NOELENE’S TOP WRITING TIP: Like me, if writing is what you HAVE to do, don’t struggle, give in and do it. We must all follow our heart for personal contentment. I believe we’re all born with certain gifts and inclinations and meant to be true to living our own life. If writing is in your DNA, then go for it.
Multi published women’s fiction author, Noelene Jenkinson, has published 10 novels. Her latest releases are Grace’s Cottage, Wombat Creek, an Australian historical romance A Gentleman’s Bride, and an Australian saga Peacocks on the Lawn. The first volume in her outback romance duo, Whispers on the Plains, is scheduled for release on 31 July. She has just completed the second volume.
Noelene is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association UK and the Romance Writers of Australia. As a keen genealogist and historian, she has researched, compiled and published three family histories and numerous local histories. She is married to her own hero of 40 years and lives in a passive solar home with a native garden. She has two adult daughters and five grandchildren.
Find out more about Noelene and her books by visiting her website http://www.noelenejenkinson.com, blog http://www.noelenejenkinson.blogspot.com.au/ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Noelene-Jenkinson-Author/653520981347210
Why do you write? Just always have. The natural instinct was there. I was born with the urge and scribbled as a child, wrote stories for my own children when they were young, and have been writing romance and historical fiction since the 1980s.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Oh, bite your tongue. I’d hate to imagine my life without words, a notepad and pen in my hand. Or tapping away on my laptop. But if you really need an answer then I guess it would be music [I learnt piano as a child and now play keyboard] or crafts [crocheting afghan rugs and cardmaking] or gardening [we have 1.5 acres of native garden]. I seem to be a creative person in all my pursuits.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Writing enough words until my work reached a high enough standard to be published. A loooong journey. And the determination to persevere. I aimed at Harlequin Mills & Boon for years until I realised it wasn’t my own natural style and was immediately published when I rewrote all the manuscripts I had previously sent to them and had rejected. Those were my first novellas and Outback Hero is still my bestseller even today, 14 years later.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Being my own boss and indulging a passion I love. Working my own hours. Not having to dress up to go to work, boiling the kettle for endless cups of tea and coffee throughout my working day. Sometimes that kettle is a distraction when the words aren’t flowing but, often, taking a break is what you need. Plus over two decades I have met some lovely fellow writers and am part of many writer communities of like minds. The women’s fiction and romance writing community is generous and welcoming. I am a member of the Romance Writers of Australia and the Romantic Novelists’ Association [UK].
—the worst? “Life” interfering, which happens for all of us, of course, when it could be days or weeks until I can get back into my office to write again. I get very grumpy when my brain is not releasing all the stories locked up in my head. I can’t focus unless I shut my office door and block out everything. But within five minutes, I’m absorbed and in my characters’ world.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Write more, sooner. Be brave enough to give my writing priority. Be a bit more selfish. Go with my heart and tie my hand down from shooting up to offer “I’ll do it!” Life is short and you don’t get time back or a second chance.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? Not sure it would have been wise, but to be made aware perhaps of just how long and difficult and frustrating the journey is to publication. If publication is what one seeks, and that was always my secret wish. Fortunately, I have achieved it if only in a modest way. But if you have the bug of writing in you, you’ll do it anyway.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Nothing specific that I can recall but I remember a quote of Nora Roberts from an early RWA conference in Sydney, “You can’t fix a blank page”. Motto – sit on butt and write. But attending conferences, reading text books and generally learning my craft to hone it was time well spent. Plus reading anything and everything to see how other authors get their words on paper. To check how they characterise, set a scene, slip in description amid snappy dialogue. Reading fellow authors’ fiction can be your best teacher.
A cottage, a secret and a betrayal. For Jennifer Hale, the cottage in the small Australian country town of Bundilla holds the key to a dream. For city architect, Sam Keats, it unlocks a secret stretching back to the Vietnam war. Brought together by fate, can Jennifer and Sam find the courage to rebuild their lives and open their hearts enough to build a future together?
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