Guest blogger: Rachael Johns
Aside from getting new covers and hanging out at writing conferences in fabulous hotels, probably the best thing that has come of my writing career is the friendships I’ve made along this journey. My writing friends, many whom I met when I first joined RWAus in 2006, have become some of the best friends I have. We’ve shared the highs (of first calls and getting published) and the lows (of rejections from dream publishers and nasty reviews) of this writing life, but we also have become so close that we turn to each other for non-writing things as well. I’ve met the families of many of my close writing friends and, with some, even our kids have met and become good friends. I talk to these girls on a daily basis, whether it be on the phone or via email or Messenger. They are ALWAYS there for me and I like to think I’m always there for them.
One of these wonderful friends is fellow rural romance author, Fiona Palmer, who was one of the first authors published in this popular genre. Fee inspired me to try writing rural romance when I was ready to give up on writing all together and she continually helps me when I need someone to brainstorm with.
In 2014, we had books out the same week (Outback Ghost and The Sunnyvale Girls) and decided to go on a WA tour together. We called it the #RuRoRoadtrip and you can read about our adventures here. We drove a huge distance over the course of about 10 days and so we had a LOT of time on the road to talk, not to mention all those nights we stayed up way later than we should talking. Inevitably our conversations turned to writing more than often and Fee took up the plight of some of the readers we met on the road who wanted Frankie and Simone from my Bunyip Bay series to have their stories.
What started as a conversation about childhood abuse, piqued an idea for Outback Sisters, which in the end had nothing to do with childhood abuse at all. On the drive, Fiona helped me brainstorm a story revolving the two sisters and Simone’s teenage daughters, Harriet and Grace, so that by the time I arrived home I was itching to put pen to paper and writing another Bunyip Bay story.
I’ve been published about five years now and it’s always exciting when a book comes unexpectedly to life when you hadn’t been ever planning to write it. But without my writing friends, I wouldn’t have people to bounce such ideas off or people like Fee hammering me to “get that story out there”. Friends are a blessing in every walk of life and I’m so very blessed to have such good ones.
I’d love to hear about a friend who you’ve met through your work and have become bosom buddies with. One lucky commenter will win a copy of my new book Outback Sisters! (The giveaway is now closed. The winners was Marilyn F.)
Frankie and Simone are sisters and best friends. Could a new man in town drive a wedge between them for the first time ever?
Cafe owner Frankie has been unlucky in love all her life. It’s hard in a small town like Bunyip Bay to meet prospective partners. Her sister, Simone, lost the love of her life years before and is now devoted to raising their two teenage girls, leaving little time for romance. When Frankie is kissed by a handsome stranger who calls her Simone, it’s a case of mistaken identity – but who is this man and how does he know Simone?
Logan Knight is in town to meet up with a woman he has met online. Although raised on a farm with his brother Angus, he has travelled the world as a journalist and is now looking forward to meeting a girl and settling down. The girl in the cafe was an amazing kisser – but not the one he thought he was meeting!
Reclusive farmer Angus wants nothing to do with Logan’s plans for improving the property’s finances and finding a partner – until he meets the sisters at a wedding. Who is attracted to whom? More importantly, can Frankie and Simone sort out their feelings for the two brothers without destroying their very close bond?
A Bunyip Bay novel
Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. A lover of romance and women’s fiction, Rachael loves nothing more than sitting in bed with her laptop and electric blanket and imagining her own stories.
Rachael has finaled in a number of competitions, including the Australian Romance Readers Awards. Jilted (her first rural romance) won Favourite Australian Contemporary Romance in 2012 and she was voted in the Top Ten of Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Author poll in 2013.
Rachael lives in the Perth hills with her hyperactive husband, three mostly gorgeous heroes-in-training, two fat cats, a cantankerous bird and a very badly behaved dog.