Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Writing Journey

Some people are born with a calling, whether it’s to be a writer, musician, doctor, or president. From an early age they know what they want out of life, and they pursue those goals. Others, like me, only find or develop these goals later in life. Since childhood I was always an avid reader. I’d get teased about always having my nose stuck in a book, but immersing myself in stories was so wonderful I didn’t care. But even though I was a self-confessed bookworm, I didn’t have any real desire to write my own stories. 

Having very practical parents who started out with very little and wanted much for their children, I was strongly encouraged to study something useful at university, which is how I ended up in Information Technology. I worked as a programmer for many years and the pay was good, but eventually the rewards weren’t enough compensation for the drag I was feeling. I needed something more, something else, and I found it in writing romance. I chose romance because even when I’m reading a mystery, a sci-fi, or an historical, it’s always the romantic relationships that catch my attention and elevate the story to something more.

My writing journey wasn’t exactly straightforward. I tried writing Harlequin Presents-type stories, and all of them were swiftly rejected, but I didn’t lose hope because with each story I felt my writing was improving. (Doing writing courses and reading craft books helped enormously as well.) A few years back, I took part in an online writing conference which included some fun writing exercises. One of these exercises was to give quick character descriptions and GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) for a hero and heroine. Somehow, out of a few five minute brainstorming sessions, I came up with a story I felt compelled to write, even though it wasn’t at all a HP story. I sent that story to Carina Press, and it became my first published story, When Harriet Came Home.
Several published novels later, I still feel my writing journey is a somewhat convoluted, sometimes accidental one. I’ve ventured into steampunk romance and veered back to contemporary romance, where I’ve written both sweet and sensual stories. I’m not too sure where my writing journey will take me next, but contemporary romance will always be on my stops. Contemporary romance takes our ordinary everyday lives and breathes a little magic into them, and who doesn’t need a bit of enchantment in their lives?

My latest release is a sweet contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing’s Bliss line. Bliss books are “uplifting, heartwarming” stories that are low on heat but high on romance. Real Men Don’t Quit is the second book in my Real Men series. It’s set in a fictional small town in rural Australia and features a famous author battling writer’s block and a sassy jeweller single mom. I had such fun writing about Luke and Tyler and their tangled romance.

Serial bachelor. Celebrity author. Her perfect forever?

When famous author Luke Maguire decides to write his next novel in the small town of Burronga, Australia, he's sure he can ignore the fiery redhead next door. Not only has he just been burned from a high-profile breakup, but he's never been one to set down roots. No, he'll finish his novel and leave Burronga. And soon.

Tyler Jones just wants to run her business with her best friend, Ally, and take care of her three-year-old daughter, Chloe. She's never needed help from anyone, especially not a man, and the brooding, rugged writer next door can't tempt her. Not in the least.

Only Tyler and Luke can't stay away from each other. So they set rules. No staying overnight, no future plans, no sappy good-byes when Luke inevitably quits town. But the chemistry between them is too strong to contain in a rulebook. Are Luke and Tyler ready to risk their lives of independence for something more?

Buy Links:

Author Bio:
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance. 

Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.



  1. Hi Colleen,
    So nice to get to know you here! I loved your post--I love your take on your writer's journey, too, and the fact that you come back to contemporary romance regularly. Your current title pretty much perfectly describes my ideal hero. Plus an Aussie setting? I'm already a fan! I visited Sydney for three days back in 2002 when my daughter spent a semester at school in Melbourne, and I've never forgotten the magic of Australia--it's truly a wonderful place. Can't wait to pick up your book and dig in! Good luck with every part of your writing adventure!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Lizbath. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Oz. Whenever I fly back to Sydney and see the harbour and the city I get a little lump in my throat.


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