Hi Téa, Welcome to Café Cala.
Thank you – it’s wonderful to be here. Something smells delicious!
It’s great to have you visit Café Cala. I can’t wait to read Lily’’s Leap. I love tales about Australia in colonial times. This morning I’ve been baking a cranberry and pecan loaf. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?
Ah! Cranberry and pecan loaf! A flat white would be just perfect.
1 Where did you get the idea for Lily’s Leap?
I volunteer there once a month. The museum is housed in the Old Court House, complete with lock-up and exercise yard. As I walk up the path my heart always starts pounding. I slip the key in the old lock and open the door …. Patrick Bruin is waiting for me!
Patrick was a bushranger who got caught out and died of his injuries in the cells. And so I got to thinking about a HEA for him and Lily’s Leap is the result.
2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?
I love spinning tales and putting my own twist on them. When I was a child I was often accused of “storytelling” (I think it was a polite way of being told not to embroider the facts!) Writing gives me a legitimate excuse, finally.
3 How did you start writing?
With a crayon on my bedroom walls, according to family legend! Writing has been a big part of many of the jobs I’ve had but the opportunity to write pure fiction didn’t present itself until I was brave enough to quit full time work.
4 What would you say has helped you most?
A vivid imagination and countless people who have taken the time to offer advice and read my “novel attempts”. (That’s the name of the file on my computer!) And more recently a ‘who’ — my critique partner Eva Scott.
5 What are you working on at the moment?
I always seem to have two manuscripts going at once. I am putting the finishing touches to an Australian Historical called The Stud Master. I wanted to write a story that involved The Melbourne Cup (It’s “the (horse) race that stops a nation” for the non Aussies.) It is such an important part of Australian culture and Archer, the winner of the first two races came from NSW …. I’m also playing with a series called The Adventures of Miss Abigail Wynter. Abigail is a genealogist, working in a museum (no points for guessing where that idea came from!) and I would love to use parallel timelines but it is rather like a cryptic crossword wrapped up in a tangled ball of wool. It’s keeping me amused!
I love the sound of Abigail and look forward to getting to know her better.
6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Do it – no matter how long it takes do not put it on your bucket list. Be brave.
7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?
Currently I am totally and completely besotted by Kate Morton. I am fascinated by the way she weaves parallel timelines into her stories. I’m in awe of her skill. I’m playing with the idea for Abigail Wynter. It’s difficult!
Perhaps if you could send regular parcels containing this delicious pecan and cranberry slice it might make it easier …. Thanks so much for inviting me to the Café Cala.
It’s been a pleasure to have you visit, Téa.
Born into the rough, but privileged society of the Australian colonial landowners, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and, much to her distress, back under her father’s thumb, all before her twenty-first birthday. Determined not to forgo her dream of breeding the perfect racehorse, Lilibeth ignores propriety and sets out to restore the family’s flagging fortunes.
When Captain Tom and his mismatched band of bushrangers stumble across a mob of the best horses they’ve ever seen, and the daughter of the famed Dungarven horse stud, they know their fortunes have changed. Their catch is worth a king’s ransom. All they have to do is hold her for seven days. How hard can it be to control the pampered daughter of a colonial upstart?
Amazon and Goodreads Reviews:
“Forget work, forget all your responsibilities and slide into this delicious story … a well-written book by a talented writer … since I doubt I’ll be visiting Australia, it was a treat to feel like I was there, herding horses to market across the Australian Outback. The landscape assumes the position of a character in this exciting romance; playing a pivotal role in Lily’s adventure. A fabulous read by a very talented Aussie author … I have no hesitation in HIGHLY recommending Lily’s Leap.”