Friday, 27 November 2015

Guest Post - Maxine Morrey's Write Christmas Experience - #CarinaChristmas

This year Carina ran a "Write Christmas" competition for all aspiring writers, to send in submissions, with the winner being given a Carina contract, and book deal. This is Maxine Morrey's experience with the competition.

Being told I’d won the Carina UK ‘Write Christmas’ competition was a bit of a surreal moment. For one thing, I was in a hospital bed with a fair bit of anaesthetic still floating around inside of me!

This year, I really decided to go for it, when it came to writing competitions. Although I’ve had articles and a local history book published, writing novels has always been the thing I’ve enjoyed most, and what I really wanted to do. So although I do send off agent queries intermittently, my main plan for the year was to enter as many competitions as I could. If nothing else, it was good practice, not only for writing itself, but also for managing deadlines. 

That aspect certainly came into play with the ‘Write Christmas’ competition! When it first came to my attention, I was working on another entry – but I really liked the sound of a Christmas themed book and had an idea tucked away that I thought might work. In the end, by the time I got the synopsis ‘just right’ and read everything through so many times, the entry was sent off with less than ten minutes to spare on the midnight deadline!

Once it was sent, I moved on to the next competition. I also had some medical stuff scheduled in August – realising I was due to have general anaesthetic on the day of the Carina winner announcement, I joked on Twitter that I was quite glad I’d be under sedation that day as it would be less painful that not winning! 

When I came back from theatre, I picked up my phone to ring my husband to let him know that he couldn’t cash in the life insurance just yet! That’s when I saw an email entitled ‘Write Christmas’. Honestly, I really thought it was one of those ‘Thanks for your entry. I’m sorry to say…’ messages. I blearily opened it anyway – and read that the publishers had been trying to contact me and could I give them a call! I read it about ten times, just to be sure! By this time, it was nearly 5 o’clock, so I wasn’t sure if they’d still be there or not but fumbled about dialling just in case! 

Victoria Oundjian, the Carina editor who’d sent the email, was lovely and told me that they’d absolutely loved the chapters I’d sent in and couldn’t wait to discover the rest of the story! I couldn’t believe it! She was so enthusiastic and encouraging – it just felt wonderful! I couldn’t stop grinning – even when I found out that the deadline was less than a month away! My blood pressure was through the roof with the excitement! I wasn’t allowed to make any announcements but I ended up having to tell the nurse that I’d just got a book contract because they weren’t going to let me home due to the super high blood pressure! She was almost as excited as me and told the rest of the team! So much for secrets! Luckily, I hadn’t mentioned the competition or the name of the publisher but their support was really heart warming! 

It was a very surreal day, all in all – and I have to say, I was so glad when the winning announcement was made on Twitter the following day – because a teeny bit of me was worried I’d just made it up in an anaesthetic induced haze! 

About Maxine Morrey

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first she won a handful of book tokens -  perfect for a young bookworm! 

As years went by, she continued to write, but 'normal' work often got in the way. Finally, she really decided to go for it, and wrote. Really wrote. And after a while she had a bunch of articles, and a non fiction book to her name. But her real love is writing novels and the magical escapism it affords - for both writer and reader. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through as the publishers succumbed to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities. 

In August 2015, she won Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition. Her first romantic comedy from HarperCollins (Carina UK) 'Winter's Fairytale' is due out in November and is available for pre order now. 

Maxine lives in Sussex, England with her husband and when not wrangling with words, can be found adding to her To Be Read pile, sewing, walking and wondering when they are going to invent a robot for ironing.

Instagram - @scribbler_maxi
Pinterest - ScribblerMaxi

What a brilliant story Maxine, and after an operation, that must have been the best news to start you on your recovery. Congratulations and its a great book. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, Rachel! And thanks for having me on the blog.


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