First of all I would like to thank Elin very much for allowing me to do my first guest post as Izzy van Swelm. The imminent release of my first book is much in my mind, so I want to talk a little about my experiences with the process thus far.
This post also comes at a time when in the LGBTQ romance community, we have witnessed what is generally called ‘author’s behaving badly.’ If I had been as new to social platforms, as I am to publishing, I may well have thrown my hands up and said ‘I don’t want to be a part of this’. It has been very saddening and disheartening.
My experience of authors while working towards being published couldn’t have been more different. I have always wanted to write, but I wanted my first novel to be the one that changed the world…the one that made people love each other…ended famine…helped world peace and was a literary masterpiece. A pretty tall order and it kept me from seriously writing for a very long time.
I have been blogging and reviewing with Prism Book Alliance under my own name for some time and I attended UKMeet in 2014 as a reviewer and blogger. I offered my services to one of the organisers Charlie Cochrane, as a volunteer on the registration desk to combat any initial shyness. I let slip that I had an outline and first chapter for a novel… if I found the courage could I approach the publishers attending the Meet? Charlie became my fairy godmother from then on and arranged meetings with three publishers who would be attending. She also stopped my doubts and firmed my purpose. I couldn’t have wished for a better motivator…
While I was at UKMeet and preparing to see publishers, in between enjoying a lot of alcohol, dancing and meeting fascinating people…I was in email contact with another author, whose work I greatly admire, Alexis Hall. Every evening we would email each other, and he kept me grounded while I floated around on overenthusiasm, but shared my squealing over my small successes. I had so many people wish me luck and share in my happiness. That weekend will always stay with me as a total joyous memory.
Once I received my contract another author, Clare London, read over it for me and advised me on things to look out for and clauses to check before I signed it. In fact back at the Meet, over breakfast, my pen name was discussed between myself, Clare, Jordan Castillo Price and JL Merrow…I nearly became Snowy Durham!
Once I had the contract the real hard work began…actually delivering the written words you have promised. It can be hard work on days when words won’t come or you are tired maybe hungover, but on the days when everything is easy, writing is a joy. Then there is a lot of waiting…content edits…waiting…line edits…waiting…galley proofs sometimes unavoidable delays affecting release dates very frustrating. Then of course once it is released promoting your newborn!
I am on the promotion part whilst writing the sequel it can be confusing and I seem to spend all my day thinking of answers to strange questions….but it is all part of the process. If anyone asked me when I got really excited…I would say I had three real ‘delicate scream’ moments. First when I was offered a contract…second when I was emailed the first mock-up of the cover and the third at this time I am still waiting for…release day!
I wanted to write this post to give an example showing that for every argument on Facebook there are many comments…messages and emails of support and motivation. For every ‘Catfish’ there are many true souls who will donate money, and offer real help to friends in need who they may never meet in ‘real life’. For every example of hatred or insult there are written words of love, romance and hope from the many authors who truly wish to make a difference to your day, in some small way.
Soul Mate for SIN
by Izzy Van Swelm
Release Date 28th January 2015
The effects of an attack on SIN, a twenty-nine year old University lecturer, reach out further into his future than SIN could ever imagine. In a story, which seems doomed to start with an end, SIN learns about the forever kind of love, and how family is not just biological. ‘Soul-Mate for SIN’ shows how twists of fate can take a loving, but ordinary family, from a small market town in England and turn them into something extraordinary.
Social Media Links
https://www.facebook.com/IzzyvanSwelm – Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007247866404 – FB Account
Izzy van Swelm (aka Beverley Jansen)
Izzy van Swelm is English, but took her Mother in Law’s maiden name as a pen name. Izzy dreams of a world where all sentient species have rights and respect. A world where LGBTQAI lovers and friends, old and young, can walk holding hands meeting nothing more than the occasional affectionate eye roll. A world where intelligence, gentleness and compassion are the overwhelming attributes of politicians, and religion is practiced by those who believe, but never forced on those who do not.
Izzy is a romantic, a dreamer, a vegetarian and just a little eccentric. Izzy writes because she loves to tell stories, and she hopes that her stories will bring happiness, enjoyment and maybe to some…a little hope.