LAST week in Goomalling, the owner of IAG Express revealed herself in a new light.
Rachael Johns launched her romantic novel Jilted with strong community support.
“It was the realisation of a 15-year dream,” Ms Johns said.
“I wanted to write and had even had some erotica electronically published but this is my first actual book and I have written another one which hopefully is being favourably considered by my editor.”
Jilted belongs to the biggest-selling genre in Australia – sometimes called ‘chook lit’ or ‘farm lit’ or even ‘ru ro’ for ‘rural romance’.
Rachael has based the story in a small Great Southern town, Hope Junction, not surprisingly as she, her huband Craig and three young sons moved to Goomalling six months ago after living in Kojonup for six years.
Local heartthrob Flynn Quartermaine was jilted at the altar by his sweetheart Ellie Hughes who flees to Sydney and eventually becomes a soap star.
A decade later she returns to Hope Junction to nurse her ailing godmother Matilda.
Naturally Ellie’s and Flynn’s paths cross.
By now they have their secrets and demons and it is resolving these that eventually leads them, after several complications, to eventual happiness.
Of course, it must end happily but getting there is the basis of the plot.
Ellie has a rival for Flynn’s affections in the local nurse but she falls out of favour by cooking a meal not like mother made.
She also turns out to be not as black-hearted as she originally seemed.
In all this there are some steamy episodes.
Ms Johns described the book as a romance set in a small town.
“I have been a member of the Romance Writers of Australia for about 15 years,” she said.
“We are something of a family with about 600 members.”
Ms Johns studied writing at Edith Cowan University and gained her Diploma of Education to become an English teacher.
However she taught for only six months and left to follow her real love, writing.
She believes the boom in farm lit is due at least in part to the television shows McLeod’s Daughters and Farmer Wants a Wife.
Publisher Harlequin is now reading her next opus Man Drought.