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  • Lynne Shelby

My Journey To Publication - Annette Hannah - This Writing Life #19

Today, I'm delighted to join the Blog Tour for Annette Hannah's wonderful debut novel, Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Café. I asked Annette to tell me about her journey to publication.

Over to you, Annette...

Hi Lynne, thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog, it feels quite strange for me as being a blogger myself I’m normally the interviewer.

I’ve been writing a book a year for four years now and after I wrote each one I would send it out to a handful of agents and publishers and then immediately start another one. One because the ideas kept coming thick and fast and two because it helped take my mind off the fact that my words were out there in unknown territory. It felt very exposing. Every time I received a rejection, I would take it on the chin and try and learn from any comments I received back. Then my third manuscript began to get some interest. I was still getting rejections, but the feedback was much more positive and showed me that I must be improving.

After the first year, I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and I do think that that was a game changer, I went to annual conferences with workshops and talks by hugely successful authors and I learnt a lot. As a new writer I was entitled to a manuscript critique per year which gave me pointers as to how to improve my work. I also joined the London Chapter of the RNA and have made so many wonderful friends there. Being surrounded by like-minded people is brilliant as you can iron out any issues you may have and there’s always someone who has been through a similar experience that can help you out.

Eventually I was able to understand that the magic in writing is in the editing, I’d always disliked editing but when it clicked I began to enjoy it and could really see how it made my work better.

I’d seen the Orion Dash team giving a talk at the conference last year and really liked their energy and excitement at opening a new imprint. I sent my edited manuscript off and when I received a reply, I quickly scanned the email looking for the word ‘unfortunately,’ as I thought it would be a rejection. When I couldn’t find it, I read the email properly and saw that Victoria from Dash had said she’d fallen head over heels for my story and asked if it was still available. I burst into tears and my poor daughter thought something awful had happened. The next day I was delighted to be offered a two-book deal and since then I feel like I’ve been in a whirlwind.

My journey to publication has been wonderful and my advice to other new writers is to work hard, don’t give up and one day your dream will come true too.

Thanks so much for sharing your journey to publication with us, Annette. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Cafe. Wishing your book every success

Here comes the bride...

Lucy Woods has always dreamed of running her very own wedding venue. After moving her eight-year-old son to the countryside she's surprised to find the perfect location and her best friend, Abbie, eager to help make that dream a reality! Too bad Abbie's older brother Dominic isn't keen on Lucy or their big idea!

As a divorce lawyer Dominic doesn't believe in love at first sight or wedding vows, he's seen them broken more times than he can count. But when Lucy arrives back in town, his hardened heart begins to crack.

Making her dream come true is a huge undertaking, but Lucy knows that The Signal Box Café is her chance to finally make something of her life. If only the irritating (and oh-so-gorgeous) Dom didn't make her imagine wearing a white dress and walking down the aisle...

Can Lucy and Dominic find a way to each other this summer or will the wedding bells chime for another couple?

If you would like to purchase Wedding Bells at the Signal box Cafe, please click on the link below or copy and paste into your browser:

About Annette Hannah

Annette Hannah is a Liver Bird who relocated to leafy Hertfordshire in the 80’s and now lives near a river with her husband, two of their three grown up children and a crazy black cocker spaniel. She writes Romantic comedies in settings inspired by the beautiful countryside around her and always with a nod to her hometown. As an avid reader she became a book blogger and eventually realised her dream to become an author in 2020.

She loves long walks along the river, travelling to far flung places, the odd glass of Pinot Blush and spending time with her friends and family.

You can follow her on

twitter @annettehannah


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