Today’s special guest is the delightful Susanne Bellamy, who was born and raised in Toowoomba, Australia. Susanne is an author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations, and rural romance set in Australia. She adores travel with her husband, both at home and overseas, and weaves stories around the settings and people she encounters.
Her heroes have to be pretty special to live up to her real life hero. He saved her life then married her.
Susanne is a member of the RWA and was a finalist in their 2011 Emerald Award. She placed third in the 2015 Pan Macmillan short story competition with Chez Romeo. Mentoring aspiring writers, and working as a freelance editor keeps her off the street! She loves connecting with readers and fellow writers.
What inspired you to write Hearts of the Outback?
My first rural romance was released in September last year. Second Chance Love (A Bindarra Creek Romance) was written as part of a wonderful series set in the fictional NSW town of Bindarra Creek, a place all thirteen of the authors ‘know’ exists. I loved the experience and genre so much I decided to create my own rural series set in northwest Queensland.
During NaNoWriMo, I set my goal to complete the first book in one month. I wanted to write about the wonderful Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and acknowledge the invaluable service they give to remote parts of our vast land. My plan was to write stories connected by both setting and characters, and Captain Amy Alistair’s brother was to get his turn after her. But when it came time to begin book 2, one minor character from book 1, Lizzy Wilmot, would not be quiet and I had to find out why.
My brother-in-law had passed away earlier in the year and my sister was trying to deal with the loss of her husband. In Heartbreak Homestead I think I was trying to work through my own grief by working through Lizzy’s. Certainly her story is darker than the others. She has to deal with death and unexpected responsibilities, and face the demons of her past when she returns to the family property.
The process of writing about difficult and emotional events is cathartic and that may be what resonates with readers who can identify with characters’ feelings. Feisty, independent, passionate Lizzy is a strong character with resilience, much like several women I know, and her success in dealing with all the ‘stuff’ life throws at her is uplifting.
Why did you decide to set the series in northwest Queensland?
While my earlier books had contemporary settings (from Melbourne, to Hawaii and Italy) there is something about small towns that is incredibly appealing. Writing a series where I could stay in that world for more than a single story was a very attractive idea, and each new book excites me as I return to the Isa.
Many years ago, I taught in Cloncurry. It was the northwest hub for several government departments, including Main Roads, and Queensland Rail, and had even been the base for the RFDS until the 1960s, when it was moved to Mt. Isa. The people I got to know were open, hardworking, and wonderful, willing to lend a hand, and incredibly community minded as so many in our small towns and remote places are. I wanted to create a series that celebrated them and a way of life that I think captures the essence of what it is to be Australian. While a sense of community etcetera is in no way limited to the Outback, it is perhaps more noticeable in remote places.
I hope you enjoy a brief sojourn in my beautiful state as you read Hearts of the Outback.
Winds of Change (Book 4) is available on pre-order, and releases 1 December
More about the book:
When famous actress, Willa Raynolds, comes home to the Australian outback to film a mini-series, the last person she expects to see is her first love, Jax Heathwood. Their breakup was unpleasant and he is the last person she wants on the set. Jax, an army major, is on injury leave and to his dismay has been seconded to provide technical advice on location for Willa’s series.
But when Willa is the subject of a stalker, Jax’s protective instincts kick in with a vengeance and he realises he’s never got over her.
Who wants to harm her? Can Jax keep her safe and convince her to take another chance on them?
You can buy a copy of Susanne’s book here: http://amzn.to/2drvVGt
You can find her at the following:
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/susanne.bellamy.7
- Twitter https://twitter.com/SusanneBellamy
- Website http://www.susannebellamy.com/
- Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/susannebellamy/
- Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6869630.Susanne_Bellamy
Or on her website: http://www.susannebellamy.com