Q&A With Author Janette Paul!

Welcome today’s Q&A post featuring author Janette Paul. Ms Paul’s newest novel Amber And Alice is available now and is published by Penguin Random House, RRP $32.99.

 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Just start writing. Don’t think about your stories, write them down. They’re not silly and getting published isn’t a pipedream. You can – and will – get there!

What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?

The brainstorming part that comes before I start writing a new book is a kind of dreamy, kind of thought-filled process of moving ideas around in my head. I don’t do much focused research until I’ve worked out what I want to write about. Once I’m there, I start to collect ideas that I think will fit with each other. Sometimes I’ll jot down a thought or put aside an article I’ve read, but mostly it happens in my head. And yes, it gets a little crowded in there but it just doesn’t work for me on paper or a screen. The actual research – Googling, reading, asking and answering specific questions – doesn’t start until I’m ready to write. And most of that is done when I need to know something for the scene I’m writing. I’m a pantser, I don’t like to get ahead of myself or a story, and I find if I do a lot of research too early, my muse starts to panic about getting the facts right.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing Amber and Alice?

There was a lot that didn’t make it into the final version of Amber and Alice! I wrote the original version more than ten years ago. It was the first novel I finished and I thought it was great but it went nowhere so I tucked it away and wrote something else. Then a couple of years ago, with six novels under my belt (five thrillers writing as Jaye Ford and my first Janette Paul rom-com Just Breathe), I pulled the old manuscript out again, read the first couple of chapters and realised it was awful! But I remembered the trip I took into Central Australia that had inspired the story and I decided to rewrite it. What got chucked out? Terrible characters, themes that didn’t work, boring dialogue, bad jokes. Most of the scenes, in some way or another remained – worked over, reworded and injected with something fresh and funny. And the book on the shelves isn’t much different from the manuscript I handed over to my publisher.

What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?

The deadline. It tends to hold down my muse when it needs to be up and roaming around. I find writing is so often a balancing act between freeing up my creativity to find the joy in a story, and getting enough words down to hold off the panic that I won’t meet the deadline. I never know how many words it’s going to take to finish a story or how many months I’ll need to write it. Consequently, I’m always trying to stay ahead of my word count and telling myself not to panic through the weeks when the story isn’t playing well. Probably not surprising that I love editing.

How many hours a day do you write?

Writing is my job and I like to keep business hours. Usually, I start around 9am, work through the morning, take a lunch break, then work through the afternoon. It works out at somewhere between five to eight hours most days, five days a week. I’m my own boss, which is good and bad. I get time off to do other stuff but I’m also a bit of a slave driver (see answer above!) and have to remind myself to take a break.

What can readers expect next from your writing?

I’m working on another rom-com at the moment, a quirky story about a woman who loves rain, a town that believes she’s the reason for their claim to fame as the wettest place in Australia, and a man who gets stranded there and thinks they’re all nuts.

 

About Amber And Alice by Janette Paul

When Amber Jones wakes up in her sister Sage’s speeding car, with no idea how she got there (though the hangover is a clue), all she wants to do is go home. But Sage is convinced a road trip to Alice Springs will finally answer the burning question: who is Amber’s father? Because nine months before Amber’s birth, her late mother Goldie made the same trip . . .

Armed with just a name and Goldie’s diaries, Amber agrees to search for a man she’s never met in one of the world’s biggest deserts.

And that means spending two weeks in a convoy of four-wheel-driving tourists and camping in freezing desert nights. To make matters worse, her fellow travellers hate her and the handsome tour leader Tom thinks she’s an alcoholic.

But slowly the desert starts to reveal its secrets – and Amber must decide which horizon to follow . . .

Purchase Links

Penguin Random House Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Google Play

 

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Q&A With Author Sasha Wasley

Q&A feature with author Sasha Wasley, debut author of Dear Banjo. Published by Penguin Random House, RRP $32.99 and is available now!.

Are there any scenes that got cut from the finished book that you can mention?

There are several, but mostly from the end of the book when I was struggling to let go of the characters! There was one scene where my lovers explained in detail what had been going on in their heads during previous misunderstandings and my editor (rightly) said, ‘This is all pointless backtracking!’ Oh, let me tell you, it was tough to do but I cut that entire scene. My editor said I just needed to let them ride off into the sunset, because the reader knew they were perfect together. Very good advice. All in all I think I must have cut a good 20,000 words from the final book!

What is the first book that made you cry?

The first book I can remember really bawling over was Anne of Green Gables. Like, bawling so hard I couldn’t see or breathe. That whole series broke my heart over and over again. I don’t know how Lucy Maud Montgomery could have killed off so many wonderful characters! She gave JK Rowling a run for her money. If LMM was alive and on Twitter today, she’d be tweeting annual apologies for killing off beloved characters.
@LucyMM: This year, I apologise for killing Matthew Cuthbert. #sweetoldman #heartdisease #uglycry

What is your favourite go-to read?

When I’m tired and don’t feel like fully engaging with a new book, I reread my true-paranormal books! I love being spooked and the stories are nice and short so I can stop reading without my naughty brain telling me ‘just one more chapter!’ I also love reading Jane Austen books and her juvenilia. If I have to work in the morning or get the kids to school, I avoid anything that’s got the potential to keep me up reading all night (ie stories I do not yet know back to front).

What was the most challenging scene to write in the book?

Probably the weekend muster scene. Willow is challenged by the station manager, who is sceptical about her organic, humane farming ideas, to accompany the droving team on a 3-day muster. Willow, almost 30, hasn’t been on a muster since she was a teenager. I had to keep going back to Google and Youtube and my books on cattle grazing to make sure I got the facts right, as well as weaving in the unspoken tension and awkward attempts to rebuild between Tom and Willow. It is a very enjoyable scene and it’s now one of my favourites in the whole book, but it took time to get it right.

What can readers expect next in your writing?

More Patersons! This book is part of a series. I have just finished first-drafting Free’s book (Willow’s younger sister) and have now gone onto sketching out Beth’s story (the eldest Paterson girl). I may take a short break and detour into finishing my YA paranormal series later this year, but my priority is the Daughters of the Outback series.

 

About Sasha Wasley

Sasha Wasley was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. She lives in the Swan Valley wine region with her two daughters. She writes commercial fiction, crossover new adult/YA mysteries and paranormal. Sasha Wasley’s debut novel, The Seventh, was published in January 2015. Her first new adult paranormal romance series, The Incorruptibles, debuted in 2016.

 

About Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley

They were best friends who were never meant to fall in love – but for one of them, it was already way too late.

Willow ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Tom Forrest were raised on neighbouring cattle stations in the heart of the Kimberley. As young adults, sharing the same life dreams, something came between them that Willow cannot forget. Now ten years have passed since she’s even spoken to Tom.

When her father falls ill, Willow is called home to take over the running of the family property, Paterson Downs. Her vision for a sustainable, organic cattle station is proving hard to achieve. She needs Tom’s help, but is it too late, and all too complicated, to make amends?

Tom’s heartfelt, decade-old letters remain unopened and unmentioned between them, and Willow must find the courage to finally read them. Their tattered pages reveal a love story like no other – and one you’ll never forget.

Dear Banjo is a wildly romantic and utterly captivating story about first love and second chances from an exciting new Australian author.

Purchase Links

Penguin Random House  *  Booktopia  *  iBooks  *  Amazon Australia  *  Google Play

 

 

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Book Blog Tour! Q&A With Author Anna Daniels

Welcome to the blog tour post for Girl in Between by Anna Daniels and, is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.

 

What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?

One of the major settings in Girl in Between is London, a city I adore! So, when it came time to write the London chapters, I took myself over there and spent a week living and writing in an airbnb room across from Battersea Park. I loved it!

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing Girl In Between?

Yes! I had initially written a scene where Lucy Crighton, the main character, stumbles across a meditation stall at the Notting Hill markets, and ends up being hypnotised by the stall owner, called Peter, who really runs a glorified cult! I remember cracking myself up as I wrote it, but Louise Thurtell, my editor and publisher had flagged that scene with the comment, ‘Not sure about all this Peter stuff’ and so we cut it…probably for the best!

What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?

Sometimes the solitary nature of being a writer can be a challenge. I’m pretty social, and so when I wrote Girl In Between, I found myself really looking forward to chatting and being with people at my gym classes and local coffee shop!

How many hours a day do you write?

I had quite an intense experience writing Girl In Between as I needed to increase my word count from 38,000 words to over 80,000 words over a short timeframe. During that period I was probably writing 8 hours a day.

What can readers expect next from your writing?

I’d really love to turn Girl in Between into a romantic-comedy screenplay, and have Lucy and Rosie running around on the small screen! That’s my next writing goal and hopefully we can make it happen!

 

About Girl In Between by Anna Daniels

Life can be tricky when you’re a girl in between relationships, careers and cities … and sometimes you have to face some uncomfortable truths. The sparkling debut from comic TV and radio presenter, Anna Daniels.

Lucy Crighton has just moved in with some gregarious housemates called Brian and Denise . . . who are her parents. She’s also the proud mother of Glenda, her beloved 10-year-old . . . kelpie. And she has absolutely no interest in the dashing son of her parents’ new next-door neighbour . . . well, maybe just a little . . .

As the girl in between relationships, careers and cities, Lucy is facing some awkward truths – like her mum’s obsession with Cher, her father’s unsolicited advice, and the probability there’s more cash on the floor of her parents’ car than in her own bank account.

Thank goodness for Lucy’s crazy-but-wonderful best friend, Rosie, who’s around to cushion reality with wild nights at the local Whipcrack Hotel, escapades in Japanese mud baths, and double dating under the Christmas lights in London.

But will Lucy work out what she really wants to do in life – and who she wants to share it with
Girl in Between is a warm, funny, charmingly Australian story about life at the crossroads. Featuring an endearing and irrepressible cast of characters, it will have you chuckling from start to finish.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Booktopia  *  iBooks  *  Amazon Australia

About Anna Daniels

Anna Daniels has enjoyed great success as a comedic storyteller since kicking off her career by winning the ABC’s ‘Comedy Segment of the Year Award’ for an interview with Russell Crowe. She then went on to co-create the ABC’s first online sketch comedy series ‘Tough at the Top’ with Melbourne comedian, Anne Edmonds. For several years Anna wrote and presented funny upbeat stories for The Project, winning over viewers with her warm, silly, endearing style. Having grown up in Rockhampton, she particularly championed the stories and characters of rural and regional Australia with affection and humour. As well as The Project, Anna has written, presented and/or produced radio, TV and online content for Queensland Weekender, Red Symons’ Breakfast Show, and the BBC One series, ‘John Bishop’s Australia’. Anna can now be heard presenting statewide programs on 612 ABC Brisbane.

Author Social Media Links

Twitter  *  Instagram  *  Website

 

 

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Q&A With Author Jennifer Scoullar!

Welcome to today’s book feature Q&A post for Fortune’s Son author Jennifer Scoullar. Ms Scoullar’s newest novel Fortune’s Son, published by Penguin Random House Australia.

What research do you do when brainstorming a book?

Once I’ve come up with a new story idea, I read lots of non-fiction books around the theme and subject matter. With Fortune’s Son, for example, I literally read every text ever written about Thylacines! With this being my first historical saga, I also did a lot of internet research about turn-of-the-century Australia, and Tasmania in particular.

But no amount of research beats spending time in the landscape of your proposed novel. Reference books can’t buy you drinks at the bar and tell you stories. Statistics can’t show you the beauty of an ancient huon pine tree, framed by a pink sunset. For this reason, I spent quite a bit of time in Tasmania. When you travel to the heart of your story, maps turn into places, population figures turn into people and mountains become metaphors for our connection to country.

What was the first book the made you cry?

Black Beauty

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Believe that you can earn money writing what you love. It takes hard work, but don’t give up. Ten years ago I was told nobody would publish adult novels with animal point of view in Australia. Fortune’s Son has passages written from the point of view of both a dog and a thylacine.

Can you tell us a scene that did not make the cut while writing Fortune’s Son?

This makes me smile. Although Fortune’s Son has animal point of view, my editor did suggest I cut the dog honeymoon. ‘The fact that Sasha has puppies will indicate to readers that the dogs mated,’ she said. How unromantic! I had an entire chapter about how Sasha became Bear’s mate. It took me ages to write. Perhaps I’ll put it up on-line as a stand-alone piece

How many hours a day do you write?

I try to write for four hours a day. This increases when I’m nearing a deadline.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m busy writing another historical saga, a sequel to Fortune’s Son. It begins in 1929, at the start of the great depression, and follows the lives of Belle Campbell’s twin grandsons.

 

About Fortune’s Son by Jennifer Scoullar

Can one man’s revenge become his redemption?

Young Luke Tyler has everything going for him: brains, looks and a larrikin charm that turns heads. The future appears bright, until he defends his sister from the powerful Sir Henry Abbot. His reward is fifteen years hard labour on a prison farm in Tasmania’s remote highlands.

Luke escapes, finding sanctuary with a local philanthropist, Daniel Campbell, and starting a forbidden relationship with Daniel’s daughter, Belle. But when Luke is betrayed, he must flee or be hanged.

With all seeming lost, Luke sails to South Africa to start afresh. Yet he remains haunted by the past, and by Belle, the woman he can’t forget. When he returns to seek revenge and reclaim his life, his actions will have shattering consequences – for the innocent as well as the guilty.

Set against a backdrop of wild Tasmania, Australian gold and African diamonds, Fortune’s Son is an epic story of betrayal, love and one man’s struggle to triumph over adversity and find his way home.

Purchase Links

Penguin Random House  Australia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia  *  iBooks

 

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Author Social Media Links

Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

 

*Author photo received from Penguin Random House Australia for this feature post*

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Q&A With Author Christine Wells!

Today’s Q&A post features author Christine Wells. Ms Wells new release book, The Traitor’s Girl, published by Penguin Random House, is available now, RRP $32.99.

 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

This is what you were meant to do so stop trying to prove yourself by getting published—people won’t take you seriously as a writer, published or not, unless you make writing a priority and treat it like a job. Slow down, take risks and believe in yourself. And for the love of God, develop a better process or you’ll regret it later!

What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?

Brainstorming a book isn’t something I do consciously. I usually become obsessed with a fascinating part of history and want to know all I can about it. I read everything I can get my hands on, and somewhere in this process, the idea for a book comes to me. I tend to read biographies and general texts in this phase, then delve deeper into original sources as I write the first draft.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing The Traitor’s Girl?

I wrote a gorgeous scene where the three friends, Vi, Steph and Annabel, go through the amazing couture gowns stored in Annabel’s grandmother’s attic. I had so much fun researching iconic dresses of the 1920s and 1930s for this scene, but in the end, it had to go because it didn’t do much to advance the story. I can never let anything go completely, though, and I find it easier to cut if I keep cut scenes in a separate file. My ‘snippets’ file for this book was 20,000 words long!

How many hours a day do you write?

This varies greatly. When not on deadline it might be two hours a day of actual writing. Three months out from deadline it is often much more than that. However, it is not at all good for the body to be sitting typing for so long at a time so I don’t recommend long stints at the computer if it can be avoided. RSI is a huge problem for writers.

What can readers expect next from your writing?

I hope readers can expect strong, memorable characters facing great challenges during a fascinating time in history. A bit of humour, a bit of mystery, a love story. All those good things!

 

About The Traitor’s Girl by Christine Wells

‘I think I’m in danger. It’s a matter of some urgency. You must please come at once.’

After receiving a mysterious summons from her long-lost grandmother, Australian teacher Annabel Logan agrees to visit her home in the Cotswolds. But when she arrives at the magnificent Beechwood Hall, it appears abandoned and the local villagers have no idea where the reclusive Caroline Banks might be.

The one person who might know something is enigmatic journalist Simon Culpepper. He reveals that Caroline Banks was once known as Carrie Granger. A socialite’s daughter, Carrie became a spy and agent provocateur for MI5 during the Second World War. But when British intelligence failed to investigate a dangerous traitor, she decided to take matters into her own hands …

Concerned that her grandmother’s secret past has caught up with her, Annabel stays on to investigate. But the more she uncovers, the more difficult it becomes to know who to trust. There are strange incidents occurring at Beechwood and Annabel must use all her ingenuity and daring to find Carrie before it’s too late.

From the streets of Seville, Paris and London in the thirties and forties, to the modern English countryside The Traitor’s Girl is a captivating story of passion, intrigue and betrayal.

Purchase Links

Penguin Random House Australia * Booktopia * Amazon Australia * iBooks

 

 

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Author Social Media Links

Website * Twitter * Facebook

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