Thursday, February 7, 2013

Welcome SYTYCW contestant, author Fiona Marsden

Q: Hi Fiona, thanks for being here today. Overall, how would you rate your experience with So You think You Can Write Global 2012?

A: I had a great time with the contest. Apart from receiving a rejection for the same manuscript two days after entering. It was actually quite liberating after the initial rejection meltdown. I figured I had nothing to lose so just enjoyed the camaraderie. I managed to read over 200 of the entries and the synopses for quite a few more.

I think the best part was getting to know so many other writers going through the same process. I’m still in touch with quite a few.

Q: We were required to upload the first chapter as our entry in SYTYCW. Is that chapter still in its original form or has it gone through more revisions?

A: I noticed a couple of typos and that I hadn’t described what my heroine was wearing. Those were fixed but otherwise not a lot of changes. The book was more or less finished before the contest but I revised the first chapter drastically before entering.

Q: How about the rest of the book? Is it finished? Going through more revisions?

A: The entire book was revised along the same lines as the first chapter after the contest. I received a full request from Harlequin UK immediately after SYTYCW finished. I finished the revisions and sent it off a couple of weeks later.

Q: Any thoughts on submitting your entry to another publisher or agent?

A: I will wait to see how that request from Harlequin UK works out before considering other options.

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: I could say all my life. I had some poetry published as a child and started writing romances that I never finished in my teens. Once I had a family I stopped writing for many years though I still read copiously. I seriously began writing again in September 2010. Since then I’ve manage to complete quite a few stories to the HEA stage which is an accomplishment in itself.

Q: Have you ever entered a contest like this one before?

A: I discovered SYTYCW 2011 when it was half over and quickly entered one of my completed stories. I suspect it wasn’t even properly formatted as it was the first one I wrote and I didn’t have a clue. It probably looked like an old university English assignment but longer. I also entered two stories into the Valerie Parv Award and had some useful feedback.

Q: What are your thoughts about the promotional aspect of the contest?

A: I assume you are referring to the self promotion side of the contest. I found it quite difficult but enjoyed promoting the other entries I enjoyed. I think having the rejection for that MS made it harder to consider that my entry was worth promoting.

In terms of the overall promotional aspect of the contest I think it was a great way to raise the profile of Romance and Romance Writers.

Q: If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently, if anything?

A: Not enter a Manuscript that was already under consideration. I’d actually forgotten it was out there because I have several stories I’m preparing. Remembering which ones I’d subbed six months ago and which were already rejected is a job in itself. I have a spreadsheet but I don’t study it religiously.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I did pitches for two manuscripts at the RWAus2012 conference at the Gold Coast here in Australia. Both received some interest and one three chapter request is with HarlequinUK at present. I am revising the rest of the MS and working on another MS that I’ve been invited to submit to another publisher. I always have something fresh on the go as well.

Q: Where can we find you on the Web?

A: I have a blog I do the occasional thing with at I am planning a website but am focusing on getting my writing up to scratch at present. I’m on Twitter as @FionaMarsden2.

Thanks for sharing, Fiona!


  1. Thanks for being here today, Fiona. You have a great attitude. I know you'll be published soon!

  2. Still got my fingers crossed for your SYTYCW full, Fi. And I nearly did what you did, and entered an already under consideration manuscript. If my CP's hadn't been more excited by Mountain Man, I would probably have been in the same situation.

    Good luck with your other-pub fling on the side :)

  3. Thanks Amalie. I just got a rejection on a partial pitch request for a different MS so my hopes are riding on the SYTYCW full at the moment. Looking forward to seeing Mountain Man in print (or ebook) it was one chapter I particularly enjoyed and remember quite well.

  4. That was really interesting, Fiona. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Good luck with the full!!!!

  5. I just reread my answers and I changed my twitter handle last week to @FionaMMarsden FYI

  6. Thanks for coming by Anna. It was certainly an experience.

  7. Fiona's blog is wonderful. I highly recommend people visit regularly!

    Fiona!!!!! I don't think I knew you had a request from HQN UK!!!! How exciting!!! Best of luck to you my friend!

  8. Fiona, I really liked your SYTYCW2012 entry and can't wait to read the published book. Good Luck & Best wishes.
    Fingers crossed here ;)

  9. Best of luck! Thanks for sharing with us today!

  10. Thanks for the blog Promo Wendy. It is very exciting but nervewracking too. ;-].
    Sara, I hope you get the chance to read the published book too.
    Thanks Heather.
    Thanks to all of you for coming around and the retweets too.
    A special thanks to Maria for having me as her guest.

  11. I love your honesty and integrity Fi. But most of all, I love your perseverance.

    X Angelina.