Over the last few months I have actually been getting out and attending local author events so what better opportunity to find out a little more about them, and help spread the word about their work.
Cheryl Adnams was one of the authors I met, more than once, and approached for an interview.
Hi Cheryl and welcome to Beauty and Lace. Thanks for talking to us today.
What inspired you to pursue a writing career?
I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. Mostly romantic short stories featuring Hollywood leading men of the time but I always had a love of writing. I did it for fun as much as anything else. Then I realised it was more than fun. It was a passion. So I signed up for a few courses with the Australian College of Journalism to fine tune my skills but all of a sudden, when I tried to eek out a career in journalism, it wasn’t fun anymore.
It was only when I began reading Nora Roberts about five years ago that my appetite for reading came back and with it my passion for writing.
Can you tell us about your journey to publication?
I started writing romance for fun again thanks to Nora, and in 2013 I finally had a manuscript I thought was complete enough and good enough to submit to a publisher. I sent it off to one publisher and waited about eight months for them just to read it. I got tired of waiting so sent it to Random House Australia. That manuscript was “Bet On It”, the first of the Muller’s of McLaren Vale series. I was thrilled to have my manuscript accepted by such a well-renowned publishing house. I had to make some pretty major structural changes to the book but in the end it came out a much cleaner story. I totally trusted and still trust my editor when she tells me where things need to be changed for the good of the story. I’ve been very lucky and blessed to work with such a fantastic and supportive team at Random House.
You work full time, how do you fit writing into your day?
I sit at a computer all day for work so turning on a computer when I come home is tantamount to torture. So instead, to ensure I hit my word count each week, I get an earlier train into the city and sit in a lovely quiet coffee shop to handwrite new scenes or edit printed manuscripts. I actually find handwriting can be much more conducive to the creative process because I’m not constantly fixing my typos. (Although I can’t seem to write as fast as I think some days)
Do you have a favourite time of day and place to write?
Sunset on the Amalfi Coast in Italy! Ha! I wish! Unfortunately, I don’t get there very often so aside from the Adelaide coffee shop in the mornings, I mostly write at the computer at home on weekends. I find mornings are better than evenings for me. I’m too tired at night to be truly creative.
Can you tell us what you’re working on at the moment?
I seem to be juggling a bunch of stories just now. I have the third Muller’s of McLaren Vale book currently in hand for a few structural changes. I have just passed back to Random House a new romance set on the Murray River which deals with post traumatic stress disorder. I also have a paranormal romance almost completed, a Christmas novella, and a story based in Italy in varying degrees of completion. I admit that some of these novels have been in progress for about five years. I am lucky to have a back catalogue of stories already written that I can fix up and fine tune.
What inspired the Muller brothers trilogy?
Mostly, the Muller’s came out of my love of the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Peninsula region. It’s less than an hour from Adelaide and yet when you go down there you feel like you are a world away. The wineries, the restaurants and the beaches are all big draw cards. The natural beauty of the region is simply amazing. I included The Victory Hotel and several real wineries in my novels as it’s as much a love story to the region as it is a love story about these three fine looking and sexy fictional wine barons.
What are you reading at the moment?
I just finished Loretta Hill’s “The Maxwell Sisters”. I’ve always been a big fan of Loretta’s books and this one did not disappoint. Her characters are fantastic and she has such a relaxed writing style. I’m about to start reading Trish Morey’s “Stone Castles” – the last book in my current “to be read” pile. Time to shop again! Yay!
Of all the books you read in 2014 what would have been your favourite?
I probably read about one book a fortnight on average. I read so many I can barely remember what I read last year but the stand outs would have been Kylie Scott’s “Stage Dive” series and Barbara Hannay’s “Moonlight Plains” and “Zoe’s Muster”. I only found Barbara this year so she would be one of my new faves. At the Australian Romance Readers Conference in Canberra in March I am sharing a panel with Barbara and one of my other favourites, Margareta Osborn and keynote speaker Victoria Dahl. I love Victoria’s books too.
What does being a woman mean to you?
I’ve always been a strong, independent woman. I’ve travelled the world extensively, lived overseas and I think I have had more diverse job roles than most people would see in their lives, from working at Parliament House to cooking and cleaning in a Chalet in Europe with Contiki Tours. The newest career being Romance Author. I love being a single woman in my forties and I have been able to let go of some of the insecurities that would have plagued me in my twenties and thirties. I think that has gone a long way to pushing me to strive for a career in writing where, as in many of the arts, criticism can be extremely harsh even to the point of cruelty from some individuals. I think I’m more equipped to cope with that now than I would have been even ten years ago. To use that current popular phrase, you just have to “Let it go”.
Thanks for your time Cheryl.