Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meet another Australian author, Paula Vince

A note from Mary Hawkins:
Years ago when browsing the fiction shelves of a Christian bookshop, I was delighted to find another Australian author had an adult novel published. As international authors know only too well, many religious publishers in our own countries are still unwilling to “risk” releasing Christian fiction. Eleven years ago there were far too few novels written by Australians for me to enjoy. I read Picking Up the Pieces and was blown away by this great story and was upset for her that the author of such a great novel had self-published it. It wasn’t until Omega Writers (click here) in Queensland organised a Christian writers conference four years ago that I had the privilege of meeting the delightful Paula Vince. I am thrilled she agreed to be my guest blogger today to tell us something of her journey.

Thank you for this opportunity to share here, Mary.
I have written 7 novels, mostly contemporary romance and inspirational. I believe stories are a powerful medium because of their ability to entertain and encourage in the same package. When something I’ve created to please myself has taken root and borne fruit in the minds of others too, I get very excited. My aim is always to show through the lives of my characters that God’s Word is true and that His promises are always fulfilled for everybody who takes them on face value. Fiction has the power to make its own special kind of impact which stories and instruction books often can’t.

It is a path I probably would have stepped off long ago if not for my conviction that this is my calling. When I completed my first manuscript in the mid 1990s, I was told by a gentleman from one of Australia’s well known publishing houses that writing Christian fiction is a waste of time in our country as there is no market for it. He told me, “You might as well put it in your drawer and get on with your life.”

I persevered anyway because I refused to believe his words were entirely true. As I saw Australian shops keep importing foreign Christian novels, I reasoned there must be some market for these books. If he perceived no market for local authors, it must only be because we were given no opportunity by publishers to create one. I really longed to set my stories in my own beautiful corner of the world, South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. It is an ideal place for stories with its striking seasonal contrasts; icy winters, scorching summers, brilliantly colourful autumns and glorious springs. I made up my mind to do all I could to create a market for Australian Christian fiction in my own country.

As far as I could see, self-publishing seemed to be the only available option so that is what I did for several years, with the help of an encouraging husband. Having my last three books taken on board by a publisher has been an unexpected blessing. Even Before Publishing ( click here ) is a subsidiary of Wombat Books which is run by Rochelle Manners in Brisbane, Queensland. She has a passion to promote writing by Australians and is committed to seeing it spread as far as possible.

Rochelle and I were members of the same email prayer group when she announced her stunning plans to become a traditional publisher of Christian books early in 2009. At that time I’d been wondering how I could possibly publish A Design of Gold on the heels of The Risky Way Home as my financial resources were depleted. It was vital that I should do so as the two books are linked together. I sent my manuscript straight to Even Before Publishing for consideration and it was one of the first books published in 2009.

Since then, I have had an earlier novel, Picking up the Pieces cover re-published by Even Before Publishing in 2010 and my newest novel, Best Forgotten, has just been published. As a bonus, my novels which have been published by Even Before Publishing are now available from Amazon as Kindle e-books for only $9.95, opening a door into the foreign market which would have been impossible just a few short years ago. God really does have awesome surprises along our paths if we do not give up.

Thank you so much, Paula, but you did not mention Picking Up The Pieces was a finalist last year in the CALEB awards - for details see the Omega Writers website! I am VERY much looking forward to reading this new book Best Forgotten. Isn't the cover beautiful?
Do read more about Paula and her books on her website:

About Picking Up The Pieces Rochelle Manners says, “Paula Vince has woven a tale that is unlike anything else and needs to be available in the market place.”

I am so glad she agrees with me and I would like to give away a print copy of Picking Up The Pieces, or if you already have this book Paula will send you a copy of Best Forgotten. To enter please leave a comment for a chance to have your name drawn by Paula as the winner! Don't forget your contact details - you just might be the winner!


  1. I meet Paula on Christmas eve when she came into the bookshop I volunteer in and it was so exciting for me to meet an author. I have one of her books to read and would love to go in the draw for this book. its also so good to hear its on kindle too as I have just purchased one.
    Its good to see more aussie books coming out but would be great to see even more.
    ausjenny at gmail dot com

  2. Congratulations, Paula, for believing in your work and getting into circulation despite the apathy of traditional publishers. Also kudos to Even Before Publishing. I'm thrilled when someone goes against the stream and comes up a winner.
    I'd love a print copy of Picking Up the Pieces. Please enter me in the draw.
    wolgemuthlg at yahoo dot com

  3. I'm glad you had the faith and belief in yourself to follow God's leading and write especially in the beginning. You are a great role model for would-be writer's around the world not just Australians! Looking forward to reading more of your books.

  4. I've recently read Picking up the Pieces and found it a good read with interesting characters.You'll find a review on my blog here:
    Write and Read with Dale
    So, yes, I'd love to go in the draw but for Best Forgotten, since I have Picking up the Pieces already.
    It's great to see good books being published.

  5. It is wonderful to see someone "taking the risk" to publish Christian fiction set in Australia. I wish we could get someone in South Africa to do the same for that part of the world. I would love to enter your drawing.
    leannehardy at gmail dot com

  6. Thank you for your encouraging words, ladies. It is still a challenge to promote Christian books here in Australia, as our two major Christian book chains are cautious about taking on books by their fellow countrymen (or women in my case). Finding a publisher is just the beginning. But lots of great material is being written and we don't give up :D
    Paula Vince

  7. Mary, if there is somewhere online where my readers can order her book, I'd love to feature her on my blog. Contact me.

  8. I love to hear all the nitty-gritty details of other author's struggles to become published. A lot of readers believe getting published is a breeze. Oh, little do they know! The Lord has certainly rewarded your persistence, Paula. Just hanging in there, but always moving forward is part of our Christian walk. Yes, I'd love to read your work. And thanks, Mary for sharing Paula's inspiring journey with us.

  9. I finished re-reading my old copy of Picking up the Pieces yesterday and once again simply couldn't put it down!
    Lisa, do click on Paula's website url on the blog under the cover of Best Forgotten as I hope you all do to read more about the books.

  10. Oops, Lena became Lisa! Sorry old friend!

  11. Mary, I'm so glad to hear that "Picking up the Pieces" was enjoyable for you the second time around.
    Jenny, it was fun visiting your shop, which is one of the few which really does support local authors, on Christmas Eve.
    And everybody who has commented, I'm grateful for your encouragement. You do need pit bull terrier qualities in this industry.
    Paula Vince

  12. Paula,
    Thank you so much for sharing your writing journey with us. What an inspiration you are! I especially love the last line of your interview: "God really does have awesome surprises along our paths if we do not give up."

    May the Lord bless your writing and your willingness to further His Kingdom with your words.

    In Christ,
    Penny Zeller

  13. Thank you for sharing your journey, Paula. What a great story of the value of perseverance and holding to your calling. Just this morning the Lord reminded me yet again, "Faithful is he who has called you, who also will do it."

  14. I like 'Picking Up the Pieces' but my favourite in this series is still 'Risky Way Home'! Some books are eminently readable entertainment and some are thought-provoking but there's a few - just a few - that linger in the mind like the aftertaste of a fine wine. The 'Adelaide Hills' series is like this.

  15. What an inspiring story, I'd love a chance to win Best Forgotten. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  16. The struggle for publication knows no borders, eh? Love reading how others have managed.

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  17. What an awesome story of God opening doors for the publication of your books, Paula.

    May you be blessed as you continue to write for Him


  18. What a lovely number of comments! I am sure Paula will be encouraged.
    Thank you all so much and Paula has just drawn a winner for me to announce. I wish you all could win a book but congratulations go to Ausjenny! Would you please email me at mary@mary-hawkins.com and tell us if you already have a copy of Picking Up The Pieces so I can get your book in the mail next week. For those of you overseas especially, don't foget Paula's two books are available at Amazon as an e-book.

  19. I was very encouraged and jotted down some of the comments to refer to during those low and slow times we sometimes have. Thanks so much, everyone. We did the old fashioned name from a hat draw, and I just wished I could have chosen everyone.
    Paula V

  20. I too congratulate you Paula. I'm so pleased to hear that Christian books are starting to become more popular in Australia. And thank you Mary for posting this. Do you think the rise in e-readers will increase the market in other countries? As a Canadian we're not that too different from Australian as far as the Christian Market goes, but being closer to the US we do have Christian bookstores although they struggle to keep their head above water.

  21. Thanks so much I am excited to win Paula's book.
    Have read a few Aussie books this year so far and they are great books. I hope more will get to the states so others can experience our books.