Blast from the past: Téa Cooper

9 December, 2015


Dear Téa,

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.


Book Blurb:

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!


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