Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


My guest today on Vintage Vonnie is author, Rachel Lyndhurst. I love the little coincidences life throws our way. Rachel's book is Storm's Heart. Mine is Storm's Interlude and my heroine's name is Rachel. I love her bookcover; it's very eye-catching. So, grab a cup of tea and enjoy this interesting post by a lovely lady from the southern coast of England. 

Feel the fear … then DO IT!

Thanks for having me here today, Vonnie!

Reading your post "When Writer’s Fears Move In" on March 13th got me thinking. It got me thinking about fear, an emotion we don’t enjoy, something to be avoided, not a good thing at all. Then I scrolled down your blog and saw Linda Morris’ journey to publication and the seed for today’s post was sown – my journey to publication and the part fear played in it.

Three years ago, I had an email from a very dear friend whom I hadn’t seen for about sixteen years, a friend I met at polytechnic when I was studying for my law degree, a friend that knew all my secrets! She asked if I’d go with her to a college reunion back in South Wales, to revisit the green valley we’d left behind twenty-one years ago. Of course I said yes immediately, not only did I want to see my lovely friend again, but since we graduated, I discovered I had a lot of history in the Rhondda valley – I wanted to do some family tree research too!

Then the fear started to creep up on me. My days of being a high-flying accountant were long past and I hadn’t been anywhere overnight completely on my own for over ten years; being a stay at home mum had stripped me of my confidence without my even realising. As I boarded the train to Cardiff, I physically shook as I waved goodbye to my family because I was so scared.

Conquering that moment of fear because I wanted something so badly set about a chain reaction. I had a fabulous trip – it felt amazing. So much so, that on an impulse I decided to apply for a weekend job at our local supermarket (there’s very little call for part-time weekend accountants!). I dithered for a while, it seemed like such a big step, and my hands were like ice when I pressed send on the electronic application. A small part of me hoped I wouldn’t get it. But fate wasn’t having any of it – I got the job.

The new job was scary. There was fear at every turn: what if the uniform didn’t fit? What would happen if I dropped something and broke it? What if I messed up clocking in? What if I was late? What if I did something wrong when the Mystery Shopper came in? What if I lost my locker key? What the hell was an E top up? But within a few weeks, my confidence grew and the fears disappeared – I’d taken another step forward.

At the same time as all this was happening, I was writing romantic novels and submitting them. Each time I pressed send or slid a manuscript into a post box, fear coursed through me. As it did when my self-addressed envelopes or editorial emails arrived and I had to open them. But the more I did it, the less terrifying it became.

Then I told people I was writing, because I was brave enough and serious enough for it not to be a secret any more.

My little job gave me the spare cash to spread my wings. I got back on the train and started going to writing workshops and talks when I could. I even had lunch and afternoon tea with an award-winning author in London! I volunteered to do the promotional tannoys at work, speaking to hundreds of people was really scary, but I got used to it, and then my manager asked me to write the scripts too. My first writing job!

I finished my fourth novel and after an agonisingly long wait I was rewarded with a form rejection from a major romance publisher. I couldn’t talk about it for two weeks – it was just too painful this time – I’d put everything into this one. Then I stumbled across a call for submissions from Embrace Books, a brand new imprint of Salt Publishing – my novel would fit …

This time I didn’t feel the fear, I was too raw from the rejection. I wrote the email, attached my partial and pressed send. A week later the book now known as Storm’s Heart became Embrace Books’ first ever acquisition.

So, aspiring authors, the message has got to be that it’s not going to be easy, but feel the fear … then DO IT!

Both the main characters in Storm’s Heart have to face up to fears of their own. Here’s the blurb:

Storm’s Heart is a sexy, sophisticated romance with a dark, brooding centre. When Greek lawyer Andreas Lazarides and bistro-manager Kizzy Dean clash over the executing of his mother’s final wishes, he takes matters into his own hands and Kizzy back with him to Ancient Greece. Tension runs high on the sun-baked Greek Island of Rhodes amidst the ancient myths and alleyways of Lindos village.

Hopelessly out of her depth and penniless, can innocent Kizzy resist the treacherous sexual attraction that draws her powerfully into Andreas’ orbit? Dangerously appealing and darkly charismatic, he’s made it quite clear that he wants her in her bed. It would be to her advantage, he’d make it worth her while.

She’s an independent woman, born illegitimately into a brutal world, so is Kizzy tough enough to handle this millionaire Adonis? Can she keep the ironclad fortress around her heart intact? The stakes are high if she is to prevent history repeating itself. No man on earth will leave her as heartbroken and destitute as her mother.

An explosive meeting of two different worlds results in a mirror image of cruelty, betrayal, guilt and shame that only their passion for each other can possibly overcome. But is it enough?

Kizzy wants answers and her turbulent past and shadowy revelations kick up a storm in Andreas’s heart that will not abate until his own explosive secrets are forced out into the open.

You can find out more about Rachel and Storm’s Heart at her blog:

Storm’s Heart is published in paperback and eBook from and is available online from most of the major booksellers. But to make life easy for you here are a few links:



Rachel said...

It's brilliant,to be here Vonnie! And I've come armed with a nice big mug of PG Tips tea. Ah yes, it's jolly comfy, pass the chocs! X

Morton S Gray said...

Oh boy Rachel do I relate to the fear bit and that staying at home after giving birth depletes your confidence. Well done you, I just need to find my wings now! Mx

Rachel said...

You will, Morton, you will, and then you can flap them madly! Great to see you here and thanks for commenting. Mwah!!

Vonnie Davis said...

Rachel, Chocolates are a staple at this house like flour and eggs. Come on over!!! ;-)

Morton, life has a way of passing us fears and insecurities. I dreamed of writing for 50 years, now finally at the age of 63 I'll hold my first book in my hands. Don't let self-doubts cripple you the way I did. Make this be your mantra: "I won't be like Vonnie...I won't be like Vonnie." Hugs to you both.

Kath said...

I love how fate/circumstance/opportunity (call it what you will) sometimes gives us a nudge and forces us to face up to our fears, or take the first step in dealing with them. Going to that reunion and getting back into the job market clearly helped - and I'm so glad you felt the fear and did it anyway, or I wouldn't have been able to read about Kizzy and Andreas facing up to their own demons in Storm's Heart. Great post, Rachel!

Doris O'Connor said...

Ah thanks for sharing your journey Rachel. It sure is terrifying putting your work out there, that's for sure and rejections suck. I've had a few... But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, says she - going back to biting my nails now until I hear from my editor about the partial she's looking at... *be still my knocking knees*

Phillipa said...

What a fantastic and inspiring post, Rachel - I know what you mean about going away on your own too. When I went to my first RNA event and to meet my agent for the first time, I had a mini moment on the train. In fact I burst into tears in the empty carriage and had to phone my husband and daughter for a talk. I just felt totally overwhelmed.

Rachel said...

Kath, if it hadn't been for the Welsh connection, we may not be such good cyber buddies! Amazing isn't it, what fates strews across our path? As well as hazelnuts ... (*in joke alert*). Thanks for stopping by, hun. X

Doris, you're a stronger woman than I already with all those lovely children! And that editor would be mad to turn you down! It's just a matter of time, my dear ...

Phillipa, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. You know only too well the fear I felt when I first approached you to read Storm's Heart - the email I sent you must have oozed agony! I'm not sure the fear element of being an author will ever go away, but it certainly helps to have such wonderful friends! I can't WAIT to get my hands on Fever Cure when it comes out by the way - sounds stunning! x

Sally Clements said...

Really inspiring post, Rachel! I think everyone suffers fear, its what you do when you do that counts, and you've bravely faced it and have the lovely Storm's Heart as a reward. Here's to lots more books, and lots more challenges met and defeated! (clinks teacup).
Oh, and Vonnie, I love those roses, the colour is sublime!

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks, Sally. I love the color, too. Ladies, while you're here, I'd love it if you'd click to "follow" Vintage Vonnie. I know...I know...shameless promotion. Sigh.

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

*Clinks bone china back*. Thanks, Sally! And three cheers for lots more books!