Aug 15, 2018

And it grew like topsy - when you start something without realising where it will end - Annie West

It suddenly struck me how much of my life is shaped by things I didn't quite plan. Or only began to plan once they were underway.

Have you ever begun something only to discover the consequences are much bigger than you expected? I'm thinking of positive things here, by the way. 

For instance... I pinch myself (mentally) when it suddenly hits me that I'm a professional writer. All because I loved to read books, which lead to romance books, which lead to adoring that buzz of delight when a heroine and hero found their perfect match and got their happy ending. Which lead to wishing I could write like that, which lead to spending most of my spare time dreaming about and scribbling about romance and...well you know the rest. Of course, along the way I took stock and  began to plan, but when I look back, it's still with a sense of unreality.

For instance... when we moved interstate to our current home I was looking for ways to help our children settle in and decided to make shortbread and gingerbread with them as part of the lead up to the Christmas festivities in a new place. Now home-made shortbread (and to a lesser extent) gingerbread have become Christmas traditions in the West family. Not only that but shortbread in the shape of rabbits and pigs with silver cachou eyes - even now! If you look closely you'll see a rabbit and a couple of pigs on this plate of goodies.

For instance... I was having breakfast with some French romance readers, chatting about books and publishing when one asked if I'd come to Paris if they organised a reader festival. Feeling buoyant from having such a lovely time, I said 'of course'. Next thing I knew the Festival du Roman Feminin was organised and I've been to Paris for every one of them! Which has led to visits to some wonderful places I'd never have got to otherwise, and more importantly, to some terrific friendships. 

At a Paris booksigning
For instance... I had a gap in my publishing schedule with Harlequin Mills and Boon so decided to write a novella. I enjoyed it and so did readers so I thought I'd write another some time. So 'Bought by the Italian' followed 'Back in the Italian's Bed'. People read them so I wrote a third. Wouldn't it be fun, I thought, to have another in this Italian series featuring the letter B in the title? So 'Bound the Italian Boss' came next. I'd only intended to write a couple of these. However,  I've just published my 8th book in the series. In case you're wondering, yes, there's a B in the title 'Burning for the Italian'. 

No 1
No 8!
Have you ever begun something, maybe just for fun, and discovered it's taken on a life of it's own? Do you ever look back and smile to realise how some of those fun things are now so much a part of your world? I hope so! I hope to hear that you've created or discovered or continue to enjoy marvellous things that started as serendipity.

And if you're wondering about Burning for the Italian and all the other 'B' titled stories in my Hot Italian Nights, follow this link and you'll be able to read about them all.


  1. Morning Annie

    Oh I finished the newest novella last night what a beauty of a story woohoo :)

    As for me many years ago just before ARRC2009 there was a competition to write reviews of books from authors who would be attending and I decided to give it a go and found that I really enjoyed writing reviews they were so bad at the beginning but I found I really loved writing them and still do all these years later and love it :)

    Have Fun

  2. You have lots of lovely For Instances there, Annie. I thought doing a Research Higher Degree would be fun... And,'s certainly been an adventure. ;-)

    And super-duper congrats on the new release! Can't wait to read it.