Yesterday evening I attended a New Voices workshop hosted by the lovely Heidi Rice at the Mayfair Library in London. We grabbed a glass of wine and some cheese straws and huddled around a large wooden table to get down to the business of writing romance. The setting was intimate and informal – perfect for a chat about Heidi’s books, alpha male heroes and sassy heroines.
Heidi began by outlining what Mills and Boon look for in a romance novel and went through the various lines, including the newly founded RIVA line, aimed at bringing younger readers into the M&B fold.
The group attending were a mixture of well versed, aspiring authors who knew quite a bit about the genre and the various M&B lines, as well as total newbie’s who were exploring romance for the first time. There were five of us who had entered New Voices and I’ll be looking out for their entries.
Heidi then went on to outline the characteristics of a romantic hero and heroine. The audience asked plenty of questions and we all had a bit of a giggle over certain character types and flaws. Launching into the conflict which in Heidi’s own words “is the engine that drives the story” we all outlined our own conflict situation and discussed variations in plot themes and the importance of fresh new angles to revive traditional plots.
Finally, the last twenty minutes were spent in an audience Q and A, during which we discussed New Voices in more detail and some of the braver members of the audience chatted about their submission’s conflict and characters.
Thanks to Heidi for a very informative evening, and all the best to the aspirational women I met last night.