A Writer’s Life: Social Media, self-doubt and creativity.

DB Tait has some comforting words for writers struggling with self-doubt and social media on Romance Writers of Australia – “Doubting myself is a chronic condition with me but I found social media made it worse. I saw other people discuss their work, including their work output, and knew I would never be able to achieve what they did. I saw people win dubious prizes and brag about their position on Amazon and wondered if I should be involved in that. Sometimes I did and then didn’t like myself. Other people marketed their work ferociously, which irritated me but also made me again wonder if I shouldn’t be doing that too.” Read on here.

Romance Writers of Australia

Anne Gracie’s A Writer’s Life is a regular column featured in Romance Writers of Australia’s monthly journal, Hearts Talk.  This peek into DB Tait‘s writing life first appeared in the October 2016 edition.  Packed full of articles on craft, the publishing industry and interviews with romance authors, Hearts Talk is a valued and much-loved benefit to your RWA membership. If you’re not already an RWA member, join up here [http://www.romanceaustralia.com/p/99/Join-RWA]. 

db-taitSocial media, self-doubt and creativity

Back in 2004 when I started writing seriously, the internet was a great source of information about the craft of writing and a whole range of other writing-related issues. I started out not particularly wanting to write in romance as a genre, just wanting to write something. But I noticed that everything I wrote had a romance in it or a romantic theme. So I googled, found the Romance Writers of Australia…

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Interview with Cathryn Hein

Here is a post from Mission Romance that goes back to 2012 when rural romance was hitting the shelves and gaining popularity. 

Heart of the Valley coverHi Juanita, and thanks for hosting me again on Mission: Romance. It’s a delight to be here.

I’ve just returned home after spending a week away on a library tour of my old stomping ground, the south east of South Australia. This is the area where I was born, brought up and love, and as I travelled around the district noting all the familiar sights and all the changes that have occurred in the twenty-five years since I lived there, I felt the tug in my heart of home. And I have to admit it surprised me. I didn’t expect to feel it, yet there it was, that pull of longing that seems to come from somewhere deep inside.

These feelings made me wonder if I’ve been fibbing in the other blog posts and interviews I’ve done to promote my latest release, Heart of the Valley. At its core, Heart of the Valley is a story about the meaning of home – is it a place or is it where your heart lies – and I’ve made a big deal about how my sense of home has changed over the years, thanks to the frequency that my partner and I move around. Home, for me, isn’t a place but wherever Jim is. Yet how to explain those pangs?

Then this morning I had to sort through a heap of photos and the pangs returned. Except this time I wasn’t looking at Blue Lake in summerpictures of south-east SA. These were photos of the Hunter Valley – images of vineyards, restaurants, amazing blue skies, verdant pastures, wildlife, hills, golf courses. Memories. And they tugged, just as hard and just as strong as those I felt in South Australia, and that left me doubting myself. Perhaps it was true. Perhaps my heart did lie in these places, split between SA and NSW.

Testing the theory, I scanned some photos of our time in France and there it was again. That feeling of longing, of special times, of home.

What does this all mean? Well, I think it shows that the places where we’ve felt love gain extra significance in our memories. They stay embedded in our hearts, an integral part of us, associated forever with that most remarkable of emotions. So I stand by my statement that home is where my heart lies, but the places where I’ve lived and loved, like the Hunter Valley, will always remain special because of what I’ve experienced there. It’s also why I write about them, with intensity and passion. These places are as important to me as they are to my characters and if I can make readers feel that connection too,  as I hope I’ve done in Heart of the Valley, then I’ve done my job well.

Meet Juanita Kees

I’m talking a day in the office and A Bindarra Creek Romance on Wordmothers today. Can you tell I’m excited about the upcoming release of Home to Bindarra Creek?


Interview by Nicole Melanson ~

Interview with writer Juanita Kees by Nicole Melanson - photo by Katrina Wall

Juanita Kees graduated from the Australian College QED, Bondi, with a diploma in Proofreading, Editing and Publishing, and achieved her dream of becoming a published author in 2012 with the release of her debut romantic suspense, Fly Away Peta, from Eternal Press.

Under the Hood (Book 1 in the Tag Raiders series) followed in 2013 as one of the first releases from Harlequin’s digital pioneer, Escape Publishing.

In 2014 Juanita was nominated for the Lynne Wilding Award (Romance Writers of Australia), and was a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year and the Australian Romance Readers Awards.

She escapes the real world to write stories starring spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in.

Juanita’s website

Juanita on Facebook

Twitter: @juanitakees

Writer Juanita Kees Book Cover - Under the Hood Under the Hood by Juanita Kees



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The Pink Beanie Queen and a slice of Heaven. Lily Malone’s latest release is a great read set in the Southwest of Western Australia.

Write Note Reviews

lilym_lowresWA author Lily Malone, one of three guests at my Stories on Stage: Date Night event (April 29, 2015), and I met online and have since become friends (even though she’s mad about sport and I’m clueless about it). Like me, Lily has worked as a journalist, juggles family and part-time work with writing, likes gardening, walking, wine, and walking in gardens (sometimes with wine). She took up romance writing in November 2010, after an ill-fated dalliance with colour-field painting that ended when her youngest son put a golf club through the canvas. In March 2013, her debut novel, His Brand Of Beautiful,was published with Escape Publishing, and in May 2013, she self-published her novella The Goodbye Ride. Her third published work, Fairway To Heaven, about love on the golf course and lust in the sand bunkers, is due for release in April. To connect with…

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I Love You a Latte: The Cafe Nix Cover & Parade of Authors!

Come and share a coffee or two with us at Cafe Nix!

Sandra Antonelli


Fourteen Escape authors, one contemporary romance, fifteen happy endings. Welcome to Cafe nix

Long distance relationships don’t work
Nix Sutherland is at a crossroads. She loves running the family business, the famous Sydney Harbourside Cafe Nix, and she also loves Linc, whose vet practice is in Melbourne.

After months of jumping on planes and swapping cities, both of them too stressed and tried to enjoy being together, it’s all come to a head. In the middle of a typically busy day at the cafe that includes everything from broken hearts to breaking waters, cops to canoodling couples, Nix realises that loving the cafe means giving up Linc.

Meet Nix and characters from the novels of your favourite Escape Publishing authors (like me!) in fresh original shorts, and experience a day in the life of Cafe Nix. You know there will be coffee.


Nix composite cover


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Meet Imogene Nix in A Bar in Paris

Congratulations to Imogene Nix on the release of A BAR IN PARIS. To celebrate, Imogene is going to take us behind the bar for a peek at the characters behind the story. ABIP

Tell me a little bit about yourself :

I was born in Queensland and went on my first overseas jaunt at the age of 4 weeks, when my parents moved back to England, before we made the trek back to Australia when I was 4 years old. I came to travelling at a very young age! Since then I’ve lived in a range of locations including Thargomindah in South West Queensland, Julia Creek, Atherton, Hervey Bay, and even in Tasmania. These days, home is in the North Burnett Region. That’s one of the things that got me into book selling, which is how I finally made the jump to writing. I wanted a “job” that didn’t matter where I lived. I certainly managed that!

My journey into writing took many years, though the final steps were extraordinarily quick. I blame the Australian Romance Readers Association for the final jump, as I was at the Bondi Conference in 2011, where I listened to Lexie Couper and friends talk about their transition. For me, that was it. I came home enthused and within 3 months, Starline was written.

I usually write in my office, filled with books and all my lovely treasures; statues of vampires, fairies and even The Dark Queen (think Marvel Comics there!) Although at school holidays I tend to migrate to the dining table so I’m not totally anti-social!

What inspired you to write A BAR IN PARIS?

That’s really hard! It started out as a lark, could I write in first person? Well, yes I have done it… but apart from that… I don’t know… it was just there, in my head!

What would your ideal ‘naughty weekend’ be?

No Kids!!! 🙂 No phones (the biggest bug bear is trying to sleep in and getting a phone call at six thirty in the morning!) Breakfast in bed (a total luxury) and not having to vacate the hotel room by 9am (my husband’s favourite thing)

What made you choose Paris for the setting?

Paris is the ultimate location for a sexy weekend. (One day…) It just made sense to me that an Aussie living in London would head to Paris for a wild weekend.

‘How can she possibly resist his magnetism and that sexy dimple?’ What is it about dimples that has men and women alike weak at the knees?

It hints at the devilry that makes women weak! I think they are so legendary because men with dimples are taught, at a young age, that they are irresistible to those of the fairer sex… and they know how to use it.

What helped you put ‘heart’ into your story?

I think good writers find it is part of the unexplainable factor of writing. To me, it comes while I type, it’s not something I do consciously. It’s really hard to describe, because for me, it’s just kind of there.

Tell us a little about the research you had to do to write A BAR IN PARIS.

Well we all know of the legendary beauties of Paris, but trying to find the right location was key to the story being believable. I wanted the right hotel, one that wasn’t a “big name” corporate entity. It had to be boutique enough that it offered a different and personalized touch. (Yes it is a real hotel, I’m just not going to tell you which one!)

The location had to be perfect! Close enough to the Seine to let me tell my tale the way I wanted to. I walked the length of the Seine (virtually) looking for the right place to be!

I’m a demon for research, so every fact has to be checked and correct before I start writing (at least as much as I can, without physically stalking the location, that is!)

‘Will a lie of omission bring everything into jeopardy?’ True love always comes at a cost. Would you like to share an excerpt here on a challenge Davina and Johnathan face in their journey?

I said a silent ‘thank you’ when there was no one at the desk and I dashed away the tears that fell. Of course that was short lived, as one of the clerks answered the imperious ding of the small brass bell.

“I want to check out.” I gave my room number, and the woman tapped on the computer then looked at me with a smile.

“Oh, your bill is already taken care of.”

“What? No. I haven’t paid my bill yet.” I leaned in, but the woman patted my hand.

“Seriously, it’s all done. See?”

She swung the screen around so I could see. It had a bright red Paid In Full on the bottom of the screen, and I ground my teeth. Doesn’t he realize that makes it worse? But of course not.

He had no idea that I now felt like I’d been paid for services. Turmoil and anguish warred, but I concentrated on breathing deeply. On staying calm. I could let go when I finally entered my flat in London.

Seething , I nodded and headed for the door. “Miss Chandler? Do you want a car?”

I stopped. In my anger, I hadn’t even considered how I’d get to the airport. I wasn’t going to take his bloody car. But she could order me a taxi.

“Get me a taxi please.”

Her smile melted away and on her face there was wariness. But she didn’t argue, instead lifting the handle of the phone and ordering transportation for me. When she hung up, she smiled carefully. “It should be waiting outside now. I have been instructed to let them know that we will pay your fare.”

God, that just rubbed salt into the wound as I stalked through the lobby and out the door.

How did you meet the hero in your life?

Well that is the easiest question of all! My husband 🙂 I actually met him through a youth organization when I was in my twenties. I needed help with my university entrance. It started off with talking on the phone for an hour at a time. Then when I met him in person… phwoar! 😀

Tell us a little about Davina and Johnathan and how you breathed life into their characters.

Oh wow! Umm, A Bar In Paris evolved over several days. It was one of those tales that simply unfolds as you write. Breathing life into these characters was easy, because from the instant I “met them” I had a connection.

Neither realize that they are looking for love, neither are as polished or certain as they purport to be. They are so much!


Ever considered a naughty weekend? A “Hook-Up” with no strings?

Turning 30? All alone? A commitment-free weekend in Paris should help…shouldn’t it?

What does a single woman do when she’s turning thirty? She takes a weekend trip to Paris looking for commitment-free sex. Or that’s what Davina Chandler does, anyway.

Enter Johnathon, a tall, charming Englishman. How can she possibly resist his magnetism and that sexy dimple?

What starts out as a lark quickly becomes so much more, but can one weekend turn into a lifetime? And will a lie of omission bring everything into jeopardy?