10/08/12 — Writer hopes to win contract to publish her romance novel

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Writer hopes to win contract to publish her romance novel

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 8, 2012 1:46 PM

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Bridgette Hare

A Goldsboro native is vying for a book publishing contract, the prize in an online writing competition sponsored by Harlequin and Mills & Boon.

"So You Think You Can Write" is part of a global search to find new authors.

Bridgette Hare is among the 700 entrants in the international contest. A 1991 graduate of Charles B. Aycock High School, she also studied visual communications at Mount Olive College.

She now lives in Floyd, Va., with her two sons, ages 19 and 14, and is completing her degree in journalism and mass communications from Ashford University. Her parents are Luther and Deborah Hare of Goldsboro.

She said she learned about the writing contest from a friend and couldn't pass up the chance to work with the renowned publisher.

"Probably every woman has read at least one Harlequin romance in her life," she said. "However, Harlequin over the last few years has developed several different lines."

The company has expanded its genre coverage to include such categories as medical romance, romantic suspense and nocturne, the latter where Ms. Hare believes her work belongs.

She described her submission, "Lullaby," as a paranormal suspense story with a romantic twist.

"I love fiction because there are so many possibilities," she said. "I have always been creative even when I was little, from what my mom tells me. I can sit down and write for hours and not even realize it's been hours."

A freelance editor, she said "Lullaby" is part of a book trilogy she has been working on for about two years, and evolved from a personal experience.

"I had this dream, this really crazy dream," she said. "Usually when you wake up, dreams go away. This one did not.

"Finally, when I got home later that day, I just started writing it down. When I stopped, I had over 10 handwritten pages."

Dreams have always held a special fascination for Ms. Hare, she said.

"We read so much in the Bible about those times but we don't really get the details and we don't dig into it," she said. "There's just enough information there to use but there's not enough -- it leaves enough to the imagination that you can run with it."

And while her entry is a work of fiction, she said she did much research to ensure its authenticity. She consulted with a pastor friend who is a demonologist and hopes to present another side to the subject, "seeing dreams through God's eyes."

The public is invited to read the entries online and cast a vote for their choice. Voting runs until Oct. 11.

The top 25 vote-getters will be reviewed by editors, along with three "wild card" submissions, and narrowed down to the top three finalists.

Round two of the public voting will be Nov. 16-27, with the winner of the publishing contract to be announced Nov. 29.

Ms. Hare, who also has a blog at www.bridgetteohare.blogspot.com, said that no matter the outcome of the contest, she has enjoyed the experience.

"I don't even care if I win," she said. "I just want to be in the top 25. Part of my thinking is, God gave me this gift. I just feel like this is a way for me to minister to people who wouldn't normally be ministered to.

"I'm not the only one in this. There's some excellent entries. Even if they don't vote for me, vote for somebody, to support the writers."

To check out the entries, visit www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com.