#24HoursInMandB – Following aspirations…by Annie O’Neil

#24HoursInMandB – Following aspirations…by Annie O’Neil

The submissions are flooding in for #24HoursInMandB. With just over 3 weeks left in the fast-track we thought we’d catch up with one of our brand new Medical romance authors to find out what it’s like to enter an M&B competition and what can happen to your writing dreams if you muster up the courage and click send…

It’s a great privilege to welcome brand new author, Annie O’Neil, to Socialise – Annie’s debut book arrives in October of this year. Here’s Annie…

If you want to write Medical Romances (and frankly, who wouldn’t want to be involved in the rewarding and emotional wonderland of doctors, nurses, EMTs, and more), you would be nuts to pass up the chance to enter the 24 Hours in M&B fast track contest.

Last autumn, I entered the So You Think You Can Write contest hoping, at the very least, to make it to the final 50. In truth, just getting feedback from all of the people reading the 700 or so first chapters submitted online was quite an insight. The Harlequin website offered a load of online seminars and great blogs. I think my favourite one was a top 20 list of things editors hated to see start a book. (Now I understand why they rejected my first attempt!) Frankly, I became a bit of an addict and my husband finally got some long sought peace and quiet while I studied away.

After some quality time with my computer and a few days of holding my breath, not only did I make the final 50, but the plotting and planning for my hero and heroine paid off. After some amazingly insightful help and encouragement from one of the editors, Charlotte Mursell – I didn’t end up winning the contest, but I did get offered a three book contract!

For me, it turned out having an actual honest to goodness deadline was the key to getting my hero and heroine out of my head onto the page. The editors at Mills & Boon really know their business (surprise surprise) and I can’t even tell you how much their feedback helped me to pick up my manuscript – shake out all of the bad and make room for a lot more good. I found all of the notes they sent (and there were quite a few!) truly instructive and told anyone who listened that I felt I was getting a one-on-one seminar.

In truth, even if I hadn’t received the book contract (although that was some seriously delicious icing on the cake), I would have found the personal insight of the Medical Romance editors enough of a spur to keep me writing and to keep the belief alive that I had something in me that could ultimately be shaped into a book.

My contest entry, The Surgeon’s Christmas Wish, is set to come out October 2014. It truly is a dream come true – a dream I never would have realized if I hadn’t taken the contest plunge. I couldn’t encourage you enough to follow your aspirations and take this chance to see what the Medical Romance team makes of your chapter – a chapter that could soon become a book!

All the best!


Click here to find out more about #24HoursInMandB