!
(All photographs are the copyright of The New Romantics Press/Carole Matthews)
Tags: Adrienne Vaughan, authors, book launch, book signing, books, Carole Matthews, Eileen Ramsay, Hollow Heart, Janet Brigden, June Kearns, Lizzie Lamb, Lynda Dunwell, Margaret Cullingford, Mary de Lazslo, networking, novels, romance, Romantics Novelists' Association, Sue Moorcroft, Talli Roland, waterstones
Posted by newromantics4
An ‘Author Showcase? So what, you ask?
Friends, let us tell you that four indie authors hosting an Author Showcase in a one of Waterstones flagship London bookstores is no mean feat. It has required determination on our part and the belief and open mindedness of Waterstones to ‘take us on’. On top of that, we’ve produced eight quality novels with proven sales records and have demonstrated our ability to deliver a night no one will forget.
This Author Showcase is the culmination of a dream. One which began two summers ago over lunch with Amanda Grange in Lizzie’s garden. Our path to publication is well documented in our blog but on November the thirteenth we will have exceeded what we hoped to accomplish on that bright summer’s day.
- Written nine books between us
- Created joint and individual blogs
- Established a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest
- Hosted eight book launches
- Presented two literary lunches for over twenty five guests
- Fronted a Valentine’s Day event at Waterstones Market Harborough
- Been short listed for awards at Lit Festivals
- Appeared on writer panels telling others our road to publication
- Created a professionally edited video of us and our achievements
- All working to write, edit and publish our third/fourth novels in 2014 – 2015
There have been highs and lows on our journey. More highs than lows, overall, and we have kept moving forward. It’s been hard but rewarding work, but we have never lost sight of our main objective – to write the best novels we can and to share them with our expanding readership.
We see this Author Showcase as the culmination of that work and our dream. Thank you for sharing the journey with us.