Sunday, 1 July 2012

DARE TO DREAM - A New Publication

Life is an odd mixture of beginnings and endings.   In 1992, when I decided to follow my husband into retirement, there was one very important fact that I somehow overlooked – a writer never retires.   We cogitate, deliberate, ruminate, investigate and contemplate, but the one thing we never do is retire.
            During the ensuing years I wrote three full-length novels.   I tried to have them published, but things had changed here in South Africa (Nelson Mandela was released from prison and Apartheid was abolished) and at Mills & Boon there were also quite a few major changes (Alan Boon was no longer there and neither was Frances Whitehead, the editorial consultant with whom I had worked closely over the years).   What had worked for me before was no longer acceptable for them.   They felt that, amongst other things, the political situation was so sensitive that writing about black domestic servants working in our homes might offend the readers worldwide, and I suspect they had to look at it from a financial point of view as well.   And so, after having 44 books published by Mills & Boon, my manuscripts were rejected.
            It was at this point in my life that it felt as if the decision to retire was literally taken out of my hands.   I joined the Women’s Auxiliary and became an active member.   I bought myself a new sewing machine and started sewing again.   Knitting was something else I quite enjoyed and for the past ten years I have managed to have about sixteen jerseys ready to hand over to underprivileged children before each winter.   Photography has always been a hobby of mine and I love reading.
            I have managed to keep myself pretty busy with all these activities, but my mind has constantly sought that familiar outlet in writing.   And so I took those three novels and rewrote them several times.   I was always altering something here or adding something there.  I have always been my own worst critic, so I was never totally satisfied.   I told myself that I was doing it for my own pleasure, but now, twenty years after my last book was published, I find that I can’t convince myself of that anymore.   A writer needs to share their work, and there’s no greater satisfaction than knowing others have enjoyed reading what you have enjoyed writing.
            It became clear to me that it was time to do something about it.   I’m not that young anymore, so I don’t have time to waste approaching publishers in the hope that they might accept my work.   The IN-thing today is publishing your own work.   It’s costly, make no mistake about that, but in the end I am sure that it will be worth it.   I opted for Traffords Publishers in Bloomington, Indiana, and I am happy to say that my first book “Dare To Dream” is now published and out there to be purchased on line.   Traffords guided me through the whole publishing process, offering me the guidance of their editorial staff and their marketing managers, and throughout it all I knew that I had complete control of what was happening to my work.   It’s an incredibly wonderful experience, and also very exciting.   Now all I have to do is wait and see how it will be received by the public.

Below is the press release of my book:

Fiery Romance Ignites in New South African Novel

Popular romance novelist Yvonne Whittal pens latest book, Dare To Dream
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – In her new romance novel Dare To Dream (published by Trafford Publishing), Yvonne Whittal delivers a story of an unlikely passion and love on a wine farm in South Africa.

Still haunted five years after the death of her husband, Jenna Reeves works long hours as a journalist in Cape Town, South Africa. But the stress catches up to her, and she sets out for her aunt’s cottage on a wine farm for a vacation where she quickly forms and intense attraction to the farm owner, Robert Rousseau.

An excerpt from Dare To Dream:

“My husband is dead! He died five years ago!”

The words had spilled from Jenna’s lips on an anguished cry; it was the first time she had actually said it out aloud. She waited for the pain that she felt certain would follow, but she was surprised to discover that she felt nothing—nothing except a sadness that someone so young and so vital had been robbed of the opportunity to live his life to the fullest. And remarkably, it also felt as if a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders.

The relationship between Jenna and Robert does not run smoothly, mainly because Jenna cannot conform to Robert’s preference for a relationship without ties. They finally walk away from each other, but fate brings them back together again when Jenna is assigned the task of interviewing Robert. Their attraction is reignited stronger than before – now it will take a tragedy to pull them apart.

About the Author
Yvonne Whittal is a South African author who has always had a passion for writing. She has had 44 books published by Harlequin Mills & Boon.

Trafford Publishing, an Author Solutions, Inc. author services imprint, was the first publisher in the world to offer an “on-demand publishing service,” and has led the independent publishing revolution since its establishment in 1995. Trafford was also one of the earliest publishers to utilize the Internet for selling books. More than 10,000 authors from over 120 countries have utilized Trafford’s experience for self publishing their books. For more information about Trafford Publishing, or to publish your book today, call 1-888-232-4444 or visit

Friday, 30 March 2012


Yes, I am back after a long absence.   The past year was not easy for my husband, Vernon, and certainly not for me.   It is only by the grace of God that we have come through it in the way we have, and can find enjoyment in life again.   At our age any kind of illness is making us aware of our own mortality, and at the same time it is also making us more aware of this beautiful world we live in, and how fortunate and how blessed we are.
            I kept myself busy during this past year with things that I could put down at any time without feeling irritated at being disturbed when I was needed.   I knitted eighteen jerseys for needy children between the ages of two and eight years.   They are ready at the moment to be distributed before the winter.   I also crocheted a queen-sized blanket for myself.   It was a mammoth task, but I’m very proud of myself now that it is finished.
            I have just recently started writing again, and I might have mentioned before that I was putting together a volume of all the short stories and articles I have written over the years.   This started out as a project which was intended solely for my children, but it has developed into something bigger than I had originally imagined.

            This compilation is partly a personal journey, starting with stories written long before I had anything published through Mills & Boon.   There are also a few articles written for the Ingagane Live Wire.   And for those of you who don’t know, Ingagane was an Eskom power station situated about fifteen kilometres to the south of Newcastle, Natal.   At the start of my writing career I also wrote a few Afrikaans short stories which were published around the same time that my first full-length novel was published.   I have also added a story in Afrikaans which was written last year.   Added to all this I have made comments at the end of each article or story, giving a little inside information on some of them which the reader might find interesting.
            As I said, it is a personal journey for me, but since there were so many people who indicated that they would like to have a copy of this book, I made a decision to have it nicely printed and bound together.   The problem with a self-publication is that I had to do all the editing myself and, as in this case, a few typing errors did go unnoticed.   But who hasn’t read a book with a few printing errors in it?
            To print only a limited number of books is a costly procedure, so I am forced to recoup some of my expenses by attaching a price to it.   So ... if any of my friends and fans out there are interested in procuring a copy, then please get in touch with me.