About Narelle Atkins
Thank you again for participating, Narelle, it means so much to me!
PM I love that you are Australian and keep your books set there – it’s like I get to go on a mini vacation when reading! Have you ever been pressured to write settings in other locations?
Narelle: I enjoy writing contemporary romance set in Australia, and I’m glad you love armchair traveling to my beautiful country.
I was fortunate to pick up a traditional publishing contract in 2013 with Harlequin (Heartsong Presents) for my Aussie books. I’m planning to bring those books back into print in late 2019 and early 2020.
I think the pressure to write American characters in a US setting still exists, but it’s subtle and primarily an issue for authors seeking a traditional publishing contract. Traditional US Christian publishers tend to be wary of foreign settings, especially for contemporary fiction, because the book sales have historically been lower for non-US setting books.
Indie publishing is wonderful because I have the freedom to choose my book settings. The flip side is that choosing a non-US setting may reduce my book earnings.
PM: What is one thing about you that your readers would be shocked to know?
Narelle: I’m an Aussie who doesn’t like eating Vegemite!
PM: If you couldn’t be a writer, what career path do you think you’d choose to be on?
Narelle: I have a part-time day job that’s a close match to my ideal non-writing career. I like helping people, and I have opportunities to do that in both my day job and the writing world. I’m fortunate to have the best of both worlds.
PM: What is your favorite thing to do in Sydney Australia – something you would tell any visitor they MUST do while there?
Narelle: That’s a hard question to answer! My agent, Steve Laube, is coming to Sydney, Australia in October for our national Christian writing conference (Omega Writers Conference), and your question is on my mind.
A ferry ride from the city to Manly and a walk along the Manly ocean beach promenade to Shelly Beach is one of my favorite things to do in Sydney.
PM: Have you always known you had the writing bug (and ability)?
Narelle: I’ve always loved to read, and when I was younger I thought it would be fun to write a book. It wasn’t until after I married that the writing bug took hold and the characters in my head demanded I write their stories.
I have an Economics Degree and I could hold my own with technical writing. Fiction writing is a specialised skill. I spent many years learning how to write romance fiction before my debut book was published. I’m still learning and growing as a writer.
PM: What’s your favorite color? Any reason why?
Narelle: Interestingly, I go through phases where I prefer different colours. At the moment I like green the best.
PM: I loved your contribution to A Tuscan Legacy, any more plans for collaborating on other group projects?
Narelle: I’m glad you loved Sienna and Dave’s romance in Solo Tu. It’s on my 2019 list to write a novelette length story set at their wedding in Tuscany.
I love collaborating on group projects, but at this stage I don’t have any plans. My focus in 2019 is to finish the book I’m currently writing for my agent to shop around (contemporary Christian romance set in the US with an Aussie connection) plus put my six Heartsong books back in print. But I never say never, and the right group project may come along at the right time.
PM: What is your favorite go to snack, midnight or any time?
Narelle: Definitely fresh fruit, depending on what’s is season. Strawberries, mangoes, cherries, nectarines, pineapple and apples are my favorites.
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
My website https://www.narelleatkins.com and my newsletter. I tend to only send out a newsletter when I have a book releasing or something special is happening.
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
Both because I’m an Aussie, lol. I love hot black tea with milk, no sugar. Or, coffee with milk, no sugar. I like lattes.
Paula, thank you for inviting me to visit with you at Fiction Full of Faith. It was lovely to chat over coffee.