Interview with Heather Garside!

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.


The Cornstalk:

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:


So, everyone, what does attract you most to a book?


9 Responses to Interview with Heather Garside!

  1. Vicki says:

    I buy on blurb mostly but also author recognition, if I’ve liked an author I may just buy the new release. If I’ve not enjoyed an author I probably wuld not read the blurb at all.

  2. azteclady says:

    Before I knew people who read romance as I do, for new-to-me authors, I would browse the aisles and check title first, cover second, back blurb third, then read a few pages.

    These days I rely much more on word of mouth first, from people whose tastes I trust.

  3. Blanche says:

    Hi Heather! Great interview!!

    For authors I know and love, they are auto buys! If I don’t know an author I do read blurbs or blogs to get ideas. I do have to say that your covers are beautiful and that would draw me to your book right away!!! 🙂

  4. Beth R says:

    Reading the taste and if it sounds interesting I’ll try and go for it

  5. Hi, Heather, I enjoyed your interview. Your story and sequel sounds most interesting.

    For authors with whom I’m not familiar, I’m attracted first to the cover, then the title. That usually hints at the genre, and if it’s what I like, I’ll read the blurb. The story and the voice determines whether I’ll buy it.

    For authors whose writing style I’m familiar with, I’ll buy again, regardless of the cover.


  6. Cindi says:

    Happy Friday, This is a difficult choice for me to make! Sometimes, I am only influenced by one of the factors and other times, all of them! It can also depend on whether I am just looking at books or looking on the internet! With all of that said, if I enjoy an author, then it is a given. If a writer is new to me, I read a few reviews and then the blurb on the back of the book has to be good. Cindi

  7. Virginia H. says:

    I go for the title first then the cover. I also go for historical first for some reason.

  8. Liz says:

    Hello Heather
    Mostly I like to stay with an author I recognize, but I look for a book that has good character development, and you can only judge that by the blurb and comments by the reviews on the back. I like the sound of your stories because it is about Australian history by an Aussie with a genuine attachment. It comes across in the writing if the author is intimate with the location. Good Luck.

  9. Thanks everyone for their nice comments and all the interesting feedback about what attracts them to a book.

    I think author recognition is the biggest thing for most of us. If I find an author I like, I always look for more of her/his works. (And I do admit, I mostly read female authors!)

    I love it when I stumble across a new author that I like. I’m not someone who can pick up just anything and read it, so I like to have some idea what to expect.

    I work part time in a library and I’m quite surprised by the number of people who just grab books in a hurry without taking the time to check them out. Of course,with a library book there’s not much lost if you don’t like it.

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