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Spies, Thieves and Liars

August 20th, 2021

I was reading an interview with the French-Moroccan author Leila Slimani recently (author of Adele and Lullaby, and winner of the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize).  She said that her inspiration comes from the outside; so she always carries a notebook with her and because of this her children think she is a spy.  She goes on “I try to explain that a writer is a kind of spy, but also a thief and a liar. They have a very bad opinion of me”.

That might sound a very odd thing to say, but I think it’s true. If you’re going to make it as a writer, you’ve got to be attuned to everything that’s going on around you and people-watch constantly. Then you’ve got to surreptitiously take what you see and transmute it into material for your books and short stories – but you can only do this by giving it enough of a twist to turn it into something that’s out of the ordinary and gripping. So raise your glasses to the spies, the thieves and the liars amongst us!

Moving on, I was intrigued to hear that Sarah Ferguson – Duchess of York – has had a novel published by Mills and Boon. Or, according to a Guardian review, she has written the book entitled ‘Her Heart for a Compasswith veteran M&B author Marguerite Kaye!

And if you fancy your chances of getting your book taken up by the ever-popular romance publisher then here’s your chance. Mills and Boon say:

We’re so excited to announce the launch of Love to Write in partnership with Love Island winner, Amber Rose Gill, to find new voices from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds for Mills & Boon!

Our aim is to increase racial diversity and representation within the romance genre, so we’re particularly interested in submissions from writers from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, including, but not limited to, Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Mixed-Race.

Your story should fit within our UK series guidelines: Modern, Historical, Medical and True Love. (More information about each series, and the key elements we are looking for, can be found here.)

Entrants should be previously unagented and haven’t had a fiction book published before based in the UK or Ireland. This competition is intended not only for writers who have been working on romance manuscripts for a while, but also for those who may have not considered writing romance before.

The winner will receive a one book contract with Mills & Boon worth £2,000 and a grant of £1,500 to support their writing. They will also receive a mentorship with an experienced Mills & Boon editor to help them develop their submission into a publishable romance novel.

It’s free to enter and the closing date is 19th September. Full details can be found here.

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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