SHE'S been dubbed the queen of rural romance but Australian bestselling author Rachael Treasure maintains she wears no tiara.
Instead, Treasure uses her books to drive home her sustainable farming message and admits she's more comfortable wearing a hat, on a horse.
"Taking the tiara off, I think I'm more like a trailblazer for other rural people to have a voice. I don't wear the crown well. "
The author of bestselling titles including Jillaroo, The Cattleman's Daughter and Rouseabout, has become somewhat of an icon in rural circles around Australia for her fiction.
Treasure was visiting Ballarat this week, speaking at Collins Booksellers where she signed copies of her latest novel, The Farmer's Wife.
The book is listed number three in Collins Bookseller's top 10 bestsellers around the country this week.
Treasure says the popularity of the rural romance genre has been phenomenal.
"People in the city don't recognise how vast this country is and how clever we are, and how we love reading more than anything in rural areas," she says.
"When I started out, I wanted to shatter rural stereotypes and rural cliches and I think now we might be steering back into that cliche.
"While the rural world has been used as a platform for romance, my platform is all about food production and getting young people into our industry."
"I think I'm more like a trailblazer for other rural people to have a voice."
Treasure's passion for rural Australia stems from a childhood growing up in Levendale, an hour from Hobart, where she still lives.
It's a grass-roots district, where women still milk a cow, feed the pigs with the milk and tend to vegie gardens.
"It's basic community living, where they have card nights at the hall, line dancing and yoga," Treasure says.
"Rural living is underpinned by that community consciousness and culture, which is why I'm so proud and blessed to be country girl."
As a student at agricultural college in Dubbo, New South Wales, Treasure realised the misconception about rural Australia and set out to write Jillaroo, representing the fun, positive aspects, as well as the soils and where food comes from.
"It's written from that rough and ready world that agricultural people know," she says.
Her latest book is the sequel to Jillaroo and revisits Rebecca and Charlie Lewis 10 years on, and their life on her family property of Waters Meeting.
As Treasure explains, the character of Rebecca represents her own life journey, in adapting to the changing face of farming and becoming a mother.
She hails New South Wales farmer Colin Seis as being instrumental in turning her family property around to become profitable and sustainable. The character "Andrew" in The Farmer's Wife is based on Colin and his work.
The book is a vehicle for Treasure's understanding that revolution in agriculture needs to come from the feminine side, away from the traditional masculine methods.
But in sending that message, she shatters the much-loved character of Charlie Lewis.
Treasure found many female readers asking where they could find their own Charlie, but in the sequel, we find he's become a fat, bald sort of rogue.
"It is a cautionary tale for girls that you have to find self love within, rather than looking outside for some kind of knight to save you," she says.
What isn't so much a cautionary tale, but a satirical one, Treasure's 50 Bales of Hay, released in 2012.
She had previously dabbled with the idea of writing erotica, but it had never been acceptable.
The release of 50 Shades of Grey changed the game, with the books spreading like wildfire through her home district.
"Men have gone out and bought 50 Bales of Hay, read it, then wrapped it up for their wives."
"Women who I'd known in the CWA were in their 70s, (and) were talking about bondage and all manner of things," Treasure says.
"I wanted to write a dirty dozen ... the ladies in my district said 'let's choose an agricultural industry and an agricultural implement'.
"You can read it across the surface and get a good laugh, but you can also feel a depth to it that's less dark than some of the other erotica that might be floating about."
The book hit the shelves at Christmas last year, selling like hotcakes.
But it wasn't only women buying it.
"(Men have) gone out and bought 50 Bales of Hay; read it, then wrapped it up for their wives," Treasure said.
"Now I'm finding men are picking up The Farmer's Wife ...if boys are picking it up because they want what I call my 'farm porn', then that's great."
Treasure's ability to continue spreading her farming message only looks to expand, as her fan base grows across the country.
Her Facebook page boasts more than 8,500 fans, while dozens line up event appearances to pick her brains about the rural industry.
"At events like Agfest, I get young people saying 'I'm going jillarooing', or 'How do I get a start in agriculture?'," she says.
"We need to be really cognisant that food underpins everything in our society...that is part of my charter.
"I just wanted to spread the word that if we look after our land, it will give back to us - to everybody."
One of the next events for Treasure is the Deni Ute Muster in Deniliquin, where she looks forward to catching up with young people."I think rural Australia's got everything to offer," she said.
"There's a rural youth culture that's alive and well and intelligent, and that's what I'm focused on."
Next up, Treasure is working on a children's book with her young children Rosie and Charlie, as well as working on songs with Tasmanian band The Wolfe Brothers, currently touring the country with Lee Kernaghan.
But, there's also more rural romance to come for her book lovers.
"I've got two novels swimming around in my head so I'm going to get cracking and get writing, because I just love it."