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Author spotlight: Rachael Johns

26 November 2019

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting Rachael Johns. She will be attending ARR2020 in Perth.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

I was seventeen, although I didn’t exactly know I was writing romance. I started writing after breaking up with my high school sweetheart who I then thought was the love of my life, so I came to writing as a form of therapy. I guess I was more writing chick-lit then but I discovered true romance about nine years later when I found the Romance Writers of Australia and fell in love with the genre.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

Hmm … that depends, is Bridget Jones’ Diary a romance? If so, it was Helen Fielding. If not, it was probably Janette Oke. I didn’t read much in school, but I went to a Christian school and the romances in our library were inspirational—I remember reading a Brides series that she wrote. When I decided to get serious about writing romance the first romance novel I read was Having the Boss’s Babies by Barbara Hannay.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

I’ve written women’s fiction, dealing with all kinds of non-romantic relationships, but it’s a quite closely related genre. I would love to write a crime novel one day or a picture book.

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

Ooh tough choice. I think it would be The Greatest Gift and I’m not sure about the female characters, but I’ve already cast Liam Hemsworth in the starring role of Jasper.

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

For me it’s coming up with an idea that a) I am excited about and b) has enough of a hook/premise to carry it for a whole novel. I always have a bit of a meltdown (my family might say more than a bit) midway through the writing process and I guess keeping on going despite all the doubt is then always my biggest hurdle.

What is your favourite place to write?

I used to love writing in bed with my electric blanket, but now I have a gorgeous little office and most of my writing is done here, and I love it.

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

Only one—the character of Wacky Wanda in The Patterson Girls was inspired by a woman who lived in a country town that I also did. We all called her the old gyspy lady and she was terrifying whenever she came into our supermarket.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

It’s not strictly a romance but there IS romance in it and it was Heart of the Cross by Emily Madden. I loved it because it’s set in such an iconic Australian town and shows women overcoming horrific relationships to find true love but also to conquer on their own.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Just One Wish is the story of three generations of women—all very different from each other, trying to work out what it means to actually be a woman to them.

What else will you be working on in 2020?

In 2020 I hope to have two books coming out—a rural romance called Something to Talk About in April 2020 and a women’s fiction called Flying the Nest later in the year. As for what I’ll be writing, I’m still tossing up which idea to write next.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.

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