I met Rachael at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in 2012. I worked with her on the RWA conference committee this year – and she’s a gem – on and off the page!
With six bestselling books under her belt and more on the way, guess what piece of household equipment this lady doesn’t have time for!
Thank you for arriving so promptly up at the manor Rachael – and for bringing that lovely country-manner smile with you (she brought her own gumboots too, and something for us to snack on).
What are books for?
Time-out from the real world. They are the perfect way to relax and the perfect companion to your favourite drink!! They are also an addiction!! But hey, there’s a lot worse things to be addicted to.
Will you tell us about yourself and what genre(s) you love writing?
I’m a mum, wife, supermarket owner, ex English teacher, arachnophobic, chocolate and Diet Coke lover and I write contemporary romance!! I love writing stories about fun-loving characters trying to get their lives on track and find that special someone to spend it with. One day I’d like to write a crime novel but the closest I’ve come is adding a tincy-wincy suspense thread in my next release (OUTBACK BLAZE, May 2014).
Oooh - the tincy-wincy suspense sounds intriguing, say I, munching on the chocolate and supping the Diet Coke Rachael brought along.
Which of your books or work in progress are we chatting about today?
I’d love to tell you a bit about my first ever holiday novella THE KISSING SEASON!
Family black-sheep Hannah Elliot is back home in Australia after
a disaster marriage in Vegas, pregnant and alone. She’s not going to tell her
family about her baby until after the New Year and she’s vowing to reform her
life and become a responsible Mum. Enter one sexy, part-Italian back in the
small town only for Christmas, who’s intent on wooing her for a holiday fling.
This was a very fun story to write, there’s lots of witty banter between the hero and heroine as he tries to convince her to go on a date with him and the sparks fly when she finally does.
I can’t wait to share it with you – out Dec 1st with Harlequin Australia.
It's out folks!
Rachael, will you share a paragraph of THE KISSING SEASON with us please?
He took a step towards her and grinned, determined to override her sudden formalness. ‘I’m counting on it. How about we make plans for a second date right now?’
She raised one beautiful brow and he could tell she was covering a smirk. ‘This was not a first date.’ Although at the tone of her voice, he didn’t know whom she was trying to convince more. Him or her.
‘It felt like one, I bought your dinner, you asked me twenty questions...’ He took another step.
She opened her mouth – likely to object that it wasn’t dinner but merely some sausage in a bun, a few biscuits and a drink, but he cut her off. ‘Just so you know, I never sleep with a woman on the first date.’
‘Those questions? I was merely being polite.’ She raised her chin a little and looked him dead in the eye. ‘And just so you
know, I never sleep with charmers, so it looks like we’re both safe.’
In reply, he leant forward and kissed her.
When starting a new story, what do you begin with? Character? Scenario? Setting?
Can I cheat and say all of the above? In truth, sometimes it’s a character and sometimes a premise. In OUTBACK DREAMS, I decided I wanted to write a friends to lovers story and I’d also always wanted to write a book that looked at autism and how it affects a whole family. I started with those tiny seeds, sat down with a bunch of magazines and a notebook and did some brainstorming.
How much of you goes into each story you write?
I think without making a conscious effort, every story holds a little bit of the writer. JILTED was a first love
romance and my first love had a big impact on me, so that emotion was easy to resurrect. In MAN DROUGHT the hero’s grandfather was very much like my own dearly beloved grandfather. And more recently, in OUTBACK DREAMS, I wrote about autism. Last year my son was tested for autism and a lot of the emotions of that experience went into the writing of OUTBACK DREAMS. Oh and my next book OUTBACK BLAZE, starts with a shop fire – I’ve experienced that. So I guess a LOT of me goes into each story ☺
Who or what is your biggest champion or support?
I’d say that award goes jointly to my Mum and my husband. They have always been so incredibly supportive, practically and emotionally. They share my joy and tell me to stop being a sook and keep writing when I think it’s all too hard. And
they look after the kids and do housework when I’m on a deadline or take off to a conference!
What writing project did you put aside to answer these questions?
Hah – well, I SHOULD be writing OUTBACK GHOST (the third in my Bunyip Bay series right now) but it’s also school holidays as I write and I’m getting absolutely NOTHING done!!
(Update: Rachael has now finished OUTBACK GHOST!)
And for an encore - would you like to share a tip for running the country manor in a more efficient way – giving us time to read and write more? (This can be a recipe, a cleaning tip, 25 ways to fix the tractor, how to fold a napkin, useful uses for old tyres or anything that comes to mind.)
Under no circumstances do ironing! What an absolute WASTE of time. Use the dryer and don’t buy clothes that desperately need it. Seriously, I don’t even OWN an iron and I don’t feel like my life is lacking because of it!
Good advice. Once upon a time, before I got married and had a daughter, when I had time to waltz through life - I actually used to iron my pillow cases and tea towels - what does that say? (Don't answer.)
Rachael Johns - thank you so much for popping in.
Readers - see below for where to find Rachael and her wonderful books.
Rachael Johns webpage
Rachael Johns on Facebook
Follow Rachael Johns on Twitter
Buy The Kissing Season from amazon.com
Buy The Kissing Season from iTunes (iBooks)
Buy The Kissing Season from Google Play
Feel free to leave a comment or ask Rachael a question - we'd love to hear from you.
Jennie & Rachael
"We may not have everything in life we want but at least we can have it all in a book." ~ Jennie Jones