What was the hardest scene to write?
I always find it difficult to write sex scenes and there are a couple in LAKE HILL. To combat this I find a good song or piece of music for each sex scene, plug in my headphones and simply write to the flow of the music. It’s like the key words at the most passionate points, hit the keynotes in a crescendo and I find, because of the music, I know instantly if the words jar.
Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing Lake Hill?
How about the whole second half of the book? Yes. You heard that right. I re-wrote the whole second half as I’d concentrated on the periphery characters too much. I allowed them to take the focus in this tree-change storyline from Julia, a widowed woman of thirty six, who’s hiding a passionate secret from her long, lost love, Rick. Those secondary characters, whilst at times, hilarious, had to be reined in! But hopefully I’ve managed to keep the best comedic parts.
What was the first book that made you cry?
The Silver Brumby books by Elyne Mitchell. I howled many times through this whole series.
What’s you favourite underappreciated novel?
Dinner at Rose’s by Danielle Hawkins. It’s brilliant. Well written, engaging, warm, funny, and heartbreaking in turns. It’s one of my all-time favourite books.
What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm or researching a book?
Ahem … well, I guess you can say I go all out.
A character needs to drive a truck? I go and get my heavy rigid truck licence in a 550HP Prime Mover.
A character needs to make a Bargello quilt? I learn how to quilt.
A character needs to catch wild dogs? I follow a wild dog trapper around the bush learning how to set traps.
A character needs to fight a bushfire? I join the CFA.
You get the picture …
In LAKE HILL there is a character that runs a working dog school, so to do that I had to go to a school, and learn how to train a working dog – two schools in fact. I got so intrigued I ended up with my own Kelpie and as I’m a farmer as well as an author, I’m now passionate about learning more about low stress livestock handling using my dog. It’s crazy where books take you.
We’ve also travelled all over with the kids and incorporated research for my novels into those trips. For my next novel – working title TRUE NORTH – my husband and I packed up two kids, four swags, two motorbikes and one Kelpie dog and trekked across and half-way up Australia to WA’s Pilbara and worked the mustering season (four months) on a remote half-million acre cattle station, five hours from the nearest major town.
It was a tad radical. Fun and exhilarating. Tough and eye-opening.
But all excellent research. We all learnt a lot.
What can reader’s expect next in your writing project?
A book set in the remote W.A. Pilbara – working title TRUE NORTH. It’s about three women on a station … I can’t tell you much more than that, as I’m an organic writer. I’m pretty excited to see what arrives next on the page myself!
About Lake Hill by Margareta Osborn
All her life Julia Gunn has been weighed down – first by a controlling father, then by a staid older husband, and always by a long-buried secret from her teenage years.
Now, widowed at just thirty-six, she’s going to do something for herself.
Except en route to a new life on the coast at Lakes Entrance she finds herself – courtesy of a rockslide – stuck in the remote mountain town of Lake Grace.
Yet maybe fate is on her side. Because Lake Grace is home to Rick Halloran – ex-rodeo king, sculptor and grazier – and the man with whom she enjoyed a brief, unforgettable romance twenty years ago.
Not only that, but Julia has dreamed of running her own café, and she’s just spotted a For Sale sign outside the prettiest little tea-room by the lake . . .
Julia is finally on the verge of the life she’s always wanted.
Then her long-buried secret knocks at the door . . .
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