I’m happy to announce that today three of my novels and two novellas were released with Audible worldwide (Burning Fields was released last November). It’s super exciting to have my books in audio form and it’s a very different experience to reading them. For those of you who love audio books or are thinking about giving them a try, you might want to pop on over to Audible’s website and check them out. Audible also have a special on at the moment if you are signing up for the first time. Click HERE to take you to the Audible website to find out more. Happy listening!
I’m super happy to announce I signed a four book and two novella deal with Audible and the first audio book has been released today worldwide!
The first audio book released is BURNING FIELDS with the rest to follow shortly. I’ve recently found a love for audio books and I hope you enjoy them just as much as I do!
Today is five years since the launch of my first book, Luna Tango. It had taken ten years, three manuscripts (that will never see the light of day), lots of workshops and conferences, thousands upon thousands of hours honing my craft and a dash of luck to get to the point of seeing my first book published and available in bookshops. It was a dream come true and I’ll never forget that moment of standing in a bookshop and seeing my book on the shelves for the first time. It was a magical moment and scary at the same time. My story was out in the world and people were going to meet my characters for the first time. It felt surreal and I really did have to pinch myself (after wiping away tears of joy).
Before I was published all I had focussed on was getting a publishing contract. What I never expected was the wonderful friendships I would make with other writers, booksellers, book reviewers, journalists, librarians and readers. I love that my non-reader friends get behind me as well, promoting any events I’m doing or new releases. I adore the publishers I work with, their passion for the written word shining through in everything they do, and I am so thankful every day for my wonderful literary agent, Lucienne Diver, who works so very hard and is brilliant at what she does.
Never in a million years did I expect to see my books translated into other languages or be published around the world. I never expected to release a new book every year, be a bestseller or have one of my books voted into Australia’s top 100 books. I never expected that I would get the opportunity to do book tours in Australia and overseas, to be invited to literary events, mentor, and to teach workshops and run writing retreats with one of my best friends who is also a writer. I never expected opportunities to take my storytelling to the screen. But all these things have happened and I am grateful for every single one of these magical moments.
On this fifth anniversary, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for getting involved in this precious, uplifting, wonderful writing journey. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Today I’m super excited to reveal the Serbian cover of Luna Tango (Australian/NZ edition) which is also called Midnight Serenade (USA/Canada/UK edition). I love how the publishers in the different territories I’m published in put their own spin on covers and titles – it’s always a surprise to see what they come up with!
Just to show you how different the take can be on one story, I’ve posted the Australian/NZ and USA/UK/Canada editions as well.
By the way, I have some exciting news about to be announced so if you would like to be one of the first to know, please sign up for my newsletter HERE.
I came across this video of a couple dancing tango on a table and it mesmerised me. I hope you enjoy watching this amazing couple – not only are they talented dancers, they have incredible balance and trust in each other to perform such a dance on a tiny piece of wood high off the ground!
Video by Fakundo Amaya and dancer Tamii Borda. Music is La Cumparsita performed by Feliciano Brunelli
Over the years, I’ve attended many, many writers festivals as an audience member in Australia, Canada and the USA. As an unknown writer toiling away in the hope that someone would publish my stories, I watched in awe as published writers sat on panels and spoke to readers about their journeys, their stories, their passion.
My very first writers festival was in Byron Bay in 2004. I met three writers there who took time out to chat with me personally about the writing process and the industry, and they encouraged me to keep going, to never give up. I’ll never forget the kindness of Nick Earls, Jessica Adams, and Linda Jaivin. They helped create a deep desire in me to one day be up on stage at a writers festival and talk about my journey and my stories.
Well, eleven years later it’s finally happened! I’m am super pleased to announce I will be appearing on three panels at the Bendigo Writers Festival in August and I could not be happier!
The three panels I’m on are (click on titles for details):
WHAT IT TAKES (this will be live streamed through The Wheel Centre – it will exciting and nerve-wracking!)
If you’d like to find out more, please click here. The program looks fabulous and there is a wonderful range of writers, so you’re bound to find someone you’d like to see!
And a special thank you to those who have encouraged me to pursue this dream. It means so very much to me and I look forward to meeting lots of readers and writers in Bendigo, a gorgeous place full of history and love for words in all its forms.
Libraries have always held a sense of wonder and adventure for me—the chance to discover new worlds, live vicariously through a range of characters (both good and bad), and to be taken on a journey like no other. I’ve always admired the people who work in these magnificent institutions as their love for the written word is as intense as mine.
Over the years I’ve met librarians who have enthusiastically helped me with research, recommended new authors to read, and ensured my kids have the same wondrous experiences as I’ve had within the walls of the library.
So it was with great pleasure that I participated in my very first library event as a published author this week. The event coincided with Valentine’s Day and I was fortunate to be presenting with the wonderful Fiona Lowe–a multi-published and award-winning author who is experienced with library appearances and did a fabulous job of trying to calm my nerves (of which there were many).
Our chosen topic, Romance Fiction Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, concentrated on the various genres of romance. To sweeten the deal (pun intended!), we discussed the sub-genres of romance and likened to them to specific chocolate flavours. The audience got the opportunity to taste an array of chocolate as well!
Despite the shaking hands I managed to get through my part of the talk and when I saw the nodding heads and smiling faces, I remembered these people had chosen to be here because they love books and they love libraries—they weren’t relatives I’d collared in to coming along to make up numbers. As soon as the realisation hit, I relaxed and one hour felt like five minutes.
I had to pinch myself a few times as I’ve attended numerous library author events over the years and always dreamed of one day having my own. Thanks to Geelong Regional Libraries, and in particular Waurn Ponds Library, I finally realised that dream this week.
Yes, today is Valentine’s Day, but it’s also a recognised day for celebrating another kind of love—for libraries. So to all the people who work in libraries around the world, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love what you do and the care and love with which you do it because without libraries, our curiosity wouldn’t be sparked, our emotions wouldn’t be challenged, and our quest for knowledge wouldn’t be fulfilled.
And yeah, I heart libraries.
Special thanks to Waurn Ponds Libraries for the photos.
Quite a while ago I came across the idea for a Happiness Jar. I first heard about it when Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) did a post about her Happiness Jar (link here). The idea is to write down moments in your life throughout the year that make you happy and place them in a jar (or box or container of your choice) and on New Years Eve (or a date you choose) you pull the notes out randomly and relive the happy moments from your year. Some people do it for big events and others daily – I’ve given myself the challenge of going with daily because no matter how bad a day gets I still believe there is something to be thankful or happy for. And on those days where it’s really hard to come up with something joyful from that day, I’m going to give myself permission to dip my hand into the jar and pull out a few notes to bring a smile to my face again.
My family decided to do this as a joint project so our Happiness Jar proudly sits in the middle of our dining table with a pen and post-it notes beside it, ready to be filled when the desire arises. We’re only six days into the year and I’m already thinking we may need to get a bigger jar! And that makes me happy (better go write that down and put it in the jar)!
I’d already filled in my note for the day but have had to add an extra one because a lovely surprise came along and I think it is definitely a two note worthy day. I discovered I’ve been nominated in three categories for the Australian Romance Readers Awards – voted by ARRA members. I’ve been nominated for:
* Favourite Contemporary Romance
* Favourite Cover
* Favourite New Romance Author
Being nominated for such prestigious awards makes me VERY happy and I am grateful for the people who have nominated me. Below is the link through to the nominees and I would love you to go and check out the authors nominated in the genres you’re interested in – you might discover a really fab new-to-you author! Here’s the link – click here.
I hope 2015 brings you everything you wish for and more. And I certainly hope if you choose to create your own Happiness Jar that it is overflows!
For those looking for some interesting reads from 2014, this blog post from The Displaced Nation has a list of books that are centred around travel and other cultures. Enjoy!
Seasons greetings, Displaced Nationers. That special time of the year is here again, when we publish our selection of this year’s books with meaningful connections to expats, Third Culture Kids, global wanderers, and others of us who have in some way led “displaced lives”.
Having assembled this list on my own in years past, I am pleased to be joined this year by Beth Green, our BOOKLUST, WANDERLUST columnist, who has also graciously agreed to sign over her column space for the month.
Let’s give Beth the floor:
Happy holidays, all! Preparing for this yearly special, I went back through all of the books I’ve read since January—not such an easy task; I read a lot!—and realized that I hadn’t actually read all that many that were published in 2014. I just now took a look at…
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I’ve been quiet of late (as you’ve no doubt noticed), getting Flamenco Fire finished in time for my publisher deadline at the end of the year. I do come up for air every so often, and there’s nothing better than taking a break to celebrate winning an award! Oh yes, Luna Tango won Book Of The Year in the inaugural AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Awards!
Excuse me while I do a daggy happy dance …
Okay, am back.
Writers spend years honing their craft, living through self doubt, clocking up rejections, and wondering if the dream of being published will ever happen. Then when it miraculously does, more doubts creep in – Will readers like my story? Will I sell enough books? Will book reviewers hate it? And on it goes … So when readers vote for their favourite book, or author, cover design, or series, it’s a major boost in confidence to know someone out there loves what we’re doing.
With the Ausrom Today Reader’s Choice Awards, readers were asked to nominate authors and books in the various categories and once these were selected, the month long voting process took place and winners were announced on 1 December. There are some amazing authors who have been nominated and won other categories, so I urge you to go and check out on this page – http://ausromtoday.com/2014-ausromtoday-readers-choice-awards/.
Big congratulations to the winners and nominees in each of the categories and a huge thank you to all who nominated and voted for me. Your support is truly appreciated and I cannot thank you enough. Also, a very big thank you to AusRom Today for all the effort you put in to introducing Australian authors to readers around the world.
Now … back to those edits I go!