This week LUV's spotlighting author Pippa Roscoe, who writes sexy romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon and loves every happy ending in each of her books. LUV: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you embark on the journey to publication? Pippa: I think a lot of my journey to being a writer included large portions of me not realising that I wanted to be a writer. Looking back on it now, I don’t think I ever really believed that I could be a writer. I always assumed that I would have a job if not exactly like my parents (who are both lawyers), but a serious job with career stability. (But they do say you can make God laugh by telling her your plans!) The first thing I ever wrote was at the age of fourteen and it was the opening to a crime thriller. A woman was sitting on a beach; full burnt orange sunset, Californian dusk, think The Pelican Brief meets CSI Miami. She’s looking out at the sea, contemplative, toes in the sand. Eventually she gets up, gets into a car and the car explodes. So far so good. Then we meet our heroine – a fourteen-year-old witness to the explosion and the cop who interviews her. Not bad – perhaps a little self-referential... And then my Dad in his attempts to renovate the garage, cuts through the computer cable and my opus is lost to the world. Devastating! So traumatic that I blocked the whole thing from my mind because the next thing I remember is that I wanted to be a script editor. I was watching an episode of ER and something about a particular scene hit me all wrong. In that moment, I imagined myself with a red pen and a script, crossing out what I hadn’t liked about it. I don’t think I was even aware there was such a job, but I could see the script and a red pen and my scribbles in the margins as clearly as I could see the tv. After university, I managed to make it some way towards that dream when I realized that I wasn’t cut out for the TV industry. So, I hopped over to publishing and became an editor. But it wasn’t until much later that I realized I wanted to write, because I was already doing it. While I was working for the BBC, I would spend every evening working on a fantasy novel. My weekends were spent turning my three page outline (the sweet, sweet innocence) into a 120,000 word first draft of a first book in a trilogy (that will probably never see the light of day). My naiveite back then was an absolute blessing! I loved it. I loved getting lost in the intricacies of the plot, investing in the characters, working out what they wanted, what they needed and how to frustrate those two things. But I don’t remember consciously thinking; I want to publish this, I want a contract, I want to make my living on this. It was just a story that I was writing. In some ways, my first romance was exactly the same. Working for Harlequin Mills & Boon as an editorial assistant was incredible, I learned so much about the publishing industry, how books are bought, written, edited, packaged, marketed. For someone like me who likes to know how things work, the processes, it was invaluable as a future author. But eventually, I realized that I wasn’t happy. Something was missing – I was working pretty hard and knew that I needed to make some changes. I wanted to spend more time with my family, I wanted a better balance to my life, so I sold my flat in south London and moved to where my family lived in the country. I bought a run-down cottage and, when I wasn’t writing and freelancing, I was doing it up bit by bit. (And yes, I’m aware that this is the beginning of more than one or two rom coms out there. So if anyone knows any handsome single suitable men who live in Norfolk, England, let me know in the comments!) Having worked as an editor for HMB, I knew the Presents/Modern series and I’d had an idea for one kicking around the back of my mind for a while; I wanted to see if a Presents could be told in ‘in real time’. I’ll admit to being overly influenced by a love of “24” and Keiffer Sutherland, but I also wanted to see if it was possible. If you could tell a convincing romance in ‘real time’ chapters. And so my debut novel, Conquering His Virgin Queen, was born! I submitted it to the Senior Editor for the Presents Series and after some strong revisions my first book was bought. I was actually on a date when I got ‘the call’. I’ve never had to do the, ‘I’m sorry, but if my phone rings I’m going to have to answer it.’ I honestly thought he’d leave then and there. But he didn’t and instead watched in fascination as my phone did ring and I was told that I was going to have my first book published and that I was being offered a two-book contract. And although we never really made it past friends, we still have coffee in the same place I got the call and he’s still one of the first people I tell when I get a new contract. But in all that, the thing that I realise now was that I was writing before I wanted to be a writer. I just had stories I wanted to tell, and I told them. That’s what makes you a writer; not whether you’ve published traditionally, self-published, have made a tv show or a film. The act of getting the story from your thoughts into form is writing, so don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not a writer if you haven’t achieved those milestones.

Posted by LUV Team at 2022-10-03 15:00:39 UTC