A Narrawong author has draw on her roots as a rural reporter to help craft her debut rural romance novel Wildflower Ridge.
Maya Linnell said her work at the South East Times in Millicent, South Australia, provided plenty of insight into the rural lifestyle she has captured in her new book.
"It was really quite handy to have done the rounds at a country newspapers for a few years to have the insight of going to the saleyards and covering the day," Linnell said.
"I have a scene in the book that took me right back to covering the Millicent saleyards."
Linnell, who now lives on an eight acre farm with her husband and three children, said writing a rural romance novel was a great place for her to start her new career.
"I think it really suits me writing rural romance," she said.
I have always enjoyed romance novels and always lived in rural areas so it is quite a good fit."
"There is something about romance, as an industry and genre, I think it is a great one to start out in."
Linnell is about to start on a tour to launch the new book, with events in Casterton, Portland, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Hamilton.
Wildflower Ridge will be launched in Warrnambool at Cafe Lava on June 5, starting at 5.30pm. The event will include a question and answer session hosted by Port Fairy author Jock Serong.
"He is an author I really admire so I was pretty delighted to have him come onboard to help launch (the book)," Linnell said.
"I will definitely embrace anyone who wants to talk about books and writing and the path to publication."
"It is a really nice writing community in the south-west, and (writers get) great support from local bookshops and libraries so it makes it a really nice place to launch a book."
Linnell started working Wildflower Ridge in 2016, before it was picked up by publisher Allen and Unwin.
"I had done multiple drafts, three, four or maybe five different drafts," she said with a laugh.
"I didn't start pitching it until it was in a pretty good shape."
Set in a fictional western district town called 'Bridgefield', with the Grampians as a backdrop, the novel is based around themes of the family farm, farm safety and romance.
Linnell is currently editing the second draft of her next book, and plans for it to be released in winter 2020.
The Warrnambool launch of Wildflower Ridge will be held at Cafe Lava, June 5 starting at 5.30pm. Entry is free, but bookings via Warrnambool's Collins Books or Maya Linnell's website would be appreciated. Bookings for other launch events can also be made through the website.
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