Week 12 prompt: My contest experience: Win, Lose, Get Signed
Week 13 prompt: What I learned while researching my book.
NB: I’m combining these two prompts as I really didn’t have enough contest experience to write a full entry for week 12.
First up, my contest experience. Back before the rise of indie publishing, unpublished writing contests could sometimes be an effective way to get an agent or an editor to look at your work. I only ever entered a few back then, mostly because I never finished a book until 2013 (long after indie publishing became a viable option). I have a vague memory of getting an honorable mention for a merman story but that’s it. Since I indie published, I never really entered any other unpublished contests. I did enter my eligible books for the Romance Writers of America Rita award in 2016 but I didn’t make it to the second round. And that’s about it for my contest experience, sadly.
As for what I learned while researching my book(s), I learn something new every single day. For example, this morning I spent a ridiculous amount of time on Google Maps trying to figure out where to locate a fictional island off the coast of Scotland. Yesterday, I learned about the path to veterinary school in the United States. When writing a contemporary, I tend not to research a great deal before I start a book but will research necessary information as I go along.
When I wrote my dual timeline narrative in The Lost Art of Second Chances, I did an enormous amount of research for Belladonna’s story, including pre-World War II Italy, Italy during WWII, the Monuments Men, and Boston in the 1950s and 60s. I chronicled some of this research in prior blog posts that you may find here: