Today’s guest is author Heather Garside…
Welcome. Please tell us about your books.
Thanks for inviting me here, Jennifer! I am an Australian writer who had two books published by Wings ePress late last year. They are historicals set in Outback Australia in the 1870s and 1890s respectively.
Rather than join her wealthy parents in England, Louise Ashford assumes a false identity and sets off to work as a governess in the pioneer settlements of Central Queensland. She finds herself in the company of a young cattleman of convict descent, a man she knows will never be accepted by her family.
Lloyd Kavanagh finds her work with his neighbours, but their love affair is brought to a sudden end when Louise’s brother intervenes, carrying her off to England. Lloyd is devastated when her deception is revealed, and Louise is caught up in a heart-breaking chain of events she is powerless to resolve. She finally returns to Australia, but Lloyd is not disposed to easily forgive.
A Hidden Legacy: (sequel to The Cornstalk)
Separated from his mother at birth, Matt Jones is a brash, confident young man who comes to Australia in search of his origins. Once he finds his family, there are stormy undercurrents with a jealous younger brother and an illicit relationship with Isabella, an innocent neighbour.
Isabella is heartbroken when he leaves her to try his luck at the goldfields. Matt’s family intervenes on Isabella’s behalf, but only a near-tragedy will make him realise how much he loves her. But will she ever have him back, and can he also resolve the conflict with his brother?
What inspired the stories?
When I first began writing The Cornstalk, quite a few years ago, many towns in my area had recently celebrated their centenaries. The focus on our pioneering past stimulated my imagination and gave birth to this story. I had an idea that the hero could be a teamster, and the heroine find herself on the road in his company – but decided a teamster would be hell to be married to! So I made him an ex-teamster who had made enough money from that occupation to buy his own ranch (or station, in Australian terms). This did frequently happen in real life.
This story seemed to beg for a sequel, so A Hidden Legacy arose quite naturally as a result.
Which of your characters is most like you?
None of them, I think! I much prefer to invent fictitious characters.
Who has inspired you as a writer?
Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, La Verle Spencer, Monica McInerney, Isolde Martyn, lots of others I can’t think of right now.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Least favorite?
The best part is creating characters I love and having complete control of their destiny! The least favourite is when I’m feeling uninspired and just don’t want to write.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Quiet, reliable, a ‘family’ person
If you could save one book from destruction, what would it be?
The Cornstalk (am I allowed to say that?)
If you had a time capsule to be opened 50 years in the future, what would you put in it?
My own books, photos of my family, my favourite CDs, other books I’ve enjoyed reading, some contemporary fashions.
What is next for you?
I’m nearly finished another book, which is a contemporary story with a flashback to the 1890s. A young woman decides to solve a family mystery, and in the process meets a man who’s in the throes of a broken marriage and custody battles over his children. Neither of them are looking for a new relationship, but sometimes love doesn’t listen to reason!
It is also set in Outback Queensland.
Is there anything you’d like to ask readers?
What attracts you most to read a book? The cover, back cover blurb, the first page, reviews… anything else?
Thank you, Heather for the interview!
Readers, you can learn more about Heather at her website: http://www.heathergarside.com/
So, everyone, what does attract you most to a book?