Welcome to the RWAs ‘Three Things I Learned’ blog. Katrina Coll is an award winning author of contemporary romance fiction and writes kissing books that leave you wanting. Katrina is here today to talk about her debut novel ‘A Match Made for TV’ and the three P’s that have inspired her writing journey. Welcome Katrina!
If I have to narrow it down to three things, I’d say it’s Passion, Perseverance, and Practical not Perfect.
While everyone might have a book in them, getting that book out means more time and effort than most people are prepared to dedicate.
I have the passion to write in spades. I love the process of turning words into a story. It’s possible I might love the process a little too much—because, as my heroine, Ria, would say in A Match Made for TV, this ain’t my first rodeo. Although it’s my debut novel, it’s my fourth completed manuscript—my fifth if I count that one I wrote and submitted to Mills and Boon while an undergrad at uni.
It’s embarrassing how long ago that was (decades) but the very nice rejection letter flattened my twenty-year-old self. I put my passion aside for years to build another career.
This is why I believe it takes a different kind of passion to be published—whether traditionally or by going indie. In both cases, you have to believe your story is worth sharing.
This leads me nicely to Perseverance. My original word choice here was persistence, but I believe it takes more than keeping at something to be successful. It requires resilience. To keep on writing until you get to The End is an achievement worth celebrating, but it’s not the end of the process if you want to move to the next level.
When I came back to writing, I did so with a flying start by winning the Valerie Parv Award—the first competition I entered. And then I discovered the real work was only just beginning. There’s rewriting, editing, copyediting, proofing…. Then, to step from writer to author, there are blurbs and/or synopses to write, covers to brief, a brand to build…
It’s here that I wish I’d learned earlier to be Practical not Perfect. Only Mary Poppins is ‘practically perfect in every way.’ After winning the Stiletto Award in the US for an unpublished draft of what is now A Match Made for TV, I sent the polished manuscript to an editor who’d requested it, then heard nothing for months. I nudged. Crickets.
Then Covid hit, and it seemed a poor time to pitch a story featuring a doctor with burnout. Really though, my excuse was more about me. I’d been seeking The Perfect Book Deal when really I needed to get something out into the world and move on to the next book.
So I did a deal with the universe and sent out my manuscript to three smaller publishers where I felt it would fit. The first replied with a pro-forma rejection. The second noted my “engaging plot and strong voice” but had just signed another author writing about a reality TV series with a resident matchmaker. The third offered for it, and here I am!
I suppose to summarise, if passion is the ‘want,’ then perseverance is the ‘how.’ You have to be prepared to ask for and accept feedback, face rejections, and learn how to take the constructive out of the criticism. Bottom line, though, is the need to be practical. At some point, you need to make the call that ‘this story is good enough’ to let the writing aspect shift into the sharing.
Looking back, the best move I ever made was joining the Romance Writers of Australia. Thanks to the time and support given to me by so many of my fellow authors, I’ve finally shifted lanes from writer to author.
About A Match Made on TV
Forced to fake a relationship, they must pit their hearts against their careers.
Ria DeLorenzo is a damn good doctor. Or was. Burnt out before she’s begun, a three-month paid vacation as the medical consultant to a reality TV show is just what she needs to recover her mojo.
Cancer survivor and headline grabber Griffin Stromberg is desperate to reboot his ultra-macho image. Typecast by years of fame, showcasing his softer side with a picture-perfect relationship should do the trick. Until Ria breaches show protocol and gets Griff’s fake girlfriend disqualified.
Now Ria’s only hope of clocking out of reality is to check in to a fantasy by becoming his new partner. Griff, however, wants their relationship to be the real deal, not one of his infamous life-hacks.
Can a man renowned for taking shortcuts prove he’s ready to commit to a forever relationship? Or will reality bite once filming is over?
Direct from Publisher: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/a-match-made-for-tv-by-katrina-coll/
Digital Retailers (Books2Read): https://books2read.com/A-Match-Made-for-TV
About Katrina Coll
Katrina Coll is an award-winning writer of contemporary romantic fiction. Her debut novel, A Match Made for TV, won the Contemporary Romance Writers Stiletto Award under its working title prior to being published.
Originally from Australia, Katrina fell in love with an Irishman and emigrated the wrong way. She and her family now live in the heart of the Emerald Isle, surrounded by neighbours that mostly moo but sometimes baa. Happily, she prefers castles to beaches and can handle her whiskey—even if she can’t convince the human locals that she’s definitely staying.
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