Finding My Voice: Mae Archer
The first book I ever wrote was a romance novel based on a dream I had where my husband looked the same, but I knew he was a different man. When I woke up I couldn’t get the dream out of my head and so my novel Return to Me was born about widowed Lana who dies and is transported to a parallel universe to be reunited with her husband, only to find him a different man.
I spent three years working on this novel. My dream was that it would be a stand-alone contemporary for Avon. While I was very passionate about the project, very soon the writing process became like work and writing was a struggle. Finally after three years, and numerous drafts based on critiques from my writing group, I realised I was finished.
Now that I had decided that my novel was complete and that it was the best I could make it, the next step was to submit it, however I was suffering a crisis of faith. I wasn’t sure whether my book was any good. I decided that this was my practice book, the one that allowed me to learn the craft of writing, and now it was time to work on something else, but I still always loved the romance genre and had ideas that I wanted to explore.
After watching the way that the genre was transformed and embraced digital publishing I kept thinking about my languishing manuscript. I thought about self publishing it, but wasn’t sure whether it was any good. I re-read it after 10 years and I decided that it had to be kept hidden from the world.
Another year passed and I was doing Nano and after five years of attempting to finish it and reach 50,000 words in a month, I finally did it. On the forum threads I read about publishers seeking Nano novelists to submit their romance novels. I read my manuscript again and while I noticed its flaws, I also noticed its heart. I prevaricated, but finally decided to bite the bullet and submit Return to Me. All the years that I had spent on it had devoid me of any objectivity about its merit.
I sent my manuscript to my agent who submitted it to publishers and soon two offers followed. I decided on Momentum and within a few months my book was out in the world. Now I needed to write my next romance novel and within six months I had a completed manuscript and in July 2014 my second romance novel Hollywood Dreams was published.
It seemed miraculous that I had established a career as a romance author. I think about the 11 years that my manuscript languished in my metaphorical bottom drawer until I finally decided to give it a shot. While I think waiting so long was the right thing for me, I also learnt the most important lesson of all: ‘to submit and get rejected is better than not to have submitted at all.
About the Author:
Mae Archer knew she wanted to be a writer since she was a child. She loved listening to her grandmother’s war stories about English maidens falling in love with handsome Yankees while England burnt under the Luftwaffe’s blitz. When she discovered romance novels as a teenager she soon realised that her dream job was to be a romance writer. After many career twists and turns she’s making her dreams come true. Her real life is like one of her grandmother’s stories. She met a foreigner who travelled through Australia and it was love at first sight. She married him six months after they met and every day since has been an adventure. She lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. She is the author of Return to Me and Hollywood Dreams.
Former soap star Tom Calvert dreams of making movies that matter. To get the part of a lifetime he becomes a method actor, living as Beau Tennant, a war hero with a disabling injury. While in character he meets Maree Reynard, a costume designer, and takes her on a date. But when this practice date becomes all too real he realizes that he’s made the mistake of a lifetime. Will he be able to get Maree to fall in love with Tom Calvert?
Maree Reynard’s father is an actor and she has grown up on a studio lot. She has no illusions about the artifice of the movie-making business and has vowed she would never date an actor. When she meets and falls in love with Beau Tennant she knows that she’s found her dream man who is genuine and real. But when Beau disappears from her life she is heartbroken. She meets Tom Calvert on the rebound and sees their flirtation as a way of recovering her shattered confidence. Will Tom Calvert be able to convince her he is the real deal?