Hello! My name is Torre DeRoche and I’m a fearful adventurer.

You often hear about courageous humans who climb Everest without oxygen, who circle the world on a simple bicycle, or who swim the Bering Straight with nothing but a bathing suit, goggles, and extremely shrunken genitals. Conquerors. Pioneers. Fearless super heroes.

I am not one of them.

Rife with phobias, but unwilling to be stopped by fear, I engage in daring adventures, hopeful that I’ll one day be miraculously cured of anxiety. Meanwhile, I blog honest accounts of my journey and the realizations I have along the way. I hope to inspire others to face fears, follow dreams and proudly let their fear flags fly.

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Here are some things you might like to know about me …

My self-published book sold to publishers.

In late 2011, after many unsuccessful attempts at landing a literary agent for my memoir, I decided to fly solo and self-publish my book through Create Space and Kindle.

A few weeks later, I was contacted by  a Hollywood producer who was interested in buying the film rights. He had found my bio randomly on Twitter, and a couple of clicks had led him to an excerpt of my book.

At around the same time, UK publisher Summersdale (who also found me via social media) sent me an offer to buy the book.

Armed with two promising deals, I landed a New York agent almost immediately. Thanks to the incredible work of Elizabeth Evans, Jessica Regel, and the team at JVNLA, we were offered a significant pre-emptive offer from Hyperion Voice (ABC/Disney) just two months after I’d self-published my book.

Shortly after accepting this deal, my book went to auction with four major publishers in Australia, and it sold to Penguin.

The audiobook rights also went to auction, and we accepted an offer from Brilliance Audio.

Love with a Chance of Drowning will launch in March 2013 in Australia/NZ, and May in North America and the UK. If you visit my Amazon page, you’ll see the self-published version is no longer available. It will not be available for purchase again until 2013. Sign up here if you’d like to be reminded at that time.

This is the full story on my journey from self-publishing to traditional publishing.

I live on a tropical island.

My current home is a $5-a-night bungalow perched up on a palm-clad hill on an island in Thailand. I have million-dollar view, which is kind of bad for my productivity.

I decided to make life an adventure.

At age 24, I found myself bored with my safe, easy career life, so I packed my bags and left my Australian home for a year of independent fun in San Francisco. I had no intention of getting myself into a relationship, but by mistake I fell for a 31-year old Argentinean man who had a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world.

When he offered to chaperone me back to Australia on a year-long voyage, via a string of tropical islands, I said, “No way!” Terrified and prone to seasickness, I couldn’t imagine anything worse that crossing the world’s largest ocean on a tiny boat. But, eight months after our first fling after meeting in a bar, the time came for him to set off on his planned adventure, and I had two choices: head into watery oblivion with him, or watch the man I was in love with sail away forever.

Lured by the South Pacific islands – which would act as stepping stones between the US and Australia – I swallowed my fear and jumped aboard. I was 26 at that time. Somewhere mid-Pacific on year number two at sea, I found myself adrift in a storm on a leaky sailboat struggling to keep an old boat, a new relationship, and my floundering sanity afloat …

And so, the Fearful Adventurer was born:

How to snorkel when you’re afraid of sharks.

I’m a writer/designer/illustrator.

Before I quit my day job to write a book, I ran my own graphic design and illustration business. I got to watch my graphics circle around Melbourne city on an iconic tram.

I’m Australian/American.

I have two passports. My Californian parents moved to Australia before I was born.

I have weird parents.

My dad is a horror movie scriptwriter by profession, and my mum is a country and bluegrass singer with an obsession for babies and small (baby-sized) animals. My bohemian parents raised their six daughters with the following recipe:

  • A tiny pinch of 1950s Mad Men style tradition for good measure
  • Four cups of 1960s – 1970s love, peace, leafy herbs, and liberation
  • A mash-up of Americana, Mexicana, Australiana, and Cajun Louisiana
  • One cup of Appalachian hillbilly (cue banjo)
  • Two spoonfuls of white suburban domesticity
  • A handful of musical abuse, mostly bluegrass in nature

Put in blender and set to high, while drizzling a steady flow of horror movies, a range of house pets, and an assortment of bizarre family friends that includes (but is not limited to) musicians, artists, writers, scammers, losers, mentally unstable freaks, hippies, vomiting party animals, straight-laced nurses, cross-dressers, undercover detectives, directors, Hollywood stars, and drug addicts.

Pour mixture into huge rustic childhood home that is constructed from cedar wood, gum trees, book towers, hand-crafted stain-glass windows, cigarette smoke, movie props, spilt beer, writer’s tension, loud music, love and happiness, and a thousand huntsman spiders holding hands.

Place in oven on high. Bake.

If you’ve followed the recipe, you should end up with a child who grows up to be neurotic, quirky, compassionate, mostly happy, somewhat confused, creatively inspired, daring, controlling, an explorer of life, a lover of whimsy, an obsessive perfectionist, and a sufferer of generalized anxiety disorder (with a vomit phobia).

Mum pregnant with her first baby. Dad with his new surfboard baby.

I do not like geckos.

Give me snakes, spiders, cockroaches, or rats, but for the love of god, keep the geckos away! Here’s why you should never trust a gecko.

Yep, that pretty much covers it.

© Torre DeRoche 2017. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce any material from this blog without written permission.