Some might call the road to getting published rocky, strewn with obstacles and long delays, Sabine Nielsen (writing also as ‘Claire Andersen’) prefers to think of it as “the scenic route”. She had to wait almost 20 years before “Lovelorn” - her first ever novel - was discovered by a publisher, but lots of other thing happened on the way.
I was holidaying with a friend, and a lot of us camping ground dwellers used to leave our light holiday reading – those novels we couldn’t be bothered to cart back to Melbourne or wherever we came from –, on the table provided for folding the washing.
Returning from a lovely long walk along the beach, I left my friend to dash into the laundry and found a stack of romance novels! Eagerly, I snatched them up. Of course, I would never confess to reading romance novels back home, only high-brow, serious stuff dwelt on my book shelves there. But, hey, here I was on holidays and you can’t be expected to plough through the works of Dostoyevsky and Co while trying to relax.
“Have you ever read a Mills and Boon?” I asked my friend. “No,” she replied and her tone said all. “They’re fun,” I defended myself and immediately got absorbed, snuggled into a comfy chair in our crowded little holiday unit. My friend resisted, studiously working her way through Saturday’s Age. But even Saturday’s Age comes to an end and by late Sunday afternoon, she succumbed.
Snorting slightly, she picked up her first Romance . . .
“Hey, this is fun,” she chuckled after a while. And, “Oh, my God . . . Listen to this!”
She read aloud a particularly snazzy bit, where the heroine – far from downtrodden, although financially distraught – laid into the ever-so-dashing hero with wit, humour and intelligence. Needless to say, we worked our way through the stack collected in the laundry, unashamedly giving ourselves to the sheer pleasure of reading something that was highly entertaining and well written.
Maybe, it should have stopped there, at least until the next trip to Barwon Heads, but ...