An avid reader, Renée Dahlia writes contemporary and historical queer romance. Renée is a bisexual cis woman who is fascinated by people and loves to explore human relationships, with a side of humour, through her writing. Renée has a degree in physics and mathematics, using this to write data-based magazine articles for the horse racing industry. Her love of horses often shines through in her fiction, and she loves a good intrigue and to escape the real world in the pages of a book. When she isn’t reading or writing, Renée spends her time with her four children, usually watching them play cricket.
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The longer version of stuff about me
I grew up in a family of story tellers. Surrounded by orators, and books. Even with all that encouragement for books, I had no inclination that I could write, nor that I wanted to write. Instead, I chose to study science, and graduated with a degree in physics and maths. A rational choice of subject matter, although not so sensible when it came to getting a job. I probably should have done engineering. Instead, I faced the awkward task of convincing potential employers that a degree in physics and maths was useful for something. I ended up doing data analysis in a range of industries; road maintenance, natural gas, electricity, and horse racing, eventually ending up as a data-based non-fiction writer.
How the hell did I end up writing romance? Approximately six years ago, I was working from home part-time while parenting four kids all aged under ten. I spent a lot of evenings alone after the kids had gone to bed as my (now-ex) husband was travelling a lot for work. I've been a huge romance reader for a really long time, and I blame a book for giving me the idea to write a romance novel.
“I complained one day that I’d read all the books in the house, and there was nothing new at the bookshop, and Matthew challenged me to try writing one of my own.” A Wallflower Christmas. Lisa Kleypas.
Writing fiction has been a surprising and cathartic journey for me. I wrote my first novel in 2016 at a point when my career had suffered a pile of setbacks, and wasn't sure about the next step for me. That novel, To Charm a Bluestocking, was published by Escape (Harlequin Australia's digital first imprint) in March 2017. Naturally I wrote a romance because that’s what I loved reading, and after years of writing magazine articles and data-based statistical explanations for various clients, the switch to fiction was a good learning curve for me. I still write for a couple of horse magazines, and one of the most transferable skills from that career to writing novels is that ability to write to a word count and to a deadline.
As a bisexual cis-woman, most of my books tend to be heroine focused, regardless of the romantic pairing. I'll always consider myself a reader before I'm a writer, and I hope to spend the next portion of my life reading about glorious fictional people.
A lot has changed in five years. It's interesting to look back on this journey in publishing, from one book written during evenings alone to entertain myself into a five year career spanning 27 books (and counting).
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