Romancing the Festival
Byron Writers Festival 2016 will reveal the realities of writing romance with multi-published author Charlotte Nash.
Facilitated by Festival Vice-Chair Jennifer St George, the Romance session will explore this popular genre and discuss the realities of being or becoming a contemporary romance author. The incredible popularity of rural romance in the Australian market will also be examined.
Nash, the author of four rural romances including the best-selling The Walker-Bell series, came to romance writing after completing degrees in mechanical engineering and medicine and a working series of eclectic jobs including building rockets, traversing Pilbara mines and scrambling over Newcastle ship-loaders.
Nash used these diverse work experiences to build her romance novels. ‘It’s a natural pairing – romance is part of everyday life. I started writing in science fiction because of my technical background, but I found romance stories just as fertile a place to migrate my existing knowledge.
Nash’s latest release is The Horseman. Set in the high country, this is a passionate love story of a young doctor and a legendary horseman whose lives become inextricably linked.
Nash grew up obsessed with horses. ‘I had the fortune to spend a great deal of time riding and simply being within that culture. Those abiding childhood memories and iconic images of the horse in Australian culture – The Man From Snowy River, Phar Lap, The Lighthorsemen, The Silver Brumby series underpin my these passions.’
‘My horseman, Craig Munroe, and his world emanates from these life threads. Peta, my doctor heroine, comes from my adult post-horse life, a more rigid and somehow colder place. The story is symbolic of the two worlds meeting and making mutual sense.’
St George says many people are unaware of the enormous popularity of the genre. ‘Romance fiction generated over $1 billion in sales in the US alone and represents 13% of the adult American fiction market. An annual survey by Romance Writers of America also shows that 16% of those buying romance books are men.’
Nash’s four novels, Ryders Ridge, Iron Junction, Crystal Creek and The Horseman, are published by Hachette Australia.
Romance writing isn’t Nash’s only writing passion. She has been nominated for Ditmar and Aurealis awards for her speculative fiction.
The Romance session is on Festival Sunday. The Festival is being held at Elements of Byron from 5-7 August with Workshops commencing on 1 August. Visit byronwritersfestival.com for more information and tickets.
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