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10-21 Sarah Raplee – Author of “Blindsight” Psychic Agents Series, Book One

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I have a Dream...And still do!

Hi everyone
I’m waving madly from New Zealand. I’m one of your new monthly bloggers – Bronwen Evans. The lovely RTG ladies have reached across the world and invited me to entertain you romance junkies—of which I am proudly one.
They suggested in this blog that I introduce myself, so here is a little bit about me.
I’ve had plenty of life experience (that’s my way of saying I have a few (okay more than a few) years behind me.) I’ve never married and I have no children. I’m a twin, my sister Leigh is twenty minutes younger than me, making me the eldest. I have three other younger sisters and no brothers.  I have two nephews and one niece. My twin and one other sister live not far from me, third lives in Sydney, Australia and the fourth lives with her German husband in Germany. My parents are divorced and remarried. My mother lives about an hour away, and my father lives in Edmonton, Canada. I have only one living grandparent and in January she will be celebrating her 101th birthday!
Okay, those are the basic’s and not that interesting. What I really want you to know about me is that I’m a passionate person. Passionate in the sense that I believe in LIFE. Living life to the full and following your DREAMS.
I’ve lost very special people in my life, I’m sure we all have. The first, when I was twenty-five years old. Someone very close to me and very dear to my heart was killed in a skiing accident. At twenty-five you think you have your whole life ahead of you, and you have plenty of time. We all know that is not necessarily the case. On top of that my special friend, Jock, was battling with a debilitating illness and was not expected to live past thirty (see my dedication in Invitation to Ruin, my first Regency release.)
Both of these events brought home to me that life was over pretty quickly, and if I didn’t use my time on this earth wisely, I might get to the end of it and find out I'd missed something really special. At twenty-five I made the decision I’d never get to the end of my life and hear the words ‘I wish I had...”
So, whatever I decided to do I threw myself into it in order to ensure I achieved it.  I’ve started my own business and listed it on the NZ stock exchange, sold it and travelled the world, literally, and I’ve loved and laughed along the way.
Some advice – nothing worthwhile having, comes easy. You have to work, and work hard to succeed.
What’s my overriding dream, the dream I’ve worked on for years – to make a living by becoming a romance writer. Note my dream wasn’t to become published. My dream still is to MAKE a LIVING from romance writing. Two very different dreams and both very valid.
I knew that if I wanted to have a career in romance writing I had to work hard. I read ferociously, over 200 historical romances before I even started writing. I took many online romance writing courses (and still do – you never finish learning). I sought out like minded writers and formed a support group. I run a yahoo group called Book in 50 Days where we run, three times a year, exactly that. We challenge ourselves to write a book in 50 days. I found fabulous critique partners, and now beta readers. And I joined as many romance writing organisations as possible. Finally, I found and signed with an agent, Melissa Jeglinski at The Knight Agency.
And guess what, my hard work paid off. In January 2010, I signed a two book deal with Kensington. But that is only the beginning. I have to keep writing, keep improving, and keep delivering better stories. The pressure never eases and a two book deal does not make a career,  and a career is my dream. To be able to live solely off my royalties. So I can live where I want and work the hours I want. Here's a picture of the section I've just bought in the Hawke's Bay with the amazing view. It's waiting for me to succeed so I can build my house on it. A huge incentive.

So am I living my dream – almost. I work part-time as head of a private surgeons association and write at least twenty hours per week. That’s almost my dream.
I’m now about 2/3 way through book three, a new regency, and I will be asking my agent to shop it for me early next year. That will be crux time. Can I sell another book outside of my original deal? Gosh, I hope so. But this is a fickle and challenging business, in a strained economy with a business model that’s in upheaval, who knows what will happen.
But I can’t control that. I can only control what I do. And that’s write. And hopefully sell. Until then, I’ll keep writing, keep falling in love with romance and focusing on my dream. I have a dream...
What’s your dream and how will you make it happen? Leave a comment and one lucky commenter will win a copy of INVITATION TO RUIN.
For more about me visit my website www.bronwenevans.com or my blog http://regencyseductions.blogspot.com/
My books – Invitation to Ruin 1 March 2011 and Invitation to Scandal April 2012 – available in book and e-book from all booksellers.
Twitter: @authorbevans
Invitation to Ruin Feb 2011 RT Book Reviews 4.5 Star

7 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Welcome, Bron! I Love the picture of the section you just bought and can easily imagine a house with that view. I'll hold your dream in my Intentions for you. It will happen - perseverance is a key essential and you have it!

My dream is similar to yours. I want The Women's Circle Series to become wildly popular around the world (which does mean healthy royalties). I've completed 3 of the 7 novels and will be submitting to an agent (Melissa BTW) and editor (Tera K. from Samhain) who requested material from me at Emerald City.

I've a plan to query metaphysical publishers in January and a group of us in our chapter are looking at starting a support group similar to National Novel Writing Month as this November isn't working for us. I'll start Book 4 then. I like your idea of a book in 50 days (I can do that, can't quite get my 100K stories told in NaNo's 30).

I'm so glad you can join us at RTG. Welcome and thanks again for a thoughtful post.

Laurie Ryan said...

Hi, Bronwen. That property is great incentive to keep writing. It's beautiful. You know, I just read a blog over at Romance University that talked about writers needing to have tenacity and patience. That's what keeps us all going, I think.

Sarah Raplee said...

Welcome, Bron! I'm waving madly from Oregon, Northwestern US.

I'm so excited that RTG now includes writers from Australia and New Zealand. Love and Romance are universal!

My dream is identical to yours: to make a living writing uplifting stories.

How does one join your Yahoo Group for writing a book in 50 days? When do you hold your 50-day sessions?

I enjoyed your post immensely.

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Bron, We passed 10K today! Thanks for joining us...

Bron said...

Hello ladies

Thanks for the warm welcome. I love people who are passionate about their life and getting the most from it.

You definitely need patience and tenacity in this business although self-publishing is giving writers far more control over their own product, which has to be good.

The Book in 50 days I think is more realistic, especially for those writing category or YA where word count is lower. Anyone can set up a loop in Yahoo and I suggest you get a small group to start with and set up your own Book in 50 Day loop with your fellow writers and critique partners. Our group in NZ is around 25 members and we all have our CP's on it and we run a BI50D's when it suits us all. Usually 3 times a year.

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for the advice, Bron. We'll do that.

Diana Mcc. said...

Hi, Bron,
thanks for introducing yourself and telling us your story. Hope you have an easy time selling your next book. Like Judith, I love your view from your property. Welcome!