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Nobody Said It Would Be Easy

I’ve been a member of the Romance Writers of Australia since the first conference, in 1991. A decade before that, I’d tried writing category romance, in a half-hearted way. Despite encouragement from aficionados of the genre, I couldn’t shake the idea that they were like Barbara Cartland stories. Trust me—they’re not! I can’t resist mentioning that years ago, I sat right behind Dame Barbara at a play in London’s West End. Yes, she was in (pale) pink, accompanied by her son, and they drove off in her Roller, interior lights ablaze, so we couldn’t miss her!

How did it take so long to publish my first book? Put simply—life got in the way.

I had a Public Service career, was studying for a degree, writing magazine and newspaper articles and, with my partner, bringing up two children. Time poor, fiction writing was relegated to occasional short stories.

We left Canberra. Went farming. Still the articles continued, but the desire to write fiction grew, fed by RWA newsletters and occasional attendance at conferences.

Then, I wrote a fantasy novel, set in a parallel medieval world, and with romantic elements.

The idea for it appeared out of nowhere. I love that story. It’s fun, and mad, and one day I’ll publish it.

I’d kept on with my hobby—genealogy—and, when I unlocked my great-grandmother’s mysterious ancestry, that was all the inspiration I needed for my historical romance. After the first draft, completed after I’d moved to the Gold Coast, I pitched the idea to editors and agents at a conference. It had merit, they said, but nobody was buying historical romances of 115,000 words. And local publishers seemed interested in Australian historicals only. Simultaneously, I was hearing rumblings of discontent from authors regarding their less-than-wonderful treatment by some publishers.

It was time to investigate independent publishing.

The Heart Has Its Reasons is available for ORDER by clicking this link



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