Harlequin Love Inspired #AmishBlitz

I have just started writing a contemporary Christian Romance featuring an Amish heroine.  An Amish story is probably not a direction I would’ve gone in without a prompt but I’ve had a little inspiration…

Harlequin are running one of their ‘Blitzes’.  This time it’s an #AmishBlitz.  A Blitz is a time-limited call for submissions to a particular series.  The series is Harlequin Love Inspired.  The Love Inspired  series features stories which, “show that faith, forgiveness and hope have the power to lift spirits and change lives—always.”  They are clean, which is a very good thing as far as I’m concerned.  I squirm reading steamy love scenes.  I dread to think what trying to write them would be like.

My heroine and hero have introduced themselves to me, and I’m rooting for them.  I will have to do some research though. I’ve not even seen Witness!  Louisa, my American heroine is Amish, but not yet baptised and my Scottish hero, Andrew, was brought up in the strict Free Church of Scotland.  Louisa is in her rumspringa (‘running around’) period.  They meet at a ski resort in Colorado.  Because I can do that.

A Christian romance in the snow seems like a very suitable  thing to be writing at Christmas time!

Update, 1 February 2017.  I really enjoyed working in this project but it soon started to feel like a young adult novel.  Also, Louisa’s return to her settlement happened too far in.  I decided to set it aside for now, and start over for the# AmishBlitz.

Getting started: So I think I can write?

I want to write a romance novel, and I want to write it well.  Fortunately, there is a lot of help out there.

My primary source of guidance so far has been Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write (‘SYTYCW’) blog.  My first novel, I have decided, will be in the manner of a Mills & Boon, which publisher is now part of the Harlequin group.

Harlequin accept unagented submissions and genuinely want to ‘find new voices in romantic fiction.  There is s wealth of advice and tips in the blog, including the brilliant Romance Writing 101 by Grace, a new Mills & Boon editorial assistant.

Not long after finishing a Creative Writing course, I entered a SYTYCW Writing Challenge, got great constructive criticism from a Harlequin edition and felt lucky to be afforded this contact.  Previously, I felt that there were not enough writing exercises during my course, and I didn’t feel inspire to write much, which meant I missed valuable feedback from my classmates as well as the tutor.  A section of the SCTYCW is specifically given over to the theme of ‘Inspiration’.

I’m feeling inspired…