Tania was our guest back in 2011…
Hello fellow authors.
Firstly, the blurb writing competition, which was judged by Matt Bates – The fiction book buyer for WHSmith Travel, Hazel Cushion – Managing Director of Accent Press and Wannabe website’s very own, author Jane Wenham-Jones. The prize – A Literary Lunch with the judges!
Wow – what a prize! The opportunity to meet three people with experience within the world of publishing, writing and buying was a dream come true. I spent two days putting together a modern re-working for The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, and sent it off with not much expectation of being short listed. When I found out I had won, it made my year.
We all agreed the date for lunch (Wednesday 21st September) and Matt chose his favourite restaurant, Bob Bob Ricard, in London’s fashionable Soho district, and I eagerly waited for the day to arrive. It wasn’t until the night before when nerves started to kick in, but I needn’t have worried. All three judges were just as I imagined they would be and put me at ease instantly.
After a quick photograph outside the restaurant, we took our seats in a cosy little booth, surrounded by luxurious décor, which was a mix of English and Russian infused into one. The service was first class and the food even more so, and Bob Bob Ricard is definitely somewhere I would like to visit again, but what really made the lunch so special was the company.
I had the chance to talk about my own writing, and hear little insights into the publishing and writing world. My first novel For All Our Sins was published in February, and is a crime thriller set in Hertfordshire following an investigation lead by DCI Claire Winters. The book focuses on the consequences of revenge and the line between good and evil. I gave the judges each a copy of my book, and I hope when they find the time to read it, they enjoy it.
Matt spoke of how a jacket cover can determine the outcome of whether a book gets on the shelves in the travel stores (or not!) The blurb is also so important and should never be underestimated. Hazel spoke with passion about the books she publishes and Jane offered a few (very funny) insights into the research for her book, Wannabe a writer we’ve heard of? It was also interesting to hear about what books make all three tick, and I will be looking out for a few recommended titles when I next pop into my local book shop – WHSmith of course 😉
But it wasn’t all books and business – we chatted about our families and pretty much anything, and the time seemed to fly so quickly. By the end I was able to chat to Hazel, who offered me some advice on literary agents, and there maybe being the possibility of submitting future work to her. Matt exchanged contact details, and encouraged me to keep writing, and Jane gave me a signed copy of One Glass is Never Enough. It was a great end to a fantastic afternoon, and I left feeling more motivated and inspired as I draw nearer to finishing my second book to feature DCI Claire Winters.
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all three judges again for their time, insights and, of course, the amazing lunch! It was a great prize and something I will never forget.
Tania Walsh (T M E Walsh)
Please visit www.facebook.com/tmewalsh for more information on me and future works.