Publishing with Penguin Books Australia

Publishing with Penguin Books Australia

I am proud to announce that I have a contract with Penguin Books Australia for a non-fiction book, Horse Rescue Stories.

I have been working on the book for most of this year and have been travelling around the country and interviewing, photographing and meeting some wonderful people who have rescued a horse. The focus of the book, a topic close to my heart, is the way in which a rescued horse changes the person’s life, just as much as the person changes the horse’s life.

I am so very proud to be working on this book, a project I didn’t go looking for but that came to me in one of those fantastically serendipitous ways, and am really looking forward to bringing these stories to you. Stay tuned for updates!


My bookcase: to purge or not to purge

Why is cleaning out my book case so hard? Because I love books. And I can’t bear to part with them.

But at the same time, I live in a tiny house and I try to follow Oprah’s clutter clearing expert, Peter Walsh’s, advice to “respect the limits of my space”. That is, I can only have as many books as I can fit into my bookcase. Every now and then I brace myself and have a big purge of books.
When I lived in Brisbane, I used to haul them down to the Ferny Grove flea markets of a Saturday morning and liquidate them. But now that I live in a rural town, my options are limited. Sometimes I try to ebay them, but the postage costs are generally prohibitive of making the time invested worth the return on what people are willing to pay. So, I try to give them away. But I can’t give them away as fast as the books keep coming in the door.
There’s only one thing to do. I’ve gone against everything Peter Walsh advises, and I have invested in a new bookcase. A brand spanking new, tall, white bookcase just waiting for me to fill it.
What can I say? I’m an addict.

Take heart in the journey to love and publication

I often say to people that, for me, the journey to publication is just like the journey to love.

It is at times exhilarating; at times devastating; at times the cause of a pounding heart and sleepless nights; at times the cause of neglecting my practical ‘real world’ duties; and at times the activity that prompts the most soul-searching, journal writing, navel gazing and even the odd drunken night.

The pain of each rejection of a manuscript is as familiar to me as every romantic rejection, unreturned phone call, dead-end relationship and broken heart, because my work is me. There is no difference. Every time I receive a letter that says, “we really liked this manuscript, we liked this and that but we don’t feel it’s quite right for us” it feels very personal. And yet I also know that it’s not so much personal as it is a mismatching of fate.

In my personal romantic life, I found The One. And I look back on all the years of searching, heartbreak, Bridget Jones-type hilarity and doubts that I would ever find The One and I realise that all of those broken relationships were opportunities to learn and grow. And if I could go back in time and tell myself not to worry and that it would all be okay, it would certainly have eased the pain. But would it also have taken away the growth and important lessons? Would I have simply stopped trying and sat around waiting for it to fall into my lap and therefore not have been the person I was when I did finally meet The One?

We cannot see the future and so we feel stuck in this limbo world of unrequited love.

Until it happens, for real.

I tell myself to take heart, a phrase that seems to mean “to gain courage”. The courage to keep going. The courage to keep believing. The courage that I will find The One. And The One will love me just as much.

Romancing the tome

I am in love.

My husband may not see me for many weeks. He will have to compete for my attention. Tolerate my vagueness as my mind overflows with my new love. And watch as his favourite meals are pushed aside for a quick toast-and-baked-beans dinner. Because who has time to prepare meals when there is another calling me to surrender to the joy of new love?

I have begun my fourth novel. As such I am well aware of the emotional similarity of this phase to a new romance. The beginning stages are exciting. Filled with promise. I cannot sleep at night for thinking of my new love. My heart beats with anxiety when we are separated. And I am filled with joy while we are together.

BUT… As the novel progresses things tend to shift. Affections waver under the routine and predictable nature of day-to-day life living together. Problems that were at first overlooked become increasingly annoying. The long term viability of the relationship seems questionable. At its worst it disintegrates into misery and an abandoned dream.

However I am heartened by an article that I read earlier this year in which scientists have proven that a percentage of relationships manage to not only keep that first rush of hormones alive but can actually increase them over time. They are the same hormones found in animals that mate for life such as swans.

So I am off to settle down with my swan and grow this love into something beautiful and long-lasting. (Fingers crossed!) 

(p.s. I know ‘tome’ actually refers to a non-fiction book but it was such a catchy line that I couldn’t resist!)

Free novel

cover-art Woodford Virgins

a novel by Joanne Schoenwald

I am giving away my novel, Woodford Virgins, for free!

Woodford Virgins is a novel about love, laughter and friendship and our ability to be tested and come back stronger, set against the backdrop of the annual Woodford Folk Festival.

You can read a full synopsis and download it by clicking on one the Woodford Virgins page on this site, or on the Scribd icon to the right of the screen.