Author Interview with Susanne Bellamy
Hearing from readers that my stories have given them pleasure, working from home, occasionally in PJs, and being my own boss (possibly a little bit of control freak showing here), AND I get to weave stories about people I create in places I want to be. (Seriously, if you’re looking for love, Bindarra Creek is the Aussie hot-spot!)
2) As your latest book is titled “Second Chance Love”, tell us what fascinates you about the sub-genre of ‘second chance love’.
We all make mistakes, misread a situation, or follow a path we wish we could escape from at some point in our lives. Getting a second chance is precious, especially when it involves our emotional well-being and happiness. I like to think that, even though we can’t rewrite the past, the opportunity for ‘another go’ exists. I’ve carried that idea into a short Christmas story I’ve just written for an anthology due out early November.
3) What made you decide to write your first rural romance, and was there any challenge in it?
Even though I’m a Queenslander (go the Maroons!), I was invited to join several members of the Hunter River Writers’ Group who had created this wonderful fictional community of Bindarra Creek. They had drafted a map, set up lists of character types and created a history for the area based on similar northern NSW towns. It was so well organized that, even though I hadn’t written a ‘rural’ romance before, I couldn’t resist challenging myself. I loved it! And being a book nerd, of course I asked for the librarian character.
Although I’ve lived in an inland city much of my adult life, I taught in small, rural towns for a couple of years. The sense of community is strong and I wanted to acknowledge that quality through my story.
4) One morning, you wake up and find yourself in a country you’ve never visited, with the instructions to build a new life from scratch. What do you do?
Sit in a café and watch and listen. Take a ride in a taxi and chat with the driver. Find a talkative landlady and get a roof over my head. Then – start writing!
5) Is there a question you have always hoped somebody would ask you? (Feel free to answer it, too.)
Would you like to be the first writer to travel in my space shuttle? Why, thank you, Mr. Branson, I’d love to.
6) To you, what qualities should a great hero have?
A great hero should have certain key qualities, even if takes time for them to be revealed. For me, these include: valuing family, being honest and ethical (I can live with a white lie in a story), a strong protective streak . . . Oh, and the strength to resist and save the last glass of wine for me. ;)
7) As you write from Australia, can you summarize your country for us in 5 words?
Laid-back, large (I drove for 28 hours and didn’t leave Queensland!), ancient, a land of contrasts. Dorothea McKellar’s poem, My Country, sums up this land beautifully (http://www.dorotheamackellar.com.au/archive/mycountry.htm ) (Maths was never my strongest subject)
8) Do you have any writing rituals?
I need a cup of tea before any neurons start firing. Usually, I clear emails, check social media, and by that time, I’m awake enough to begin writing. Salt and vinegar chips are vital when I hit a plot snag or seek a character motivation. Feed me those, and my fingers fly!
9) Is there another country you’d love to choose as your setting?
So far, I’ve set stories in Hawaii, Italy, Nepal (yet to be published) and Australia, with occasional scenes set in other countries. I have plans for character visits in France and Africa, and probably San Francisco in the USA in the next book.
10) Please tell us more about your latest book(s) and plans for the future.
My next book, Second Chance Love, is my first rural romance and releases on 20th September. It is the third book in A Bindarra Creek Romance, a series set in a fictional small town in New South Wales. 13 authors, 13 stories, over 13 months.
As for what’s next:
Several south-east Queensland writer friends are releasing an anthology in early November. My story is The Wish List, a sweet short story of second chances, but not quite what you might expect!
And after revisions are complete on my Nepal-set romantic suspense, I’ll be plotting book two in my protector series and visiting more of the men and women of a secret task force.
About the Book
When Claire Swenson inherits her great-aunt’s home and returns to Bindarra Creek as town librarian, Angus McGregor is the first person she meets.
The second is his eleven-year old son.
Just because Angus wants a second chance doesn't mean that Claire will put aside her determination not to commit to a relationship.
No matter how sexy he is, or how well they work together as they fight for the community and to save Angus’ property.
Can he convince Claire that love is sweeter the second time around?
Angus watched Claire’s soft pink lips close around the two wide straws in her milkshake and his groin tightened. The last milkshake they’d shared, she had one straw, and he had the other. Holding hands across the table, their foreheads had touched as they bent over the anodised pastel-pink beaker.
In those days, one touch of Claire and his body had fired up with desire. Rampant teenage hormones sent them off to the creek where they shared lime-flavoured kisses. And more.
Some things hadn’t changed. He leaned forward, hoping his jacket covered his reaction to her. “Are they as good as you remember?”
Claire held up one finger and closed her eyes as she drank. In repose, her face had a classical, serene beauty that his fingers longed to trace—the line of her jaw, the arch of her eyebrows, the fullness of her lips.
Beside him, Ollie sat on the edge of his seat and watched her intently, his own drink forgotten as he waited for her reply.
She sat back and met Ollie’s gaze. “Heavenly. Your dad was right. Lime is definitely the best—still.” She licked her bottom lip, finishing in the corner.
Angus bit back a groan and dipped his head to his straw. Short of diving into his milkshake, he wasn’t going to be able to quench his definite interest in Claire anytime soon.
“See, Dad, I told you Miss Swenson would love lime, same as you and me.” Apparently satisfied with his success, Ollie tucked into his drink followed by the house special, a giant hamburger with chips and sweet chilli sauce on the side.
But just because Claire still preferred lime milkshakes didn’t mean Angus knew the grown up woman. Was she still into Powderfinger and Midnight Oil? Did she still adore ‘Die Hard’ movies? And right then, he knew he would be renewing his relationship with Claire.
“Have you moved into Margaret’s house?”
Claire nodded and swallowed her mouthful. “Yes. There’s a lot of sorting to do but it’s nice being back there, even though she’s gone. I miss her so much. There’s no smell of baking wafting through the house, and I miss her singing. She always sang, except when she was digging in the garden.”
“Mum sang too.” Ollie took another bite of his burger and chewed. “At least, I think she did. Didn’t she, Dad?” Ollie’s question hit like a thump in Angus’ stomach.
“Sometimes.” Angus often wondered how much Ollie remembered of his mother, despite his efforts to keep her memory alive for his son. He turned to Claire. “Oliver was just two when Laura died. Breast cancer,” he added, hoping to forestall Claire’s inevitable question. The ache of his wife’s passing had dulled over time and yet he’d never been tempted into another relationship.
Claire’s reappearance in town coupled with this trip down memory lane stirred more than memories as though it were only yesterday they’d made out down by the creek. A twinge of guilt pricked him.
Nine years was a long time. He’d never forget Laura but maybe Claire’s return now was meant to be. They’d been good together and clearly, Ollie was quite taken by Claire.
Images of cosy domesticity filtered through his mind. She was good with Ollie and appeared to genuinely like him. Was it possible that this time, if he asked her, she might be tempted to stay? With him and Ollie, permanently?
You can find Susanne at the following:
a. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/susanne.bellamy.7
b. Twitter https://twitter.com/SusanneBellamy
c. Website http://www.susannebellamy.com/
d. Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/susannebellamy/
e. Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6869630.Susanne_Bellamy