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Amy Gallow
March 10th, 2011, 09:24 PM
In the late 1990's, while I was still immersed in my professional career, I began working on a story that used my lifetime interest in bush walking, exploring and history to best advantage. It was also my first deliberate attempt at writing romance. It went on to win two national writing competitions and was my first published romance, one of five produced by a now defunct Australian publisher as local circulation paperbacks. It was reprinted under license in China and an English publisher released a large print hardback with an appalling cover. In 2006, at the original publishers request, I shifted the locale and characters from Melbourne and the Victorian High Plains to Sacramento and the Sierra Nevada mountains and and a revised version was released in the US by NBN as a paperback, renamed "Mitchell's Valley".
To me, it never quite fitted the US location, even though I'd done my research quite carefully and the history of the California gold fields was close to the Victorian ones. Perhaps the characters were too Australian...?
Recently, a friend, living fifty miles back of beyond, asked me about the Australian version because they were having trouble getting it second-hand and I opened the file and reread the original version--never a good idea. Because they were insistent on me emailing them a copy, I sat down and applied a ten-year learning curve to the story, reducing the wordage to 58,500 from its original 60,000, and sent it off. The reply came sooner than I expected and was ecstatic.
I've submitted the manuscript to one of my current publishers with its full history and we'll see what happens...
There's s sample from my original version in the excerpts section if you want to have a look.