Sunlounger 2 Welcomes Emma Heard!
Emma Heard had a secret.
I knew the secret, because I know everything about everything. And family members knew her secret. And actually lots of people across the world knew her secret, but didn’t know her secret belonged to her.
Emma’s sneaky secret was that she was a writer – a chuffing good writer. An absolute bookaholic, she’s been scribing for years, completing numerous hefty writing challenges such as NaNoWriMo and A Round of Words in 80 Days. She regularly chats to authors, bloggers and fellow wannabe writers on Twitter and through her blog, Loves to Read, Wants to Write.
But until yesterday, to most of the writing world she was just ‘Em’ – with no photos linking her lovely face to her secret world of writing. Friends and work colleagues didn’t know she enjoyed writing, because sometimes it’s bloody hard to put yourself out there and admit you like to be creative and dream of one day being able to make it a reality, because it invariably brings constant questions of ‘how’s the writing going? What’s your story about?’ which feels like added pressure, especially if it’s not going well, because Real Housewives of New York is on ALL THE TIME.
I was in the same situation as Emma this time last year. Only really Husband Phil, Emma, and a couple of others knew that I had a secret hankering to be the next Sophie Kinsella or Francine Pascal. Then I entered the Sunlounger short short competition, and was shortlisted, and, well, the rest is my history and this post is about Emma.
So the Sunlounger competition rolled around again. Organised by the fabulous Belinda Jones Travel Club, author Belinda has put together for the second year in a row a stonking great anthology of sangria-filled summer stories from over forty authors (including me!) and it’ll be out this June. Anyone interested was asked to submit a story of up to 3k words, and yesterday the Top 10 were announced. Emma was one of them.
Then the Top 4 were announced. These four would all be published – published – in the Sunlounger 2 anthology. Emma was one of them. As was my lovely sister-from-another-mister, Cressida McLaughlin, which I’m chuffed to bits about for her as well!
Then the Top 2 joint WINNERS were announced… and Emma was one of them!! She won her first ever writing competition, the first ever time she’d shown her work to anyone, and she deserved it so much!
Now conveniently, at this point Emma happened to be on her way to my house. We’ve known each other since school, she’s my fellow Beyonce-obsessor, and she was visiting my new home with three of my other lovely lady friends, Sarah, Ellie and Alison. We’d text a bit while she was in the car, and she’d seen she’d made the Top 10, but had no idea the happy tornado that was occurring over on Facebook and Twitter in her honour since she’d won! And still too nervous to reveal the secret-her, she hadn’t told any of our other friends she’d made the shortlist.
So, big-mouth here and Husband Phil greeted her with champers outside the loo (after she ran into mine, busting for a wee), couldn’t hold the excitement, revealed that she’d won, popped a cork in her face and made an overwhelmed, welling-up and overjoyed Emma tell all.
The rest of the day passed in a blur of chatter and excitement and bubbles, but I’m so so so happy for Emma and everything she’s achieved. I hope this boosts her confidence in herself and her writing, leads to big things if she wants it to, and makes her lovely smile stay on her lovely face! I also hope she lets me live in her Beverly Hills mansion with her when she’s wildly rich and famous.