Trish Morey wrote her first book at age 11 for a children's book-week competition. Entitled Island Dreamer, it tells the story of an orphaned girl and her life on Hindmarsh Island--a small island at the mouth of the Murray River--and was totally self-published. She wrote, illustrated and stitched the pages together herself (her earliest and least successful experience with body piercing!). Island Dreamer was also to be her first rejection--her entry was disqualified unread because she'd transposed the copyright and title pages. This rejection had a devastating effect on the young writer's psyche. Shattered and broken, she turned to a life where she could combine her love of fiction with her need for creativity. You guessed it--Trish became a chartered accountant.
Prepared to set the financial world alight, Trish moved from her native Adelaide to Canberra, where she promptly fell in love with a handsome guy who cut computer code. Marriage followed a few years later, along with a stint in Wellington, New Zealand, where Trish worked for the NZ Treasury. There she penned her second book--A Guide to Departmental Budgeting. It didn't have a huge print run and the royalties were nonexistent, but she'd learned something--the pages were at least stapled. Unfortunately, she never got to complete the surefire sequel and New York Times bestseller, Asset Management, as her hormones intervened with a healthy dose of motherhood.
Two years later and back home in Canberra after the birth of their second daughter, Trish spied an article announcing that Mills & Boon was actively seeking new authors. It was one of those "Eureka!" moments. Her whole life clicked into place and immediately she embarked on a professional writing course. She sent off a couple of partials, earned a couple of rejections, had a couple more daughters and even had a couple of feature articles published in the newspapers. Just so she wouldn't get bored, the family moved countries a couple more times. Their third daughter was born in Hemel Hempstead, England, by sheer coincidence, the same town Trish's aunt had been born some 70 years prior, before the family had emigrated to Australia.
Living in the UK offered more than just the chance to check out the NHS system, though, and the young family took the opportunity to explore farther afield, visiting France, Italy and even Crete, as well as many magical sites in the UK. Tintagel in Cornwall and Hadrian's Wall stand out as two of the highlights.
Back in Australia and now with four daughters, Trish knew it was time to get serious with her writing. She started entering the contests offered by Romance Writers of Australia, achieving third place in her first competition. More successes followed, along with closer involvement in RWA Australia. Trish managed three contests for RWA before serving on the RWA Executive in 2002-3 as conference coordinator, organizing the 2003 Gold Coast "Passion in Paradise" conference. Trish is currently vice president of RWA Australia.
In 2002 Trish entered the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart contest for the first time and was amazed and delighted to final in the short contemporary section. The same manuscript was already under consideration in London, and in June 2003 (actually June 18th at 6:32 p.m.) the magical phone call came. Mills & Boon wanted to buy her book!
According to Trish, selling a book is a major life achievement that ranks up there with jumping out of an airplane and motherhood. All three take commitment, determination and sheer guts, but the effort is so very, very worthwhile.