There's a new-ish sub-genre of romance novels written by and for ladies who love to get dirty — both literally and figuratively. Deemed "Rural Romance", the novels are most popular in Australia, where publishers are furiously adding collections of agricultural sexiness to their rosters.
Pioneered by farmer Rachael Treasure, whose 2002 book Jillaroo — the tale of a strong-headed farmer's daughter who leaves home to become a farmer in her own right via determination, Bundaberg rum, and plenty of sexy country menz — has sold over 150,000 copies and counting.
Treasure didn't set off to define a genre, she wrote Jillaroo "as a very loud megaphone on behalf of other rural women. They’re sassy, they’re attractive, they’re clever. And they want the best for their land and their environment and families."
I like it! Let's learn more about this sassy, attractive, and clever Aussie.
On whether other farmers read her books:
Absolutely. You’ve got to have country people. People who live and breath agriculture are my core group of readers. I write from within the culture, because I live it every day. My readers are mostly made up of those people. However, I sell huge quantities in the city because people are hankering for the culture and community that rural living gives.
On using sexy farmer sex to get people to care about agriculture:
The Farmers Wife starts with Rebecca Saunders, the character from Jillaroo, being taken by a friend to a Tupperware party out in the Bush. But it’s not actually a Tupperware party, it’s a sex toy party. So instantly the reader is led into this funny world with funny women who aren’t interested in shopping, shoes, and glamour—they’re in to their dogs, soil, and food for their children. They’re swigging on rum while off to an adult toy party.
While I talk seriously about food production, that’s how I get the readers in.
First — they have Tupperware parties in Australia! Adorable! Second, I have two ideas for rural romance novels that you're welcome to:
1. An attractive red-headed American lass moves to the Australian outback when she inherits her long lost grandmother's Bundaberg rum farm. She falls in love with this guy and then together they open a koala bear sanctuary with Crocodile Dundee.
2. Rural Juror Romance.
You're welcome, and I want royalties.