For author Therese Beharrie, dreams do come true.
For the 24-year-old, who is one of only three Mills and Boon authors in South Africa, the journey started long before her first book hit the shelves.
“I feel blessed because I know that it is not often that someone gets published at the age of 23,” said Beharrie.
Her very first novel, The Tycoon’s Reluctant Cinderella, is a tale of love and romance set in the Mother City. “I wanted to write something that was set in Cape Town because it is something that we are not often exposed to within the mass market.”
Beharrie, who calls Bothasig home, grew up in Kuils River and attended Labiance Primary School and The Settlers High School.
After completing her BA in language and culture as well as her honours in general linguistics at the University of Stellenbosch in 2014, she decided to challenge herself by writing her very first book. “I wanted to see whether I could do this,” says Beharrie.
She submitted her first attempt to Harlequin’s, known as Mills and Boon in South Africa, “So you think you can write” competition. The competition, aimed at finding new voices in romantic fiction, provided Beharrie with the break she had longed for.
She was placed in the top 25 and received constructive feedback from the Mills and Boon editors.
Deciding to give it another go, Beharrie applied the feedback and entered the competition in 2015 again. This time she was placed in the top 50. However, her hard work did not go unnoticed. Flo Nicoll, an editor at Mills and Boon, recognised her potential and contacted her. For four months Nicoll and Beharrie sent emails and made calls back and forth until finally she got the call on 6 May 2015 – her novel would be published. “I got the call a day before my birthday. I’m living my dream,” says Beharrie.
Initially she was contracted for only two books but she has now been contracted for an additional four.
Her second book, A marriage worth saving, will be available in stores in June.
Much of the inspiration for her first book came from her 2014 honeymoon at a resort with her husband, Grant Beharrie (31). At the time, Mills and Boon had launched a range of books set in hotels and Beharrie was fascinated with this idea. A Cape Town hotel is the backdrop for much of her first book. To follow this author visit www.theresebeharrie.com or follow her Facebook page at Therese Beharrie, Author.
What is your opinion about this local author? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.