Wednesday 19 August 2015

Rural Romance, Small Town Romance by Jennie Jones - Guest Post

Today Jennie Jones is visiting our little corner of the net to talk about rural and small town romance!

Thanks, Jennie!

Rural Romance, Small Town Romance – what’s the difference?

There isn’t one. But there is a distinction—in Small Town Romance the story can be set in any small town in the world. In Rural Romance, the stories are set in Australia.

What is it that pulls some of us to the country, or draws us to a book that is set in the country and what’s the difference between a love affair in the city and a love affair in the country?

I’ve asked this question a few times now because I write small town romances (Rural Romance as it’s more commonly referred to here in Australia). But firstly, I can tell you for sure that Rural Romance is not always about farming and droving or remote stations in the outback. The Rural Romance fiction on the shelves at the moment encompass small towns, vineyards and coastal towns, as well as the true Aussie Outback experience of red dust and no neighbour for the next 500 kilometres. Rural Romance is a title for a subgenre of Romance that has become one of the biggest selling subgenres in Australia (it includes contemporary and historical romance and now also includes women’s fiction with romantic elements). It’s recognised worldwide too: USA, Germany and many more countries.


I always think the setting is a third character in any novel, and it’s what the setting does for the story and how the setting envelops and evolves the characters that is so important. Here in Australia we have such diversity in the vast landscape. Vineyards, lush pastures, snowy mountains, desert and our famous outback—so we can place our small towns anywhere.

Aren’t we lucky? it’s not easy living in the country so when we add a man and a woman, an attraction, a conflict, a fear, a goal, a bit of fate, a push from external elements like nosey townspeople or locals with attitude and we set the novel in one of the many Australian areas available to us, we have a Romance—small town or rural.

I didn’t start out or intend to write a rural story, but my characters in The House on Burra Burra Lane formed and it turned out they were living in the country and a remote, small town at that—with less than 100 residents!  I loved the fact that this gave them issues they had to deal with: one new, one home-grown, and the townspeople interfering as they attempt to assess the newcomer or evaluate the long-time resident and come to terms with change in their community.

So my Swallow’s Fall series began and I have loved the adventure.

Would you live in a small rural town or does the thought fill you with dread?

I’ve asked a number of my readers this question and I always find the results fascinating. They’re 50/50. Some readers love the small towns and still live in one. Some readers were brought up in small towns and even though they no longer live in rural or small towns, they do remember what it felt like to be a part of the small communities. And the other 50%? Well, they wouldn’t live in a small town if you paid them to, but they still love to read about small towns. And that, I suppose, is the drawcard for readers everywhere: fiction, imagination, romance and being taken somewhere—in the case of Rural Romance, the country. It all equals Romance, whether it’s Rural Romance or Small Town Romance.

I’ve been on the receiving end of both city life and country life. I think there is generosity out there in the world, in the cities and in the country towns. I’d like to live in a small country town permanently (I currently live by the ocean in Western Australia) but I wouldn’t live in town, I’d live a twenty minute walk out of town. That way, I’d find the comforts of solitude and the satisfaction of community. A happy medium. :)

- Jennie

The House at the End of the Street
by Jennie Jones is book #5 in the bestselling Swallow’s Fall series (each book can be read as a stand-alone novel).
From the Blurb:

Bestselling Australian author Jennie Jones takes us back to Swallow’s Fall for one more story: Gemma has a burning need to stay and make a home. All Josh has ever wanted is to get out. Now he has the chance, and all he needs to do is tie up a few loose ends…

Gemma Munroe loves hard, laughs hard and plays hard. Or at least she did before today. Her dream is finally within her grasp – owning the toy shop in Swallow’s Fall and establishing herself permanently. Only one person has the power to get in her way: Josh Rutherford – the love of her life who kissed her and left her ten years ago is coming home.

Josh will be in town for five days. Only five days. He’ll finally sever the ties to a youth filled with poverty by selling the properties that are now his. He’s returning healthy, wealthy and emotionally stable, and then he’ll leave forever. It’s all in the plan. Everything…except for Gem. He never forgot her, but he definitely forgot the effect she has on him. Now she’s got problems, and he can’t seem to leave without trying to help her solve them.

The town itself also has its own plans: Gemma and Josh are thrown together in Speed-Date fiascos, kissing experiments, bar fights and an issue with the North Star – Josh’s compass and the road to his next adventure. Seven weeks later Josh is still in town. Gem has to get through her best friends’ wedding and Josh has to get over Gem. Because he’s not staying. Is he?

Find this book at: Amazon | Amazon AUS | Amazon UK | Publisher | Goodreads

The Swallow’s Fall series:

Book #1 The House on Burra Burra Lane
Book #2 12 Days at Silver Bells House (shorter novel)
Book #3 The House at the Bottom of the Hill (our review)
Book #4 The Turnaround Treasure Shop (shorter novel)
Book #5 The House at the End of the Street

About the Author:

Born in Wales and now living in Australia, Jennie Jones loved everything with a romantic element from an early age. That’s why she became an actor before she started writing. She toured the UK in all the grand old theatres, becoming someone else for two hours, eight performances a week, loving every second.

Now, Jennie loves writing rich, warm-hearted and refreshing stories of adventures of the heart. She’s a self-confessed would-be small town country girl and longs for the day when she and her family can set up home in a cute country cottage in the middle of a huge field. Until then, Jennie is enjoying life a five minute walk from the beach. She can hear the ocean as she types her stories.

She says writing keeps her artistic nature dancing and her imagination bubbling, and like acting, she can’t envisage a day when it will ever get boring.

Social Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Check out the AUSTRALIAN RURAL ROMANCE website to discover more great rural romance reads, including medical, suspense, mystery, family sagas, historical romance and more!

More from Jennie Jones on Love Reading Romance:

The House At The Bottom Of The Hill by Jennie Jones - Book Review