I’m delighted to have you visit Café Cala. I’m really looking forward to reading Chasing Dreams. I’ve been making a banana and blueberry loaf this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?
Thanks for having me, Maggie! Banana and blueberry loaf sounds yummy. I’ll have a tea, thanks.
1 Where did you get the idea for Chasing Dreams?
Chasing Dream’s heroine, Bel, started as a secondary character in the first Hope Creek book, Letting Go. Bel brought Helen to Hope Creek to give her road safety presentation to the high school – she believed in its importance because she’d been injured as a teen by skylarking in a vehicle. So I had a character with a snippet of backstory and delved into her character from there. And I’m a sucker for a reunion story, so what better person to bring back than her old boyfriend who was driving when she had her accident.
2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?
The most rewarding thing about my writing has been having some people say my books have touched them or helped them through a bad time. That’s an amazing feeling!
3 How did you start writing?
When I was quite young I wanted to be a writer, but never thought that was something “real” people could do. So despite writing stories as I grew up (which I never showed to anyone!), being an author wasn’t really a consideration. Having an aptitude for maths, I ended up in IT instead, primarily as a computer programmer! Writing a book remained on my bucket list though.
As I approached my 40th birthday and went through a mid-life ‘what do I want to do when I grow up’ crisis, I decided to stop putting it off and to write the damn book! I enrolled in several online courses, and luckily for me, found my way quite soon to Romance Writers of Australia and my local writing group, Hunter Romance Writers.
4 What would you say has helped you most?
I think being a part of the RWA and the HRW has helped me the most. I honestly would have given up in the first six months if not for the support of like-minded people. The RWA contests, the conferences, the camaraderie – all of it has been equally as important!
5 What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a second story in the Jacaranda Avenue series, working title Secrets of Jacaranda Avenue. The first (Return to Jacaranda Avenue) will be published by Escape Publishing on 15th May. It’s another second chance at love story with a tad more action than my Hope Creek books. Like all of my books, Toria’s Secret has an older hero and heroine (in their 40s) – but this one also has a stalker J
6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Find your tribe. Find a group that gets you when you talk about the voices in your head, who loves a Happy Ever After (or even a Happy For Now) and who are actually writing – not just talking about writing. Don’t be too quick to jump on the self-publishing roller coaster when you’re first starting out. It’s far nicer to make your mistakes out of the public eye! There is so much you don’t know about writing when you first start out (or at least that was true for me) – take the time to learn, enter contests for the feedback and be patient.
7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?
Too many to name! My favourite is Nora Roberts, particularly her contemporary trilogies and suspense. Other favourites are Dianne Blacklock, Cathy Kelly, Liane Moriarty and Jackie French. I have a huge list of RWA friends who are also must-buys for me but I’m scared I’ll leave someone out if I start listing names! But generally if it’s rural romance, romantic suspense or women’s fiction, I’ll read it.
Chasing Dreams (Hope Creek Series #2)
Almost twenty years ago, Belinda Morrison’s teenage dreams of playing top level cricket were shattered after a night of fun went wrong. While she lay in a hospital bed, the ute’s driver, her boyfriend Marc, left town.
Now Marc Orsini’s a cop, and he’s been sent back to Hope Creek as a temporary posting.
The sparks are still there, stronger than ever, and after a shaky start, their relationship ignites again.
With many ties to the community, the town is Bel’s life, but Marc has responsibilities elsewhere. She can’t risk a short-term romance, but how can she let him walk out of her life for a second time?
Chasing Dreams follows on from Letting Go but can also be read as a stand-alone.
Body relaxed, Bel laid her head over his heart and splayed her hand over his chest, slipping a finger inside the gap between the buttons as she used to do. His body sprang to life and he sucked in a quick breath. She wasn’t drunk. Maybe a little more relaxed than he’d seen her, but it wasn’t like he was taking advantage of her. More like the other way around at the moment.
He turned his head, breathing in her perfume and grazed the top of her head with his lips. She tilted her head and gazed at him with big soft eyes, her lips parted slightly. Slowly, giving her time to reject him, he lowered his head until his lips hovered over hers. Then a centimetre more until his lips were on hers; the taste of her, the feel of their kiss instantly spinning him back twenty years.
Her lips parted with a soft sigh. He threaded his hands into her hair, cupping her head while he deepened the kiss. She met him kiss for kiss, as eager as he was. His heart threatened to burst from his chest. This was something he’d never expected in a million years — to be back in his teenage house, kissing the love of his life. And he’d realised she was. No-one had ever come close to his memory of Bella.
Thanks so much for having me today Maggie. You can find me on Facebook (far too often!) or sign up to my newsletter or blog at my website.