I’m Iola Goulton.
That’s pronounced yo-la, not eye-ola.
Iola is a Welsh name, meaning “valued by the Lord”. I like that—there are days I need that reminder. I live in New Zealand, surrounded by trees and chirping cicadas, and with a distant view of the Pacific Ocean. Like most modern women, I wear many hats, and have trouble condensing myself to one short page.
Reader. Writer. Reviewer. Editor.
Wife. Mother. Christian.
I read pretty much anything, but my favourite genres are Christian romance and romantic suspense. With an emphasis on the ‘Christian’. I write contemporary Christian romance with a Kiwi twist . . . because I’m a Kiwi. Meaning, from New Zealand, that land Down Under most people know from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. (As an aside, I live not far from Hobbiton, and once spent a night camping in an igloo on Mt Doom, better known as Mt Ruapehu).
My professional background is a degree in marketing and business, and twenty years in management consulting, which doesn’t exactly explain why I’m now a freelance fiction editor and book reviewer, but did give me a sound understanding of the principles of business, marketing, and good writing.
Yes, reading and reviewing hundreds of novels helped on that last one. I regularly review books here, at Australasian Christian Writers, and occasionally on other sites. I also review books related to writing, editing, publishing and marketing on my website, Christian Editing Services.
I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (and won the 2016 Genesis Award for my novella), the Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network (a Silver member), New Zealand Christian Writers, Omega Writers, and Romance Writers of New Zealand.
And I’m married with two teenagers and one cat (she’s the jealous sort). I live in the sunny Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, where I attend a small church with a focus on Jesus, the Bible, community outreach, and I play horn in the local brass band. I also enjoy cardmaking, scrapbooking, coffee and chocolate. And books.
I post here most weekdays:
Monday: A Bookish Question, to get you thinking
Tuesday: A book recommendation, to get you reading
Wednesday: An author interview (or new releases in Christian fiction, on the first Wednesday of the month)
Thursday: #ThrowbackThursday—republishing an older blog post or book recommendation
Friday: #FirstLineFriday—the first line from the book nearest me
I post at 8am New Zealand time Monday to Thursday. Friday’s post is 7pm New Zealand time, or midnight Friday EDT, so all the #FirstLineFriday posts go live at about the same time.
If there’s anything specific you’d like to ask, message me via my Contact page. Or connect with me on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you!