Thank you to romance writer Susanne Bellamy for sharing her thoughts and experiences today. Author of the Lark Creek and Hearts of the Outback series, Susanne lives on the edge of the Australian bush when she isn't trekking all over the world!
How did you get started as a writer?
Back in 2010 (that’s starting to sound like a long time ago!), after a discussion with a work colleague about how ‘easy’ writing a romance would be (I know – the ignorance of us!) I challenged myself to write a full-length novel. My husband was in Nepal climbing mountains and I had time on my hands when I got home from work, so each night, I sat down and wrote.
I flipped our online conversations from snow and ice to heat and ocean and somehow arrived at Hawaii for my setting. I wrote instinctively, going back and seeding details as I worked out what I needed.
I entered ‘White Ginger’ in the 2011 RWA Emerald Award and came third. A proud moment indeed. That was definitely one of my best moments.
A small American publisher offered me a contract on that book – another ‘moment’.
But honestly, I think the very best moment was when I held my first print book, ‘Heart of the Town’ (Mira). There’s something special about that print book baby that makes it all feel real.
Your favourite hero and why?
My favourite hero is a tough call, but there is something about Harry, the hero of ‘Wild About Harry’ that sets him apart from the others. A widower with a young daughter, Harry is torn between remaining true to his first love and accepting that a new love, different but no less real, can be his. I love that hint of vulnerability lurking beneath a strong, wonderful man, and I relish giving a happy-ever-after to a character who doesn’t expect it, but deserves it.
What's the worst thing you ever wrote?
As for my worst writing – that would be the first draft of the book that eventually became ‘Starting Over’ (Mira). My mother-in-law passed away as I was beginning that story, and I lost my way. Fortunately my publisher saw potential in what was less than my best and gave me a chance to rework the story. With time to gain some perspective and a return to normalcy, that story worked out well in the end. But there is a thread of the grief I experienced in the book. How could there not be. Real life events invariably seep into my writing at some point.
Just wait till August when my car accident plays out in my next book!
Sounds very intriguing! Thank you very much, Susanne!