Jun 22, 2015

Australia Week: An Interview With Rachael Johns

1) Could you tell a bit more about yourself?

I live in a small rural community in Western Australia with my husband and three sons. We own and run the local supermarket. My family, this business and my writing keep me pretty busy but in my spare time, I enjoy watching TV, attempting to bake, running/walking with my dog and drinking wine with my book club friends. We do actually also discuss the book, a fact we’re pretty proud of.

2) You have quite a busy life, how do you squeeze in the writing?

This is a good question. When my kids were little I used to do it when they napped or in the evening when they were in bed. Now in theory I write school hours, but so many things seem to be interrupting lately – school carnivals, doctor’s appointments, excursions, kids being sick – and I find myself squeezing extra hours in on the weekend. I think it’s a case of if you want to do something enough, you MAKE the time.

3) What do you like about Australian romance?

I like that Australian publishers are finally standing up and taking notice and realizing that readers want to hear about love down under. I just hope that the overseas publishers will follow soon as I have many readers who say they’d love to read about Australia but publishers seem reluctant to give Aussie romance a good chance! 

4) What are your three favourite romantic books? 

Northern Lights by Nora Roberts, Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding, and Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. I must reread them all one of these days.

5) Kiss the Bride is about an American woman from a small American town who's into country music. How did you come up with that story?

Actually the story kinda of created itself, when both the hero and heroine appeared (or were discussed) in another novella I wrote called TEASE ME, COWBOY. In this story the heroine had a sister who had not come home in fifteen years after finding herself pregnant in her teens. That was literally all I wrote about her in the first novella and I never intended to write her story, but when I was asked to be part of the Montana Born Brides series, I knew Magdalena would be perfect. And the story kind of grew from there. Each author needed to write about characters somehow involved in a celebrity wedding, so I remembered the country music singer I’d also introduced in TEASE ME, COWBOY and decided my characters would provide the wedding music!

6) The main character of your novel has been through something really difficult and it gave the story a lot of extra depth. Do you think a good romantic story needs some of the tragedies that can happen in life? And how do you handle writing about them, but still keeping the story light enough to be romantic?

Well, as much as we like real life to run smoothly, it’s not actually that exciting reading about a couple who meet, are instantly attracted and fall in love without any obstacles, so I do definitely think stories need a bit of drama. I think the key is to write about them with as much true emotion and empathy as you can. In terms of keeping things light – that’s all down to the characters; I think showing that they have rallied against life’s adversities and can still be good people and see the positive in others helps a lot!

7) What do you like most about Australia?

Not the flies, that’s for sure. It’s winter now and I’m STILL bothered by blow flies on my daily walk. I DO love our Tim Tams and a drink we have called Milo – I especially love combining the two in what we call a Tim Tam Slam. Overall I love that we are a beautiful country with easy going people and a huge cultural diversity because of all the different places where Aussies hale from.

8) You started to write at an early age. Even though it started as something therapeutic, did you know straight away you wanted to keep writing all the time?

Within a few weeks of starting to write my first book, I dreamed about making a career out of it. It took another fifteen years and a LOT of hard work for this to eventually happen. And it’s just as hard now that I’ve crossed the line into publication. But I’m very lucky to be making a living out of what I’ve always wanted to do. It helps that I get to work from home in my pjs!

9) Are your stories set in America very different from the ones set in Australia? Why/why not?

I don’t think so. The locations may be slightly different, the characters may speak a little differently and drive on the other side of the road in different cars, but how they feel about universal things like love, grief, happiness, etc. are the same. I mostly write about small towns and I think these are pretty similar the world over too – how people interact when everyone knows practically everyone is fascinating.

10) What are your dreams for the future?

I just hope I can keep on writing books and having fun with it. Yep, it’s as simple as that.

1 comment:

  1. hey! Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding is one of my favs too! I re-read it all the time.


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