Behind the Story: Michelle Montebello

Low_Res_File_Michelle_Montebello_032-3Today I’m very excited to introduce you to the lovely Michelle Montebello. Michelle is a writer from Sydney, Australia where she lives with her husband and two children. She is the author of the Belle Series which earned her 2018’s Best New Author in the AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as a finalist place for Book of the Year for Interwoven and Author of the Year. She loves to travel and has explored most continents, with more to go on her bucket list. She also has a keen passion for reading, tennis, spending time with her family and the dramatic arts.

Hello Michelle! Please tell us about your story behind the story.

Thank you, Alli, for having me on your blog today! I’m excited to talk about my latest novel, The Quarantine Station, which releases on March 6th2019. It’s a historical romance about forbidden love set in 1918 and the present day.

What inspired you to write The Quarantine Station?

Long before I started writing this novel, I’d been visiting the site on Sydney’s North Head, now known as The Q Station. It has always been a place of intrigue for me. I’d been on the ghost tours (quite scary), walked through the heritage buildings and strolled along the wharf where the boats once came ashore with the sick. It’s richly historic, much like slipping down the rabbit hole to another time.

But the idea of writing The Quarantine Station didn’t come to me until late 2017.

How did the idea develop?

I was on a history tour at The Q Station and it occurred to me that there was more to that wonderful place than just stories of sickness and sadness. Lots of people came and went during the course of quarantine. Some lived and worked there for many years, from the early nineteenth century.

And there I saw it, in that hot pot of isolated society, the potential for love. Beautiful, enduring, captivating love!

Once the idea came to me, I was hooked. I was wrapping up the final book in my Belle Series and got started immediately on The Quarantine Station. I had the place and time period decided. I had research underway! My characters and storyline had come together. I was staring down a plot filled with mysterious love, a century-old scandal, lost diaries and plenty of secrets!

How did the Quarantine Station challenge you as a writer?

The Quarantine Station was my first foray into historical romance. I loved researching for my Belle books, but writing a historical novel took my research to a new level. The challenge was in staying true to the station and its character, to the period in which I was writing in and to the medical knowledge of the time.

It was important to find the correct balance between fact and fiction, to ensure that amongst the facts, I could still weave a beautiful love story of hope and endurance that would transport readers from their lounge to another place and time.

The-Quarantine-Station-EBOOK (final)The rules were crystal clear. She broke them all…

1918 … When Rose Porter arrives on the shores of Sydney with little more than her suitcase, she must take a job as a parlourmaid at the mysterious North Head Quarantine Station. It’s a place of turmoil, segregated classes and strict rules concerning employee relationships.

But as Rose learns, some rules were made to be broken.

2019… Over a century later, Emma Wilcott lives a secluded life in Sydney where her one-hundred-year-old grandmother, Gwendoline, is all she has. Gwendoline is suffering dementia and her long-term memories take her wandering at night. Emma realises she is searching for someone from her past.

Emma’s investigation leads her to the Quarantine Station where she meets Matt, the station carpenter, and together they unravel a mystery so compelling it has the power to change lives, the power to change everything Emma ever knew about herself.

Buy Links:

PRINT EDITIONS

AMAZON

iBOOKS

KOBO

BARNES & NOBLE

To find out more about Michelle, you can visit her website: www.michellemontebello.com.au

GIVE AWAY:

Michelle has kindly offered to give away three e-books of The Quarantine Station. All you need to do is answer Michelle’s question in the comment section below and you will go into the draw. Competition closes 13th March, 2019 at 11.59 pm (AEST).

Michelle’s question: If you could step into a time machine and travel back in time, which period would you choose and why?

UPDATE – WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

Congratulations to Jaykky, Kim and Ellise McCune – please get in contact with us through my contact page so Michelle can send you the link for your e-book. Thanks to everyone who commented and stay tuned for more give aways!

 

 

23 thoughts on “Behind the Story: Michelle Montebello

  1. Welcome New Aussie author Michelle! It’s so exciting to hear of another historical fiction author writing about our wonderful country. Congratulations on your book. Fingers crossed I’d love to read it 😀

  2. I’d travel back in time to experience what it would be like to be a part of the very early days in Australia. We have a beautiful country and it would have been so exciting back in the day.
    Or I’d travel back to last week with this week’s lotto numbers!

  3. Hi Michelle, I would travel back in time to the early 1940’s. It’s a time of turmoil and heartache but also full of courage. And I would also like to travel back to 19th century Australia as I have a forebear who was much loved in NSW at that time. I must say I think your own name is perfect for a writer. All the very best.

  4. I’ve always wanted to go back to the early 1950’s. The war had ended and times were tough but I think everyone was carefree and grateful for what they had.

    • Oh yes, that period absolutely fascinates me as well! A Place to Call Home is one of my all-time favourite TV series for that reason – it was such a time of change and people really appreciated what they had (well apart from the wealthy family in the series!).

  5. I would love to live in the 1900 to walk in my Grandparents shoes. I love historial stories with a bit of romance thrown in so i am looking forward to reading your new book.
    It came out on my birthday 6th March so i am sure that i will love it.

    • Oh that’s an interesting thought, Yvonne! I’d love to walk in my grandparents’ shoes as well – Scotland and Spain. Imagine the things we’d see and hear! I am sure you will love Michelle’s book and happy belated birthday!

    • Happy belated birthday, Yvonne 🙂
      Yes, how amazing would it be to walk in our grandparent’s shoes? Both sets of my grandparents were living in Malta during WWII and told me stories of bombs being dropped on their towns. Malta was Great Britain’s ally in the Mediterranean and often took quite a beating for it.
      Amazing stories of courage and survival.

  6. 1950’s are one of my favourite era’s. The fashion and music were great. It was a time of Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers… all the music I grew up listening to on my parent’s record player. And rock n roll! The jitterbug, swing and Charleston. What fun it would have been.

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