Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight ~ Panel: Riding the Break: What happens after you get a book deal?

Welcome to a conference spotlight from the Riding the Waves conference!

Today we have Jaye Ford who will be moderating Loretta Hill, Margareta Osborn, Kate  Belle, Alissa Callen, and Beverley Cousins on the panel


What Happens After You Get a Book Deal?



Jaye Ford pic

Jaye Ford writes fast-paced psychological thrillers featuring gutsy female characters in Australian settings.Her first book, Beyond Fear, was the highest selling debut crime novel in Australia in 2011 and the fifth highest selling debut across all genres. It won two 2012 Davitt Awards for Australian women crime writers – Best Debut Novel and joint winner Readers Choice – and was also shortlisted for Best Novel. Jaye is a former print, radio and television journalist and was Australia’s first female presenter of a live national sports show, later running her own public relations business. Her third thriller, Blood Secret, will be released in Australia in September 2013.

loretta hill

Loretta Hill is the author of the bestselling The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots and its sequel The Girl in the Hard Hat. Setting her novels in the Pilbara, Loretta drew upon her own outback engineering experiences to conjure up a world full of larrikins, red dust and steel-capped boots. Loretta lives in Perth with her husband and four young children.

She is also the author of a romantic novella, One Little White Lie, which publishes on the Random Romance list in February 2013.

MARGARETA OSBORNMargareta Osborn is a fifth-generation farmer who has lived and worked on the land all her life. She also writes about it in the Gippsland Country Life magazine. Home is the beautiful Macalister Valley of East Gippsland where, with her husband and three children, she spends many hours in the mountains in which her novels are set.

Her debut, Bella’s Run, was the No.1 Australian novel for three weeks on publication. Her second novel, Hope’s Road, publishes in March this year, and she is also the author of a hilarious festive novella, A Bush Christmas, available as an ebook.

kate BelleKate Belle is a woman of many passions who lives, writes and loves in Melbourne. Her two erotic novellas, Breaking the Rules and Bloom, both featuring the charismatic Ramon Mendez, will be published on the Random Romance digital list. She is also the author of The Yearning, to be published in 2013.

alissa callen

After a childhood spent chasing sheep on the family farm, Alissa Callen has always been drawn to remote areas and small towns, even when residing overseas. She draws inspiration from the countryside around her, whether it be the brown snake at her back door or the resilience of bush communities in times of drought or flood. She currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia in central western New South Wales. Beneath Outback Skies is her first novel and is one of the launch titles for the Random Romance digital list.

SONY DSCBefore moving to Australia with her family in 2007, Beverley Cousins had twenty years’ experience of London publishing (at Pan Macmillan and Penguin). Following a year’s secondment with Penguin Australia, she moved to Random House as Fiction Publisher. During her career, she has published a number of brand-name authors, including Minette Walters, Colin Dexter and Janet Evanovich, and currently looks after bestselling authors Judy Nunn, Susan Duncan, Nicole Alexander, Deborah Rodriguez, Jaye Ford, Loretta Hill and Margareta Osborn, among others.

Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Random House author, thriller and romance writer, former journalist.

What’s your role in the Random House panel?

 I’m chairing of our panel of six: five Random House authors and Random House publisher Beverley Cousins. This is the first time the authors among us have sat on a panel for Random House. I got the job of chair because I was the first RWA member that Bev signed up. Bev, on the other hand, has been there, done that more than a few times. RWA members at the last two conferences will remember her from the publisher and agent sessions talking about what she’s looking for and how to submit. Information not to be sneezed at – she’s signed up several authors following RWA conferences, including Diane Hester, Claire Baxter and Alissa Callen.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Riding The Waves”?

The panel was Bev’s idea and the rest of us were keen to take part. The step from unpublished writer to published author is steep and more than a tad daunting. There are contracts to understand, editors and editing, deadlines and publicity. Bev wanted to explain some of Random House’s inhouse procedures and expectations for RWA members interested in submitting, and asked if we’d share some of our experiences of the publishing process – the good, the bad and the ugly.

For me, it’s a bit of a survival story. It took me ten years to get published and one of the most exciting moments of my life was to sign a two-book contract. That second book was a nightmare. The problem wasn’t with the story – my life just got crazy. There was serious family illness, emotional turmoil, I injured a finger and I overshot my deadline by three months. At one point, I didn’t think I’d be able to finish and I thought my dream of being a writer would be over before it’d started. But Random House was terrific. Supportive, patient, encouraging and hands-on. I did finish and made the last editing change the day before the book was due at the printer – and I didn’t need the room I’d booked at the nursing home!

Will there be audience participation?

We are definitely hoping for plenty of audience involvement. The session is about what we’ve learnt from both sides of the publishing process and hopefully a few laughs at the moments that got us through (or almost did us in). But we’re also there to answer questions. So bring them along and get the discussion going!


Which members will benefit most from this session?

I think this panel will be useful for anyone interested in submitting to Random House but also for unpublished writers who want to better understand how the publishing process works and how to manage their work – and their life – when they finally sign on the dotted line.


What do you enjoy about the conference?

I love meeting people who’ve booked a pitching session. I’ve done my fair share and they’re so damn nerve wracking! It’s nice to be able to be a sounding board for other people’s practice runs and fantastic to see them again afterwards. The next best thing to feeling that joy and relief when it’s all over is to share someone else’s.


What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?

There are six of us, so I’ll make it brief:

Cover Just BreatheCover Scared Yet

Jaye Ford: Upcoming release – thriller Blood Secret (Bantam) out on September 1. Latest release – Just Breathe (Random Romance). Info at: www.jayefordauthor.com

onelittlewhitelieGirl in the Hard Hat

Loretta Hill: Latest books – The Girl in the Hard Hat was published in January 2013 and One Little White Lie (Random Romance) in February. Info at: www.lorettahill.com.au

bella's run

Margareta Osborn: Latest release – Hope’s Road, published in March 2013. Info at: www.margaretaosborn.com

breaking the rulesbloom

Kate Belle: Latest releases – Breaking the Rules and Bloom (both Random Romance) and The Yearning (Simon & Schuster). Info at: www.ecstasyfiles.com

beneath outback skies

Alissa Callen: Latest release – Beneath Outback Skies was published on the Random Romance list in February. Info at: www.alissacallen.com

Beverley Cousins: info at: www.randomhouse.com.au and www.randomromance.com.au




Thank you ladies!

Our next conference spotlight will be featured Tuesday 2nd April.

Leave a comment


  1. Really looking forward to this panel Jaye – I reckon we’ll have a few laughs along the way. The road to Mecca is paved with trouble and strife, and a bit of hip hip horray chucked in for good measure. I hope people who come along participate and ask heaps of questions. It will make for a lively session.

  2. Looking forward to meeting you in August, Jaye! Great post 🙂


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