Nov 21, 2018

First Steps

by Bronwyn Jameson

My grand-daughter took her first (unassisted) steps today. Bella is our first, and only, grandie and is of course everything wonderful. Warm, clever, boisterous, quick to laugh, quick to cry, quick to cuddle. Not so quick to get going on her deliciously squeezy little legs but now she has discovered the power of self-propulsion there will be no stopping her. Next stop: world domination.

This milestone, along with Michelle’s post last week, got me thinking about other first steps. And steps being what they are, I ended up at this point: compiling a list of significant firsts in my writing career.
Venetian Inheritance? I'd read that!

1.  First romance I read: I’m sure I read many books with romantic elements beforehand, but the first *true* romance was one of many, many, MANY I read serialised (and probably abridged) in the English Woman’s Weekly magazine. My mum bought these, allegedly for the recipes and knitting patterns, but in reality for the celebrity gossip. I appropriated them, when she wasn’t looking, to gobble down the Mills & Boons. 

2.  First time I thought, “I want to write romance.” I didn’t grow up thinking or dreaming of being an author. A journalist, yes, but not a novelist. I was closing in on 40 when I picked up a Family Circle magazine at my mum’s — she loved her magazines right up to her last years — with a feature put together by Romance Writers of Australia

Something akin to, “Like Alison Kelly, you too can be a best-selling romance author.” They were talking to me. I knew it. I pretty much joined RWA on the spot, registered for conference, and started plotting my first attempt at a romance novel. 

3.  First romance I wrote… I still have the manuscript, a secret baby story with a rockstar musician hero and a potty-mouthed journalist heroine.  I also have the kind but honest critique provided by Lynne Wilding, which suggested (kindly and honestly) that while I had a strong voice and some writing chops, I really needed to study the Mills & Boon guidelines if that was my intended market. Hashtag, not my finest work

4.  First book that made me think, “this is the kind of romance I want to write.” For years I attempted to get the characters, passion and intensity right for Mills & Boon Modern/Sexy/Presents because I truly loved reading them. I wanted to be Alison Kelly. Then, at the newsagent at Sydney Central Railway Station, I picked up another brand of little red book. A Silhouette Desire by Justine Davis. “Private Reasons.” With a riding instructor heroine and a single-father accountant father and loads of drama and plot and passion.
5.  First book published: “In Bed with the Boss’s Daughter” in July 2001. Still one of my favourite covers. I also loved the “Silhouette Makes You A Star” flash because that’s exactly how I felt.


Have you, or one of your loved ones, experienced a first recently? 

 One that’s made you inordinately proud, or made you feel like a star, or one that’s the first step toward something wonderful?


8 comments:

  1. I loved sharing your firsts, Bronwyn. Thanks for the post! And congratulations on your granddaughter's first steps. That's so very exciting. Our current first is helping organise our daughter's wedding. Definitely exciting!

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    1. Annie, I am ever so happy to hear that you're planning a first wedding. So much to love about weddings and I feel a particular attachment to this one!

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  2. Hi Bronwyn

    What fabulous firsts for you, my eldest granddaughter is planning her outfit for her year 6 farewell I can't believe that I will have 2 grandkids in high school next year it seems like they were just born, enjoy your granddaughter they grow way too fast.

    have Fun

    Helen

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    1. The years are passing too quickly aren't they Helen? Congratulations on your grand-daughter's milestone. A big one, heading to high school. I still remember my trepidation all those decades ago!

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  3. I used to read the English Women's Weekly's for the short stories too, Bron - snap!
    :-)

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    1. Remember when they were a feature of all the womens' mag's? Those were the days, my friend!

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  4. I love this! First romance I read was a Betty Neels, and then when I was in high school, I discovered Whitney, My Love and the Malory family books by Johanna Lindsey... OMG, so much nostalgia reading this post!

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    1. Shannon, I went through a huge Johanna Lindsey glom where I read pretty much everything she had published. Love the Malory books and also the American west ones. Amongst others!

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