I’m delighted to welcome Alexis Jakes, a New Writers’ Scheme member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, to my blog.
For those unfamiliar with the RNA - New Writers’ Scheme, the scheme offers unpublished writers the chance to network with fellow writers, agents and publishers...and includes many more membership benefits..
Hello Alexis – Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, today. As we whizz through a few Questions & Answers, hopefully, readers and followers can gain insight into some of the things that matter to you as a writer. It's a chance for all of us to get to know you a little as you make your way towards the publication of your novel. So, let's get started... 😊
Arabella: How did you hear about or discover: The Romantic Novelists’ Association - New Writers’ Scheme?
Alexis: I came across the NWS quite by chance. I decided to apply. Back then, I seem to remember we had to apply to the scheme just after the stroke of midnight. Sitting there with my finger poised on the send button felt very nerve-wracking indeed. Luckily for me, I was successful.
Arabella: Egg and Chips, Tea and Cake, or a Chocolate Treat?
Alexis: This is a hard one. Egg and Chips is my favourite tea of all time, but I’m also a die-hard chocoholic!
Arabella: Name something on your to-do list…
Alexis: At the moment? Unpacking forty-four boxes of our belongings. We’ve just returned to the UK after living in hot and dusty Saudi Arabia for eighteen months. Our eldest son remained in our property in the UK, so now we’re trying to squeeze two households into one. Not an easy task, I can tell you! We have so many possessions.
Arabella: When and where do you write? Early mornings when the world is still sleeping? Late afternoons when you’ve time to relax? Or other opportune moments…?
Alexis: My favourite time to write is early morning, but I have been known to pull an all-nighter when I’m in the zone. This has happened to me quite a few times. My husband is used to me by now.
Arabella: Which season of the year do you most enjoy and why?
Alexis: It has to be Spring. The big, fat buds sprouting on the branches never fail to lift my spirits. As do the bulbs popping up in the garden. This year, however, after returning from a place where the weather is constantly hot and sunny, I’ve loved Autumn’s riot of colour.
Arabella: You’ve arranged to meet up with friends and family for an afternoon of fun. Where do you go and what do you do?
Alexis: My husband and I have two grown up sons, so, now we’re back from Saudi Arabia, our favourite Sunday afternoon activity is to go for a long walk together, and then back to ours for tea. We sometimes shoot up to the Lake District (about fifty miles from our home) or we might stay local. Two weeks ago, before the Ribble Valley got placed in level 3 of the COVID restrictions, we did a great nine miles around Chorley. That’s about my limit, though. I start to ache after that.
Arabella: So…you are a member of the RNA’s – NWS which means you are in the throes of writing the next bestseller.
No spoilers and without revealing too much about your plot… (otherwise someone might pinch your great story ideas before they’ve been published… ☺ ) Tell us briefly about the romance you hope to submit to the RNA’s - New Writers’ Scheme for a free, friendly critique, before approaching an agent or publisher with your completed manuscript.
Alexis: I’m about three chapters into a first person story set in a fictional Middle Eastern country. This is a new venture for me as I’ve never attempted first person before, nor written about a fictional country. It’s a marriage of convenience story with a difference!
Thank you so much for sharing something about yourself and your writing journey with us, Alexis. Best wishes for any NWS works in progress, and I hope your manuscripts find a home with the romance publisher of your dreams.
About Alexis Jakes
I submitted my first book - Red Sails - to Harlequin Mills and Boon back in 1991 when I was 33 years old. The book got rejected, and after re-reading it, I’m not surprised. I didn’t write again until 2015 when I got through to the final 55 of Harlequin’s SYTYCW. The competition that year was different in that our stories were published on Wattpad for everyone to read and vote upon. There were thousands of entries so I was heartened to reach even that stage.
I’m a bit older than 33 now, and still on the path to publication. I’ve been married for 40 years to my own wonderful hero, and I’m the mother of two sons who I love to the moon and back.
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