Even Before Publishing

The Next Chapter Unfolds...

Life in the tropics.

Life in the tropics.

It's happened, before I thought it would!

Almost twelve years ago our family left Townsville to live on the Gold Coast so that our son, who is an IT guru, would have opportunities to work in that field. Our time on the Gold Coast was an interesting time full of challenges but a fun place to call home. Our son is now an adult and well on his way to an interesting career in IT.

Knowing he was settled, left me wondering where my future lay. Yes, of course, I'm a writer that was obvious, but where do I feel the freedom to write with no distractions. Part of our travels around Australia was to find the place where we were meant to be. Leaving my life behind on the Gold Coast was quite a challenge, but I also found it exciting to work out where the next chapter of my life was about to unfold. Living down south was exciting, but it wasn't for me climatically, so we headed north to the warmth, and discovered we belong up here in the tropics with humidity, balmy nights, open spaces, palm trees and the beautiful Great Barrier Reef at our doorstep. We were scuba divers at another time in our life.

Extended family living here also strongly influenced my decision to live in Mackay. In my adult years I've never lived in the same town as family, so Mackay has offered this wonderful opportunity for me to connect with them.

Another bonus was meeting author, Rose Dee, whose first book will be released in mid-November, 2011 by Even Before Publishing entitled Back to Resolution. It's great to meet and support each other on our writing journey.

So, it's official, we've decided to make Mackay our new home. Our house on the Gold Coast is on the market and we're searching for our new place to put down roots. We've lived in Townsville on three different occasions in the past, so it's no surprise we've returned to north Queensland. Mackay has regular flights in and out which are relatively cheap with lots of flights daily. The hour and a half trip to Brisbane means our son can visit often when he needs time out from his busy schedule, or I can return to the Gold Coast when I want to catch up with him and old friends.

My change of lifestyle isn't as dramatic as Gina's in my book, African Hearts. Gina was a woman with courage, understanding her strengths and moving forward to grasp new experiences. I learned from Gina that fear is real, but it can be overcome and there are many advantanges to going places that seem way too scarey.

Travelling in the van has given me the opportunity to meet many people throughout this vast country; connect with my readers and other writers; and to give me new fodder for my future projects.

I haven't been to Western and central Australia, but those places are still on my list of places to visit. It's time for me to be still for a while and focus again on my next work which is almost complete. When the time is right, I'll step out and seek all that the great central and west has to offer.

Where are you in your journey of life? Are you in a time of being, or are you caught up in the excitement and stress of change? If you're in the latter, hang in there, you'll soon be in that new place. I encourage you to hold on tight and enjoy the ride. You'll grow from the experience and have new resources to call on in the future when you next take a leap of faith.

Gina & Kam's Story

African Hearts by Laura O'Connell

African Hearts by Laura O'Connell

At last, Rochelle and I have agreed on the cover for African Hearts. Here is a sneak preview for you so that it will catch your eye when it's in bookstores in April, or if there isn't a Koorong bookstore near you, you can pre-order from me by emailing me at my contacts page.

I believe it hints well at Gina and Kam's story, and shows the spirit of Africa.

April seems like such a long time away, but I'll keep you up to date with our travels. Only fifteen more sleeps before we hitch the caravan on the four-wheel-drive and we follow the bitumen to wherever God wants us to be.

This last week has been a time of reviewing the final manuscript for errors prior to it going to print. I hope we've found all the errors!

Contracted ...

Exciting time! I've just been contracted by Even Before Publishing to publish my first novel African Hearts! While the ink dries on the contract I sit here amazed that the long journey to publication has finally been realised. All those long drawn out days of doubt whether I've thought my writing was good enough, able to be understood by someone else, and just getting myself in the chair to sit and write while there are a million distractions that have tried to keep me from putting words on the screen have all been worth the wait. It has been a long journey and one worth travelling.

This journey has taught me a lot about myself: I have patience, but more work still to be done; stick-to-it-iveness which writers need a lot of if we are going to finish the project; determination; and willing to work long hours.

The negatives which need to be looked at closely as I continue to write are: my crankiness when I get interrupted while I'm in the zone, don't come near me unless there's blood or a fire; I can get lost for hours and wonder where the time has gone; I don't exercise as much as I should when I'm deep into the stories with my characters; I don't like leaving my characters in the middle of a dilemma, it's so unfair to them to have to be in that situation all night while I'm sleeping, so I have to work through that part of their lives with them; and I don't always like socialising while I'm working because I want to stay tuned in to my characters. Please forgive me if I sometimes look a little vague in social situations, my characters are wanting their share of attention, too. However, when the work is done I'll spend as much time as you'd like and give my undivided attention to you.

Thank you to all who have been part of this road to publication. You have been an inspiration. I hope you will enjoy reading African Hearts as much as I did writing it.

Light The Dark

Even Before Publishing, a division of Wombats, is a new Australian publisher that is passionate about Christian Books and all things that make for improving lives and helping build Australian creators. Principal, Rochelle Manners, is not only interested in publishing her own stable of authors' works, but she is also interested in selling good Australian fiction via her party plan, Light The Dark.

Light The Dark Mission Statement:

"Light the Dark aims to bring positive Christian and family friendly products, produced by Australians and New Zealanders, to consumers in an engaging party plan type environment. It is our mission to strengthen your walk with God through our products and uphold Christian principles in our business and community."

Light The Dark is a powerful ministry that brings people together in fellowship sharing about books and products that foster relationship building, and encourages our Aussie writers to be all they can be.

I've become a Light The Dark Representive because I believe in the Mission Statement. Even Before Publishing and Light The Dark is the beginning of an era that will encourage more and more Australians to be creative and be brave enough to send their creations out to the marketplace because Australians like seeing other Australians having a go.

If you want to learn more about Light the Dark go to www.lightthedark.com.au and be inspired to read good Australian fiction, or products made by talented Australians.