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Real Life

REAL LIFE: This Aussie grandma achieved her lifelong dream by writing a racy alien romance

''Not everyone knows the truth about my ‘naughty’ book.''

By Laura Trieste

Judy Eckford, 74, from Sunshine Coast, Qld shares her inspiring story.

As I stared out at the vivid red dirt and beautiful aqua sea, I felt inspired.
"I want to write a book," I told my husband, Phil.
"You've written books before," he replied.
Becoming a published author was a lifelong dream.
I'd written some novels in my 40s, but they'd all been rejected each time I sent them to literary agents.
Now, in my late 60s, I understood why Phil didn't think it was a good idea to try again, but I still had a compulsion to write, especially after we moved to Karratha, WA.
Judy with her husband Phil. (Image: Supplied)
The desert there felt magical and it gave me an idea.
What if there was another society living here? I wondered.
I'd been fascinated by aliens since I was a teenager living in the northern beaches of Sydney where I'd had several UFO encounters.
A number of times I'd witnessed big orange orbs flashing across the sky and disappearing into the ocean.
After discovering that romance was the highest-selling book genre, I decided to turn my alien story into an erotic novel.
Vampire romances have been done. How about a big muscly, sexy alien? I thought.
Becoming a published author was a lifelong dream for Judy. (Image: Supplied)
I began to craft the story about Aimalee, a 24-year-old woman who gets abducted by a secret alien society in the desert and develops an attraction for one of them.
I sent the finished manuscript, which I'd titled Abduction Seduction, to an agent but once again I received no interest.
Three years later, we moved to the Sunshine Coast, Qld.
One day, I found the novel on my computer and reread it.
This isn't bad, I thought.
I decided to send it to Austin Macauley – a publishing company in London that accepted unsolicited manuscripts.
They emailed me days later.
Judy Eckford with her grandchildren Trixie, 16, Delilah, 3, Lawson, 13, Zachary, 4, Sebastian, 6, and Harry, 7. (Image: Supplied)
We'd like to publish Abduction Seduction, their message read.
I was thrilled.
My daughter, Prue, wasn't too keen when I asked her to edit my book.
"Who'd want to read a sexy novel written by their mother?" she replied.
But finally she agreed.
Prue and my other daughter, Abby, killed themselves laughing as they read the raunchy love scenes, but they were also really supportive.
Judy reads her book with her daughters Prue, Jane and Abigail. (Image: Supplied)
After Austin Macauley offered me a hybrid deal, which meant I'd need to pay half the publishing costs, Abby chose to contribute thousands of dollars.
"I believe in you, Mum," she told me.
Phil was shocked by the racy content when he first read the book but after a few beers he said it was really good.
I haven't told my six grandchildren much about it, but the eldest two know Grandma's written a 'naughty book'.
When Abduction Seduction was published in January this year I was so nervous about what people would say when they read it.
But the response has been overwhelmingly positive and I look forward to penning many more racy novels!
Abduction Seduction by J.G. Eckford is available online at Amazon, Booktopia, The Nile, and Angus & Robertson.

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