Do you believe in fate?

I've always thought things work out as they should. If something I want doesn't happen, it's probably because something better is waiting round the corner.

My patience has been tested over the last few years with my writing when despite numerous contest wins, the editor and agent interest in my winning stories didn't translate into offers. Paranormal romance is a difficult market to break into so I've been told numerous times.

Then last June, friends persuaded me to enter The Magic Knot in the American Title contest. To be honest, I thought Dorchester would probably send me a polite note telling me I wasn't eligible as I didn't live in America. (After all, the contest is called American Title.) But well done to Dorchester for their international spirit; they accepted my entry and not only that, liked it enough to choose the story as one of the ten finalists that moved on to the voting rounds.

I was over the moon to be chosen as a finalist by the Dorchester editors and have excerpts of my story published in Romantic Times. I expected to make it through the first couple of rounds, three if I were lucky. Romantic Times magazine isn't sold in the UK, so I doubted I'd make it much further. I underestimated the wonderful support of my friends (thank you fellow fuzzies!), family and obviously a good sized group of Romantic Times readers. Much to my amazement, The Magic Knot has made it all the way through to the final round--the final two. Now I have the fun of attending the Romantic Times convention in Pittsburgh in a few weeks time to find out if I've won the American Title contest and a publishing contract with Dorchester.

To put icing on the cake, last week I heard that The Magic Knot is also a finalist in Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart® contest. I'll also be able to attend the RWA® conference in San Francisco and attend the awards ceremony as a finalist. My patience is paying off. Fate is smiling on me and it looks as though 2008 is going to be my year.

I've always thought 2 and 8 are lucky numbers for me!

So if life seems hard work and it feels like you're taking two steps forward and one step back, hang on in there. Better things could be right around the corner.

When I return from Pittsburgh on April 22nd I'll be sure to post my news on American Title here. So keep an eye open!


  1. Nightingale // April 3, 2008 at 4:13 PM  

    Congratulations and thanks for an uplifting story. The rejection gets to you after awhile and the road seems too long to continue. It is wonderful when somebody (and a dear Pink Fuzzy) succeeds. Best of Luck, Helen and have a great time at the convention. I love RT. Mary and I have been to a couple.

  2. Beth Trissel // April 3, 2008 at 4:20 PM  

    I'm so excited for you, Helen! Your writing journey is amazing.

  3. Mary Marvella // April 3, 2008 at 6:22 PM  

    Ditto what Linda and Beth said! Seeing someone we know make it helps the rest of us believe!

  4. Mona Risk // April 3, 2008 at 10:28 PM  


    Congratulations on AT final and GH final. Yours is an amazing story of talent, perseverance and hardwork. You are an inspiration and you are giving me back hope to reach my goal if I do it right.