Enjoy the second part of our 2018 authors and their stunning books.
They’d make the best christmas stocking fillers!
Merry Christmas and may 2019 rock your world!
love and blessings from
Melanie and Michelle.
Q. Why do you write romance?
There is a great deal of hardship in our world.
Writing stories where there is a guaranteed HEA (happy ever after) feels like fighting back against that, which doesn’t mean romances are ‘unrealistic’.
Certainly I, and the other rural romance writers whose stories I have enjoyed, use aspects of real life to create our stories.
That realism resonates with readers, but it’s fun to give my main characters a happy ending.
Q. What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working on a crime novel set in Galway, Ireland.
My goal is to have this manuscript finished by 5 March 2019, which will be the second anniversary of my trip to Ireland to do research for the book.
Q. What do you like most about writing?
A lot of writers would find my answer odd, but I love outlining.
To me, it is the most fun, the most creative part. That’s where I craft the story, asking what if this or what if that? That’s where I think about the twists and turns and make sure I’ve got all the pieces in place to pull it off.
That’s where I figure out the motivations of my characters, what their goals and desires are, where their weaknesses and flaws lie.
Really, it’s like playing in a room full of Legos, with all the accessories you can dream up. You can put together, pull apart, try this, try that, reshape, reimagine, or throw it all up in the air and start over.
All without investing a lot of time in the hard work of actual writing. By the time I’ve got my outline put together, the story flows onto the page pretty quickly because the prep work has already been done.
Jenn J McLeod
Q. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Some secrets I want readers to find.
Some secrets are more cryptic. And some are for one person only . . . Me!
I do lots of things to keep me interested while I’m writing, including fun secrets. Hearing an author saying they have to stay interested in their own book might sound strange, but the writing/publishing process has many mundane aspects and writing is a very solitary job and so, I make it as fun as I can.
If I want a reader to be interested in my characters’ journey, I have to be interested and readers are smart.
They know when an author loses interest, or when they start spitting out the same book year after year, but with different titles and character names. I never want to be one of those writers who allows the boredom of the biz to get in the way.
For those wanting to see my wedding post in full, or find out more about my books, pop over to my website
Q. What do you like most about writing?
Do you have a year for me to tell you about it?
Oh, well, I’ll keep it brief.
It’s hard to describe what it is I love about writing, but I think the easiest way is to say that when you are in that first flush, where ideas and characters are coming to you and you’re in that time of discovery.
It’s like flying, like jumping out of a plane, a wonderful moment of ‘holy crap’ mixed with excitement of an adrenaline rush.
It’s amazing and I can lose myself in it and time disappears and all worries and stresses fade away.
It’s like meditation, like communing with the universe in some zen-like way. I also love workshopping with writing friends (their work or my work, it doesn’t matter) and I don’t mind the redrafting and editing stages, particularly when I have notes from my editor and can really get stuck into making it so much better and pushing myself to be more clever and make it what it should be.
Q. What got you interested in writing?
I grew up with ghosts outside my door.
They haunted dark trees and cemeteries and were the spirits of young girls betrayed by lovers.
These stories were made real by my cousins who were always telling me how just last year a child around my age had been snatched by one of these ghosts – Pontianaks.
And never seen again…
In Singapore it is considered a treat to bring children to Haw Par Villa, originally a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values. Here children are shown the ten views of Hell.
I had nightmares for a week after each visit. Even today, I can visualize the demons as they tortured liars by pulling their tongues, elongating them grotesquely.
This is probably why I never wanted to be a writer. Initially. Writers bend the truth. A little.
Then I came to Australia for my education, met my husband, married and stayed. When my first son was born I read him stories. And somehow something stirred.
Thus, in a strange land far away from my own family and what was familiar, I began to write. And in my stories, I could come home.
To a land where boys turn into crickets and mousedeer dance laughing upon the backs of crocodiles.
Q.On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?
Every writer (or almost every!) experiences that crushing moment of receiving a rejection from a publisher, usually on numerous occasions.
Those moments aside, a low point of my writing career was when my publisher changed distributors and my ebooks were taken down from the various platforms such as Amazon and reloaded to them.
My latest book at that time was selling quite well on Amazon and had a good ranking, plus a number of excellent reviews.
That ranking was lost forever and the reviews also disappeared. I was able to get them back by approaching Amazon directly, but it took some time. My book sales never recovered.
One of the highlights of my career has been finalling in the Booksellers Best Award in the US with The Cornstalk (now Colonial Daughter.) A very exciting moment!
Q. On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?
The writing journey is an emotional rollercoaster, much like a character arc in a story.
Just when you think you’ve perfected your art, something comes along to make you see things in a different light. For example: you’ve written a great story and you’re bouncing off the walls because it’s great!
Then your edits come in and you see the mark up, and you wonder WTH were you thinking and HTH will you ever fix it?
(Cue the wine and chocolate!)
Lowest and most painful moment: That day, six years ago, when I found out my debut US publisher had sold out to another, far less stable and reputable one.
It resulted in an unpleasant, lengthy battle to get my rights back. Thankfully, it all came good in the end and, a couple of years later, the book was published by a far more reputable, solid traditional publisher.
The highest moment: The day I received an email to say that Whispers at Wongan Creek had been selected as one of the books in a 3-in-1 paperback bind up called Country Whispers with Tricia Stringer and Elizabeth Dunk
If you would like more information on Juanita’s books, or if you would like to touch base with her, why not take at a look at her…
Q.What is your writing Kryptonite?
Kryptonite – as in negative as in stopping me write…I’m a huge procrastinator – I will find anything and everything to do around the house rather than sit and write – but when I do start – then I leave my butt imprint in the chair as I don’t want to get out of my created world and face reality. So for me, I guess, having the freedom to choose when I am actually going to write is the biggest problem…LOL
Kryptonite as in a drug that is addictive – Story. There are times when its 3.30am and I have to get some sleep, and the story is going so well, that I don’t want to get up and walk away from my world created inside my head. Story is my kryptonite, I don’t want to live in the real world all the time!
Wondering where to find more about Tina?
Or why not send her an email? firstname.lastname@example.org