Ararat's Rebecca Skrabl has been nominated for five Australian Romance Readers Association awards for her debut novel Kiss of Steel.
Ms Skrabl, who writes under the name Bec McMaster, said she found out about the nominations via Facebook.
"I saw that one of my friends had been nominated so I followed the link to see what she'd been nominated in," she said.
"I had no expectations as I'm a debut author, but as I scrolled down my name kept appearing.
"I was absolutely stunned as I think there's only one other author with so many nominations and that's Anna Campbell, who is a huge name in the industry."
Kiss of Steel which was released in
September has been nominated in five categories including favourite continuing romance series and favourite Australian romance author 2012.
The novel has also been nominated in three members' choice categories, for best first meeting between a couple, best love scene and favourite cover.
"There are so many amazing authors in my categories, however Nalini Singh and Anna Campbell are two of my favourite authors so I feel extra special just being nominated alongside both of them," Ms Skrabl said.
"They're both megastars in the industry with multiple awards under their belts and both happen to be from this side of the equator Nalini is from New Zealand and Anna is from Queensland.
"JD Robb is also in some of the categories. Her alter ego is Nora Roberts and she's practically the biggest name in the romance genre."
Kiss of Steel is a romance featuring paranormal and steampunk elements set in the Victorian era.
"In steampunk, anything is possible, from fantastic inventions to high adventure and strange twists on history," Ms Skrabl said.
"Several movies in the genre include the Wild, Wild West, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the latest Sherlock Holmes movies also have elements of it."
Ms Skrabl is currently writing book four of the London Steampunk series.
"I'm also working on the edits for book three and I've just finished going over the galleys the final version of Heart of Iron, which is book two, before it goes to print in the next couple of weeks," she said.
"Heart of Iron is due out in May 2013. The third book in the series is due out in October 2013 and I'm currently in contract negotiations regarding books four and five. That will close out this particular plot arc however, depending on sales, there will be room for the series to develop further."
Ms Skrabl works part-time in administration at Stawell Regional Health and spends about 30 hours a week writing.
"I've been writing virtually since I could hold a pen," she said.
"I used to get up early before school to get in a couple of hours on the computer each day and I continue that habit until today however, now it's before work.
"I've always wanted to be a writer, but I decided about five years ago that this is what I want to do for a career and that I was going to have a serious crack at getting published."
The award winners will be announced at the national Australian Romance Readers Association convention in Brisbane on March 2.
Ms Skrabl said unfortunately she would not be able to attend the event.
"I've already committed to a writing retreat weekend in Queensland with several members of my writing group," she said.
"We will certainly be following the Twitter stream and celebrating, however, as another of the girls is nominated too."