Back in August 2016, I entered the first 3 chapters of RULED BY SHADOWS in the RWNZ Great Beginnings Contest 2016.
I have recently been notified that the story is a finalist! In the next round, the finalists (I think there are 4-5 of us) will be judged by a romance industry editor, and a publisher. The results will be in sometime in December, so watch this space…
To be finaled in Great Beginnings is gratifying news on three levels:
The first is that this novel is my passion project. It’s a combination of the two genres I’ve been writing in: epic fantasy and romance. I’m really putting my heart and soul into this story. I’d like to think that my love for it, and my drive to make it the best it can be, shows.
The second is the great feedback I got from the three judges. I entered this contest primarily for feedback on my current ‘work in progress’. I wanted to know how my target market would view my story. Although they pair romance sub-genres with judges who read those books, I wasn’t sure if it would be the judges’ thing. Being epic fantasy the romance is a ‘slow burn’ and not that evident in the first three chapters. As all fantasy writers know, those first few chapters are essential for scene-setting so that readers can believe our world actually exists. However, it appears all three judges loved how I evoked the world, presented my characters and set up the story. Whew.
The third is that it has given me a much appreciated boost. Writing is a solitary task, and being an indie author is a lot of work – more than most people realise. For me, it’s a job I love – I live and breathe it. However, it really is a long-game, a ultra marathon rather than a sprint. When three industry experts love what you’ve written, enough to push the book through to the finals, it refills the enthusiasm well!
Will let you know how the next stage of the contest goes!