Finding My Voice
My writing journey has been a long one.
In high school, I had a teacher who would give us a word and we had to write anything we wanted about that word for 1 or 2 minutes. While my classmates struggled to write anything, I struggled to stop at 2 minutes. Thus began my love of writing.
I continued writing stories throughout school, usually with a romantic element about the latest Hollywood heartthrob (Rob Lowe, swoon). Post high school swooning, I went on to do courses in novel writing, travel writing and even screenplay writing. But life moved on and I stopped writing altogether for many years.
About 8 years ago I picked up a Nora Roberts book. I devoured it and went on to read pretty much everything she’s ever written. I liked her writing voice and found it was similar to my own. I am very dialogue driven and love to read and create snappy, fast moving dialogue between my characters. You could say Nora was my mentor in absentia.
Whilst reading her novels, I began to write again for my own enjoyment, not really thinking about where my stories would end up.
After a few years I had several completed manuscripts that I realised ‘weren’t half bad’. They say you only regret the things you don’t do so I decided it was time to submit my completed work, “Bet On It”, to a publisher. Ten months later, that publisher still hadn’t read my work so I sent it on to Random House. After only two weeks my editor at Random Romance, Random House’s digital first romance list, asked for the rest of the manuscript and two weeks after that they offered me a contract.
I had been prepared for the JK Rowling story of 37 rejections. It couldn’t possibly be this easy, could it? Why hadn’t I sent in work years ago? Look at all that time I’d wasted.
But as I said on my blog a few weeks ago, ‘I don’t believe that even ten years ago I had the knowledge and the wisdom (?) that comes with age to have been able to put my heart on my sleeve for the world to see, nor the courage to deal with criticism or rejection.’
I had to rewrite almost the entire second half of “Bet On It” for it to fit into the guidelines of Random Romance. It was a challenge and some may say I pandered, but I believe what came out of the rewrite was a much cleaner manuscript. Trust your editor, they know what they’re doing.
I didn’t set out to specifically to write a rural romance. I wrote a romance based in one of my favourite places in the world, the McLaren Vale wine region.
One of the biggest challenges I faced was my own fear of rejection, of being ridiculed by friends, family and strangers for writing romance novels. I now shout proudly from the rooftops “I Heart Romance”.
The challenge I face now is finding the time to ensure I write my weekly self-imposed allocation of words. With a very busy full time job this can be a mighty struggle but so far I have managed my time well.
I am excited that book 2 of the Muller’s of McLaren Vale, “Chasing the Flames”, is due for release on September 24 and I am currently working hard on book 3 of the series.
Any advice I would give to aspiring authors is on the blog on my website.
About the Author:
Cheryl Adnams lives in Adelaide, South Australia. After discovering a love of writing in high school, she went on to complete courses in screenplay writing and a Diploma of Freelance Travel Writing and Photography.
Having travelled extensively, Cheryl lived and worked in the United States, Canada and then for a tour company in Switzerland and Austria. Back home in South Australia now, she has a deep love and pride for the Fleurieu Peninsula and Adelaide Hills regions – particularly the beauty of the beaches and wine region of McLaren Vale.
She attributes Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb for inspiring her to get back into her lifetime love of writing. When she’s not writing, Cheryl is avidly reading as many books as she can fit in around her busy full-time job as a training facilitator.
Chasing the Flames
Sometimes the hottest fire burns with an old flame.
Trisha Carne has loved Brian Muller, of Muller’s Field vineyard, for as long as she can remember but the moment has never been right. Then an unexpected kiss on New Year’s Eve has Brian looking at her in a new way. Has she finally caught his attention?
Brian’s been doing it tough since his wife left him, and has retreated into the safety of bachelorhood. So he’s surprised to find this new fling with an old flame is starting to bring him back to life.
Until his ex-wife turns up in McLaren Vale and he’s thrown into a state of confusion.
Will Brian and Trisha let their pasts keep them from finding true happiness? Or will they have the courage to chase the flames that still smoulder between them?