All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Author Q&A With……. Tricia Stringer

on January 25, 2017

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Today I am delighted to feature popular author Tricia Stringer on my blog. Tricia has written several historical fiction novels and five rural romance novels, the latest of which is A Chance Of Stormy Weather and she patiently answered a few of my nosy questions on writing and life.

Q1. Hi Tricia and thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me. To get started, can you describe what the process of becoming a published author was like for you?

I began writing for children. That was where my early study developed. I went on to self-publish some adult stories and then Harlequin Australia purchased the fourth novel I’d written, ‘Queen of the Road.’ That short summary makes it sound easy! It’s been an exciting and sometimes terrifying rollercoaster journey and one that still sends me to those extremes.

 

Q2. Are you a meticulous plotter when you write or more of a wing it type of person?

I like to describe myself as organic. The story has a rough beginning, middle and end and then I let the characters loose.

 

Q3. Do you write full time or balance your writing with other work? Is there anywhere in particular you like to write and anything (eg music or coffee) that sets the mood?

I prefer silence when I’m writing and I have an office all set up. I get so absorbed in it (just as when I’m reading) the rest of the world recedes. I start at 8am and write five days a week. I aim for 2000 words each day. Sometimes that’s quick and other times it might take me all day! There are many other things that have to be done as part of my writing life and they take up another few hours. I do work a short time each week in a bookshop which is my chance to talk books with other people. I try to keep my weekends for family and other things.

 

Q4. You mention in the Acknowledgements that your latest novel, A Chance of Stormy Weather began life as a self-published title over ten years ago. What was the journey like to take it from that first draft to being published in its current form?

This was a dream come true. I wrote this book originally over twelve years ago and it took me a couple of years. It was also before there was a rural romance genre. People like Rachael Treasure were writing stories but the genre didn’t have a label. The tag on my original cover read ‘From the city to the country … a rural romance.’ So I do like to think I helped bring this genre to life. It completed the journey for me when Harlequin liked the original story so much they wanted to publish it. Of course there had to be changes. Technology alone has changed so much since I wrote the original but it was fun to bring it to the current day and a much wider audience.

 

Q5. A Chance of Stormy Weather differs a little in that our main character, city girl Paula is married as the book opens. What were the challenges in regards to creating conflict and orchestrating the relationship between Dan and Paula, rather than developing that between two characters getting to know each other?

It was a challenge as two newlyweds madly in love don’t usually have conflict however they haven’t known each other long so their relationship is still developing. I certainly don’t believe marriage is ever the end of relationship development in any case. Paula has also arrived in a very different environment which is a challenge for her. I found setting very important to the conflict in this story.

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Q6. I found that I could identify with Paula and her struggles adapting to rural life – I hate mice! I get one in my house and I completely freak out. Do you think that the rural romance genre might have romanticised a lot of the farming lifestyle?

Rural romance has huge variations within the genre, some are more fanciful than others. I usually begin with something that is important to rural communities and build the story around that. The romance is a bonus. In Paula’s case we get to discover farming life through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it. The variable hours, preoccupation with the weather, isolation, importance of community and so much more. Hard to explain to people who haven’t lived it.

 

Q7.   What will you be reading over the summer?

I am currently reading ‘The Wonder’ by Emma Donoghue. Can’t put it down, very compelling reading. Next on my TBR pile is Hannah Kent’s ‘The Good People’, then ‘Daughter of the Murray’ by Darry Fraser.

 

Q8. What three things would you like to have with you if you were ever trapped on a desert island?

Pile of books, never ending supply of ice-cream, ipad.

 

Q9. What do you like to do away from the keyboard?

Walk, read, spend time with friends and family, travel, some kind of craft.

 

Q10. And finally…..what’s next for you?

I am currently working on edits for ‘Jewel in the North’ which is the third in my Flinders Ranges series. And I’m working on a new book. Something quite different. It’s commercial women’s fiction this time. I am enjoying a different direction.

***

Thank you for joining me here on the blog Tricia.

My review of A Chance Of Stormy Weather will be up later today

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