Sunday, 31 July 2011

First time blogger alert


As I have never blogged before, I asked my Gen X kids for HHEELLPP!!!!!

To my daughter, “So what’s a blog exactly Aimee?”

She immediately and rightly so took on the pitying expression of trying to explain something to a lesser techno being. {Okay so I’m not on facebook, “twitter” is what birds do and my phone which is never on can’t even take photos and that’s the way I like it. I have a website, surely that’s a plus;}

“Mum you need hu….mour she drawled as though this was a new word for me. I am not entirely humourless. Living as a SIM Australia missionary for 7 years in West Africa and people complimenting me on my “fatness”. I did try to see the funny side.

She continued with the lesson, “Your meant to have personality” To which we both said “Oh”. As secretly desiring the life of a hermit living in a cave high up on a peaceful mountain with babbling brook probably doesn’t get me personality points.

“and Mum, this is NOT a nursing lecture” and yes, I am a registered nurse who now teaches nursing at tafe and it is true not everyone wants to talk about their health problems, something I do need to remember.

Having started on this “learning curve of blogging” I went to my son for further insight.

“Hey Josh, I’m going to blog, do you have any advice for me?”

Again with that same quizzical, wow this will be a stretch for Mum look. Out of pity, {I think}, he just gave me one thing to work on.

“It’s meant to be interactive you ask questions like “What did you think of my book?”

“What if they haven’t read my book?” I countered. We both agreed that could be a big possibility. So here goes an {interactive} attempt at describing my book.

“Broken Pottery - the life of an African girl”

The book is a fiction why? I hear you ask” because I wanted to make it a great read with romance, danger, conflict, spiritual hunger etc.

It is set in Africa a most wonderful and exotic continent of whom I have the deepest respect for its people. Have you traveled to Africa?

The girl on the cover is young and vulnerable and this tends to be the type of person who can be struck with obstetric fistula a condition that develops from a complicated birth. Often these girls are treated as outcasts and as those who have been cursed.

Will the girl from this story find physical and emotional healing? Does God care for her? Are we in the West able to help these women?

You’ll have to read the book and find out. Let me know what you think of it.

I am blogging again on the 1st Oct, where gen X will critique my blog and I’ll tackle what I’ve learned about writing and motivation.

Bye for now. Jennifer Ann.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Writing Faction

I've heard it argued that trying to combine true facts of history with fiction doesn't work. Well I'm doing it anyway and loving it! My writing began with quite a few years of researching my family history and discovering that my ancestors in Australia go back to the First Fleet. I learned so much about my family, my roots, and the beginnings of our nation of Australia - facts I didn't take in at school and wasn't that interested in. However, the stories contained in our history are not only interesting but inspiring and challenging. They are stories I believe we need to be reminded of. And so it was in early 2000 I decided to begin to write some of these stories into historical fiction; combining all that I learned from my family research and historical research with my understanding of human nature and relationships, to produce stories about people's struggle to survive hardship, loss and change, their determination to overcome, start again, forgive, love, find faith and make something worthwhile of their lives. 

I now have five of these stories on my shelves in print, with a sixth to arrive soon. I have had many people tell me that they have been inspired, they have learned about our Australian history, and they have been challenged to grow in their own lives. That alone makes writing worthwhile.

Recently I was holidaying in England and stayed a couple of nights in Lincoln, where two of my ancestors were charged with theft in the 1770s and sentenced to be transported to Australia on the First Fleet. There I was able to walk the cobbled streets of the old part of Lincoln where William and Mary would have roamed, attempting to survive by picking pockets. I went through the old goal where they were held before they were transported. I met a woman in the bookshop there who is part of a group of local historians who was thrilled to take a copy of my book 'Mary's Guardian', and read about two of the convicts who were expelled from her hometown so long ago and who found a new life on the other side of the world. I felt that in some small way I had taken William and Mary home where their story could show that out of terrible situations sometimes comes wonderful blessings.

This experience reminded me of the power of the written word. I'd started with some barely legible handwritten documents about transported convicts in 1788, and ended with a story of survival, faith and redemption that can now be read or downloaded on a Kindle anywhere in the world.
But the power of the written word is not new, is it? This journey for me has helped me appreciate once more the power of God's word. Thousands of years ago, men inspired by God began to write down the stories of their people and what God was doing in their lives. These stories were brought together in what we know as the scriptures so that the central message of God to the world can be seen through these stories and passed down from generation to generation. We should never ceased to be amazed at this power of the written word! It's lifechanging! In a time now when the written word can be transported around the world in seconds and can be used for such evil manipulation, corruption and abuse, I'm so grateful that as Christian writers we can still use the power of words for good, for inspiration, for challenge, and to bring glory to God. I want to encourage all of you who write to show God's love and power. Let's not give up doing this good work! We can trust that God's spirit will use it for His purposes in the lives of peope He loves. What a blessing! 

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

For Such a Time as This

I have always loved to read.  However the love of writing is relatively new to me.  My love of writing bloomed when I began a blog to detail our journey with our little boy Sam, who was yet to be born with Congenital Heart Disease.  I was one of those kids at school who used to freeze when asked to write a story.  My mind would go completely blank, and then I would try and recreate a story I had read somewhere else.  I loved to speak and I loved to read, so I guess it was only a matter of time before writing also emerged.  I have discovered, with some dismay, that I cannot write of my own accord. My first book Sam’s Heart entailed the journal I had kept, and other God inspired words that completed our story in its entirety.  I seem to have to live books before I can write them.    I have another book in my heart that must be written, and as I sat and tried to plan it out, I discovered that I quickly lost interest.  Although I have passion for the topic, tremendous passion, the approach I was taking was not for me.  I have discovered that God needs to give me the words.  I find myself writing on random bits of paper, the backs of envelopes, church newsletters, and dare I say, even cardboard box flaps; all because God gives inspiration at the most unpredictable times.

This is what makes writing fun for me.  Listening to God and then letting him guide the words on the page.  Many times I feel unqualified to write what I do, but I know that if God has changed my life through experiences with him, they are too valuable not to share.  I have a passion for encouraging the church and any other soul that will stop long enough to listen. 
When I was introduced to this wonderful world of writers, I was amazed to find such diversity, complexity and gifting.  I have found such encouragement and camaraderie among the Christian writing community.  I have learned useful skills and tips to improve my writing ability, and had my eyes opened to the challenging world of Christian publishing.  I have enjoyed reading new and inspiring writing, from the keyboards and pens of many newly discovered Aussie authors.  Such a rich tapestry is created, when all of these inspired authors come together.  I believe that each of us has been called for such a time as this.  I desire earnestly for our outstanding literature to be embraced by the wider Australian retail community, to create diversity of choice, and breathe life back into the souls of Australians.  I am not content to receive rejection after rejection, simply because our books speak about Jesus, some more openly than others.  The risk of offence to a third party is not a good argument.  Many of the top selling books in big name retailers offend me, and are just plain evil, but that does not stop shops selling them.  We need to pray for breakthrough into the so called secular markets, where our messages and stories can reach the ears of those who need to hear them.  There seems to have been some progress with the move from traditional bookshops to online retailers, but I am praying for bigger and better things for all of us.  Will you join me? 

Nicole Watson is a non-fiction author, with the aim of encouraging readers to live for God.  She is an Aussie Mum to two young boys.  She and her husband, are currently undergoing training to serve with Mission Aviation Fellowship.
Her passion is sharing God's amazing love with who ever will listen and ispiring others to share their own God stories.

Nicole blogs regularly here.
Her book Sam's Heart can be found here.
You can join Sam's Heart on Facebook here.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Extraordinary God

I have such doubt in myself and my writing ability. Even as I write this post, I can’t help but feel that I don’t really ‘belong’ in such a group of writers.
I have no English degree; I don’t research history, time and place; I don’t create plot and character and I have no idea how to tell a story others want to read.
I write from my heart. I love God with all my heart. I share my life to encourage others, especially mums like me. I have some life experience, a passion to write and a God who can use someone flawed and ordinary to do extraordinary things for His glory.
Then I realised that I’m not so different.
Each member of this writing group is using his/her God-given talents and experiences for His glory. Whether we write fiction or non-fiction, whether we speak, publish or write poetry, our desire first and foremost is worship God with our words, to share His love with our readers and to inspire others to seek a personal relationship with Him.
Let’s continue to write for His glory, it’s never about us and what we can achieve, what awards we can win or the fame and fortune we may make (ha,ha!) – it’s all for Jesus; ALL glory to Him.
Psalm 115:1, “Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”
Blessings and Love,
Narelle Nettelbeck
(Encouragements, books and resources for mums at
Just to give you some info about me:
I live in Perth WA with my hubby of 14 years and our sons aged 9 and 5.
I operate a Family Day Care service from home 4 days a week. I have found my niche writing devotional material and short articles – just as well I like to write brief entries as it suits my busy lifestyle!
I have had 2 devotional books published and have recently created and published a small magazine for mothers. God has used this ordinary mum to do amazing things in His name and I pray it continues.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Leaving a legacy

Somehow I doubt our children will inherit many millions when my husband and I are no longer here – not that they have given up on the idea completely. There is always hope, they tell me, that one day one of my novels will become a best-seller and end up on the big screen!

On occasions, even I join in this game of ‘pretend’. I have been known to joke as I sign my name in one of my novels that one day, when I’m very famous, the owner of that novel will be able to auction it on ebay for millions! I can see the product description now: ‘Valuable first edition copy – personally signed by author’.

I have been thinking of legacies a lot lately, with the recent release of my fifth novel ‘Heléna’s Legacy’. This novel features Dr Susan Curtis, one of the minor characters in my second novel ‘All the Days of My Life’, and follows her reluctant journey towards God as she seeks to deal with various painful episodes in her life and tries to forgive. Heléna Hajek, the main character of my first two novels, becomes a key influence for good in Susan’s life – and the lives of others in Susan’s family – thereby leaving a legacy that is much more meaningful and lasting than any millions could ever be.

Now it’s a fact that I often write into my novels things I would want to say and do, if I were in the same situation as the one my character is facing. So it’s no surprise that, just like Heléna, I desire to leave something of value behind me in this world besides any millions I might or might not have. And I am so grateful for the ways God has given me to do this at this stage of my life.

Firstly, I hope and pray my novels truly touch readers’ hearts and bring them closer to God in some way. How privileged we are as Christian authors to have the opportunity to do this! But even more amazingly, we can also know that when we are no longer here, our books will remain and hopefully be read for years to come.

Secondly, I hope and pray that through the various speaking opportunities that open up for me, often because of the fact I am an author, those who hear me will be impacted by God and will receive fresh insights and understandings from God’s Spirit. Again, what a privilege to be used to leave a legacy in the lives of others in this way!

And thirdly, having walked the Christian journey now for many years, I love to impact women’s lives directly too through mentoring, either face to face or via email, passing on the lessons God has taught and continues to teach me.

God has given us all a legacy to leave behind, whether we are authors or not. What will yours be?

Jo-Anne Berthelsen grew up in Brisbane and holds an Arts degree from Queensland University.  She has also studied Education and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher and editor, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne loves communicating through both the written and spoken word and currently has five novels published by Ark House – ‘Heléna’, ‘All the Days of My Life’, ‘Laura’, ‘Jenna’ and ‘Heléna’s Legacy’. She is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and two grandchildren. To find out more about Jo-Anne, please visit her website,

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Why I write for children.

I am a children's writer. That is the little title I give myself under my email signature. It isn't the totality of who I am, there is a lot more to me than what I write but if I had to label my heart a children's writer is what I am.
This is not to say I write exclusively for children. If I did I wouldn't be writing this blog, or posting my irregular journal-like comments affectionately called 'The Penny Drops'. But what gets me most excited are the ideas for communicating to children. I love story and adventure. My favourite writers are undoubtedly children's writers. Sometimes I've wondered and worried if this is because I have never properly grown up.

Perhaps I need to dig my teeth into more adult literary novels, or take life
more seriously or stop enjoying children's movies. (My husband didn't understand my disappointment when the new Astro-Boy movie didn't have the old theme music attached to it!)
But I don't think it is about growing up or not. It has been said by some, those who have never tried most likely, that writing for children is easier than writing for adults. That the books are shorter and therefore less complicated. Perhaps this is in some cases true. But a recent picture book I have been working on for over a year now and through 16 drafts is convincing me that picture books are some of the hardest forms of literature. I don't even know if all this work will result in something you will ever be able to read.

My children's novels attempt to intertwine issues of social justice, emerging faith and friendship with an adventure story strong enough to carry the pickiest readers from page to page. A child's book has to compete against the trickiest DS game, the most addictive TV program and latest toy gadgets. That's fierce competition that demands the best my writing can offer.

I take my writing seriously. Even if I'm inventing a story about a mother who accidentally serves green goo to her family for dinner, or deciding one of my heroes must become a bird for several chapters. Part of this is because I care about my audience. I love a child's sense of adventure, but I also love their sense of faith. A child doesn't put up excuses to believing. That's what us adults do. We talk in big words and put God in a box and tell children he'll use them when they grow up a bit more. But Our God doesn't work like that. He calls us at any age we are willing to listen, and he works through us from the moment we decide to follow him.

I write for children because part of me wants to remain one. I want to be as open to God and his sense of adventure as a child can be.

A while ago I read about a girl who, after reading one of my novels, convinced her friends to help raise money for poor children. If that is the only feedback I'll ever hear about my novels then they were worth writing!

You can read more about Penny and her writing at

Monday, 18 July 2011

Aussie Writer on the Journey: What I've learned from Writing Organisations

by Narelle Atkins

I’m excited to be a part of this new group blog. The writers in our group are all travelling their own unique journeys, and I believe we can learn a lot from each other’s experiences. I’m a romance writer and, if you asked me what is one thing a writer can do to help them on their journey to publication, without hesitation I would recommend joining writing organisations that are relevant to their writing interests.

I can thank the writing organisations I belong to for teaching me how to become a professional writer. I value the writing friends I’ve made through my various writing groups. Your writing friends are the people who understand your euphoria when you final in a writing contest and receive a full manuscript request from your dream editor, and they share your pain and disappointment when you receive yet another rejection letter. I appreciate the writers, many of whom are further along the road than I, who have taken the time to encourage, support and teach me about the craft and business of writing.

Romance writers are known for being friendly, supportive and willing to help others. I’ve certainly experienced this through my memberships with Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America. I served as Vice President of the Faith, Hope and Love Inspirational Chapter of Romance Writers of America (FHL) from 2008-10, and in 2011 I’m serving as Co-President of FHL. FHL is a very comfortable fit for me because I write category romance targeting both the Christian and secular markets.

Writing organisations also provide a wealth of information and resources. American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) is an amazing organisation with more resources than I have room to list in this post. They have an online email loop frequented by multi-published authors and industry professionals. ACFW provides free online classes for members and an annual conference that I would love to attend one day. The International Christian Fiction Writers blog was formed as a result of ACFW members chatting about promoting international Christian fiction on the ACFW Beyond the Borders zone email loop.

I’ve learned how to query editors and agents, and how to assess whether a publishing house or agent would be a good fit for my work. My writing has improved after entering and judging contests sponsored by writing organisations. I met my critique partners through my writing groups. I understand the importance of networking, and that marketing and promotion should start before you publish as you seek to create an author platform. I have realistic expectations about life as a published author, and I know that a large majority of working authors also have a day job. I have met, both online and in person, a number of authors who are my role models and who I want to be like when I finally become a published author.

I encourage all the writers reading our blog to get connected with writing organisations because they have been an enormous blessing in my life. Have you been blessed by writing organisations? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Narelle Atkins writes contemporary inspirational romance. She resides in Canberra, Australia with her husband and children. She can also be found at the International Christian Fiction Writers blog. To learn more about Narelle, please visit her website.

Friday, 15 July 2011

God in my Years

How did I get into the ministry and then end up writing a couple of Devotional Meditations? Let me give some brief highlights.

It was 1959. I was happy in my superficial Christian life. Apparently God wasn’t! He arranged a visit by Billy Graham to Australia, an interim minister, Denby Homes and wife Marie, to my home church and an interest in both from me.

Denby organised car loads from our congregation to attend the Sydney showground meetings. It was simply great. On the last day I was sitting on the grass under falling rain captivated by the choir and then Billy Graham. My favourite hymn came from that time,

“All that thrills my soul is Jesus.”

It was later in 1959. I was unsettled again. I began to consider becoming a minister in the Churches of Christ. That Denby must have been praying about me. I felt safe as it was past the time for applications for 1960 acceptances. Still, I was escorted to Woolwich Bible College and met a wonderful, gracious man, Principal Mr. A. W. Stephenson.

!959 was coming near to its end when I received my acceptance to start the next year. I had mixed emotions. Most of my family, friends inside and outside the Church nearly fainted when it became known.

Early 1960 I entered the grounds of College. This was to be the beginning of a most remarkable experience of encountering God’s grace. This is something that hasn’t ceased over all these years. I must express my gratitude to my church and sporting mates who, out of their meagre incomes, helped me through those four years of College. To my long-suffering, mentoring pastors, Dr. J. McKenzie and Reg Sack I owe a great deal.

Soon it was 1963. Graduation year and the beginning of a new era. Again the Lord knew I was an ‘Adam without an Eve’ so He arranged for a girl from Toowoomba to enrol for the 2 year Missionary certificate. Mary Pedler was to be God’s gift to be my help-meet in ministry. I graduated. Mary stayed on.

1964 was a long year until December when she graduated and we married. Since then we have been a team expressing our gratitude to God for ministry through being Church planters at Orange and East Maitland, plus keeping a church alive in Gladstone, Qld. Now retired we have the privilege in our small town in Tassie to see another congregation being formed.

In many ways we have witnessed the Lord’s faithfulness through the tears and triumphs of life and service. We have three adult children Lance, Craig and Gaylene, and two daughters-in- law. We are proud grandparents of six (almost) grand-children.

In the 1970’s the way opened for Mary to begin to write and eventually become the multi-published author she is today. That wasn’t without its pain and strain. In later years Mary encouraged me to write some of my meditations and have them published. (Encourage is husband speech for prayed, nagged, threatened, cajoled and plead!) So being the obedient, though procrastinating husband I am, I did at last pen my thoughts about children and about marriage. Rochelle Manners from Even Before Publishing took the risk and in 2011 ‘Children –God’s Special Interest, a 31 Days Biblical meditation appeared. At the same time ‘From Eden with Love’ hit the shelves. This is about the biblical frame-work about Marriage.

It is now July 2011 and I’m doing this Blog. Imagine that!
I’ve tried to make words out of Blog. Do you do that sort of thing?

B = Better
L = Literature
O = Offers
G = God (Glory)

May what we write seek to do that.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Alchemy of Stories

I think human nature has always been intrigued with the idea of taking any sort of basic raw material and transforming it into something infinitely more valuable. Alchemy is defined in my dictionary as a medieval science which attempted to change ordinary metals into gold. Most of us are familiar with the fairy tale of Rumplestiltskin, the cunning little fellow who was able to pull this feat off with straw, making him one of history's most successful alchemists.

My dictionary goes on to give a second definition of alchemy; any strange or mysterious process or change. That is where I believe writers and storytellers come into it.

Think of this. An author has a fascinating idea for the plot of a story in her mind. She mulls over it, daydreaming a cast of living, breathing characters. The more time she spends on this, the more real they become, with vivid faces she can see in her mind's eye and voices she can hear in her mind's ear. As their interactions with each other in the setting she devises for them take shape in her mind, she begins to think of them as some of her best friends. However at this stage, they are still confined to the inside of her own head.

Then the author decides to make a wonderful bit of alchemy happen. She transforms the characters and images in her head to marks upon a page. In my case, according to my family, it begins with illegible scrawling on a lined pad. I can write neater when I need to, but when I'm writing stories my mind races and the pen in my hand needs to keep up with it. Then these messy, handwritten pages are transformed to typed, 1.5 spaced lines on A4 paper. When an author is really lucky and blessed, these eventually become a novel or book with a lovely glossy or matte cover reflecting part of what the pages contain.

Now more alchemy takes place. A reader comes along, likes the look of the cover and the sound of the blurb on the back, and decides it might be worth spending a bit of time reading this novel. He opens it up and begins reading the typed words and letters upon each of the pages. And the story ignites in his head. The characters described with those basic words and letters begin to live and breathe for him just as they did for the author while they were still confined in her own head. He can see their faces in his mind's eye and hear their voices in his mind's ear. Maybe he begins to think of them as some of his best friends too, at least for the duration of the story. He finds himself drawn into the action of the plot and can't turn the pages fast enough to find out what is going to happen.

Friends, we are all alchemists, writers and readers alike, of a far more superior sort than Rumplestiltskin. A great, engrossing story has more potential to bless and change lives and evoke more tears and laughter than mere gold. I've just finished reading a wonderful fantasy tale which pulled me to places far away. As a writer, my hope is always to bless others as much as others have blessed, and still continue to bless me.

Award winning author Paula Vince always wanted to write fiction and loves to evoke tears and laughter. Her novels include a fantasy/adventure trilogy for young adults and four contemporary dramas with elements of romance, mystery and suspense. She lives with her family in South Australia's beautiful Adelaide Hills which she uses as the setting for several of her novels. Paula is also passionate about homeschooling her three children. Her novel, "Picking up the Pieces" recently won first prize in the religious fiction section of the International Book Awards for 2011.

Visit her website Apple Leaf Books
Visit her personal blog It Just Occurred to Me

Monday, 11 July 2011

I have a confession.

My name is Lee. And I'm an addict.

My story first starts when I was about six months old. At the time I had measles and my nanna, who had come down from Dalby to help mum look after me, bought me a present. It was one of those little plastic books with a squeaker inside, and I drove everyone up the wall with the constant noise. But, they didn't mind, at least I was happy.

When I was two-years-old, one book wasn't enough. I'd now graduated to having three, precious, 'Little Golden' books. Remember those? The cute pictures and innocuous stories had me hooked. I would sit on one book, balance the second on my head while reading the third.

Some people, bless their little cotton socks, even thought that was amusing.

Fast forward to high school and I was now writing stories, appearing in school plays and entering competitions. My drama teacher also taught me English, the subject not  the language, and just happened to live across the road from my nanna. She had a room full of books, her very own library, and I spent countless hours curled up next to her fireplace, book in hand.

Yes, I was truly addicted. To fiction.

My husband, bless his little cotton socks, thinks it makes life easier. He doesn't have to worry about what to buy me for Christmas or birthdays, and has even been known to openly support my habit.

Silly man. But then his addiction has nothing to do with fiction. No. He loves text books. In particular, anything to do with math, or computers, or conjugating French verbs...well you get the idea.

It appears this addiction can also be passed onto children.

Our son also loves to read and has his own collection of books.

Sad I know.

Does this addiction ever end, I hear you ask?

No. In fact it gets worse.

I started off reading, graduated to writing suspense, and now, own a publishing company.

Perhaps I should start a group for others similarly afflicted.

I'm sure there's bound to be one or two others like me.

Want to join me?

Lee Franklin lives in Western Australia with her husband and son.
She loves reading, cooking, pink (the colour not the singer) and spending time with friends.
You can find her on Facebook and at

Friday, 8 July 2011

Coming South

Coming South - Tom Roberts

Have you ever wanted to run away? To pick yourself up and become lost in the middle of so many strangers, not one soul would recognise you?

Perhaps you've lived happily in one town all your life and with little warning been forced to relocate your family and possessions to the other side of the world.

Or maybe you've lived such a despicable life the choice was never yours to make, and you found yourself shackled and transported to a place you feared more than death.

The stories of the displaced resonate with me. New starts. New lives. New loves. For more than 200 years Australia has offered her 'wide brown land' and 'jewel seas' for the uprooted to find a place to settle.

Recorded in our history are their struggles to adapt in a land many early occupants agreed was, 'no place for a nervous lady.' Their letters and journals, heartbreaking accounts of loss and despair, tell the tale of lives tipped so far upside down, it's no wonder we wear the tag, Downunder.

These stories need to be unpacked and retold. Embellished with a thick cord of romance and shared with the world.

Will I do my part? You bet. Enamoured by all things 19th century and drawn to tell the stories of new beginnings, I write Historical Romance, Aussie style.

Stories where God mends the broken hearted and sets the captives free. Where He gathers the upside down, and spills them the right way up.

Can God spill someone the right way up? Yes, He can. When it happens Downunder!

Come and learn more about me and the things I love at Ink Dots.

Writing for HyalineHouse, Dorothy Adamek lives in Melbourne. For some years she taught high school History and English. She now lives and breathes it at home most waking hours, and has been known to wander there in her sleep. In case you need to know, she likes to use violet ink in her fountain pen.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Awesome Aussie Authors

In around the year 2000, I remember searching through bookstores, complaining there wasn't enough Australian Christian fiction, particularly historical romance - my favourite genre. Sure, there were books set in Australia written by non-Australians, but I always found problems with them. For example: crocodiles were called alligators, cyclones were called hurricanes, Aussie terms used in the wrong context. It was enough to frustrate me.

That's when it struck me that I should attempt to write the kind of novel I was looking for. Until then I was muddling around with contemporary stories. So, I came up with an idea for a trilogy, set to work and quickly discovered a passion for historical writing. Incidentally, that first novel is finally coming into publication in November this year as Ellenvale Gold.

Since then, however, I have discovered several Christian Aussie writers, and the number has continued to grow. This year I am proud to say that half the books I have read this year have been written by Australian's. Not all of them were historicals, but I don't mind that. Soon enough there will be plenty to fill my whole year of reading I expect. I adore reading about my own country and my own culture and my own history and I'm sure many others do too.

I count it a privilege to be numbered amongst authors such as Meredith Resce, Mary Hawkins, Paula Vince, Carol Preston, Dorothy Adamek, Sandra Peut, Julianne Jones and Rita Stella Galieh, only to name some of them. There are still others I have not yet read.

If you have not read any of these authors' books, I would encourage you to look them up. Go into your local Christian bookstore and ask for them by name. There is a lot of Aussie talent out there and they are all worth supporting.


Amanda Deed resides in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne where she fills her time with work, raising a family, church activities and writing historical romance novels. For more information, see:

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Our Down Under Blog - Rita Stella Galieh

SOUTH THAILAND. My DH and I in front of Cat & Mouse bronze statue. A Thai traditional legend. Funny thing - at the foot of the tree a real Siamese cat appeared in the photo, but we don't recall seeing it at the time. Scary! We travel each year to Thailand where we minister in high schools, prisons, hospitals, shopping malls and churches. Wherever our Thai interpreter arranges the venues.
To introduce myself:  I am a writer of the Historical Romance genre. I like to add a bit of intrigue and my novels. Ark House Press published Fire in the Rock a couple of years ago. My next, Book I of the Watermark Women Trilogy, will be released in Sept. Its title is Signed, Sealed, and Delivered. How could she believe in her future when she couldn't forget her past?

My writing journey has been a long one. I began with lyrics for songs, then radio scripts, then finally began a book. I learned to write on that one. I must have rewritten it several times. It helped when I joined American Christian Fiction Writers as this organization has online classes which I'd highly recommend to writers. I have a website and blog,  Maybe we could discuss all aspects of writing in this new blog like Point of View, scene structure, theme etc. We can only improve by writing, writing, writing, and learning from our mistakes. Most of all ... persevere!