What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I love visiting places where authors lived and where books I’ve loved were set. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to visit some of them in both Australia and overseas. Visiting Cornwall in the UK, where the Poldark books are set, was a real thrill for my younger self. Many books I read growing up were set in London and there are round blue plaques set on many of the houses where authors lived which makes it easy to find them. I also made a detour to visit Jane Austen’s house in Hampshire.
However, many years ago I made a real literary pilgrimage—a month-long trip to India studying the Literature of the Raj under the auspices of Sydney University’s Continuing Education department.
We looked at books written during the time of British colonialism such as Rudyard Kipling Kim; Paul Scott The Jewel in the Crown and Staying On, and E.M. Forster A Passage to India. Not studied, but of interest to my romance writer self, was M.M. Kaye The Far Pavilions. The books were of their time and studied, as such, in that historical context of colonialism. They led into post-independence books such as Salman Rushdi's Midnight’s Children.
I have always been fascinated by India, I lived in Mumbai as a child. This really was a trip of a lifetime. I remember I took a loan to fund it and, though it took me a while to pay it off, I considered it well worth every cent! We stayed in family-run hotels and travelled by train and bus. Our lectures were often in the evening and I have such fond memories of talks given in the vicinity of beautiful, ancient buildings with the wonderful sounds of India surrounding us.
To tell the truth I don’t remember a lot of detail from the lectures, but I will never forget that trip. We saw a lot of India in a month and it was awesome to meet so many Indian people and see places that brought books to life. I could then also visualise the settings of books I read years later by authors such as Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things and Vikram Seth A Suitable Boy. I returned to India several times after that, and hope to again, but that study trip was truly memorable.
What is the first book that made you cry?
I daresay when I was a child it was a book where a dog or cat died. Later it would certainly have been a romance novel as I love reading emotional books that make me cry—tears of sadness when things go wrong and tears of happiness when all goes well and love wins. I love it when a reader tells me a book of mine made them cry!
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
Plagiarism. It’s absolutely appalling when someone steals an author’s work and passes it off as their own for financial benefit.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
When the writing isn’t going well, it’s exhausting. When I’m in the zone and the story is flying along it’s positively exhilarating!
Tell us a little bit about your book...
Second Chance With His Cinderella is an “upstairs/downstairs” romance between reluctant billionaire Sebastian Delfont and lovely Kitty Clements who is flying under the radar after a nasty “me too” experience in her former career high flying career. Gorgeous Sebastian employs Kitty as his household manager after he inherits his ancestral home, a magnificent mansion in one of the most prestigious areas of London. Kitty is warm, kind and fun and she seems a ray of sunshine to dark, brooding Sebastian. But past disappointments and traumas stop these two from crossing the line between a professional relationship to something much deeper.
About the Author
About the Author