So great to have you visit from Australia, Rachael! I enjoy our chats on Twitter such much and look forward to reading your post. Hope you get lots of visitors and chat! Over to you...
Firstly a huge thanks to the lovely Rachel Brimble (who I met on Twitter) for inviting me to the other side of the world today. I was actually born in England so it’s lovely to be back if only for a VERY brief visit J
Rachel asked me to chat a little about my writing journey and the books I write now. I don’t want to bore you, so I’ll (try) keep it short and sweet.
So… here goes:
I’m Rachael Johns and I’m a Romance Writer.
After seventeen years over slaving away over the keyboard, I finally got the Call-Email from Angela James at Carina Press on April Fool’s Day 2011. This was for a short contemporary romance that was originally targeted at Mills and Boon. Although I’d had a bit of success with Mills and Boon (I came Runner Up in their Feel The Heat contest in 2008), I kept coming up against the same problem. My books kept falling in between their sexy and sweet lines. So, not having a lot of hope and almost ready to give up writing entirely, I sent ONE PERFECT NIGHT off to Carina Press and was ecstatic when they offered to buy it.
Until a friend of mine said maybe it was an April Fool’s Joke!! But apparently, although editors are scary, they are not cruel, and it was real.
As I said, I’d pretty much decided by now that it was a ridiculous dream to think that I might ever get a book published, but my good writing friends encouraged me to keep going but to change my direction. So while waiting to hear from Carina Press, I started something different for me. I decided to write a longer book, a Single Title.
At that time in Australia, the rural romance genre was really starting to kick off. This genre is still booming down under and is basically a romance set in the country, where the hero and/or heroine often work the land. Although I’m not a farmer or a farmer’s wife, I have lived in a small town for the best part of ten years and am a converted country girl, so I decided to give this a shot. I wanted my focus not so much on the farming aspect but on the dynamics of small rural communities. You know – where everyone knows what you are doing before you even know yourself!
My first book print JILTED (http://www.rachaeljohns.com/jilted.html) was written mostly while I was waiting to hear back from Carina Press. It is a rural romance in which the actress heroine returns to a small town ten years after leaving their golden boy at the altar. She comes back to look after her injured godmother and ends up being roped into helping the town revive the theatrical society. She’s the recipient of a lot of cruelness to start with but the town (and the man) finally give her a second chance.
In addition to this book being the first I ever saw on the shelves, it also won the 2012 Australian Romance Readers Favourite Contemporary Romance, which has so far been the absolute high light of my career.
After a long, long apprenticeship, I finally seem to have found my niche writing about rural communities and they whole range of characters that live there and I hope that I can continue to do so for a VERY long time!
Unfortunately at the moment my rural romances are only available in Australia, but HQN in the US are publishing JILTED in 2014 and I’m hoping more of my Aussie books will follow.
Rachael loves to interact with readers and other writers and can be found on the web in the following places:
Website – www.rachaeljohns.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RachaelJohnsRomance
Twitter - https://twitter.com/RachaelJohns