I’ve been dreading the little email icon on my phone screen. Every time something drops in, I’m dreading a no from either Mills and Boon about Tess and Diego’s manuscript or a no to my Carina Pitch proposal. The email from Mackenzie Walton at Carina Press dropped in today.

She requested the full manuscript! My main reaction was relief. I’m so caught up in this story it would have felt like an insult to my characters if it hadn’t got any further. I would have kept writing it and looked for another avenue to publication, but it would have been an emotional blow right when I’m on a high about this manuscript.

As usual, it takes until the fourth read-through of the email before I properly appreciate the feedback. This time I get, for my little black book of encouragement:

  • ‘a fun and unusual idea’
  • ‘distinct character voices’
  • ‘smooth writing’

I am giddy.

I have a little bit of adjusting to do at the beginning in response to feedback (which confirmed a gut feeling I had anyway, so I shouldn’t have ignored it and I’m happy to be developing my instinct for pacing and the shape of a romance novel – although part of the problem here was that a habit from writing short category romance snuck in and didn’t work). But I really need to get this thing written while I’m on a roll.

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