Guest blogger: Lilliana Rose
It wasn’t until I moved to the city to study at university that I began to realise my country upbringing on a farm was unique. My experiences of farm life inspired me to begin writing a story, and it became obvious that a rural romance was taking shape, Chasing Dust Clouds.
Of course I’ve fictionalised all the characters and, while the setting is somewhat similar to the farm I grew up on, writing a rural story was a way for me to draw on my memories and capture some of the essence of farm life, bringing it to life in a new way. It was amusing remembering all the positives and negatives of farm life—like the stubbornness of moving sheep, the hard work of shearing, the banter between people—and to weave a love story around the hardships of life on the land.
Creating a sassy character for my heroine, Dusty, making her as strong as the hero, Blaise, was something I couldn’t avoid, and challenged me to balance both of them together, but when there’s love involved it helps to ease the differences and common ground was soon found.
I enjoyed creating colourful secondary characters, like the B&B couple, who also helped to push my hero, Blaise out of his comfort zone as he tried to adjust to country life and make sense of how people lived, and not rock the boat, which of course he did.
I’m sure it is my understanding and appreciation of hard work that was installed in me growing up on the farm, which has given me to tools to be a writer. To help me complete a rural romance, and make it ‘real to life’ in way where I can draw on my own experience, and bring something different to the story.
Chasing Dust Clouds is a city-meets-country story, and also draws on my life now since I’ve permanently swapped my work boots for heels to live in the city. I’m looking forward to writing more romance stories from the land and fictionalising more of my experiences from growing up in rural South Australia, and the uniqueness country life has to offer.
Sent to the country to visit rural clients accountant Blaise Johns doesn’t know what to do when he meets a mob of sheep on the road. He accidently runs over one of Dusty Miller’s ewes and his cool crisp competitive demeanour is dented as he tries to figure out how to make amends with a woman who is intent on busting his balls. Then there’s the competition, Aaron, who isn’t going to be pushed aside. As the out-of-towner will Blaise step up to country life for Dusty?
Dusty is furious at Blaise, but the man won’t go away and leave her to run her farm. A sassy self-sufficient young woman, Dusty struggles to let Blaise who is clueless about the life she lives, in to her heart.
When two worlds, country and city come together, an explosion of differences rocks the foundation of two peoples lives, forcing them to face the future in unplanned ways, and to give each other another chance.