Romancing Melbourne

I moved to Melbourne a few months ago and since then have been looking for new writing connections. I have discovered the Melbourne Writers’ Group and also the local Romance Writers’ Group and have made valuable connections in each. Having the support of like-minded people is so helpful on what is a solo journey. I have also submitted some work (a short story and a couple of poems) to an anthology that will shortly be published by Melbourne Writers with the theme “Ties that Bind”.

I am currently half-way through book three, which will be the last of the series set in Alice Springs. This novel, with the working title of Picture This, features Melissa Gilbert, who was a rather unlikeable character in book one, The Red Heart. Getting to know Melissa has been a challenge and I really had to delve into her backstory in order to understand what motivated her to behave the way she did.

Living in an apartment now instead of a large house with all the gardening and maintenance issues has made writing a little easier in that I now have more time for it. I live quite close to my day job and so have time for a short period of writing in the morning, or at least thinking about the plot lines and where it is taking the story. Perhaps when I have finished the current series, the next book will be set in a bustling metropolis as an interesting contrast.

Sunrise over East Melbourne

View from my balcony at sunrise

Happy to make connections with any other lone writers in Melbourne.

Changing times equals progress

There have been a few valleys and troughs in recent months.  My publisher decided to cease operations and that was a disappointment.  Rights to The Red Heart have reverted to me however, so I am free to seek another publisher.  That is exactly what I will do when attending the Melbourne conference of the Romance Writers of Australia.   This is the first time that I have attended a writers’ conference and the program looks to be really rewarding.  I am so looking forward to it, and of course to the networking, new friends and new learnings that I am sure will result.

Another event in my life has been the end of my day job, due to the role being made redundant.  This is both scary(where is the money going to come from now) and exciting because I am going to have the time to do new and more challenging things – like complete the second book and start a new business.  Yes I am doing both.

The second book, so far nameless, picks up Sarah’s story.  If you have read The Red Heart, you will know that Sarah welcomes Kathy on her arrival in Alice Springs and becomes a close friend, with both women working in the same company.  We don’t have the  opportunity to learn much about Sarah in this story though, and book two fills in some of the background to why she is on her own in Alice Springs, and the challenges that she faces.  I am so pleased to now have more time for dedicated writing, and of course the looming conference has given me renewed enthusiasm.

The new business harnesses life skills that have been acquired over the decades, and fine-tuned with further training.  Through Work Life Junction, I will provide life coaching services.  Specifically, I am focussing on transitional coaching, working with people who are confronted by life choices and work choices and who need some assistance in clarifying their goals and strategies.  If you slip on over to www.worklifejunction.com.au (still a work in progress) you will get a broader understanding.

In general, life is frantically busy but also exciting right now.  I look forward to giving updates on my success at pitching to a new publisher at the conference, and also on progress with Sarah’s story.