Thanks Fleur for having me on your awesome blog!! I’m particularly happy to be here today because I ‘’met’’ Fleur through my current book JILTED.
Fleur had three manuscript critiques up for grabs at the beginning of 2011 in an auction to raise money for the Queensland Flood victims.
As I had an almost complete rural lit novel, I bid and lucky for me I won one.
Fleur read the first three chaps of what is now JILTED and gave me some fabulous tips on how to make them sparkle a little. But she didn’t leave it there, she phoned me a couple of times when I was subbing to publishers and encouraged me to get my work out there. It was great having Fleur in my corner, and I think her attitude towards helping other writers probably echoes her attitude towards her local community.
And that’s what I want to talk about today. How living in a small rural community inspired me to write rural romance.
Almost eight years ago my country boy hubby and I upped and moved from Perth to the sticks. We landed in Kojonup in Western Australia and spent a fabulous six years there. Of course, you’re never a local in a country town until you’ve lived there about 37 years but that doesn’t mean we weren’t welcomed. Kojonup very much felt like home when we left early last year. Although always a city girl, I’d grown to love living in a country town, the community spirit and how everyone knows everything about everyone – not always a good thing, but often. It means people look out for each other.
I loved that when I went to the local shop, I pretty much knew everyone. I loved the community events – fundraisers, movie nights, agricultural shows and the revival of the local theatrical society, which was the actual event that inspired me to write JILTED.
We now live in Goomalling, an even smaller rural community, but the characteristics of a rural community are strong in both towns. Let no one ever say rural Australia is DEAD! When I launched my book at the beginning of June, the Goomalling Community Resource Centre offered to help – they put on a fabulous spread of food and so many locals came to offer their support. That’s what living in a country town is about. Looking out for each other, encouraging and supporting through good times and bad and being proud of residents’ achievements.
I could go on about my experiences living in rural communities all day – the time my hubby’s work place (the Kojonup Co-op) burnt to the ground in the middle of the night and the whole town was out in their pyjamas watching, the time a plane crashed in our friend’s paddock, the experiences my children get that they wouldn’t get in the city – but I won’t do that to you.
I just wanted to say that THIS is why I write rural romance. I want to convey the wonderful experiences that I’ve had living in a country town to readers all across Australia, and hopefully one day, the world!
She left him at the altar, but her heart was always his…
After more than ten years away, Australian soap star Ellie Hughes returns to the small country town of Hope Junction, determined to remain anonymous while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.
But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn’t long before the people of Hope’s are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie’s visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.
Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together again, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. For Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.
When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?
Facebook page: /Rachael-Johns
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