We all have to power to turn our dreams into reality. Each year I write down my goals, and at the end of the year it always surprises me what I have achieved. Since winning the RWA Emerald in 2014, for Best Unpublished Manuscript, I’ve released five books. This amounts to thousands of hours of work. It’s a good thing I like what I do.
In 2015 my good friend and critique partner, S.E Gilchrist asked if I’d like to write a rural romance set in the fictional town of Bindarra Creek. Her unique idea expanded and we ended up with 13 Authors coming on board. We all wrote our own book using a database of characters from this warm hearted but struggling community. S.E Gilchrist’s book ‘A Bindarra Creek Makeover' was the first release in July 2015. Each book was then released a month apart. It was a great venture and built fantastic camaraderie between all the writers. My book is titled, ‘Tempting Fate’ which was book eight and came out in February 2016. The series is doing very well and may lead to a similar venture in the future.
Also in 2015 I published ‘The Kalista Diamond’ and ‘Precious Gems’, the first two books of my romantic suspense series. Jarred Steele owns Steele Intelligence and Personal Security Services. His team is made up of six ex-SAS soldiers, who use their specialized skills to hunt down criminals, uncover drug and smuggling rings, and protect people at risk. The third book in this series is ‘Jewel of the Kimberley’ set in Western Australia, and will come out in July this year.
Another thing that’s kept me busy is the research that goes into writing my books. Flying a helicopter has been on my bucket list since I was seventeen. I finally achieved this dream as part of my research for ‘Jewel of the Kimberley.’ I’ve also had a personalized tour of a coal ship for this same story and I have a Sea Hawk pilot helping me with my chopper scenes. As an author, I meet so many interesting people and get to experience so much. I love it.
As for the rest of 2016, I’m joining the other Bindarra Creek writers on our Author Talks about the series. I plan to attend the Hunter Romance Writer’s group meeting every month, work in my garden, write the fourth book of my suspense series, attend the RWA conference in Adelaide, enjoy family time, have a holiday with my husband, and plot another suspense.
I’ve got lots of dreams, now to achieve them.
March 2015 - It’s all go.
Each year my writing group ‘The Hunter Romance Writers’ comes up with mantra to spur us on and last year it was ‘The Year of Domination’. I have to say it worked. Amongst our members, we made the finals in contests, received contracts to publish and finished manuscripts.
I was just looking over my goals for 2014 and I have to say, I’m astounded. Everything on my list has transformed into reality. I set up a real writing room, attended my writing group each month, received a contract, attended the RWA conference in Sydney, received my first sale ribbon and won the RWA Emerald Award. I didn’t realize how many good things had happened until I saw it on paper. I must write a new list of goals for 2015.
So I’m left wondering what’s in store for this year. I’ve already attended the Australian Readers and Writers Convention in Canberra earlier this month. It was fantastic and my first time as a signing author. The organizers and volunteers did a magnificent job. I met so many lovely readers and caught up with lots of writing friends. It’s almost like a family reunion when we all get together. I am also attending the Readers and Writers Down Under Convention on the Gold Coast at the end of March and am very much looking forward to that. And, or course we have the annual Romance Writers of Australia Conference. It will be in Melbourne this year. August 21st-23rd. I’d love to make it to the New Zealand’s Romance Writers Conference one day. I’ll make it a goal.
Below are photos from the ARRA Convention in Canberra. Here I am at my signing table along with good friend S.E. Gilchrist. We also attended the cocktail party with these two characters. Erica Hayes and Maggie Gilbert.
What's in the writing pipeline for 2015? Let’s see. My Steel Ops Suspense Series is up and running. The Kalista Diamond came out in January and Precious Gems was released this month. They are available as eBooks on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Smashwords. I’ve also made them available in print through Amazon.
At the moment I’m working on the third book of the series with the intention of bringing it out in June/July. And, I’ve joined a group of self-published authors to work on a secret little project we will launch in July.
Next week, it’s off to the Gold Coast for the Indie Writers Down Under Conference, and another signing event. Very exciting. And, in August we have the Australian Romance Writers Conference, which is being hosted by the city of Melbourne. I’m going a couple of days early, as I want to explore and catch up with friends. In between all this gallivanting, I still have a family to look after and stories to write.
What about research? Would you believe I recently took a helicopter-flying lesson? I wanted to know the basics, as my latest hero is a Black Hawk pilot. I absolutely loved it. Thank you Ian from Newcastle’s Skyline Aviation.
In July I’m off to explore two islands off Fiji. In my Steel Ops Series a particular island plays a major part, so I have to get the ambiance correct, right? And, I’ll have my handsome bodyguard with me for protection and to help me with my research.
Take care my friends and if you find yourself at a loose end, read a book. You never know what you might learn.
Christmas is almost here and I’m left wondering where the year has gone. As far as my writing goes, it has been the most fulfilling year yet. Winning the Emerald was a dream come true, as was receiving my first contract, thanks to Destiny Publishing. I had an absolute ball at the Romance Writer’s Conference in Sydney and caught up with so many wonderful ladies.
What's in the pipeline for 2015?
I have a busy year ahead. The Kalista Diamond, which won this year’s Emerald, will be out in January as both an e-book and print on demand paperback. The sequel, Precious Gems will follow in March.
I shall also be working on the third book of the series with a planned release date of May, all being well.
In early March I’m heading to Canberra for the Australian Romance Readers Association Conference, as a signing Author. Another first for me.
In late March, it’s off to the Cold Coast for the Indie Writers Down Under Conference, and another signing event.
August will be the Romance Writers Conference, which is being hosted by the lovely city of Melbourne. In between all this gallivanting, I am hoping to work on another project with several other writers, although we are in the very early stages of planning. 2015 is set to be another big year.
Take care and I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and fantastic new year.
Thank you to Kerrie Ptolemy for my wonderful new website. And to Fiona Jayde Media, for my lovely banner.
August 2014 - What a fantastic year this is turning into.
My Romantic Fantasy, ‘The Knight of Castle Kildare’ was launched by Destiny Romance as an E-book in June and has received great reviews.
August 7-11, I attended the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Sydney, and as usual it was entertaining, informative and a great chance to catch up with friends.
Guest speakers featured best selling authors, James Scott Bell, Cherry Adair, and Marie Force. Smashwords Marketing Director, Jim Azevedo and Arts Media Lawyer, Julian Hewitt.
There were Australian and International editors and agents, and more than twenty workshop presenters. Such talent and so much to take in.
Entertainment wise, Penguin/Destiny took their authors out to dinner Thursday evening, where a lot of us met for the first time.
Friday night, Destiny Romance hosted the Leather & Lace Cocktail Party and Saturday evening we attended the RWA Gala Awards Dinner and then the Escape hosted After Party. It was a big weekend.
AND, Drum roll please. My romantic suspense, ‘The Kalista Diamond’ took out first place in the RWA Emerald. This is the Award for best manuscript by an unpublished author. Luckily the finalists were announced before Destiny offered me a contract.
I also received my First Sale Ribbon, caught up with friends and had four requests from Editors to read the Kalista Diamond, so you never know, hopefully something will come of that.
Accepting 1st place in the Emerald Award at the RWA Awards Dinner 2014. What a night.
The Hunter Romance Writers at the 2014 RWA Conference in Sydney.
The great Emma Darcy and I after the 2014 RWA Awards Dinner.
My good friend and critique partner, Susanne Bellamy.
What's in the pipeline? I'm writing the second story of my suspense series set around an ex-SAS team of soldiers. This one is set in Vietnam, hence I recently spent three weeks there, travelling, researching and talking to an assortment of people from all walks of life.
Besides being a beautiful and vibrant country, I found Vietnam's people friendly, considerate and very generous.
Take care my friends and don't forget, You have the power to transform your dreams into reality.
May 2014 - Lots of News.
Contest Wise. I made the second round of the Australian RWA Emerald with two manuscripts. The Knight of Castle Kildare came equal fourth in the Emerald Short, so missed out on going into the final round. My other entry, The Kalista Diamond made the second round of the Emerald Long, and did go into the top three. I must wait now until August, where the placings will be announced at the Awards Dinner of the Australian Romance Writers Annual Conference.
More news. In April, Destiny Romance offered me a contract for The Knight of Castle Kildare and it is due to be released on the 16th June, which is very exciting. I have found the people at Destiny very professional and easy to work with. The whole process has been smooth and enjoyable.
What's in the pipeline. At the moment I'm writing a romantic suspense series set around an ex-SAS team of solders. The Kalista Diamond is the first story, which is complete and I'm well into the second book with the 3rd and fourth planned. There are underworld figures, extortion, sex trafficking, kidnapping, and the use of child labour in sweatshops. Each of my heroes has his work cut out and a heroine to contend with or rescue.
Coming up. I'm looking forward to the annual Australian Romance Writers Conference in August, which is being held at Homebush Bay, Sydney. It's a wonderful four days to catch up with old friends, make new ones and do informative and interesting workshops.
Take care my friends and don't forget to read a book. It's a wonderful way to learn something new or escape into a new world of intrigue, fantasy, suspense and laughter.