You know that feeling you get when you see an email telling you that you’ve won three million euros? That little moment between reading the subject line and realising that you don’t actually have a prince for a nephew, but you think “oh my god I’ve won three million euros!”?
We get that feeling all the time. No, not because we’re extremely gullible, but because our students keep getting published! When emails like that pop up in our inbox we just want to share the love …
So Belinda, where were you at in your writing career when you decided to enrol in our Popular Women’s Fiction course?
Professionally I’d been working in marketing for over a decade, and started writing fiction for a creative outlet separate to the demands of my work. I’d completed a romantic suspense manuscript, but was keen to work on something more light-hearted with a view to professional publication.
I’d previously completed a distance education writing course elsewhere, and was now keen to attend something face to face. The previous course had also been quite general and I was looking to find something more specific to the genre I was writing in. I did some research and found the Australian Writers’ Centre. I liked what I found, so I decided to give it a try.
Great! What did you find most useful about the course?
The course was helpful on a number of levels. First, it delivered on the writing theory required to write a successful women’s fiction novel. It also added to my knowledge of the publishing industry in terms of the path to publication for someone writing in this genre. Finally, it was a great opportunity to mix with other authors of that genre.
Your presenter was author Lisa Heidke – how did you find her teaching style? (It’s okay, we’ll only tell our thousands of blog readers …)
Lisa was very open and personable. For unpublished writers, I think there is significant benefit in being able to hear about a published author’s journey to publication. Lisa was willing to share more than her knowledge on the writing craft. She also shared her experiences, and I think this added an extra dimension to the course.
Attending the course with Lisa gave me the knowledge and skills to move forward and have confidence in my writing. It also helped me identify those areas that I needed to work on to take my writing to the next level.
So what happened after you finished the course?
I was named a second round finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald award (for unpublished authors) in both 2013 and 2014. I self-published my romantic suspense novel, Radiant, in 2013 to good reviews, and then got serious about seeking a publisher for my contemporary romance/women’s fiction manuscript. This novel was picked up by digital-first publisher, Momentum (Pan Macmillan), in 2014 and released as The Boyfriend Sessions.
I’ve since written another contemporary romance, and am working on a fourth title, so writing is very much part of my daily life. So much so that I made the decision to work from home and now split my time between freelance marketing work and my writing.
Wow! I reckon our blog readers know exactly why we feel like we won three million euros now. So do you think you’ll take your writing journey full time one day?
At the moment, I wouldn’t be able to make a living from my writing. However, the progress I’ve made in the last few years has given me the confidence to continue with my writing goals. Originally, my goal was to finish a novel! Then it was to self-publish something. After that, I wanted to achieve published author status. My focus now is on building on these successes with the aim of my writing becoming a bigger source of income for me in the future.
And we have no doubt you’ll get there! Where can our readers find you AND purchase The Boyfriend Sessions?
You can find me at my website, on Facebook, Twitter and you can buy the book online through Momentum!
Thanks Belinda! And best of luck with your next novel.
You can find out more about our Popular Women’s Fiction course here.