I’ve lived in Adelaide, South Australia, all my life, a lovely city close to sandy beaches and the beautiful Mount Lofty Ranges. When I finished school I went into junior primary teaching and hold a Diploma of Teaching and a Bachelor of Education with a major in science.
I left teaching several years ago to write full-time. A year long illness forced me to take a break from writing in 2017. In 2018 I returned to the first book I wrote and started revisions. Covid took away my writing muse, it was 2022 before I was able to start writing that same book again.
Other interests include astronomy and space exploration, patchwork, quilting, and painting with acrylics. Before Covid, I belonged to a gym but now I enjoy walking in local parks to keep fit.
But back to my writing life. My first attempts at writing a book beginning in 1998 were valuable experiences in rejection, improvement, and resilience. My motto became: Never give up.
Since becoming published in 2005 I’ve published 16 books with Mills and Boon. My 1st two books, Behind Closed Doors, and One Night before Marriage won the RWA Romantic Book of the Year for 2007, and 2008. Two more, Her Not-so-secret Diary, and The Morning after the Wedding Before, were finalists in 2012 and 2013.
Tips for getting published
- For people wanting to become published, I believe the more contests you enter the more likely you are to get your work read by an editor
- Join a writers’ organisation. Get support and friendship from other writers, enter contests, get a great magazine and website info.
- Polish your work and enter those contests.
- Read, read, read.
- Write what you love.
- Check the guidelines and submit your work to the appropriate publishers.
- Submit, submit, submit.
- Never give up!
I’d aimed my first two books at the Desire line at Harlequin in New York. The first one was runner up in Romance Writers of New Zealand’s (RWNZ) Clendon Award for a full manuscript. The submission was rejected with encouraging comments. My second, which I titled Waiting for Jack, was runner up in RWNZ Great Beginnings contest. It was sent to Kimberly Young editor at Mills and Boon in UK who requested the full manuscript.
On 24 November 2005 at 10 pm, Kimberly called me. They’d read the manuscript and were asking for revisions. The manuscript would suit their new Modern Extra line. Could I get it to her ASAP?
I sent it back on 13 December, she called back three days later. They loved it and wanted to buy it! What a great Friday evening that was. The moment I’ve visualised so many times! It was retitled Behind Closed Doors.
I wrote for eight years, seriously for seven.
A combination of things. Timing, the right manuscript and the right editor. Aiming the right manuscript at the right market. (Although I was lucky there; I ‘fell’ into it.) Injecting more emotion and giving my characters clearer motivations has improved each subsequent manuscript. And practice, practice, practice.
After writing 16 books for category romance, I wanted to try a new direction. I hope to find a home for the first novel I wrote. It’s taken years of rewriting and angst to finally finish it. I’m happy with the result. I sent it to Harlequin Australia after successfully pitching it at the RWA 2022 conference in Perth. I’m still waiting to hear. There’s a lot of waiting in this part of the process.
At present, it is a top three finalist in Romance Writers of Australia’s Sapphire contest for published writers. It has been sent to an editor, and the winner will be announced at the conference in Sydney later this year.
- 2023 RWAustralia Sapphire Award – Finding Lily. 2nd
- 2008 RWAustralia Romantic Book of the Year – One Night Before Marriage. Winner
- 2007 RWAustralia Romantic Book of the Year – Behind Closed Doors. Winner
- 2005 RWNZ Great Beginnings – Waiting for Jack (2nd)
- 2004 Valerie Parv Award – Shadow on the Storm (2nd)
- 2004 RWNZ Clendon Award Agents Choice – His Blue Lady (3rd)
- 2004 RWNZ Clendon Award – His Blue Lady (2nd)
- 2003 RWNZ Clendon Award – To Hold a Rainbow (commended)
- 2003 RWNZ Clendon Award – Through the Circle of Destiny (commended)
- 2002 TARA First Impressions – To Hold a Rainbow (2nd)
- 2001 Valley Forge Romance Writers Futuristic/Paranormal – Through the Circle of Destiny (4th)
- 2001 Valley Forge Romance Writers Most Unique Plot – Through the Circle of Destiny (4th)
- 2001 RWAustralia Love Scene – Song of Atlantium (3rd)
- 2001 RWAustralia Tall, Dark & Delicious – To Hold a Rainbow (1st)
- 2000 RWAustralia Query Letter/Synopsis – Through the Circle of Destiny (3rd)
- 2000 Wild Rose Full Novel – Through the Circle of Destiny (finalist)
- 2000 RWAmerica, Australian Chapter – Short Story Competition (2nd place)