Spotlight on my CP – Cathryn Hein

This week my coveted Theory on Thursday spot was available for the first and last time in a while (but if you’re an author and would like to book a ToT slot, please email me as I have a few in June onwards). Anyway… I decided I would take today’s slot and talk about something I discovered midway through my writing journey.

In 2006, I joined Romance Writers of Australia (if you’re a writer – any genre – and living in Australia, I seriously recommend you join) and in 2007, I was lucky enough to attend my first romance writing conference. WOW – had I been missing out all these years!! At this first conference, not only did I attend fabulous workshops (in which I discovered things like voice and conflict), stay at a beautiful hotel, talk writing for three days non-stop, meet published authors and editors and learn what was happening in the industry… I also met some fabulous friends – including my now critique partner, the delightful and gorgeous Cathryn Hein.

(Cathryn and I at the RWAus conf in 2011 – we both look better in read life!)

Now Cathryn has a brand new book out today and before I tell you a bit about its glory, I thought I’d share how our friendship begun…

We were both attending a workshop by Valerie Parv. I can’t remember the exact topic after all these years, but we had to work in pairs and come up with a plot/opening of a novel. If my memory serves me right Cathryn and I had to do a paranormal Cinderella, so we plotted/wrote the beginning of a story that was set in a funeral parlour in which Cinderella and her sisters were woo’d by dead people. We had a ball and best of all, we swapped emails. Who would have known then that Cathryn would become one of my best writing buddies and become so helpful and influential in my own writing. 

Cathryn and I run ideas by each other and read each other’s work in progresses (or as much as we can) and I value Cathryn’s opinion immensely. I was so happy when Cathryn sold her first full-length novel, PROMISES, to PENGUIN but not at all surprised. When critting her work I continually have to remind myself I’m not supposed to be reading for pleasure. One of my favourite things about Cathryn is the way she brings animals (oh I love her horses and another particular animal in the book she’s writing now) and setting to life. I think this talent makes Cathryn perfect for rural romance. 

Today is a very special day because Cathryn’s second novel HEART OF THE VALLEY releases.


Brooke Kingston is smart, capable and strongwilled ­ some might even say stubborn ­ and
lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley on her family property. More at home on horseback than
in heels, her life revolves around her beloved ‘boys’ ­ showjumpers Poddy, Oddy and Sod.

Then a tragic accident leaves Brooke a mess. Newcomer Lachie Cambridge is hired to
manage the farm, and Brooke finds herself out of a job and out of luck. But she won¹t go
without a fight.

What she doesn’t expect is Lachie himself ­ a handsome, gentle giant with a will to match
her own. But with every day that Lachie stays, Brooke’s future on the farm is more uncertain.

Will she be forced to choose between her home and the man she’s falling for?

A vivid, moving and passionate story of love and redemption from the author of Promises.

If that has whet your appetite and I’m sure it has, you can read the WHOLE first chapter here or better still, buy it.  HEART OF THE VALLEY is in the BIG W catalogue and also available in other good bookshops and online at Amazon

So what do you reckon? Who thinks Cathryn and I should finish that Cinderella in the funeral parlour story?


17 thoughts on “Spotlight on my CP – Cathryn Hein

  1. Oof, you’re a darling girl, Rach. Thank you!

    This is such a hard business, full up joys and doubts and a hundred emotions in between, that we need good crit partners and friends to hold our hands and help us through. I can assure you that you have provided me with as much help and support as I’ve given you.

    You know what? I think this definitely qualifies as a Theory on Thursday post. There are lessons to be learned here. Big ones.

    They are:

    1/. Attend the Romance Writers of Australia conference
    2/. Find yourself a good crit buddy.
    3/. If your hair looks anything like mine in that photo, find yourself a new hairdresser. Now.

  2. What a wonderful post Rach!

    Didnt I also meet you at 2007 conference 🙂 out of all the women in the room I sat next to you – that was my lucky day!

    And I def agree with Cathryn, attending RWA conference and having wonderful CPs are the best!

    Cathryn – congrats on the new release!

    PS – yes, I think you should def finish Cinderella’s story 🙂

  3. Great post. Lots to be learned there. Not least CONFERENCE!!!
    I add to the cry of finish the story and can’t wait to read Heart of the Valley.

  4. Yes indeedy, Beck, the conference is an absolute must. I was bereft when I missed it in 2009 (or was it 2008? hmmm). It’s the friends and all that wonderful chatter as well as the learning. Does wonders for the writerly soul.

    Hope you enjoy Heart!

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