Paths to Publishing: Never Giving Up by Romy Gemmell #amwriting #giveaway

Paths to publishing


The author is happy to give an e-copy of her book to one randomly chosen commenter who also leaves an email address.


Although I loved English and poetry at school, I’d never thought of writing anything apart from teenage romantic poetry, and only for my own eyes. One kind teacher recognised my enjoyment of poetry and lent me a book of poems. Soon, I started composing an exercise book full of my own humble efforts which I decorated with drawings of roses and such like.

At the same time, I was a prolific reader of all kinds of novels including historicals by Jean Plaidy, Anya Seaton and Georgette Heyer, crime fiction by Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh, classics by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, romantic suspense by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A Whitney and adventures by H Rider Haggard and John Buchan. Perhaps such a variety of reading material eventually encouraged my own different genres of writing!

Marriage, children and the realities of life intervened for many years but once my son and daughter attended school and all their own activities, I signed up for a correspondence writing course and started putting together some ideas for articles and stories. I gave up on the correspondence part eventually but the creative seed was sown.

Then we moved house when the children were reaching their teens and I discovered a writing group starting in a nearby town. By that time, my first short article was published in a woman’s rural magazine for which I received my first very small payment for writing! Joining the group was the single best thing I did for my future writing career. As well as meeting lots of creative people, many of whom are now close friends, I learned the craft of writing publishable stories, received constructive criticism and enjoyed visits by professional writers.

As my confidence grew, I tackled just about every form of writing, though I was keen to develop my short stories. The next most significant event was when our group joined the Scottish Association of Writers, an organisation that encompasses writing groups from all over Scotland and runs an annual weekend conference. That memorable year, several of us went to our first conference with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. What if we were out of our depth?

One of the main elements of the conference, even today, is the excellent list of competitions. They are adjudicated by professional writers and each entry is given a written critique, with prizes awarded at the conference. So that first year, I entered a new short story and waited with bated breath while that particular adjudicator stood up to deliver his short talk and results. Then the unbelievable happened. I won the Woman’s Short Story Competition that year! Not only that, but the judge was the editor of a well-known national women’s magazine (My Weekly) and he not only praised my story but told everyone that he was going to buy it for the magazine. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement!

Thus began my career as a published writer, although writing and getting the second story published was every bit as difficult as it is these days. I’ve always enjoyed tackling different types of writing and went on to have many stories, articles, poetry and children’s stories published. After more years of studying for a degree and postgraduate Masters in literature and history while working part-time and writing sporadically, I wanted to see if I could sustain writing a full length book, as that’s what I prefer to read.

Joining the New Writers’ Scheme of the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association gave me the push I needed to complete that first novel and I’ve never looked back! I’ve not been able to stick with one genre and still enjoy trying all kinds of writing. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons I rarely suffer from writer’s block, as I move to another piece when one is slow.

If I might offer a few of suggestions to aspiring writers it would be:

  • Join a writing group of some kind if possible
  • Experiment with different forms of writing as we often don’t know what most suits our voice until we try it
  • Read everything, especially genres you might not have read before
  • Never, ever give up. Circumstances and commitments can change but you are in charge of your creativity and it expands with use

I still follow my own inclination to read and write anything and everything. When I became a novelist, I began with Regency as I used to devour Georgette Heyer books and knew that era fairly well. Then I wrote a Victorian novella to expand the historical periods, as I studied European history and enjoy different eras. At the same time, I wrote two contemporary tween books, then moved into a contemporary novella series with a touch of mythological fantasy for adults.

And now? My first mainstream novel, The Highland Lass (under my full name), is due out in spring from Crooked Cat Publishing and it’s the ‘book of my heart’, set in my own area of Scotland, mainly contemporary but with short chapters from 1785. But I’m also writing a Victorian crime novel which is a whole new venture and the first 11,000 words already won second prize at the SAW conference. These days, I’m often an adjudicator at that same annual conference, as well as giving occasional talks to writing groups. I do still struggle with self-discipline at times, but this variety is what keeps writing an exciting occupation and fills my days with wonderful adventures in creativity. Follow your dream!


Midwinter Masquerade by Romy Gemmell - 500Title: Midwinter Masquerade by Romy Gemmell

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Date Published: November 2013

Genre: Regency historical

Word Count: around 75,000

Blurb: Edinburgh 1816: young widow Lady Lenora Fitzallan receives an unexpected invitation that might change her life but will ultimately mean a choice between two men. Accompanied by her elderly godmother, Lady Pettigrew, Lenora sets out to face the man she never thought to see again.

At Marlings, his Scottish country estate, Laird Edward Montgomery awaits the arrival of the woman he should have married seventeen years before, but has he left it too late? Meanwhile his young niece and ward, Annabelle, begins to fall in love in between getting into scrapes. But is it with the right man?

As they all prepare for the Masquerade Ball on the Winter Solstice in the lead up to Christmas, new arrivals cause uncertainty and reveal past secrets. But who will win Lenora’s love in the end?


Annabelle risked a glance and saw that Freddy did indeed struggle to reach her. Perhaps he was not the type of dashing young man she’d long imagined. She glanced back toward the road and discovered the carriage and the solitary rider were fast approaching.

She closed her eyes for a second, quite sure she was about to disgrace herself. It was far too late to appear ladylike. Her hands now pained holding on to the wood and she wearied being stuck in one position.

“Move back out of the way, Freddy,” she called. “I shall try again to come down by myself. I’m too cold to wait and my hands are almost numb. I fear I cannot hold on much longer.”

Before the brother and sister below could reply, Annabelle twisted round and carefully shifted a foot. Surely it could not be far and she might gradually descend by moving very slowly. Freddy gave up trying and stood back to allow her to climb down. The first step was completed when she heard the sound of hooves coming closer still and knew the rider must be very near.

Not risking a further glance, Annabelle moved her other foot to the next branch. But she neglected to check it was thick or strong enough to take her weight. The branch cracked. Annabelle tried to shift her weight back up to the previous branch, but her arms were too tired and all feeling was gone from her stiff fingers.

As she finally lost her grip and knew she was about to fall from the tree, she heard someone shout, “Kit!” Next minute, Annabelle was tumbling through the air.

Buy links:

At special offer through January of 99c!

Amazon Kindle

All formats Tirgearr


Author Bio:

Rosemary Gemmell 2014Rosemary Gemmell is a published historical and contemporary novelist for adults (as Romy) and also writes for the Middle Grade age group (as Ros). Under her full name, her short stories, articles and occasional poems have been published in UK magazines, in the US, and online. She has a Post-graduate Masters in literature and history and is a member of the Society of Authors, the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and the Scottish Associations of Writers. She enjoys sharing information with other writers and loves to dance!

Author Links: (Website, Blog, Email, Amazon Author Page, Twitter Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, etc.)


Main Blog:


Amazon Author Page:






Thank you so much for allowing me to share on your blog, Melissa. If anyone would like to subscribe to my monthly newsletter, which usually includes at least one writing market, please enter your email address in the form on my website or blog. Thank you!

23 thoughts on “Paths to Publishing: Never Giving Up by Romy Gemmell #amwriting #giveaway

  1. Loved your post!!! I do hope all your dreams come true!

  2. A lovely post, Rosemary. Wishing you great success with A Highland Lass and also your Victorian crime novel, which I know will be fantastic.

    • That’s so kind, thank you, Joanna – and for all your support!

  3. What a great post, Rosemary. It was interesting to discover how you began writing. I’m looking forward very much to release of your Highland Lass novel! Best of luck with all your future writing projects!

    • Anonymous

      Many thanks for your lovely comment, Helena – you’ll understand the ways in which our paths can take us in new directions!

      • Sorry – I hadn’t put my name to the previous reply by mistake!

  4. You know I’ve enjoyed your other genre writing, Rosemary, so now please hurry up with the Victorian crime novel and put me down for a copy.

    • Hi Bill – thanks for leaving a comment. Now that’s an incentive to get the crime novel out there!

  5. Hello Rosemary

    I’ve always been interested in the Victorian era. I’d love to step back in time (only for a short visit!) and make notes so I could write about those years. I’ve written two contemporary novels and another set in WW2, so who knows!

    Your book, Midwinter Masquerade, sounds intriguing. I hope a handsome stranger catches Annabelle when she falls.

    Good luck with sales.

    Angela xx

    • Hello Angela – thanks for your lovely comment. Hope you get you novels out there very soon!

  6. An inspirational post. Thank you, Rosemary. For Christmas, I had a white dove with ‘follow your dreams’ engraved on its wing. It hangs above my laptop and sings at me when I hit a block (or am I going slowly crazy :)) Wishing you lots of success with your new novel and thanks again for your words of encouragement.

    • Many thanks for that lovely comment, Nicola. Your white dove sounds brilliant and a great idea!

  7. Inspiring as ever,Rosemary!

  8. I’ve enjoyed your post, Rosemary, as I enjoy all the genres of your writing. Good luck with Highland Lass!

  9. Great post Melissa and Rosemary. I so agree that joining a like-minded group can make a huge difference to a writer’s success.


  10. Gosh, Rosemary, you’ve done so much!! It’s lovely to hear more about how you got started, I wish you lots of success with ‘A Highland Lass’.

  11. Elinor murdoch (anderson)

    I just had to leave a comment rosemary to say how proud you’re family must be to see you become such a successful author. Irene gave me a few of you’re childrens books which were really good. I especially liked the one based in millport. Good luck for the future xx

  12. Hi Elinor – I’ve just seen your message. Thank you so much for those lovely words – you’ve made my day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.