Hi Susanne, Welcome to Café Cala,
It’s great to have you visit Café Cala. I’m looking forward to reading Engaging The Enemy, now that I’ve finally bought myself a kindle. I’ve been making some savoury muffins this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?
Always tea in the morning! Do you have Earl Grey please?
I most certainly do.
1 Where did you get the idea for Engaging the Enemy?
Ideas pop ino my head at odd moments, often when I’m travelling and away from home.This one came during my first tram ride in Melbourne. An abandoned red brick building slid across my view and that became the germ of “One building. Two would-be owners, and a family feud that spans several generations.”
Andrea de Villiers can’t lie to save herself. But when developer, Matt Mahoney, buys the building she and a friend have established as a safe house in the Melbourne CBD, she decides that protecting The Shelter is more important than her aching heart. She will confront Mr Mahoney, and she will emerge victorious. There are no other options.
But Matt has other plans for Andie, and she soon finds herself ensnared in a web of well-meaning lies and benevolent deceit. To protect the building and the families that depend on her, Andie agrees to play the part of Matt’s fiancée, and play it convincingly.
But lies soon bleed into truth, and what was once a deception starts to feel all too real. Can Andie accomplish her goals and protect The Shelter, without losing her heart to the charming Irish developer?
2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?
Rewards in my writing life are readers’ appreciation of my work. Readers who have read and liked my stories and have left a review mean a great deal to me. They make me want to give them more. One of the loveliest comments was from a reader who read my latest book, loved it and was sad that she’d have to wait several months until my next one was ready. That’s motivation to get the next one written!
3 How did you start writing?
It began as a challenge I set myself. While my husband was in Nepal for his fourth trekking trip, I challenged myself to write a full length novel. That resulted in White Ginger which finalled in the RWA’s Emerald Award in 2011 and a publishing contract.
4 What would you say has helped you most?
Friendships with other writers and the information and services offered by the RWA. I’ve always been a reader; I can’t remember a time when I haven’t read and I think a lifetime of absorbing structure, characters and wonderful tales set me up for this career.
5 What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve headed to Nepal as the setting for my next story, a romantic suspense and the first book in a series. Tentatively titled Her Mountain Man, it’s about drugs and the search for an aphrodisiac! I travelled in Nepal years ago with my husband; he’s since returned a number of times and is my source of current information and attitudes!
6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Aside from the obvious—you can’t edit a blank page—get a critique partner or three, join a writing group (real or virtual), and enter competitions; feedback is invaluable and necessary. It’s difficult to be objective about your own work.
7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?
There are a number of authors whose work I automatically buy as soon as it releases; Anna Campbell has just released her third Sons of Sin book and the wait for What a Duke Dares has been so long. I love historical books from all ages but I particularly love witty repartee and the Regency era feeds this addiction! I also love contemporaries and buy Annie West, Annie Seaton, Rachel Bailey and many others as soon as they hit the shelves. If a story is well written and the characters engaging, I’ll read across most genres.
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