Hi Mandy, welcome to the Author Spotlight and congratulations on your new release, ‘Flame Tree Hill’. Can you tell us a bit about it and perhaps give us a sneak peek?
Hi, and thanks for having me!
Kirsty Mitchell is ready to come home. After a tragic accident that left her scarred, she fled overseas. Now, three years later, she’s finally returning to Flame Tree Hill, her beloved family farm. But at twenty-five Kirsty isn’t prepared for the terrifying new challenge ahead: breast cancer. Kirsty’s never been a quitter and that’s not about to change. But can her budding romance with local vet Aden bear the strain? As she battles with chemotherapy and as her past threatens to overwhelm her, Kirsty realises you can never take anything – or anyone – for granted. Drawing strength from her family and the beauty of Far North Queensland, Kirsty finally understands what she must do.
“A lyrical and heart-warming testament to the power of love – and forgiveness.”
‘Kirsty slid into the driver’s seat of her Holden ute. “Oh my God. I have a lump, it could be cancer. Please, I’m too young to die” she whispered. She took a deep breath as she pushed the key into the ignition and revved the Holden to life. ‘It’s all going to be okay,’ she repeated over and over as she drove towards Flame Tree Hill, the tears rolling down her face once again.’
Can you tell us about the chemistry between the hero and heroine in ‘Flame Tree Hill’?
Kirsty and Aden are old flames. Having grown up together there has always been a deep underlying love for each other that neither have pursued, until now. After their lives careening off in different directions for a few years they are thrown back together due to a mixture of circumstances. And it is here, on Flame Tree Hill, that they discover what the meaning of true love really is.
Name three character traits that you think make an irresistible hero in a romance novel?
A protector…A man that will lay down his life for the woman he loves.
Passionate…A man that has an endless depth of passion in his heart and soul and isn’t afraid to lay everything on the line for love
Inner Strength…A man who knows what he wants, and will move heaven and earth to get it.
How long does it usually take you to write the first draft of a novel?
It usually takes about 5-6 months. And that included putting it away for a month before going back through for the first edit.
Do you have a writing schedule you follow, or are you a ‘write whenever I can’ type of author?
Being a single mum and having an energetic five year old around I am most certainly a “write whenever I can” author.
Do you write detailed character profiles before starting a new book, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?
I am a “pantser” and love to allow my characters to come to life on their own accord. It makes writing so much more exciting for me.
How important do you think it is for authors to self-promote?
I believe it is very important and I get a kick out of connecting with my readers. It can be such a solitary life, writing, so being in touch with the outside world through different avenues is such a pleasure.
Your next release, “Driftwood” is released in November. Can you give us a sneaky peek at that one?
I would love to, but my lips have to be zipped for now. Although, I can tell you that the country music legend, Adam Brand, is one of the characters in the book. He is in the middle of reading through the edited draft right now, and in his own words…”I’m digging this smooch book”
What other works in progress you have?
I am 35k into writing my 5th romance novel, with the working title Country At Heart. Like my previous novels, it is of course set in the beautiful Australian countryside. The hero, Dean, divides his life between his family’s horse trail business and fighting the war in Afghanistan as a bomb squad soldier.
Complete this sentence: When I’m not writing, I’m…
Running around doing a million things at once, but at the same time feeling like I’m not really getting anywhere…an Aries trait!