I had been wanting to be a writer for so long, yet I didn’t know what sort of writer I was. I’d joined a number of writing groups over the years and tried my hand at writing in a few different genres. A bit of crime, some young adult, even contemporary women’s fiction.
I knew I wasn’t a literary writer, as that is not the sort of book I like to read, but I was genuinely surprised to discover I was a romance writer.
When I look back, it shouldn’t have been a surprise at all. I grew up reading romance all through my high-school years, everything from teen romances, Sweet Dreams, to the more adult Mills and Boon. Even now I still turn to a rom-com as a comfort read. It’s something I know I will love, will make me laugh, and the guaranteed happy ever after gives me that satisfaction when I turn the last page.
When I finally realised all my stories were about relationships, and most had the happy ever after, which is the main criteria of a romance, I was on my way. I joined Romance Writers of Australia, and it was through this organisation I found my people.
It started online, given this was during the peak time of COVID lockdowns affecting the world, and then eventually it was in person. The pinnacle, so far, was at the annual RWA conference held in Freemantle in August 2022. I had so many fan-girl moments, coming face to face with authors I admire so much, only to have them say hi, call me by name, and talk to me like they’d known me for years, and not as some unqualified writer who barely has anything to show for themselves on a bookshelf. If you want to see all of what we got up to, go and check out the galleries on my Facebook author page.
If you are wanting to write, but not sure what you are writing, work out where you’d belong on the bookshelf, then go and find some of your people. I promise, it will be worth it.