Stepping Out Of Your Writing (and Reading) Comfort Zone – Rachael Johns

I am delighted to have the fabulously talented Rachael Johns visiting my blog this week talking about stepping out of comfort zones – which is definitely something I need to do!

Before I start, I think you all should know that I bought Lisa’s new book today – IT STARTED WITH A KISS – and I’d much rather be reading it than writing this. I’m sure you’ll understand, it’s nothing PERSONAL! I’ve gobbled up all Lisa’s book and she’s one of my fave Aussie writers, so I’m itching to get back to her book!

(You are way too kind! Thanks, Rach.)

Then again… the next best thing after reading, is talking about reading or writing, so Hi there! I’m Rachael Johns, I’m a women’s fiction/romance writer and a reader of all types of genres (but not really paranormal or sci-fi). I love Diet Coke, cats, all things pink and only like cooking in my new Thermomix (yes, I finally caved and FYI it makes AWESOME cocktails). Anyway, I digress…

One of my favourite songs is Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen – it’s full of such fabulous advice and one of those I’ve been taking heed of lately is “Do something everyday that SCARES you.”  (I love this!)

Last week I went on a water slide and thought I was going to DIE during it. Now I usually love water slides (and rollercoasters) but this one was almost completely dark and totally petrifying. When I got off I felt as if I’d left my head in the tunnel behind me. I think this piece of advice about doing something that scares you can be adopted in all areas of life.

To me it means doing something new, something you’ve never tried before whenever you can… because often it’s the unknown that is scary. In 2014 I started trying to adopt this motto in my writing world.

Until last year, I’d written mostly rural romances set in Australia, but I said yes to writing a cowboy novella. I also wrote my first women’s fiction book, which has four female leads and is more about the relationship of sisters than lovers. And THEN I signed a contract to write my first dark, truly bad boy hero. (You are prolific, I like your style!)


I generally prefer to read and write beta heroes, who even if tortured are mostly nice guys, but this dude is my first alpha male. Eek! It is this book – an MC (motorcycle club) romance that I’m currently writing and it’s not just my hero that scares me. I’m constantly afraid that this rougher hero and more grittier story, with a greater heat level than I usually write, is not something I can achieve.

Everyday I sit down at the computer almost shaking with fear. I’m scared you’ll all be able to see I’m faking it. (Never!)

Seriously… ask my writing pals! And although I have no idea if I’m carrying it off, I’m actually enjoying pushing my writing muscles to the extreme, doing something different. I think it’s good to mix things up a little in my writing. Hopefully in stretching myself I’ll grow as a writer and maybe even find some new readers.But between you and me I’m really looking forward to getting back to rural Australia!

? In addition to writing, this year I joined a book club. For starters this forced me to get out of the house and socialize with some lovely women whom I’d previously only said Hi to at school pick-up (SCARY) and also read some books that aren’t normally my thing (also SCARY).

And I’m also trying to read more widely in my own time. In the last few months I’ve read some biker books, a little erotic romance and Booker prize finalist WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES and I surprised myself by enjoying them all. I think life (and reading and writing) can be so much more exciting, so much more rewarding, when we stop doing things that box us in and start doing things that challenge us more!

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So that’s my goal in 2015. Do more things that scare me and push myself to try new things in my writing and reading. What about you? What’s something that scares you that I might have inspired you to try?!

xo Rach!

Thanks for stopping Rach! I’m going to take your advice and push myself to try new things in my writing and reading, too.

Rachael’s latest book is OUTBACK GHOST,  (A bloody great read!) the third in her bestselling Bunyip Bay series; you can find out more about this and all Rachael’s books at

And if you’re wondering, the biker book is called FIRE ME UP and is already available to pre-order on Amazon


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