At Famous Five Plus HQ we have the banners out and the corks popping and the reason is that former member of FFP, the lovely Michelle Betham is chatting with Pauline Barclay about her fabulous news! Michelle has just been signed up with top publisher, Harper Impulse. How exciting is that?
Michelle because it is a celebration, we have several bottles of bubbly chilling, so help yourself and keep your glass filled!
Congratulations on your signing with Harper Impulse. Tell us a little about it.
I’m just so excited about all of this, Pauline! I always kept telling myself I wouldn’t submit again, mainly because all the waiting and hoping, only to be replaced with disappointment, can be so draining! But, another author friend of mine suggested I submit to Harper Impulse, and in the end I thought I’d give it a go.
Harper Impulse are a romance division of publishers Harper Collins, and they’ve only been up and running since March 2013, but already they’re proving a force to be reckoned with, and I’m so happy to be part of such a fantastic and enthusiastic team. They’re always looking for new and exciting authors, so for anyone who writes romance, and is thinking of submitting to publishers, I really would recommend giving Harper Impulse a go.
At this stage can you tell us what books we can see published under the banner of Harper Impulse and when we can see them out in the market place?
I can’t say much about two of the books just yet, except to say that they will be out some time in 2014. I have got one coming out with Harper Impulse before Christmas, though.
How did all this all come about?
I actually submitted a book to them back in March 2013, but, as the months ticked by and I heard nothing back from them, I assumed that book had been rejected. However, when I heard they were looking for Christmas/New Year themed stories I decided to give submitting another go and sent them what was then my self-published novella Christmas Without Icing.
And, after putting all of that to the back of my mind and thinking nothing more of it, because I’m basically one of life’s pessimists, it was a wonderful surprise (bit of an understatement there, actually) when I got an email back in October from Charlotte over at Harper Impulse asking if she could call me for a chat about both my submissions! I actually couldn’t believe it at first, and when she told me they wanted me to sign a three book deal I was, to put it mildly, over the moon! And then, as if that wasn’t amazing enough news, I got another call from Charlotte just a couple of weeks ago telling me that my little Christmas novella was one of the three winners of their Winter Wonderland competition! And part of my prize for winning that competition is to go down to London and have afternoon tea in Fortnum and Masons, which is where I’m going on December 18th!
So, to say that the last couple of months of this year have been a bit of a whirlwind is an understatement! I’m just so excited, because Harper Impulse were the publishers I really wanted, and to think that they loved my books is just incredible!
That is truly wonderful - congratulations! This exciting news must not only make you feel proud that you have achieved a prestigious signing, but has it made a change in your approach to writing? Can you share some of your thoughts on what these changes are and how you feel?
Well, I think the most important change now is that I have to work to deadlines – and not necessarily self-imposed ones anymore! So, more rigorous self-discipline is something I’m going to have to get used to. Apart from that, though, my approach to writing hasn’t really changed all that much. Except for the fact I’ve had a little confidence boost, and that never hurts! I’m just going to work really hard, write more books, and carry on doing what I absolutely love doing – writing romance!
And finally, have you a Christmas novella coming out this year?
Yes, I have! And this is the first book by me that will be published through Harper Impulse. The First Christmas Without You – which is the re-edited and newly-titled Christmas Without Icing - will be released on December 19th, but is available to pre-order now from Amazon.
Michelle, I can feel your excitement and deservedly so. Thank you so much for taking time out of your manic schedule to share your wonderful news. Once again congratulations and I hope to be seeing you in the top 100 best sellers of 2014!
The First Christmas Without You - Amazon UK: amzn.to/19bXGMi