01-19-19 – Judith Ashley – My Sanctuaries and Safe Havens: Writing and Spiritual Practices

Saturday, April 21, 2018

How I Became an Aussie Romance Author by Dora Bramden

I’d been working for years as a bookkeeper and although there were elements of my job that I loved, doing maths wasn’t something I enjoyed. It never was a favorite subject for me at school either. My favorite class was art. Being creative lifted my spirits and I enjoyed myself. Because of missing a lot of school from illness, combined with being slow to learn to read, I struggled with grammar and spelling in English classes. But when it came time to do some creative writing I soared. I would hear other students moan when asked to write about a subject put up on the board and I didn’t get why they hated it. For me, this was the easy class. According to my logic at the time, you couldn’t get a creative piece wrong, plus I could think of a million things to write about. Most importantly, I enjoyed writing them down.

When I was forced to give up work due to illness, I wondered what I could possibly do with all my time. I’d tinkered for years with a romance novel that never got finished. I thought back to my time in school and remembered that the few A’s I got for subjects other than art, were for a poem I’d dashed off at the last minute and creative piece about a fire that we’d had at home. I’d written about the things I’d lost and how it had affected me.

I knew that there were reasons for not finishing my romance novel. I didn’t know how to finish, and I didn’t know anything about story structure. So I decided to enroll in a professional writing course. I loved every minute and learned many of the missing links to writing a story. While I was doing the course, I enjoyed the industry overview class. We had lectures from writers in all walks of publishing, but when Anne Gracie, a very talented and successful Aussie author came to speak, I felt I had found a calling. She told us about the romance author community in Australia and also said she ran a class in the city teaching romance writing, specifically.

I joined her class, and it was a major eye-opener. She recommended I join the RWA if I wanted to pursue being published,  I went to the conference in Melbourne and immediately realized I had found a group of people just like me. I made wonderful friends at that conference, years ago, and they are still good friends. I finished my book the year after I completed the course.
Since that first conference, I have undertaken many short courses online in the craft of romance writing and attended many lectures and workshops through the Romance Writers of Australia and Melbourne Romance Writers Guild.

I wrote and wrote and began to pitch my books to publishers. I came very close to a contract but didn’t quite get there. After ten years of writing, and watching the industry change rapidly from traditional paper publishing only, to e-book and then self-publishing. In 2016 I decided to move forward and join the ranks of indie published authors, and with a lot of help from my writer friends, I released ‘The Scottish Billionaire’s Secret Lover.’ The first in a series that is dear to my heart. I had imagined three sisters who had grown up with artist parents who were busy with their careers. A secret affair had caused an enormous ripple effect in their family, and it interested me to see how this would have impacted on their daughters and their ability to have romantic relationships.

Last year I released the youngest daughter’s story, ‘The Italian Billionaire’s Secret Baby’ and this year I’ll be releasing the last story in the series ‘The Australian Billionaire’s Secret Proposal.’
The enjoyment I’ve had in writing the Baxter Sister Series has been tremendous. Through some really tough times, they’ve been with me, like real people living inside me, taking me out of my everyday and into a world of art, glamour and international travel.

As a young Australian woman I always wanted to travel overseas. I had to wait a long time, but I did get to Europe. I’ve enjoyed being able to relive some of those moments through my writing too.
So I hope that helps you to see a little into what makes the writer in me tick. It’s about being creative, an innate need to give expression to my ideas and exploring our capacity to love.

For more information about me and my books, you can visit my website or my Amazon author page


Sarah Raplee said...

Dora, thank you for sharing your journey as a writer. I love that you found the positive in your situation and moved forward to become an author! I have heard wonderful tings about both the Romance Writers of Australia and the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild.

Dora Bramden said...

Hi Sarah. They have been a huge support. I've been so lucky to find them.

Savannah Blaize said...

This is a lovely post Dora. So happy you found your joy in writing. I know the feeling.

Madelle Morgan said...

Congratulations on publication of your books after dedication to learning the craft and sticking with it. So many give up when success is just around the corner.

I clicked on the Scottish Billionaire's Secret Lover, winner of the Romance Writers of Australia, Emerald Award. I read the blurb and you sure nailed the conflict. I was hooked immediately.

If you see a sale from Canada on your dashboard, that's from me!

All the best,

Dora Bramden said...

Thank you Savannah. Writing is a great source of joy for me. We have that in common.

Dora Bramden said...

Thank you very much for your support and encouragement, Madelle. It nesns s grest deal to me. Hope you enjoy reading The Scottish Billionaires Secret Lover.

Judith Ashley said...

Dora, Your post is a testament to the adage "Staying The Course." So glad you did and even more so that you are a Genre-ista. Thanks for sharing your journey and showing how perseverance and following your heart can create a dream come true.

Paty Jager said...

Dora, Great story on how you became an author! Welcome to Romancing the Genres!

Dora Bramden said...

Thanks Judith. I never wanted to give up. I felt that I'd always write even if no one ever read it. But I love that I can put my work out there for others to read.

Dora Bramden said...

Hi Paty. Thanks for that and your warm welcome.

Cassandra O'Leary said...

Great piece Dora. I understand where you're at with finding the joy in your work and rearranging your priorities. Good luck with your writing!

Dora Bramden said...

Thanks Cassandra. Wishing you all the best with yours too!