Loretta’s Pen Pals: Letter 4
This week in my mail box I found a real fun letter from my fellow Random House author, Margareta Osborn. I almost feel like we went through this whole getting published process together. We write in the same genre, share the same wonderful editor/publisher and both our debut novels came out a couple of months apart last year. In book stores, we usually share exactly the same shelf. She’s like my evil twin. Or maybe I’m the evil one! Whatever the case, I was very pleased to get confirmation that her new novel, Hope’s Road is now available… wherever you buy Hard Hat! Ha ha!
Well, ‘I’ve been everywhere man …’ could now be my tagline rather than Random House’s ‘The Voice of the Bush’. My feet have barely touched the back door step since the launch of my latest rural fiction novel HOPE’S ROAD.
Gippsland, Northern Victoria, Southern New South Wales – I’ve covered them all on my book tour and now my car is ready to jump into gear and drive itself out the gate. And the kids? Well, they think I’m their mother. I look like their mother, I smell like their mother, I just don’t seem to have been here for the last month to do the cooking, cleaning, homework, hair arranging, shopping, cat & dog feeding, ironing … and all those other things mum’s normally do.
Not to mention the irrigating that I can’t do at the moment as we have no water, the cattle work I can’t do because there is no water thus no feed, so the cattle had to be trucked out to the lease block. And then there’s the sheep who are irrationally put out because mum isn’t there dolling out the pellets, the dog who’s sulking as she’s not able to throw balls at my office window and frighten the bejesus out of me when I’m writing at 2am. And the cat? Well, he’s affronted no-one is here to open the laundry (& thus tucker) door when he wants it opened (I’m a sucker for a meow.)
But, I’ll have to say, aside from missing my amazing husband H (who does an incredible job holding the fort at home whilst I wander all over the place), and my beautiful kids something terrible, I’m loving being out on the road talking to all the wonderful, enthusiastic and interesting people who are buying my books! It’s been a fabulous few weeks. And HOPE’S ROAD is sitting right up there on the best seller charts near some other lovely authors like my great mate, Fiona Palmer.
As for writing my next novel, MOUNTAIN ASH? Well, I’m trying. I’m really, really trying amongst everything else that’s happening. It’s all just go, go, go around here.
The one thing I wish they’d told me when I got published was that life was about to go into over drive. Then again, maybe it was best that they didn’t. I might have run into the scrub and never have been seen of again. Although the smell of chocolate would’ve lured me out after a while, as you well know. Remember those chocolate biscuits I served up to you for morning tea when you came to visit. The ones your little boy licked all over and sat back on the plate? To be honest I didn’t blame him one iota. Arnotts chocolate mint biscuits are criminally and insanely decadent. The boy obviously has great taste! And I’m now wondering if buying books instead of chocolate for Easter is ever going to catch on?!
I’m actually writing because I’m just so damned excited my latest rural fiction release HOPE’S ROAD is really on the shelves! (In some places it’s sitting right beside your Girl in the Hard Hat. So nice to see us being shelf buddies again ) HOPE’S ROAD is going into its forth reprint, you know? And I’m getting some great feedback from readers. That always makes me breathe a bit easier. Its nerve wracking each time you put a book out there, isn’t it? A bit like sending one of your kids off for a sleep-over for the first time and worrying whether they’ll remember their manners, eat what they’re given and not give away any wacky family idiosyncrasies/secrets.
You might be interested to know that the inspiration for HOPE’S ROAD came from a property only five minutes from my home that has the most incredible view of the Great Dividing Range. (I know how much you loved our mountains when you came to visit.) This where old Joe McCauley lives – a man who has turned his back on his family and their fifth generation farm, Montmorency Downs. He spends his days as a recluse spying upon the land – and the granddaughter – that should by rights have been his. For Tammy McCauley, Montmorency Downs is the last remaining tie to her family. But land can make you or break you – and with her husbands latest treachery, how long can she hold onto it? And then there’s wild dog trapper Travis Hunter. Struggling as a single dad, he’s unable to give his ten-year-old son Billy, the thing he craves most. A complete family. When, out of the blue, a terrible event forces the three neighbours to confront each other and the mistakes of their past, the tale takes a dramatic turn. This new book is more than just a romance. It’s an Australian rural family saga of love, faith, heritage and loss, set in the High Country. It’s a tale that shows no matter what life throws at you, there is always hope. That’s a nice thought for all of us, isn’t it?
I’m looking forward to seeing you in Fremantle in August at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference, Loretta! We’re going to have a ball. I’ll even bring the Choc mint biscuits, if you like? (Your son isn’t coming though, is he?)
Lots of Love