9 December, 2015
Thank you for dropping in.
It’s my pleasure, thanks for inviting me.
I really enjoy your writing – “Jazz Baby” was fabulous and so was “Passionfruit and Poetry”.
That’s great to hear.
First of all, Téa, a question I have been dying to ask – how does it happen that you get the most gorgeous covers for your books? EVERY time. Do you get to choose out of a bunch of options or are the cover gods uncommonly kind to you?
The cover gods love me! The Harlequin cover artists are a fabulously talented group. Authors are asked to fill in a Cover Brief and I have a Pinterest board for all my books so I send the link to that.
- Let’s talk about “The Horse Thief”, your latest offering.
Can she save her family’s horse stud and reputation?
When India Kilhampton is caught up in the heart-stopping excitement of the first Melbourne Cup her mind is made up. She will breed a horse to win the coveted trophy and reunite her fractured family. Determined to make her dream a reality she advertises for a horse breeder.
Jim Mawgan arrives at Helligen Stud in the Hunter Valley to take up the position. Jim however, has a mission: he must fulfil his father’s dying wish to right past wrongs and prove his ownership of the prized stallion Jefferson.
Jim and India discover they share a common goal but as the secrets of the past unravel old enmities surface. Although betrayed, will India save Jim before he is branded a horse thief and sentenced to death?
Are all your books traditionally published? If yes, have you ever considered going indie?
My Australian historical fiction is published by Harlequin and I have self published my contemporary fiction and my novellas. In fact, I do my own covers for my self published books.
- Tell us something about Jim of “The Horse Thief”? Why do you think your fans will adore him? Will they?
Jim is caught between a rock and a hard place but he is loyal to a fault. It’s a quality I value and I hope my readers do too.
I like that Jim’s love interest is called India – how did you come to pick that particular name?
I think India is a wonderful name and I have a soft spot for all things Indian. I lived and worked as a teacher in India for twelve months, and I nearly stayed forever – don’t ask me how long ago!
I wish we’d met! Coming back to your characters, do you look for images to inspire you when you are creating characters? Care to share some of those images here?
As I said earlier I use a Pinterest board for each of my books, especially for the historicals where there is so much research involved. Perhaps it’s easiest to just show you – take a look here!
What is your favorite genre to read? How has it influenced what you yourself write?
I read anything and everything, fiction and non fiction. I say I don’t like fantasy but I list Lord of the Rings as my favourite book. I usually have two or three books on the go at once.
- Has any contemporary real-life event, personal or public, ever begged to be written into one of your stories? Could you share it with us, please?
I believe every writer leaves a bit of real-life in everything they write. There’s no one event that I have based a book on. The starting point for The Horse Thief was a throw away comment someone made…you’ll have to read the historical note at the end of the book to get the full story!
Very interesting! So tell us, of all the attributes of a well written story, which is the one that pleases you the most?
A plot or an ending I’m not expecting. The last book that completely flummoxed me was The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I just didn’t see it coming!
What one or two things absolutely irritate you in a book, and would most certainly make you put the book down immediately?
There’s not a lot. I’ll forgive the odd editing mistake, though I want to curl up and die if I find them in my own books. I prefer fiction books to have more of a plot than just boy meets girl.
When do you write? What is your writing space like? What do you use, pencil/pen and paper, or a gadget?
My job is writing so I write most days. I find it easier to be creative in the mornings and I tend to write new words earlier in the day. I have a study, with a sofa and coffee table as well as a desk and an outside courtyard – a bit spoilt really! I use a MacBook, Ipad and an iPhone depending on my mood and I resort to pen and paper when the going gets tough. I have a huge blackboard circle painted on my study wall which I use for plotting.
Your advice to starting authors – one thing they MUST do and one that they should NEVER.
Cultivate the art of patience … that covers both the must and the never. It’s something I still grapple with. The wheels of publishing grind slowly!
Great advice, Téa. Thank you so much!