Introducing Beverley Eikli to the Choc-Lit Family

One of the earliest unpublished novels I wrote was a Regency Romance called Game of Chance.

The title has been an apt summary of my life. Who’d have thought I’d join Choc-Lit in the midst of all this festive good cheer as the winner of their ‘Search for an Australian Star’ competition? I was in such good company on that short list – but what a fabulous early Christmas present.

Good things happen when you least expect them to but it’s certainly true to say that the harder and longer the journey the keener the sense of pleasure when they do happen.

I’ve wanted to be a published writer since entertaining my family at our South Australian beach cottage, Dandeloo, with my School for Witches series, written when I was seven. With no television, reading, writing, walks on the beach and endless games of Beetle were the order of the day.

At seventeen I made an earnest attempt at hitting the big time, finishing my first novel with a fatal flourish: the drowning of my heroine on the last page. It was supposed to be a romance.

Well, that sounded the death knell of my romance writing career for the time being and I became a journalist, but at 27, I fell into the middle of my own real life romance: one which ultimately set me up for writing for a living.

The last thing I was looking for when I left Australia to manage a safari lodge in Botswana’s Okavango Delta was a handsome Norwegian husband.

But that’s what I got and that gorgeous bush pilot I met around a camp fire the night before I was due to return to Australia has taken me on the most fabulous adventure traversing the globe for the past eighteen years.

As the trailing spouse of a pilot one learns to be adaptable.

I trained to be an airborne geophysical survey operator in the field in Namibia when the company my husband flew for was looking for recruits. After a year surveying the skeleton coast and the arid region between Windhoek and Swakopmund we took jobs with another survey company. Based in Canada, for three years, we worked on long contracts around the world, sometimes together, sometimes separately.

Cocooned in the back of a Cessna 404 with a lonely pilot during eight-hour sorties over the French Guianese jungle and Greenland’s ice cap was a good apprenticeship for a romance author.

However, it wasn’t until I was literally left holding the baby (now back in Australia and with another baby on the way) while my husband was flying in Antarctica for four months that I finished writing my first published book. Pouring my frustrated passion onto the page during those long, lonely months was therapeutic. Writing my own happy endings, later, when he was in rehabilitation after he’d broken his back a month before our second child was born, was even more so.

A few years later my writing career took an unexpected turn when I wrote a book with a theme that was too saucy for my publisher at the time. This led me to write a series of erotic historicals which I publish under my Beverley Oakley pseudonym.

So now that I’ve entered another, exciting phase of life as a Choc-Lit author the coming year is looking good. I’ve been so warmly welcomed into the Choc-Lit family, and propelled into 2013 with so many genuine well wishes from fellow writers, readers and friends I think there must be few better ways to earn a living than writing happy endings.

In winding up my introduction I’d like to wish a very merry Christmas to all those lovely people who’ve helped me with their friendship, encouragement and support in so many ways during the journey. Not least, my husband who has always known just the right thing to say during my years of writing rejection and is even more gorgeous after eighteen years of the ups and downs of our unexpectedly eventful marriage. After a long, hard slog he’s made a full recovery and now flies the majestic Boeing 777.

Like me, he reckons life is sweet when your hobby is your job.

Thank you, everyone! I hope your New Year is a joyful, rich and prosperous one.

Beverley Eikli and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Homer

Beverley Eikli and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Homer

32 thoughts on “Introducing Beverley Eikli to the Choc-Lit Family

  1. Hi Sami, yes, you probably would have. It was just that pivotal point in my life where instead of returning to Australia to become the stockbrocker’s wife and live in a pretty bluestone cottage in Adelaide I chose the wild option – and it took me on such an unexpected adventure. I’ve never regretted the choice I made and perhaps I wouldn’t be a writer today if I’d stuck with the safe, known option.

  2. Congratulations Beverley, I can’t wait to read your choc-lit titles. I love your regency romances and your risque titles, can’t wait to see what your choc-lit books will be about. I really hope you delve into your African experiences! With your strong inspiring heroines and the entrancing, African bush as a backdrop… Wow! That would be a compelling combination! Can’t wait to read it

  3. Bev,I love your Beverley Eikli novels and I love your Beverley Oakley novellas.
    I know the world is going to love your Choc-Lit books!

  4. What an introduction, Beverley! Having been with my hubs rather a number of years, too – I treasure those years we spent together before kids.But blimey – how exciting were yours? So very very pleased to have you in the Choc Lit family – and can’t wait to read your book. Do hope your hubs will be home for Xmas and not on some long haul flight somewhere? X

  5. Great post, Beverley, and welcome again! Your life does sound wonderfully romantic, so I’m looking forward to reading the books it has inspired! I noticed your lovely dog in the photo – my mother-in-law had two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, one lovely one (so nice he was stupid) and one scary one who held me hostage if I didn’t give him dog biscuits 🙂 Yours looks like the nice kind!

  6. Hello Beverley, a fellow dog-lover. A terrific post and you’ve certainly led and exciting and eventful life. One filled with happiness too, and I’m so glad your romantic sounding husband is now completely recovered. I’m new to Choc Lit too, and like you have been warmly welcomed. Happy Christmas xx

  7. Congratulations Beverley, I’ve read (and loved) several of your stories, can’t wait to read the latest. What a thoroughly well-deserved win and I’m so happy for you.

    I also applaud your taking the wild option when you met your husband, I’m sure you’d have lived to regret it if you hadn’t, instead you have your wonderful family.

    Frances
    xx

  8. Congratulations on your win Beverley, this is a fantastic step for you as a wonderful writer. I have enjoyed your other books, including Lady Sarah’s Redemption and Rake’s Temptation and can’t wait to read more of your work. Nice dog, by the way. Janelle.

  9. It’s a pleasure to ‘meet’ you, Beverley and to read more about you. Congratulations!

  10. Lovely to meet you, Sarah. Hubby leaves on Xmas morning but we get to celebrate Xmas Eve which is his tradition, anyway. And, Christina and Margarat (who both have dogs?), we call our gorgeous Homer ‘the Ten Thousand Dollar Dog’ as we got him in the Solomons but have taken him with us everywhere. (With Australia’s strict quarantine laws, that’s become rather expensive over the years!) The Ridgebacks are fantastic with kids. Loved your comparison of the scary and the stupid. Look forward to ‘meeting’ you, too, Chris – thank you!

  11. Thanks so much, Nina, Jess, Frances and Janelle. You’re very kind. Yes, Frances, I can’t imagine anything else when I look at my gorgeous children.

  12. Congratulations on winning the Choc Lit comp, Beverley, and thank you for such an interesting introductory blog. Am now feeling decidedly uninteresting!

  13. Aren’t you Scandinavian also, Liv? Danish? I’m still placing everyone. Thank you for the congrats! I’m right in the middle of decorating the Xmas tree now that hubby has just returned from LA. Christmas carols are blaring, the kids are hanging the baubles on the tree we just got from the Xmas tree farm and I’ve got a roast on (which has taken more work than I thought – when I’m going to have to do it all over again in a few days’ time.)

    Enjoy your Xmas!

  14. What a fabulous first post…….many, many welcomes, Beverley. I can see it’s going to be great having you on board. If you get tired of fiction you can always write your autobiography…..:)

  15. Thanks, Linda. I’m still working out who I’m going to be meeting at RT next year. Are you going to be amongst the Choc-Lit authors heading off to Kansas City?

  16. Congratulations Beverley on your well deserved win and what a great Christmas present. I’m looking forward to reading your winning story. Cheers and best wishes for the New Year.

  17. All of us at CS Scribes are so proud of your success with Choc-Lit, Beverley. I agree with the previous comment made by Linda; your autobiography would be a very interesting read! Obviously all your experiences in life have given you much material for your fiction writing. I certainly look forward to reading your upcoming novels, Beverley.

  18. Hi Bev,
    I’ve read your bio lots of times and I agree with Sami, it’s hard to resist reading it again! All the best with your choc-lit adventure. You deserve every success and I can’t wait to read your choc-lit books! Your stories NEVER disappoint! Lexi x

  19. No, I’m last, Jane I think! What a very interesting life you have led so far! And if you’re not ready to write an auto-biography, have you thought about a novel loosely based on it? I’m sure it would be a hit. And your husband has an exciting life too – flying a 777 wow! Have a lovely Christmas xx

  20. Beverley, in my dreams, I am Scandinavian – maybe 5’8, with long blonde hair and blue eyes. If – when – we get to meet, you’ll recognise me right away by just looking for someone who is the exact opposite!

  21. Thanks Mandy, Jane, Lexi, Chris and Tina, for dropping by with such kind and encouraging words. I am planning a romantic thriller based around my experiences running a safari lodge as my next project, Mandy. (Not that I encountered rebels from across the border – but I could have:) It’s great to be part of such an interesting and varied bunch of writers. I wish this was a *real* party.

  22. Hi Bevie, congrats on the competition win – highly deserved. Its been wonderful following your journey as an author over the years. Looking forward to the books to come xxx

  23. Great post, Beverley. Such good stories! And that’s just your real life. Jungles and icecaps? Green with envy! Very much looking forward to reading your books.

  24. Welcome Beverley – nothing like a true life romance to inspire a writer. I laughed at the early effort, where the heroine drowned – I had one of those too – teenage angst! That’s one that hasn’t stayed in the bottom drawer. 🙂

  25. Dear Bevie, It’s been very exciting to see you develop and achieve your dreams! Growing up together through high school and sharing your adventures has been remarkable. Looking forward to catching up again soon through your writing & in person. xx

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