Friday, 15 October 2010


       Okay, so last week I mentioned I am a “List-maker.” I also mentioned after arriving home from our August trip that I needed to prepare for the next one in November. Well, that time is well and truly now becoming more urgent and very high on my list of “To Do” things before we leave.
Booking our trip across Bass Strait to the Australian mainland had to be made many weeks ago.
Registering for the CALEB Award Dinner in Qld has also been done quite a while ago.
The speaking appointment at the Toowoomba library on November 13th has been finalised.
I have been reading manuscripts and in touch with the three writers of them I will be tutoring in the mentorship programme while in Qld.
        But I’m getting ahead of myself. Will share more about those in the next blog.
Two days ago our church women hosted a “Share Day” organised by our State women’s ministry team for Christian women from around our Island state. Did I make a list for that? Sure did! And now that day was a success, preparing for our trip to Queensland requires not just one list but several!
        Today I have been trying to attend to the most urgent thing at the top of my current list, preparing a workshop presentation at that Word Writers Fair  day in Queensland on Saturday November 6th.
It still isn’t too late to register and do check out the website. You can choose seminars on:-
Time Management for Writers, Writing articles for magazines, How do I Write a Book, talk with Children’s Picture book published author, Stay motivated to completion, Writing for teenagers, Books for kids, or choose to go to the panels offered on various subjects. I am sharing on one called Reaching out for God through fiction.
        The workshop I am preparing is simply titled “Romance Writing.” In just over an hour, what are the most important things I need to share with the writers? If anyone would like to leave a comment what you think I should touch on, do, please do so!
        There is so much I could share. Will those at the workshop be beginner writers? Will some have written other books but wondering about trying to write a romance novel? Many times, romance authors like myself are told that of course there is always a “formula” to writing a romance novel. That is usually accompanied by a smile that indicates that, after all, those “little books” are easy to write. Perhaps for some writers they may be “easy” but over many years I’ve yet to meet a successful romance author who has found them “easy.” If it was so why do many, many writers receive rejection after rejection on their manuscripts? Is there a formula? Except that a hero and a heroine find true love and face a “happy ever after” future, sadly, I have yet to find that famous formula!
        So, what are some of the “special elements” that a writer targeting the romance genre market needs to know? This is proving to be a real challenge for me and I am trying to share some of the things I have learnt are “essentials” for writers of romance to know.
        The week after the Word Writers Fair I am also a tutor for a live-in mentorship programme for Christian fiction writers. As I mentioned, I have the three manuscript drafts already being worked on by the authors who will be under my care. When I read most "new" writers' works, there are times it makes me realise how much I have been learning myself over the last seven years since my first novel contract. Some of that “learning” has been by making mistakes – in other words learning the hard way. If I can help other writers from making similar mistake, I will be very happy!

    Oh, and the “other” exciting news mentioned in the heading?

My Return to Baragula is a finalist in the Fiction category of the Caleb Book Prizes.
Book three, Justice at Baragula has been accepted by Ark House Press and tentatively scheduled for release April 2011

Am so thrilled about both, but I have read the other three great books in that contest that have also finaled!

Mmm. . .wonder if I’ll be able to eat – or enjoy - that award dinner on November 6th before the winner is announced!


  1. Wishing you wonderful success at the Caleb awards!!!
    How I wish I could sit in on the romance writing workshop, but the Word Writers Fair clashes with my daughter's final exams. Maybe next time.
    Blessings and prayers for your next few busy weeks,
    Dotti :)

  2. Congrats on becoming a finalist! That is such exciting news. I too wish I could be at the romance writing workshop. If you discover the magic formula, please share!

  3. Congratulations, you are a wonderful writer so I believe you will win. "To God be the Glory."
    I have just finished writing my first book and it has passed the editing process. So now I need to find a Publisher. Having lived and worked in the USA and finding how little they know of our country I am hoping to publish there? I felt better at reading your own emotional feels when your first book was published and you held it in your hands. It helps to hear this,and perhaps I will become a sucess also? Anyhow in the end I believe, His Will not mine be done, so if He Wills, it will happen. God Bless you.
    Crystal Mary Lindsey

  4. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Crystal! I can share a few things with you about trying to find a publisher in the US if you could email me at

  5. Thank you Dorothy and Jules. Sorry, Jules, as I said, "no magic formula!" You gave me a chuckle though!

  6. I love discovering other "list-makers." I am one too. A list for everything. :) I am looking forward to gleaning from you in Brisbane - I will sit there like a sponge ready to soak it in!!!
    I don't know if I will be able to eat either. I imagine us all sitting, squeezing each other's hands, waiting with baited breath. But I really think you deserve to win! Can't wait to meet. :)

  7. Thank you for your kind words, Amanda. Yes, it would be nice to win but I know the other books are really good so will just have to see what the judges decide.