I first met Rae Roadley through Romance Writers New Zealand Email loop. She was quick to respond when I asked if anyone wanted to showcase their work on my site for NZ Book Month. Having interviewed her and visited her blog, I am pleased that she did! Here is more from Rae.
I literally fell into writing. Soon after signing on as a PA, my boss moved into the bank’s p.r. division. I tagged along and was soon writing – and no longer his PA. I may have helped my cause on the day he left for the airport without his passport. I did a short story correspondence course and then started writing novels. A few years later, I figured a guaranteed way of writing every day was to be a journalist and studied at AUT.
What made you interested in writing romance?
My critique group, which included romance and mystery writer Kate Carlisle (I was in LA at the time), told me my first fiction effort was a romance. I had no idea there was a romance genre or writing organisations. Turns out, my stories are “contemporary single-title women’s fiction with romantic elements”. Naturally, I had no inkling of that either!
You’ve had a memoir published by Penguin – where did that idea come from?
Love at the End of the Road may never have been written if a bull hadn’t charged, picked me up and dropped me on our gravel road. I was left dazed, bruised and inspired to write about my rural life. I sent some of my newspaper columns (which now comprise my blog) to Penguin hoping they’d make a book (of course, it’s never that easy) but they asked for a memoir – I’d moved from the city after falling in love with a farmer whose family has lived on the edge of the Kaipara Harbour for a century. Rex and I live in an historic house that was a hotel in the days of passenger steamers and pioneers.
Has being a published author changed your life?
Yes, in unexpected ways – Karen invited me to take part in her blog – thanks! I now tutor at NorthTec which has a fabulous online programme. Groups often visit us here at Batley – historic, garden clubs, etc. Book publicity led to a Country Calendar programme, a feature in NZ Home & Garden and a lot more – all fun. Groups seem to like hearing about my writing and our story: this month I spoke to a writing group in Auckland, next month I’ll speak at a regional Zonta event.
What is your latest project and where did the idea come from?
Our wedding celebrant wore a pounamu pendant that had been handed down through her family. She told me its story and an idea was born – a novel set in a coastal town in New Zealand.
And so many people have suggested my memoir would work as a film, I’m investigating writing a script and talking to people in the industry. You may as well dream, I say.
How do you write? Do you plan or pants it?
Without pantstering I’d get exactly nowhere – ideas come when I write. Without plotting I’d get to about chapter three – that’s when I have to stop and knit the threads together. I recently read a quote that went something like – ‘Theory without practice is worthless; practice without theory is blind’ – which sums up my thoughts on the process.
You can check out Rae Roadley at her Website and blog: www.raeroadley.co.nz (You can buy my book here)
View the Country Calendar episode here:
Kate Carlisle: www.katecarlisle.com