Friday 19 May 2017


My sister, Caroline Roberts,  writer of women's romantic fiction spent part of last week down in Somerset.  It was great to spend four days talking about writing, publishers, agents and all things of a bookish nature.  Family, friends and colleagues are all extremely supportive of my writing journey but there is something about spending time with a published author that means you don't have to make yourself stop talking about the process of writing and endless rounds of editing.  You don't get 'that look' that says, okay I have listened and I am interested but can we please just move on?  Unless you have the writing bug yourself it must seem a pretty strange thing to do when you could be doing so many other things in your 'free time' that don't demand your undivided attention to be tied to a laptop for hours on end.  Followed by editing.  Editing.  And yet more editing.

The fact that Caroline and I write in different genres is a GOOD thing.  It means I take time out from reading YA novels and immerse myself in a different world.  Reading a book written by someone as close to you as a sibling is quite an experience.  I guess it's the same for the writer having a sibling read their book and then waiting for their reaction to months of hard work.  Fortunately we have not fallen into the trap of treating each other's work as 'competition'.  We share nuggets of useful information and support one another on a reguar basis.    

The writing business is a strange and often solitary one so I count myself as very fortunate being able to share the journey with someone who understands how it feels to submit a beloved manuscript only to get rejections.  The high point of getting representation from an agent was a massive achievement for both of us.  We are also great believers in getting booked onto writing festivals.  If my sister hadn't kept telling me how fantastic these are and how helpful if is to have one to ones with agents I would never have gone to Winchester last year.   It really was a turning point in my writing career as I had such positive feedback from three agents.  I am now represented by Lorella Belli who is a wonderful hands-on agent with a great passion for her writers.  Having her agency advise me on editing and dealing with the submission process means I can get on with the business of writing which is what I am happiest doing. 



  1. Thanks for having me, Debbie! I had a fabulous time in Somerset with the family, and it's been great to chat writing and hopefully give some useful advise. My main tip is KEEP GOING! Persevere, and keep writing what you enjoy and are passionate about. Writing novels and trying to get them published is a bit of a marathon but it's such an amazing feeling when it finally happens. And I'm sure it will for you one day soon ...! Caroline :) xxx

    1. Thanks for all your support, Csroline. Was lovely to catch up. Xx


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