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I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer. In pre-school I was always rifling through the craft cupboard, looking for paper to take home and turn into “books”. And I’ve always loved reading. As a teenager, I perfected the art of walking home from school while reading at the same time. (Okay, occasionally I tripped.)
I discovered romance novels through both my grandmothers. On my mother’s side, it was old hard-cover romances from the sixties. My father’s mother was a little more hip – she had the latest Mills and Boons and I tore through them like a greedy little so-and-so. Which kind of naturally led to Sweet Valley High and Sweet Dreams teen romances. Those were the days…
After I finished high school, I did a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing. I started trying to write my first romance novel around that time. Thanks to Georgette Heyer, my early attempts were all Regency romances. They will never see the light of day. Enough said. Then I tried contemporary romance. Again, no joy. But I was building an extensive collection of rejection letters, so there’s always a bright side.
Since no one was banging down my door offering me a publishing contract for a gazillion dollars, I took a job in trade journalism writing about…wait for it…hardware. Nuts and bolts and electric drills. Six years of them, in fact. From journalism I moved into corporate communications for a major retailer, launching a new consumer magazine for them, and finally I wound up working in television on Australia’s longest running serial drama, Neighbours. This was a great job, and it taught me an enormous amount about character, story, structure and emotional story telling. It also helped me see where I’d been going wrong with my romance writing.
I went back to the drawing board. I wrote. I submitted. I waited. More than a year and a couple of revisions later, I got The Call. Much dancing with underwear on head and champagne swilling ensued.
I still write for TV – mostly Neighbours, but I also co-created a teen drama series called Karaoke High that screened in New Zealand, Canada, France and Australia. And I occasionally help out on other shows and consult on movie projects. Mostly, though, it’s just me in my PJs, hanging around with my laptop, writing about the stuff I love to read – romance – with my furry black dog, Max, by my side. Long may it continue!
Find out more about Sarah Mayberry by visiting her website.
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