hits the shelves in July To my utter shock, I won that year.
three chapters until I figured out who the main characters were and what their stories were, but once I got there it was full steam ahead.
How does it feel to finally have your first novel hit the shelves? It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and the proudest moment of my life thus far. I don’t know what emotion to focus on!
Was there a special process you went through when writing Love Elimination? I applied for Carlew’s 2015 Colin Thiele Scholarship for Creative Writing, which awarded $12,500 towards the professional development and a creative project of a young writer. Carclew gives feedback to every applicant, so I thought I’d apply and practise my grant application writing for when I was ready to be a serious contender.
My ambitious application included: a mentorship with best selling romance author, Victoria Purman; a manuscript assessment; a living wage to write my romance novel; and travel and registration for the Romance Writers of Australia conference in August, where I would pitch my manuscript. This meant I had to write a book in eight months. Crazy. I hadn’t factored in editing or exams. I ended up writing the novel in five months (with three of those just rewriting the first 10,000 words until I knew what I wanted), taking a month off for exams, and then editing over two months. I had a lot of help from my mentor, who kept me accountable, on deadline, and provided feedback every step of the way so I didn’t get off track. Then I pitched my book at two conferences (the Adelaide Pitch Conference popped up unexpectedly in July, so I grabbed that opportunity as well) to seven publishers, all of whom requested to see my book. Two weeks after I sent it off, I received a publishing offer from Harlequin MIRA—the world’s largest publisher of romance novels! It was a rollercoaster year. The Jurist
How did you come up with ideas for the characters? Are they based on real people? The story idea usually comes first, and the characters are whatever they need to be within that structure. For Love Elimination my main character, Anna, had to be a reluctant contestant on the reality television dating show and the hero, Luke, had to be her perfect match—so everything stemmed from that. None of the characters are based on people in my life. I imagine that incites all types of real-life drama!
Do you have any plans for more novels in the near future? Absolutely! I have two ideas that I’m tossing up between at the moment. I won’t say anything more about them, since it’s such early stages. But hopefully I make a decision and get a whole chunk done in the midyear break, before my publisher starts asking for book two (assuming Love Elimination does well!).
**Readers are invited to the book launch of Love Elimination on Thursday June 30, at Dymocks Rundle Mall, 6pm. Visit: www.dymocks. com.au/Events/StoreEventsSouth-Australia.
Published on Jun 15, 2016
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