Monthly Archives: June 2012

How I got the Mills& Boon Riva Call……………

So, a little of my journey to publication…

I distinctively remember writing my first book at the age of eight…it was a romance, complete, if I remember correctly, with a chaste kiss. Since then, I never stopped writing completely and delved into it when I had time and frequently put it on hold ( a fancy way of saying that I gave up) when I was reminded of  how incredibly hard it was…as any author will know.

About six years ago, I was sitting in a wicker basket hanging from a massive tree on the edge of Lake Malawi and I’d just finished a lazy, sun-shiny conversation (the only type you can have in Malawi) with good friends and realized that writing made me happier than anything else and it was time to either take it seriously or give it up completely. I decided to take it seriously and started applying myself to learning the craft….I went on writing courses, I did on-line courses, I read books, I scoured the Internet for articles on writing.

And I wrote. And then I wrote some more. I managed to get an agent for a short time but when she immigrated to Australia, and shut down her agency, I genuinely thought that it was the end of the road. It’s so difficult getting an agent and the slush pile takes years…I think that was the lowest point in terms of my writing and I seriously wondered whether it was worth the time and effort.

Yet something inside me wouldn’t allow me to completely give up hope…

On a whim and without much expectation I entered a SA short story competition in 2010 that was run in one of our local magazines in conjunction with Mills & Boon. I didn’t win but came within in the top ten. The stories were sent off to M&B and Flo Nicoll asked me to develop the characters into a novel. I worked on it with her for about six months and then she sent it off to the powers that be. I really thought I had no chance, it was taking so long! Then Flo said that the Riva team had liked it but could I do some revisions (and they wanted the revisions in a week! Gasp! Dismay!). Long story short, Flo called and gave me the news, said they liked the revisions and said they’d buy my second book as well. My husband, who was home at the time, was listening to my conversation and later told me that he was rolling on the floor laughing because all he heard me say was ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’ like the village idiot! LOL!

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Hello world!

About Me…..

Riva Author-Debut Book ‘She’s So Over Him’ Release Date September 2012

I wrote my first book at the age of eight and have never really stopped. My passion for putting black letters on a white screen is only matched by my love of books and travelling (especially to the wild places of Southern Africa) and, possibly, by my  hatred of ironing and making school lunches.

I was a finalist in the Voice of Africa/Essentials magazine Short Story writing competition in 2010 and was placed third in 2011. It was through this competition that my first book was brought to the notice of the Mills and Boon Editors.

Fueled by coffee, when I’m not writing or being a hands-on Mom, with my background in business and marketing, I work for a non-profit organization to promote the local economic development and the collective business interests of the area where I reside. My hobbies include coaching my young daughter’s field hockey team, meeting my friends for a before-work cappuccino and an after-work cup of tea and reading, reading, reading! I’m  happiest with a rucksack on my back and an airplane ticket in my hand and I have been fortunate enough to indulge my passion for travel by visiting many countries within Southern Africa, Europe and America.

I live in a rural town in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa in an area surrounded by wild game farms and stunning mountains. Totally spoilt, its not unusual for me to see rhinoceros and giraffe, antelope and zebra while driving to have tea with my Mom in a neighboring town. I live with my husband, son and daughter─ and our pets ─happily, and chaotically, surrounded by books, family and friends.

I would love to connect with readers on Twitter @josswoodbooks; on Facebook – Joss Wood and at in the very near future.