Thursday, 13 December 2012

When The Past Comes Knocking

This week, I've been struggling with my Muse, fighting just get some words down each night. My submissions are slow at the moment and I guess it's to be expected at this crazy time of year.
But just a day ago, I lovely piece of the past came knocking when I received a lovely email from a school friend of mine.

Years ago, I wrote a fanfiction for a paranormal series I love. Having finished the novel, I decided to send it off to a few friends. I hear a little feed back, but it was only until yesterday that I heard feedback on the whole story.

I'm going to say it was fate. I've been searching for a reader, someone who can give me an honest opinion from a readers perspective and not a writer's perspective. And yesterday, I found her.

Whilst my fanfiction is by far my most unedited and unrefined manuscript, my friend loved it. Not a reader of the genre herself, she was still intrigued by the story and unable to put it down. It was nice to hear the words of encouragement and it's given me the will to carry on and finish 'Fixing Fences' and continue submitting my Irish series.

I really do love writing and can't see myself giving up. But when times get dark, everyone has those thoughts. I guess we all need a little reminder of what we could achieve, a little encouragement and praise.

Well, I'm off to finish this novel. I my fellow writers out there are all doing the same.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Next Big Thing!

Last week, I was tagged in a chain blog called The Next Big Thing by fellow writer, Charlotte Nash. :)
How it works is, I answer ten questions about my current WIP or release and then tag five other writers to do the same in the following week.
Well, here are my answers and the writers I've chosen to tell you about their novels are:
Jennie Jones, Carolyn Wren and AP Castell (who can all be found at The Romantic Muse Blog) and Ann B Harrison and Efthalia Pegios.

Well, now that the five have been announced, here are the questions:

What is the title of your current book?

Fixing Fences.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

There is a strong connection between myself and this novel. It's about a young woman who goes in search of herself when she decides to move away from the city and into the country, buying her grandmother's property in the process.

My grandparents on one side of the family, died before I was born and I guess in a way, I always struggled with not knowing them. Olivia goes through a similar situation, yet instead of finding a connection with her grandmother she finds herself.

Fixing Fences is about mending relationships both with others and yourself. And of course, it's about finding love and dependence.

What genre does your book fall under?

Rural Romance. It's a key feature and a connection between me and my heroine, Olivia.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Arg! That's a hard one. At the moment, I'm going for Mr Bond. And in a way, James Bond is a little like my main man.

As for my heroine... I have no idea. I have to admit, I'm not good with Hollywood names. :)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A young woman goes in search of herself in restoring her grandmothers house and in turn, finds herself and love in the arms of a man trouble by his past and the future.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This novel is uncontracted, but I definitely would like to see it represented by an agency. Like many authors, I see this novel as 'The Next Big Thing'. So, of course, I want it to be represented by a company with a reputation for producing 'The Next Big Thing' and having them back me on it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me two weeks to write the first 50k. It sounds crazy but at that point in time, I could do it. At the moment, I'm doing just over 1k a day. I hope to finish the first draft by New Years.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

There are so many influences. Rachael Treasure, Loretta Hill and Rachael John's have been my key influences at present but I'm constantly being inspired by other authors. I can't say if there are any novels similar to my as I would like to believe that there aren't any like mine. Only inspirations. :)

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As I've previously said, my own experiences and dream, pair with the imagination inspired by the authors I love.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I'd like to hope this will be a book that will really hit home with my future readers. I think family and your own individual identity are two important factors in being happy in your life. Of course, I'm a romantic and love it when people find love. But I'd like to think that this book will make people realize what really matters in their life and what kind of sacrafices they have to make to make their dreams come true.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading about Fixing Fences. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

How Time Flies...

Wow. It's been a month since I last posted. A month! It hardly feels like it, but there it is.
It seems as always that the writing life really does work in an ebb-and-flow sort of fashion. Just last month, I managed 50k in just over two weeks. I was stoked! And still am about that.

Fooled, I expected that my muse would continue spewing out words but life really does catch up on you eventually. My studies have finally finished and Novemeber and Decemeber always seem to be a busy time of year. I've bare written a thing of late, but I tell myself that that is just the way it goes.

I've learnt something valuable this month. That deadlines and motivations really are a key factor in writing.
Some wonder how it is that some writers can spit out 3 - 5 books a year! I myself have come to wonder. And all I can put it down to is that they told themselves that they had no choice.
So, I've given myself a deadline. By New Years Eve, I am aiming to complete the first draft of my rural romance, Fixing Fences.

And just in case this isn't motivation enough for me, I've got a list to remind me of what I could be. I think it's important for writer's to have idols and aspirations. Every time I see a new author emerge (particularly a rural romance author) under the name of one of my favourite publishers, I'm given a goal. To get my story in front of those editors so that I can one day too share wonderful stories with the world.

Another thing I use is bookmarks. 'Bookmarks?' you might say? Yes. When I was at the RWA conference, I met some wonderful authors, many of who I had read their novels and loved. And I had them sign books and bookmarks for me. And much to my delight, many of them wrote messages which have spurred me on, encouraged me to continue on even when at times, I feel I'm stuck in hiatus.

Well, I hope to be blogging a lot more. I have a busy month ahead of me and goals to reach.

Happy reading!


Monday, 29 October 2012

It's been a while!

Well, it's been a busy week. I've been sticking to those priorities and managing to get some words on my new rural romance, Fixing Fences.

Whilst sticking to my studies, I've managed to knuckle down and write 22k since finishing Deceive Me in Ireland, (with the help of coffee of course), brining it to 25k. :)
Fixing Fences is about a city girl seeking her history in the Hunter Valley and fixing her existing relationship with her mother and her inner self. And finiding love along the way...

My skills at plotting are refining themselves and this time, I've managed to plot my novel from start to finish (with room for some kangaroos of course).

To keep myself inspired this week I've been feeding my muse with Jilted by Racheal Johns who I had the pleasure of interviewing some months ago. I'm thoroughly enjoying it and finding that it really helps to read the work of other great writers when the words just aren't flowing like they normally do. When the words don't flow it's best not to panic. So I keep calm and read and off my muse goes again.

Well, a new week has begun and my muse is chomping at the bit to have her way.
Happy reading/writing everyone!


Sunday, 21 October 2012

When One Story Ends, Another Is Just Beginning

Yesterday afternoon I finally typed the words 'THE END', on my second novel in my Irish series, 'Deceive Me in Ireland'. When I first typed those word on 'What Happens in Ireland' I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. It wasn't my first novel ( I had written a fan fiction the year before) but it was they very first of my own series of books. I felt so excited by those words, one step closer to one day seeing my name on a shelf. That was a year ago.

But this time was different. I was relieved. I had finally finished. My hero and heroine finally had the Happily Ever After they deserved and I'd finished it at just shy of 80 000 words, my shortest novel so far.

I was a little scared by how short it was. I thought it was something to be alarmed about. But I realized it's because over the year, through the many drafts and the houses I spent working on my novels, I have refined my craft.

But, the worse feeling was not my fear of having written too less, but my growing sense of loss. I didn't want to say good-bye. I'd fallen in love with my hero and I thought of my Heroine as a best friend. They'd become a part of my everyday life over the last twelve months and suddenly, it was all coming to an end.

But as the saying goes, 'When one chapter ends, another begins.'

'Deceive Me in Ireland' is just the second of four stories and I have so many plans for novels to write. As I said in an earlier post, my muse has been running wild with motivation over the last two weeks. I had written the first chapter of an new novel I have planned, a rural romance set in Scone. I'm really looking forward to writing this novel. My connection with it is strong and in just a day it has grown from 3000 words to 8000. Whilst I miss my Irishman, William and Cara, my timid heroine from Melbourne, I find myself making new friends already.

There's only one thing more satisfying than typing the words 'THE END' and that starting a new novel. There's the first time tingle of attraction, those awkward first impressions and those fresh starts.

My newest WIP, 'Fixing Fences' is all about new beginnings and how sometimes, they are the only thing that can fix the past.

Happy reading/writing everyone,


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Pros of Plotting

I started out as a pantser. I had an ending, then a beginning and that's pretty much all I had. Everything else was decided as I went.
I'm currently writing the second novel in my series, 'Deceive Me in Ireland' and to avoid all the hassles and rewrites this time, I decided to plot. And you know what? I groaned and moaned the whole time, pulling my hair out over how I would get from A to B and what conflict to have. But, it all came together.
I started out by plotting the first few chapters. Then plotted the coming ones. Then a few more on top of that and as my characters grew so did the story in my head. By the time I hit the 50k mark, I knew exactly where I was going. I was no longer driving around with the headlight off and yet, I was still surpising myself.
Every now and then, I would have a pantser moment. A new twist, a new solution, a new chapter. The plotter and pantser in me are finally working together. It's like having a few kangaroos jump out in front of you. And of course, you never swerve.

I'm now plotting my next novel, a rural romance set entirely in Australia. I'm going to miss my Irishmen, but I'm excited about the prospects of a new challenge.
I have decided to still to my plotter ways and I'm still expecting a few roos. But there really are benefits in plotting.
For one, you save time. There no getting stuck at a crossroads or finding yourself down a deadend street.
Secondly, you get there faster, because as I found, I knew where I was going. There was no hesitation and yet there was still the same excitement you feel watching it all unfold.
And lastly, there's no turning back a hundred times just to get it right. I know the things I struggle with and so I plot them. I run my directions past the locals (my CP's) and then after a few quick alterations, I'm off on my way.

So tell me, are you a plotter or a pantser?


Friday, 12 October 2012

Wherever My Muse Takes Me

Well, it's been a big week. I've been sticking to my studies, but my muse is still chomping at that bit. So each night, when I can study no more, I let her have her head and clear my head of the three storylines I've got running up here.

It's funny, I've tried to avoid writing two books at once but this last week, I can't help myself.
Last night I started a new project and in a space of three hours managed to get 2k down and finish the first chapter. Tonight, I might return to 'Deceive Me in Ireland' but I think I'll let the muse decided. She seems to know where I should be going and as long as I'm working on something I don't see why I should pull back.

Writers, has this ever happened to you? Are you the type to have more than one project going at the same time? Or do you dedicate yourself to one manuscript at a time?

Well, I hope everyone has been having a good weekend,


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

My Muse is Trapped In a Gilted Cage

This week, if there is anything I have had trouble with, it has to be my Gilded Cage otherwise known as 'priorities'. Over the next month, I will be dedicating myself to my studies, which unfortunately means I must lock the Muse away.

And she's not happy.

Today, so far, I've had a number of new ideas jump into my head when really, I should be memorising a very tedious essay. But instead I've come up with three new scenes for three of my future WIP. The Muse is chomping at the bit and I'm almost tempted to let her free.

But I must refrain and hope that the notes I've written down are enough to wake her up again. And that I can make it though the next month without going completely insane.

Have a nice week everyone!
I hope your priorities aren't getting in the way of what you love,


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Interview: Loretta Hill

This week, I have the lovely and incredibily talented Loretta Hill joining me on the blog. Loretta is a Random House author and her debut novel 'The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots' is a fantastic read which I loved!

I'm very happy to have her here, so lets get to the questions:

As always, can you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and your writing?

Well, my name is Loretta Hill. I am a mother of four, educated and employed as a structural engineer but currently on maternity leave and writing books.

How did your writing journey begin?

My writing journey began when I was 8 or 9 years old. I wrote this story in an exercise book about a two orphans who are searching for their parents. Their parents turn out to be a fairy and a dragon. Don’t ask me how that works!
Haha, the wonders of a child's imagination. :

So tell us, how do you come up with such fantastic ideas and storylines? 
I don’t have one specific place or a thing that gives me ideas. I get ideas from everywhere.  Sometimes, the news, sometimes a song, sometimes a friend will say something that triggers something. I guess, I get ideas from life- my own experiences mixed with other peoples.

Now, I’m a fan of the male POV. I love writing scenes from my Hero’s perspective as I find it refreshing. Are you a fan of the male POV too?

I do love the male point of view but you will notice in “The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots” there is none. This was for two reasons. The first was that the first draft of that book was in 1st person. So when I converted it to 3rd person everything was still in Lena’s POV. The other reason was I didn’t want readers to be in Dan’s head. I wanted him to be as mysterious as possible.  So I relied heavily on his body language to convey his attraction to Lena. That was tough given I was always in Lena’s POV and she’s not supposed to know Dan’s attracted to her.

However, “The Girl in the Hard Hat” has whole chapters of hero POV. I guess I really wanted to make up for the absence in my first book J
Thank God! Having just finished your book (at 1 am Wednesday morning to be exact), I found it so frustrating not knowing what was going on in Dan's head. All I can say is, you know you craft. :)

Now, what was the hardest lesson you had to learn during the publishing process?

I was strongly recommended not to use a particular name as my writing name.  It was a bit of blow because I had always wanted to use that name.  And when the writing dream came true, it kind of took the gloss off it a bit not being able to use my first choice of name.  But I got over that! 

Now to talk about the book. Tell us a little about your current release?

“The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots” has been on the shelves since Jan this year and is now part of Australia’s September Get Reading Campaign ( )  It’s basically about a young girl who is thrown in the deep end and expected to sink. But she swims! Boy does she swim. And against the odds too, which happens to be 350 men on a construction site in the Pilbara. My second book, “The Girl in the Hard Hat” is due out Jan next year and basically follows the first book except there’s a new girl in town.  Her name is Wendy and she’s also up to the challenge of working in a male dominated field. Both my books have a lot of romance and Aussie comedy in them.

You can find both these books and their blurbs at the following address:
They certainly do. I can't wait to read Wendy's story.

What is your favorite part of the novel? Beginning, middle, end? Some place in between?

That’s hard to pick! Generally if I don't like what I’m writing, that’s the first sign to me that I have to cut or edit it. It’s my own personal rule that I have to enjoy every part of the book or it needs fixing in the area that’s “boring me.”
Having said that I did particularly enjoy writing the last third of “The Girl in the Hard Hat” not just because I was getting close to the end but because it was the most action packed part of the book. I had three subplots coming to a head.

Now, don’t shoot me for mentioning ‘50 Shades of Grey’ but how do you feel about the idea of submissive female characters and possessive male protagonists? Does it get up your nose?

YES!  I’m not into submissive female characters at all. In fact, if I had one I’d probably use her for comic relief.  As for the male protagonists being possessive, I think that he should have a good reason to be that way and his possessiveness should not lead to aggression. That’s a big turn off for me.  I prefer my heroes protective rather than possessive.
Well said. :)

Now an interesting question about your own experience working in a male dominated environment on the Pilbara, did you learn some lessons?  
I certainly did. It was a very character building experience.

And are those lessons passed on to your heroines?
I have drawn on my own experiences to make my characters come alive.  The engineering projects in my novels are real and also I’ve tried to make the descriptions of camp life and the landscape as true to life as possible.
However,  both my heroines are definitely fictional characters with fictional problems and fantasy love lives.
But that's the fun in it, isn't it? :)

Now last but not least, do you have any advice for aspiring writers like myself?

Keep writing. Write as much as you can and never give up on the dream because the secret to getting published is simply persistence.

Thank you so much Loretta for joining me on the blog. It was a pleasure to get to know the author behind the book and I wish you all the best with your up and coming release.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Another Week Come And Gone

Well, another week has passed and once again, it's been a busy one.

This week, myself and three other fantastic romance writers launched The Romantic Muse group blog. At The Romantic Muse you'll find a number of things to entertain you over the coming weeks including post on writing, interviews, a fantastic cover reveal and a number of short stories you can read in your coffee break.
So come on over! We'd love to see you all there.

As for my own blog, lext week I have Loretta Hill joining me and we will be talking about her current release, 'The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots' (which is amazing!) and how Loretta feels about the 'submissive female'.

On a more personal note, this week I've been all over the place and critters seem to be big this week.
My horse, better known as Mr Grumpy, has managed to score himself an interesting paddock mate. I'm not sure what to call her yet, but I'm shocked by the discovery that he seems to like her enough to share his feed. For all you horse owners out there, you must understand the magnitude of such an event. A greedy thoroughbred does not share his food with anybody!

I also had the pleasure of riding a camel this week. Some say its exactly like riding a horse. And I'm here to tell you it's not. If my horse were 23 hands tall I'd be needing more than an milk crate to get in the saddle. And thank God he's not nearly half as rocky.

To finish off this week's catch-up post, I have this week's Rural Five! Five lines from page 12 of 'What Happens in Ireland':

‘Aye, but there have been suspicions...’
Her cheeks warmed. ‘Suspicions?’
‘Well, we Irish lads suspect that they donna really come here for our fine horses but rather, for us fine lads.’
Kate’s heart skipped a beat when Jack winked at her.

Well, it's about time I returned to the study cave. Thanks for popping by this week!


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Baby Love?

With digital publishing coming out, I've been seeing a lot more covers. And unfortunately, not all of them have been of quality.
I'm a visual person. I like a pretty cover. I think first impressions make a difference and whilst the cover is not relevant to the quality of someone's writing, a picture can convey a thousand words.
Now, something that has always intrigued me is an author's response to their covers. It's very rare that an author hates their cover. But dodgy covers aren't as rare as these responses.
So what is it that makes these authors blind to the blurry images and bad photoshopping? It is Baby Love?
Now, I'm going to be blunt. I was an ugly baby. But in my mother's eyes, I was gorgeous. The fairest in the land (I was so fair in fact, I was bauld for the five 2 yrs of my life. And she entered me and my twin sister into many photo competitions. My mother, of course, couldn't understand why we never won.
So what do you think? Are writer's suffering Baby Love? Does their love of their stories and the dream of being published blind them from realizing the faults in their designs? Or are they just saying they love them in hopes of convincing others?
Would you tell your writer friend that their cover sucks?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Another Rural Five!

Well, the weekend is just beyond the horizon and tomorrow will no doubt be spent counting down the minutes to those two days. But for now, treat yourself to a few lines from 'Deceive Me in Ireland'. Cara and William are back on the road to their happy ending once again, my writing stalemate conquered at last.

So, here it is. An extract from page 78:

‘Ye know, I think I have a solution to yer problem,’ he said suddenly, his voice bringing her out of her thoughts.

Turning her head to look at him, Cara felt suspicion grow within her.

What’s he up to this time?

‘What? You goin’ to write my speech for me?’ she asked, her voice layered with sarcasm.

When William opened his eyes, his gaze crashing into hers, his smile widened. Cara spine stiffened.

Another thing for my readers to look out for is my up-and-coming interview with author, Loretta Hill who appeared on the blog last week on my Rural Panel. Loretta will be sharing a little about herself and her own experience as an author and an engineer just like her heroine, Lena.

Happy reading everyone!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Back To Reading - Stalemate No.2

The last two years have been busy for me. Sometimes, it's been hard to stay sane. For the last twenty-four months my life has been dictated by study and work. And any spare time I've had, I have spent writing my novels. Getting caught up in make-believe worlds.

Until yesterday!

Yesterday, after a month of researching all my options, I brought two books! Rosalee Station by Mandy Magro and 'The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots' by Loretta Hill (who will be appearing on my blog in the very near future).

So when I got home last night, I had to toss-up between they two great looking books. And I settled for Loretta... Bad idea. I haven't been able to put it down!

It really is one of those books you can't put down. Just as the sticker on the front cover promises.

So there you have it. A two year stalemate has been broken. I'm finally back to reading for pleasure. And it's not the only stalemate I've broken this week. 'Deceive Me in Ireland' is now 2.8k longer than it was Friday afternoon. Which means, as I promised, I've been meeting my daily wordcounts. And as of yesterday, exceeding them.

Well, that it from me today. I have a few things to do tonight. Some study, of course. Then I'll settle down with a good book and hopefully write apart of my own book that hopefully, my readers just can't put down.

Whitney :)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Rural Panel: What Makes Rural Romance?

In August, I attended the RWA Diamonds are Forever Conference. It was one of the most exciting, nerve-racking four days I've ever experienced and one were Rural Romance was given a voice in the Diamonds in Dust Panel. It was great to share opinions and ideas, but one question really showed just how subjective Rural Romance is.

Rural Romance is a relatively young genre, but I believe it has hit the shelves with a bang. New authors are imerging and the genre is growing. And every story, is unique. Different opinions, new voices and yet they are all connected by something.

So, I just wanted to ask our authors, what is it about Rural life that inspires you to write RuRo? And what makes are Rural romance to you?

For me, it's the characters. It's old mate sitting out the front of the post office with his scruffy dog at his feet. It's battered hats, quirky senses of humour and tales that go for days. It's strong, passionate individuals who are fighting for something or against something. When I pick up a rural novel, I want to read and find the people I have met IN these novels. And I want to make a few more friends. That's what Rural Romance is for me.

Now for what everyone else has to say...

First up, we have author, Jenn J Mcleod (whose debut novel, 'House For All Seasons' is out next year). Jenn had this to say about what inspired her to write about Rural life:

'Country living to me is about the sound of silence. (With respect to Simon & Garfunkel!)
There is a crispness to the country, and I’m not referring solely to a what we see and feel. It’s the sharp silences, the stillness, what we hear--or don’t hear without the whirr of white noise that comes with city living.
That’s my kind of country.'

And how right she is. If you have never lived in the city, you might not understand this. But for me, a country girl at heart stuck in the city, this silence really is a sound. Not a lack of it.

For the Author of The Road Home, Fiona Palmer:

'Rural life for me is the close knit community full to the brim of bush characters that all have their own quirks. Yet we all live together, tolerating and supporting each other as a community wouldn't survive otherwise.'

Whilst Fleur McDonald doesn't write Rural Romance, but Rural literature, Fleur understands the impact rural life has had on the stories she writes. And on the world she lives in.

Farmers feed everyone and to me, it's the most important job in the world. That is what makes me passionate about writing Rural Lit. I simply love sharing my world with people who don't have the opportunity live it.

You all know the saying: If you ate today, thank a Farmer.

For Loretta Hill, whose fabulous novel 'The Girl in the Steel-capped Boots' has had great success in today's market, she had this to say about what makes a rural romance for her:

'Three things make a rural romance for me. Firstly, a strong, capable female lead. I think what attracts readers most to Rural romance are the feisty heroines who are often not just falling in love but also testing the limits of their own capabilities. These heroines don’t need the hero to triumph at the end of the story but he certainly makes the journey more interesting. I love the fact that rural romance heroines are often thrown out of their depth or put in situations which test them emotionally and sometimes physically to the limit. And yet they rise up and meet the challenges. The second thing, I believe makes a rural romance is of course the setting, not necessarily a farm but definitely not urban. Both books I have written for the Random House are set on the Pilbara on construction sites. I think it’s important that the setting is almost like another character in the book - that it interacts with the heroine as much as the hero does. And last but not least, I think the strong sense of community in rural romance is a big draw card in this genre. Rural romances always contain strong relationships. Not just between the hero and heroine but often between family, comrades, work mates, local townspeople or other farmers etc. They are the kind of relationships that are harder to find in big cities where people sometimes don’t even know their neighbours. I think readers really love that sense of “family” in small towns or workplace communities where everybody looks out for each other. There are many other great aspects of rural romances that I love but these are definitely the top three.'

Strong Heroines are my favourite. I love sarcasm and they all wear it well.

For Penguin Author Cathryn Hein (author of Heart of the Valley):

Besides a well-developed rural setting, I like my rural romances to feature characters who are passionate about the land and country life. They don’t necessarily have to be from the land, but it’s important that they feel a deep connection, so much so that the land becomes intrinsic to their happiness. Take them away and they’ll survive well enough – they are, after all, resourceful sorts - but their world won’t turn quite right. Return them to the place they love most and, despite suffering hardships and traumas (because where is the fun without those to test our hero’s or heroine’s mettle), the characters find home and a place that fills their hearts.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a broad-shouldered hero who looks damn sexy in a pair of moleskins!

We do love our broad-shouldered men haha.

Next in line we have Jennifer Scoullar, whose novel Brumby's Run was released in July. This is what Jennifer had to say:

A rural romance, like any other, requires a passionate love story. But it also requires much more. For me, a good rural romance is anchored in an equally passionate love story with the land. Rich, natural settings set these books apart. Australian readers find independent, tough-minded women coexisting with the land more appealing than the self-absorbed shopaholics who dominate chick-lit. The characters in rural stories are strong women who are not desperate for a new man.
Australia’s native flora and fauna are my main influences, together with wild landscapes. These are powerful settings. In cities, many people live lives so far removed from nature, that they rarely even touch the earth. But at what cost? The cost to our declining environment? The cost to our hearts? I think the world is hungry to re-engage with nature, to ground itself. Rural lit taps into this vein. The wildly successful movie Avatar did the same thing. Losing touch with wildness is losing touch with ourselves.

As a city dweller, I understand exactly what you're saying. As a country girl at heart, the best part of my day is walking to feed my horse who lives just down the road from me. It's 7am, the air is cool and the gums tree look magnificent against the sunrise. Some, don't understand the contentment I feel during that ten minute walk. Others, understand completely.

Breathless Publishing author, Ann B Harrison has just release her novel 'Taming the Outback' and today she will be sharing what influenced her to write a Rural Romance:

Apart from growing up a country girl quite simply the struggle my characters go through and how they come out the other end.
I like to pit them against their greatest fears and see how they cope. Life on the land is hard enough as it is but adding the emotional aspect can only makes the story better. It drags me in as a writer and I hope it does the same for my readers.
With my first book Taming the Outback I took a widow with an unruly teenager and a little lost girl and threw her the challenge of taking on two stations at a profit or risk losing it to the guy next door. That was enough of an incentive for Libby to pull out all the stops and show us what she was made of.
Well said Ann. :)

And last but not least, we have Jennie Jones. Jennie is unpublished, but has recently finalled in the Rebecca!

I didn’t set out with the intent of focussing on Rural Romance, but as I write, my characters are finding themselves in small town country environments where they fall in love, so my stories are turning out to be rural and romantic. The country image is of space, freedom and fresh air; a chance to start again perhaps. My characters might be building something, finding something, saving something or running from something. Of course, their dreams don’t come easily because living in the country is hard. There are a whole new set of rules. My little towns are fictional, but the areas I set them in are mapped on Google, and although I want readers to feel that they recognise the settings I also love to add a bucket of make-believe to the atmosphere and quirkiness of my towns and my characters.
A Rural novel isn't the same without its quirky characters!

So there you have it. What makes a rural romance. And what it is about Rural life that inspires these great tales.

I'd like to thank all the women who participated in this post. It was really interesting and I'd love to have you all back at the blog soon.

If you're a Rural Romance lover and would like to find out more about these wonderful authors, just click on their names and you will find their websites. The Rural Romance Writers and Reader's group on facebook is also a great place to get to know these authors, and discover many more.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this post.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Another Week, Another Rural Five!

Well, it's almost the weekend. Just one more day to go.

I've been picking up some bad habits this week. Procrastination being all of them. But I've made a pact. It's time to get the words following. 'Deceive Me in Ireland' is only half finished and I can't leave my Heroine and Hero waiting forever. They need their Happily Ever After.

So starting tomorrow, I'm aiming for at least 500 words a day. I've got a lot on right now, but I think half my procrastination stems from the belief that I don't have time, when really, I've managed to watch the whole first season of Big Bang Theory.

I've got an interesting post on Rural Romance coming up, so be sure to check it out!

Which leaves me to the Rural Five. This week we have a snippet from page 99 of 'Deceive Me in Ireland.

Happy reading!

If there was one thing Cara had learnt about herself over the years it was that she wasn’t a psychic. She couldn’t predict the future. Hell, she could barely predict the weather.

Her current situation was no different. And despite how anxious it made her, a kiss was not a promise. William had deceived her once, perhaps he would again.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Rural Five!

This weeks rural five is a snippet from page 155 of 'Deceive Me in Ireland'. It is in my Hero's (William) POV and Jerry is what the Aussies would call, your 'Old Mate'. Hope you enjoy it!

Cara would be leaving soon and the thought left him wishing she’d stay a little while longer. Just… long enough for this infatuation to end.
And what if it doesn’t?
When Jerry’s hand cupped his shoulder, he jerked out his contemplations, his attention returning to the present.
‘Watch out for lassies like this one,’ Jerry teased, winking at Cara who finally wore a true smile. ‘They are hard to forget. And even harder to find.’

Friday, 7 September 2012

Beginnings? Endings? Or middles?

If there is one thing that I have always found with the books I've written (and those I still have to write), it is that the first three chapters are ALWAYS my favourite.

At the moment 'What Happens In Ireland' is just sitting on my desktop, 'Deceive Me in Ireland' is begging to be finished and yet... I can't help but write the first chapter of my latest Rural Romance.

I encountered this need at the beginning of the year as well and of course, I couldn't ignore it. With the aim of writing a short story for the Little Gem competition, I actually ended up writing the first chapter of a historical. And the next two... Until my priorities returned.

So, I think I have a little thing for the first three chapters. I love it when my characters meet, when true identities are revealed, when lies are exposed and when the attraction is just beginning. It is the beginning of my characters. They are growing as the words flow and they take shape in my head. The first three chapters really are the funnest chapters to play with!

Don't get me wrong, I love the middle, the end and all those wonderful bits inbetween but I think the first meeting is important.

Do you love writing the first three chapters? What's your favourite part of the writing process?


Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Rural Five!

Here's this week's Rural snippet. Five lines from page 84 of 'Deceive Me in Ireland' the second novel in my Irish Series.

Cara felt her cheeks warm.
Damn, she hated it when he looked at her like that. Hell, she hated it when he touched her like that. It made her feel reckless and filled her with longing. Longing she was determined to deny.
‘Don’t give him a chance to deceive you again, Cara,’ the voice inside her head warned.

Happy reading!


My First Conference!

Hi everyone!
Well, as you know I attended the RWA Diamonds are Forever conference, on the Goldcoast. And what a weekend it was!

Between pitching, panels, seminars and parties, I got to meet the wonderful writers I have meet over the last year and many more.

Now, when they said there would be giveaways and such, I did not expect to come back with this!

A big box of goodies!

Yep, with these and the shoes I brought, I struggled to get off the plane. But I was smiling. Who wouldn't? A woman who is depressed about owning a bag full of romance and shoes? Unheard of.

Anyway, I had a great time. I pitched my novel 'What Happens In Ireland' to two publishers and had much success with two full requests! I was very nervous about my pitch, even after attending a seminar on pitching hosted by Belinda Byrne. But if there is one piece of advice I can give it is this:
When you're pitching, remember who you are. What links you to the novel you've poured all that hard work into? When you sell your book, you sell yourself. So be yourself, be straight forward, honest and tell it how it is. :)

Well, for those of you who haven't been to a conference before, I cannot express how important it is for you to attend. There are so many opportunities. New friends, new publishers, agents and the panels are a great and in the case of the panels I attended, a humorous way to check out the market, to see what everyone is looking for.

Well, that's my much delayed conference post, but I really do recommend every writer who wants to get serious about their career go. Writing, in my opinion, isn't a solitary profession. You need a support group and you need people who are going to take you to the top. All those people, you are sure to find at the RWA conference.

In the next few weeks, I'm hoping to host a few new interviews and if you went to the Rural panel at the conference, you're going to love what I have in store for you in a few weeks time. I'll be hosting a discussion with some of your favourite RuRo writers on what makes Rural Romance. So keep your eye on this blog.


Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Rural Five!

Five lines from page 66 of my novel 'What Happens In Ireland'. Enjoy! I won't explain what is happening. I'll leave that up to you to decide or to dream up. :)

The second she’d stepped out a torrent of rain had descended. The heavy drops sent her racing back in and straight to her bedroom. She’d been soaked to the bone.
Just my luck.
Heaving the shirt that clung to her skin over her head, she froze at the sound of knuckles rapping on wood.

Happy reading,


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Time To Fly!

Well, at present I am sitting down to a much needed cuppa. I've been running around the last week with a lot on my plate. And have had no time to write! But finally, its Bon Voyage to the real world and Hello! to the wonderful world of being a writer.

I'll be pitching for the first time this weekend (fingercrossed I bring home some good news) and I will finally get to meet all the wonderful friends I've met over the last year.

I tell you what, packing your bags is not as easy as it sounds.Trying fitting the entire Desperate Duchesses series alongside Rachael Treasure's Stockman, four pairs of heels, boots and yes, I've decided to throw in some clothes as well. :) Yes, I know it seems impossible. And when you're only taking carry-on, it is. Sadly, only two books in my bag.

Anywho! For those who are going, can't wait to see you! For those who aren't, I wish you were going. And for those going to Claytons, have a ball!


Friday, 10 August 2012

This Week's Rural Five!

Hey everyone,
It's been a busy week for me. The conference is next week and my body didn't agree with my never-ending to-do list. I've been a little sick but finally, I'm well again. Now I just have to catch up...
Anyway, here is this weeks Rural Five. Five lines from page 73 in 'Deceive Me In Ireland'. It's been great finding these little snippets. They bring back memories of they day you wrote them.
Well, I hope you enjoy!

She hadn’t forgotten William. How could she? The man was as unnerving in person as he had been a week ago. He’d returned to Killarney with them but had parted with them to manage his own property, Ballymore. Cara had not seen him since. But despite his absence, he still entertained her thoughts just as much as he had when they’d been sleeping down the hall from each other.
What was it about William that made him so different?
Perhaps it’s that Irish charm of his…

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Two Weeks Until The RWA Conference!

This year I'll be attending my first RWA writing conference. I'm so excited and can't wait to make friends, learn some craft and pitch my manuscript to some editors!

Over the last week I've been groaning over my pitch. It just wasn't working for me. So I sent it to my fellow writers and thanks to their advice and help and a read over one of my old pitches, I had a lightbulb moment.

Ta-da! I now have my pitch. One less thing to worry about.

Though I will admit, I am already feeling nervous. I'm a talkative person, you might have guessed so much from my length post and my lenghty novels. But despite my ability to 'talk under water with marbles in my mouth', I like my lastest heroine, Cara Barrow, get nervous when meeting new people. Especially when something I love and have been working on for months is riding on what I say.

So guess who will be getting alot of practice in?

I've been hearing little snippets on what is being planned here and there. And gosh I'm excited. It is going to excellent!

Well, I'm off. I have a synopsis to write, some pitch prep to-do and a novel to finish!

Wish me luck!
And see you at the conference,


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

My Rural Five

This is last weeks Rural Five. These are five lines from page 44 of my current WIP 'Deceive Me In Ireland'. It seems my Heroine, Cara, lives the life of the unco-ordinated.

Cara tripped and made a grab for something to steady herself. Her hand latched onto Will’s arm.
‘Yer Ok, lass?’ he asked, a cheeky grin on his face. ‘Watch out for those nasty pockets of air. They can cause some damage if yer trip over them.’
Hot blood rushed to her cheeks.
Is there a big, dark hole around here? You know, the kind you bury your dignity in?

If you'd like to see some of the results of the weekly Rural Five by some of your favourite authors, head to the Rural Romance Writers and Readers facebook group. We have some awesome discussion and all the authors in the group post five lines weekly from their current WIP.

Happy reading,

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Who is Whitney K-E?

Hi everyone!
I hope you're all having an enjoyable week and looking forward to the RWA conference. I sure am. :)
Anywho, as a newbie conference goer, I thought I might share the link to my bio on the Hotter Than Hades Blog.

You can find more about me at:

Here's a picture of me and Mr Grumpy, my ex-racer, Chief:

 And now that you've seen me, please! Don't hesitate to grab hold of me and say 'hi'. I'm all for making new friends and can't wait to meet everyone at the conference.

Whit :)

So You Write Romance... Can You Write Anything Else?

I've been writing for three years now. And yet, it wasn't until halfway through last year that I started making it public. And if there is one question I find that gets under its; 'Oh. You write romance. Can you write anything else?'

To be honest, it's one of those questions you should never ask a writer. It's like asking J.K. Rowling to write the weather report. Writers write what they love to write. You force them into something else and you mess with their muse.

But in answer to this question, yes, I can write in other genres. But Romance is where my heart lies.

Currently, I am writing a philosophical collection of four narratives that address feminism and Romanticism. There is no romance in those, but if there is one this I am finding is that theses stories will remain short stories. I will most likely never turn them into novels. To be honest, I like them the way they are. My muse agrees with them to but as always my current romantic WIP is calling me back to the world of sexy Irishmen and Sassy Aussie women.

As a lover of fiction, I have dipped my pen into all types of fiction. In high school I was expected to write a number of short peices and that is where my push to write started. But the day I decided to write, I knew I wouldn't write Scifi or mainstream or philosophical. I was a writer of Romance and my love of rural life was there to push me into Rural Romance.

So, if there are any lessons to be learn from this post these are it:
- If you've going to ask a writer if they can write anything else, prepare yourself for a verbal shut down.
- And secondly, all you Romance writers out there, don't be affraid to write in the genre you love just because some people you know might consider it of 'lower quaility'. And if you find yourself needing some proof, hand them a pen. 'You, the fool who thinks they have a right to criticise me, take this pen and write a romance. You have 90 000 words and six months. And you have to get it published by the end of the year.'
See how many will step up to the challenge and fall.

You see, it doesn't matter what you write. It's how much you commit yourself to it. If you hate the genre, you're clearly not going to write in no matter how many people will buy it just because they love the genre. The genre will not sell you. You sell yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, who's going to believe you?

And here I jump into the art of pitching. You cannot convice an editor to request your novel if you yourself have nothing to love about it.

Now, I see I have broken the rule of short, punchy blog post, but I do hope most of you kept reading.
Always believe in what you love writers. And always keep working on achieving your aspirations.


Friday, 20 July 2012

Hotter Than Hades and The Rural Five

Well, this week, I've been showing off some of my work. And I'm not the only one.
At the great blog I joined, 'Hotter Than Hades', the girls and I are posting the results of our first writing challenge. We all were given a prompt, in this case we had to incorporate one woman, a man and a storm and turn it into something  entertaining for our readers. So pop on over and check them out. We'd love some feedback!

Another exciting activity I've been participating in is the 'Rural Five' on the Rural Romance Writers and Readers group on facebook. The group is continuing to grow and we've had some interestin discussions on colloquial terms and even how readers can best support their favourite writers. To give a little bit back to our readers, the authors and writers in our group will be posting five lines/sentences weekly from their current WIP's. So if you love teasers and want to keep up with your favourite author's next release, you might find a few snippets to make the waiting period a little more bearable.

We've had some great responses to this weeks 'Rural Five'. The hardest part is only post five line/sentences. And I'm sure our readers would agree.

This is what I posted from my current WIP 'Deceive Me In Ireland' this week:

‘Do you know how to perform CPR?’ she asked, not entirely in control of her tongue nor any other part of her anatomy.
For the first time since Cara had laid eyes on the husky-voiced Irishman, he actually looked shocked.
Patrick arched his brow at her. ‘C.P.R?’
‘Yeh huh.’ Cara nodded, her gaze shifting to her feet. Her fingernails dug embedding into the plush armrests at her sides.

Well, I've got to get back to writing. My current WIP, 'Deceive Me In Ireland' is cooming along well and I'm excited about pitching it at the conference.

Enjoy the weekend everybody!


Saturday, 14 July 2012

So, You Want To Be A Writer?

Just recently a friend of mine started writing. New to the life of a writer and completely oblivious to the 'symptoms' of becoming a writer, all week I've been recieving questions asking, 'Is this normal?'

So, I decided to blog about it, for you you beginners out there and for a giggle with those who understand.

And here's the list:

- Insomia:
You've spent the last six hours writing, your head is full of plotlines, characters and you're on a 'writing high'. Your eyes start to droope, the facial twitches set in, perhaps is time to go to bed?
You jump in, your electric blanket is on, you shut your eyes... And all you can think about is Conflict, Dialogue, what should I do next, Oh! that's a good idea.
You're up til 3am.
Which leads me to my next symtom...

- Caffine Addiction:
Not a big coffee drinker? Give it a few days and you'll soon be calling it your bestfriend. Coffee is 'Writer's fluid'. No coffee, no brain function.

- A Mild Case of Antisocial Personality Disorder:
Yep. You going to become an utter b*#&@.
Shoosh! I'm writing. I don't care about where the dog peed. Will you please leave me alone!
Sound familar?

- The Early Bird Gets The Worm...
Now, many writer's find that their muse is most active in the morning. What? Not a morning person? Well... you're about to join the early birds.

- I Hear Voices...
My characters are the kind that take shape in my mind. I can see them and I can hear them.
Yep, I sound like a crazy person. But guess what?

- A love for chocolate and Alcohol:
There's nothing like chocolate to ease the stink of that critique or rejection. And there's nothing like a glass of champagne or a JD to celebrate your first contract! So there you have it. Two more wonderful addictions that in excess, are bad for you.

- Paranoia
They're my friends, of course they are going to tell me this rubbish is amazing! Did it save? Did I send it properly? Why haven't they replied?
Consider yourself a cool cat? We shall see...

- Writer's Block
I know. You hate it already. You are on your first day off in two weeks, your computer is before you, you're ready to go... And it hits you. Yep, good old writer's block.

- Da Dum. Da dum. Da dum, da dum, da dum... (Yes, that was my attempt at the 'Jaws' theme)
You've submitted your first MS. You're happy, you're worried. They haven't emailed you it. It's been five minutes and they haven't emailed you  back yet. So you get onto facebook, twitter, you do a google search on the internet. What was that editor's name?
Yep, you've become not only a writer but a stalker. The editor is your celebrity and you're the paparazzi. You check you inbox 20 times every hour and you send yourself an email just to see if its broken. No not broken and still no email.
Sounds like a crazy person right? Nah, you're not cray cray. You're a writer. :)

- Crazy Hair:
Expect your hair to have a little more volume in it from now on. You'll be running you're fingers through it a little more than usual and it's going to take it's toll.

Well, there is my list. Yep, it sounds pretty awful. But think about it, all this for the abosolute joy of pointing to that good looking cover in Big W and being able to say, 'That's my book', 'I wrote that'. Sounds like a good deal to me. :)

Whitney :)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A Busy, Busy Week... And It's Only Thursday!

Hi everyone,
Well, I'm finally back into writing and working hard on both my WIP's one for I hope to get a contract for sometime soon and it's sequel to pitch at my first RWA conference. The week has been full on, I've been making some changes and I've even started up a new group on facebook.

When I first started taking my writing seriously I started looking for writers like me. What i discovered was that there was no Rural Romance groups to be found. So after talking with a few of my fellow writers, including the lovely women I've been interview over the last month, it was decided that today was the day.

So the Rural Romance Writers and Readers group was launched on facebook. It's a place where I welcome all reader and writers to join and  where you can  find out more about your favourite authors and perhaps even discover some new ones.

We'd all love it if you stopped by:!/groups/110981399045776/

Maybe you can help me pick out a profile picture? We've been thinking Hugh  Jackman would look nice, but to pick one is a struggle. :)

What do you think? Does he make the cut? ;)

Last night was also a very exciting night. I won 19 ebooks from Crooked Cat Publishing. I can't wait to read them, though I fear with my future schedule, they might have to wait till after the RWA conference.

Well, it's been a busy start to the week and I think it's time I returned to editing. I'll have my fingers crossed for the next few weeks in the hopes that I recieve some good news soon and I'll continue you to type frantically.


Whitney :)

Saturday, 30 June 2012

A Month Of Rural Romance Writers: Double Weekend: Cathryn Hein

Welcome everyone to my final interview with some of Australia's up-and-rising Rural Romance writers. My last interviewee is the lovely Cathyrn Hein. She's a Penguin author and will be sharing her experiences as a published author with us today. Welcome Cathryn.

Hi everyone and thanks, Whitney, for inviting me on your blog. I’m delighted to be here.

I'd delighted to have you here. :) So Cathryn, first things first, tell us a little bit about yourself and your current release?

I was brought up in Mt Gambier, in South Australia’s rural south east, and was fortunate enough to have had an idyllic childhood dominated by horse mania. Post school I studied agriculture at Roseworthy College, followed by several years working in the pasture and turf seed industries in Victoria and NSW. These days I write rural-set romance for Penguin and have two books out – Promises, which released in September last year, and Heart of the Valley, which came out in May of this year. I’m currently working madly on the next, and all going well we should see that hit the shelves sometime around May next year.

Heart of the Valley is my tribute to the magnificent NSW Hunter Valley, a place I fell in love with during my pasture seed days when I worked in the area.

It tells the story of Brooke Kingston, a talented equestrienne whose world is turned upside-down after a terrible accident. When her well-meaning family, desperate to get her to Sydney so they can take care of her, hire a farm manager to take over her beloved property she digs in her spurs and refuses to leave. But Lachie Cambridge proves more than a match for Brooke...

Due to his job, my partner and I move around quite a bit, and this lifestyle has had a great affect on my concept of home. For me it’s wherever Jim is. For others home will always be a place. Heart of the Valley explores this theme. Is home a place or is it where your heart lies?

Wow. I just checked my book case because I thought I had 'Heart of The Valley' (Please understand, I don't have time to read at the moment) and guess what? You just sold a book hahah. It sounds fantastic. I'm a horse lover myself and this book sounds like my kind of book. Wishing you all the best with your new project, Cathryn.

Now tell me, how did you start out as a writer? Did you have a critic partner or an editor? Have you always written romance?

I’ve definitely always written romance – except for a period in my adolescence when I wrote a series of bizarre short stories involving cockroaches and all sorts of weird things. As for full length novels, I tried many times to complete one over the years but always struggled to make it past the 10,000 word mark. Between work, study and making sure my other half felt appreciated, I just couldn’t find the momentum to keep going. Only when my partner and I moved overseas and I had to give up work did I realise it was now or never. So I knuckled down and wrote a book. After that first book high there was no stopping me!

I’m fortunate to have critique partners and editors I can bounce ideas off.  I’d be hopeless without my crit partners though. They’re amazing support and it’s wonderful to be able to share the highs and lows with people who understand what you’re going through.

It always happens with a push. :) Critique Partners are special people and sometimes it can take a while to find the right one. I'm glad you've found yours :)

What is your favourite part of creating 'the novel'?              

The End! There is nothing quite like that ‘I’ve just finished a 100,000 word novel’ high. It’s seriously addictive.

I also love the opening three or four chapters. It’s an exciting time, full of possibility because you’re about to go on this wonderful journey. And I also adore black moments, when tragedy or disaster strikes. Bawling my eyes out while writing is weirdly satisfying!

Hahaha. Couldn't agree with you more. I've had a lot of author friends celebrating 'The End' of late. It seems to be a favourite. I like the first few chapters as well. :) It's where it all unfolds and you like your reader get to know the characters and what makes them tick.

So when was your first novel contracted? And can you tell us about 'the call'?

Promises was contracted by Penguin Australia just after the Romance Writers of Australia conference in 2010. I’d sent off three chapters of a different novel earlier in the year and, knowing how long these things take, carried on writing. Then in early August I received an email saying that manuscript wasn’t for them. Realising Promises might be more what they were after, I wrote back pitching that book. From that point on things moved pretty swiftly, with a partial being requested followed by the full manuscript almost immediately afterward. I then met editors Ali Watts and Belinda Byrne at the RWA conference and had a chat about my writing and publishing experiences. By the end of September I had an agent and a two book deal. It was, to put it mildly, an exciting, heart in the mouth ride!

I can only imagine and hope to share that same experience one day soon :)
Now the nitty gritty. What do you find hardest about the publishing experience (e.g. the editing process, the wait between  receiving feedback etc)?

Waiting to hear back about a manuscript is a bit nail-biting. I might think the book is marvellous but whether my editor and her colleagues will think the same is another matter. I’d also rank waiting for edits pretty high on the list because I always imagine they’re going to be huuuuge and make me want to crouch sobbing in a corner with my arms wrapped around my head wishing they’d just disappear. They’re never that bad, of course. I simply imagine them that way!

The mind of a writers has a way of dramatising this, wouldn't you agree lol. The Wait is definately a bother isn't it. Time seems to always been the enemy.
Cathryn, what tips do you have for all us aspiring romance writer out there?

Write. Don’t fart around. Write. Because the more you write the better you get. You’ll be stunned at how much better your second and third books will be compared to the first.

Take the time to learn your craft. Writing isn’t easy – it’s very hard work and like any profession you need to hone your skills.

Always remember that everyone has a different process. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Some people are intricate plotters, nailing every tiny aspect of the book before they write a single word. Others are more organic and follow wherever their characters lead them. Some people write extremely rough first drafts then polish like crazy. Others – me included – can’t write another word until a chapter or scene is absolutely perfect. Whichever way you work, make sure you understand it because once you’re published you’ll have deadlines. So knowing your process - how long it takes to write and edit your work - is vital.

Find good critique partners. They are treasures you can’t do without. Not only for their feedback on your work, but for their understanding and support during the dark times. And believe me, there will be dark times.

Join the Romance Writers of Australia. This is an extraordinary organisation. With them you’ll find information, education and amazing support. And incredible friendships!

Excellent advice and all of it I can agree with. So there you have it everyone, my interview with the wonderful Cathryn Hein. Cathryn, its been a pleasure to have you and I can't wait to find some time to read your books. Might have to find you at the conference and get you to sign it too. :)

If you would like to know more about Cathryn and her books please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter.