Blog Bites with Barbara Hannay

Let me introduce the lovely, multi published-and when I say multi published, I really mean multi published- romance author,  Barbara Hannay. 

Thank you Barbara for sharing with us today and for your generous giveaway of you latest novel, Zoe’s Muster.

I Write:Rural Romance for Penguin Australia and Sweet Romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon.

I’m from: Tarzali on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland

Three words to describe me:  Conscientious, tenacious, trusting.

 At home I cook:  (quite often) from my favourite recipe book – Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros. In fact, while I’m working on these questions I have one of her recipes – Ludi’s Chicken,in the oven. It’s chicken and potatoes and garlic, roasted in a marinade of lemon, mustard, oregano and olive oil, and it’s divine.

My worst habit is:  Worrying. I know it’s the misuse of a good imagination and I’m trying to stop. Honestly.

It’s a bit daggy but I love: Doing the Circuit Breaker puzzle in The Australian. It’s my wind down thing to do, especially in front of the fire with a pre-dinner drink.

My first job was: High school teacher. At the tender age of eighteen, I left my home in Brisbane and started teaching Yr 11 Modern History (among other things) in Bundaberg. (This is also where I met my husband.) Perhaps it’s no wonder I keep writing about city girls plunged into difficult scenarios in the bush only to meet the men of their dreams.

My day job is: Full time author – yay!!!!!!!!!!

Saving for:  Travel – love, love, love to travel.

I procrastinate by: I’m actually fairly focused. I know boring, boring. I do click onto my emails far more often than I should. My friends have such interesting things to say and emails are my replacement for the staffroom gossip that I miss so much.

Three things people might not know about me are: I belong at an a Capella choir.  I barrack for the North Queensland Cowboys. I’ve never seen snow.

Favourite author: It keeps changing. There are so many authors I admire – many of them, Australian. Today, I can’t choose. Tomorrow, I may have a new favourite.

Current reading: The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.

Favourite book as a child: The book that had the biggest impact was Seven LittleAustralians by Ethel Turner– I’m still scarred by Judy’s death.  I loved all my childhood books, but possibly, Daddy Longlegs by Jean Webster was my favourite.

Favourite movie:  If I can only pick one –Cinema Paradiso.

Plotter or pantser: A bit of both. I started out as a pantser, but as I learn more and more about structure, I’m starting to plot more.

Thank you Barbara. 

The lucky winner of  a copy of Zoe’s Muster, a rural romance will be drawn by 8:30pm est .

Good luck!

If you would like to find out more about Barbara and her books, go to her website

RWA members can take a bite. Contact Kerri Williams to schedule your Blog Bite feature on

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  1. Hi Barbara,
    You have such a beautiful writing style (that I am always trying to emulate)! It was lovely to learn a bit more about you. And it’s always a relief to find a great writer who’s a bit of a pantser!

    Of course, everyone will seek out the Falling Cloudberries cookbook – shame you can’t get a royalty payment for inadvertently promoting it!

    Best wishes,

  2. Shayne, thanks so much for that lovely comment and good luck with your writing. Falling Cloudberries is as much a book to look at and read as it is to cook from.

  3. Oh The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is excellent and so is Cinema Paradiso. Look like I better check out Falling Cloudberries!

  4. Cath Evans

     /  July 27, 2012

    Hello Barbara,
    Oh, your childhood books favs are mine too. Judy’s death was harrowing. When you say Seven Little Australians, that’s what comes to mind. It was truly awful. And Daddy Long Legs – my Mum loved that book and I did too. Were you a Mary Grant Bruce fan too?

    Good luck with Zoe’s Muster. I can’t wait to read it.

    Cath xox

  5. Hi Barbara…lovely to hear all the unknowns about you :-). I already knew you were a very nice person and now I know other secrets as well. Time to go and see snow, Barb!! Zoe’s Muster sounds wonderful and can’t wait to read it…love your writing.
    Jo (Duncan)

  6. Seven Little Australians, Mary Grant Bruce AND a capella? Who knew I had so much in common with the very uncommonly talented Barbara Hannay? I love Zoe’s cover, Barbara and I hope it goes like hot cakes!

  7. I too loved Seven Little Australians and all the Mary Grant Bruce Billabong books. Am currently loving that we have so many rural romance writers here in Australia. Look forward to reading Zoe’s Muster.

  8. Barbara, it was lovely to learn more about you. I thoroughly enjoy reading your books!

  9. That’s so lovely to know, Cheryl. Thank you.

  10. Hi Barbara, being a longtime fan of your books I was so pleased to hear you’d written a single title because there’s just more gorgeousness to enjoy! I’m hooked on ‘ru-ro’ and looking forward to Zoe’s Muster so much because I know it will have that extra-special emotional element you do so beautifully. Like everyone else I’m off to find Falling Cloudberries. Tessa Kiros was in a food mag a few years ago and I remember cooking one of her recipes and it was delicious.

    • Louise, what I love about Tessa Kiros is that she’s a wonderful writer as well as a cook. Falling Cloudberries is about all the different ethnic backgrounds in her family and here’s a quote: ‘Pappou was quiet; he had integrity and no flashness about him. He always wore a perfectly ironed shirt, gilet in winter, polished shoes, had his hair slicked back with the special cream he ordered from Italy. He never demanded acknowledgement, but dashed around quietly with the energy of milk just at that rolling boil.’
      Don’t you love it?

  11. Congratulations Raelene, I will be emailing you shortly about your prize.
    Thank you everyone for dropping by and thank you Barbara for sharing.

  12. Malvina

     /  July 29, 2012

    Hi Barbara, so glad you’re writing rural romances as well as the Sweets. Always love to read your books. My confession: I’ve never read Seven Little Australians… !

  13. Congratulations, Raelene!


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