Hi Josephine, welcome to Café Cala,
I’m delighted to have you visit Café Cala. I’m really looking forward to reading The Beekeeper’s Secret. I’ve been making chocolate brownies this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?
Why thank you so much for having me here. I’m a bit of a chai tragic. It’s a great thing you’re baking brownies because I often describe my books as being like brownies—sweet, indulgent, a treat for the senses, but with chunky nuts to chew on.
But, having said that, I have been describing The Beekeeper’s Secret as a chocolate with a dark, bitter centre, but covered in just enough sweetness to make the whole thing rich and enjoyable and leaving you wanting more.
1 Where did you get the idea for The Beekeepers Secret?
I was trying to write a family saga set on a coffee farm, that’s where it started. I did lots of research about coffee, really intellectually interested, but I had no passion for it. So I had to ask myself, what was I passionate about? And the answer was bees!
So I did research on bees and was really getting into that. I’d abandoned my family saga and was now trying to write a book about beekeeping and corporate sabotage, but there were these nuns in the background who were very strong and very insistent. I kept writing this book on corporate sabotage and I kept trying to write the nuns into the story until it became clear that they didn’t belong there at all.
So I had to ask them, what do you want?
And they wanted a whole book. Specifically, Maria, one of our main characters, wanted a whole book. And when something turns up that strongly and persistently, as a writer, I believe it’s my duty
2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?
I’ve been so touched by the number of emails I’ve had from people who’ve contacted me to say that reading my book was the very thing they needed at that time in their life, or that it helped them through a really rough patch, or that they hadn’t read a novel in over 10 years and mine was the first one since then and now they wanted to keep reading. These things really affect me.
3 How did you start writing?
I wrote my first book when I was nine. It was called ‘Starlight the Brumby’. I acted it out in the backyard and then wrote it out. My dad took it to work and had his secretary type it up. He kept it and gave it to me at the time that The Tea Chest was published. I think it’s not bad, actually!
4 What would you say has helped you most?
Being part of the Queensland Writers Centre and attending dozens of courses in the craft of writing. Having good writing buddies along the way to get good feedback from but also moral support. And writing ten manuscripts on the way to publication.
5 What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m working on my fourth foodie fiction book, this one with a food theme of cheese and set in the UK. I’m not very far into it so I can’t share more than that, but I was inspired during my trip to the Cotswolds last year so I’ve set the book in a little village there and am really enjoying it.
6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Be curious. People often say to write what you know. But I think you need to write about what you want to know. Writing what you know will take you so far but writing what you want to know will take you so much further.
7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?
Monica McInerney, Liane Moriarty, Kimberley Freeman, Kate Morton, Danielle Hawkins, Hilary Spiers.
The Beekeeper’s Secret
Maria Lindsey has secrets to hide. Living on top of a secluded mountain is a good way to hide from the world… until her past begins to track her down.
‘Maria knew about guilt. It was a stubborn, pervasive and toxic emotion, and incredibly difficult to shake. Especially if really, deep down, you didn’t think you deserved to let it go.‘
Maria Lindsey is content. She spends her solitary days tending her bees and creating delicious honey products to fund orphaned children. A former nun, her life at Honeybee Haven has long been shaped by her self-imposed penance for terrible past events. But the arrival of two letters heralds the shattering of Maria’s peaceful existence.
Pushing aside the misgivings of her family and friends, Tansy Butterfield, on the eve of her marriage, made a serious deal with her adored husband, Dougal. A deal she’d intended to honour. But, seven years on, Tansy is finding her current feelings difficult to ignore. And on top of those not-really-there feelings, Dougal wants to move to Canada!
The surprising and intriguing new novel about the astounding secrets we keep from those we love from the bestselling author of The Tea Chest.