Boya writer talks romance

Hills Gazette - - NEWS - Sara Fitz­patrick

WHEN are you go­ing to write a proper book?

This is an all-too-fa­mil­iar ques­tion for Rachael Johns, of Boya. Li­brar­i­ans, book­shop as­sis­tants and ac­quain­tances have been pos­ing the query since her first romance novel pub­lished in 2011.

“You see them roll their eyes and they’ll make a lit­tle joke like: ‘Is what you’re writ­ing like 50 Shades of Grey?'” Johns said.

“Of­ten peo­ple who make a com­ment like that haven’t read any romance or women’s fic­tion.

“They of­ten think the romance genre is just romance but no book is just one thing – crime isn’t just crime.

“Romance read­ers would get bored very quickly if there was no va­ri­ety in romance.”

The mother of three and in­ter­na­tional best­seller has pro­duced 22 books in six years.

The past three have steered away from ru­ral romance and veered into com­mer­cial women’s fic­tion, fo­cus­ing on re­la­tion­ships other than ro­man­tic.

Johns was not pres­sured to change di­rec­tion; she sim­ply had new ideas and a will­ing pub­lisher.

She be­gan writ­ing at 17 after “ac­ci­den­tally” dump­ing her boyfriend in high school.

“I wasn’t big into writ­ing and read­ing at school – I was more boy-ob­sessed. I was madly in love with my child­hood sweet­heart – like we all think we are at 17 – and then I ac­ci­den­tally dumped him at the end of Year 12,” Johns said.

“He said some­thing I didn’t like and I said: ‘I don’t think this is work­ing out’ and he said: ‘Yeah, I think you’re right’.

“I had in­stant re­gret and was ab­so­lutely heart­bro­ken and for some strange rea­son, in the sum­mer hol­i­days be­tween Year 12 and start­ing uni, I be­gan writ­ing this book. I guess it was a form of ther­apy.”

Johns wrote 80,000 words of “ab­so­lute rub­bish”.

“I re­alised that ac­ci­den­tally dump­ing some­one is not a very ex­cit­ing way to end a book so I gave him a hor­rific dis­ease and killed him off,” she said.

“So writ­ing started as ther­apy and I re­alised I re­ally en­joyed it.

Pic­ture: David Baylis www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d479219

Writer Rachael Johns wants read­ers to think be­yond genre stereo­types.

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