Although I had won or been placed in some Aussie competitions, I never sold my first story until 2012. Before that, I’d had stories included in anthology books like Short and Twisted and Doorways and enjoyed being an active member of the Cygnet, Tasmania UTA writing group where we had to write a short story every week.
Eventually I subbed (submitted) some of these to national magazines that were primarily for female readers. The fiction editor of That’s Life Australia read The Cool, Dark Place and sent an email asking if they could use it. Naturally I said ‘yes’ and they bought it.
That’s the moment in a writer’s life which is a turning point; someone asking to publish and feeling that your story warrants payment. That gives so much confidence in not only your writing skills but also your imagination.
That’s Life is not just for romance. My style was far outside the ‘boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets girl again’ type of story but, with the editors support, I did sell romance as well as very un-women’s magazine ones.
I resurrected The Pastel Blue Kangaroo from my Tassie writing days and they published it. As I was in my colour writing phase, I submitted an even stranger story, The Year of the April Green. It was about telepathic Tasmanian tigers returning from extinction to slowly take control of the human population in Tasmania. It was a love story but so much more.