Former Bundy woman's novel 'steamier' than 50 Shades
A SELF-PUBLISHED author who grew up in the region is donating half the proceeds from her sales to the Bundy to the Farm drought relief effort.
Stephenie Muller lived on a small farm across from the Bingera Sugar Mill in her teens and before that lived south of Miriam Vale.
She carried out several years of school through correspondence and "spent more time in the saddle or the kitchen than at the school desk”.
Now living in Goomeri, Ms Muller draws her inspiration from all things rural.
"I have spent the best part of my life on cattle properties and know too well the effect of drought when every day is spent feeding hay and filling long log troughs with molasses, salt, sulphur and peanut husk or driving to pick up more feed - losing poor cattle in boggy dams,” she said.
But it was a forced break from her rural lifestyle that inspired her to take up novel-writing.
"Although years earlier I had penned a hand full of pages, it wasn't until I was seriously ill that I took the time to actually hand-write my novel and first couple of novellas as I had no clue how to even turn a computer on at that stage,” she said.
"Now I self-publish, taking the book from start to finish as well as having self-published a couple of books for clients.
"The reason I got involved with the drought is because I've been through it.”
Ms Muller said she writes about what she knows including farm life and carrying out volunteer work.
"My novels are sort of like country romance, but they're very down to earth,” she said.
Her readers say they enjoy reading a novel by someone who knows rural life.
One of the novels, Shadow Valley, deals with the challenges of being a single mum running a farm.
"The hard part is getting people to take a chance on an author they haven't read,” she said.
But farm life isn't the only subject in Ms Muller's novel-writing resume.
She has penned one book which she has been told "leaves 50 Shades for dead”.
"Readers have said to me 'it certainly spiced things up in the bedroom',” Ms Muller said.
"It was so hard to write because it was so left of field for me, but I actually wrote that one because my neighbour read the other books and said they go to the bedroom and he strokes her arm and they wake up in the morning. They said 'you need to put some sex in there'”.
And put sex into the novel she did.
An excerpt reads: "From the foot of the bed she slowly and precisely, like a gentle feline crawled onto the bed. 'I think you've been a bad boy Charlie. A very bad boy'”.
It's so saucy that people wishing to buy the Last Dance novel must provide proof of age before they can purchase it online.
To find out more about the novels or drought relief, head to www.stepheniemuller.com.