author of Rosalee Station
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I’d love to tell you a little bit about myself, so here goes.
I play many roles throughout a normal day, as a mother to my little girl, Chloe Rose, a wife to my loving partner, Drew, a fruit farmer, and when I can sneak off to my computer…an author.
I was born in the beautiful little country township of Mareeba in 1975. In 1977 mum and I moved to Cairns, (the big smoke!) where I went to Saint Frances Primary School then continued onto Woree High School. After school I obtained a Diploma in Hairdressing and did that for about 10 years. I had my own hairdressing salon at 18. I loved it.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
At eighteen I was a hairdresser but dreamt of being a photographer as I love the way you can catch a memory for a lifetime with a click of a button.
At thirty I wanted to be eighteen again, LOL! This is around the time when I began to dream about being a writer.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
I had a very strong belief in the catholic faith at eighteen. Now, I question a lot of their beliefs and the way in which churches are run. These days I believe very strongly in Meditation and Spirituality.
4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?
I can’t really say there were a specific 3 works of art that inspired me to write. I find that country music inspires me, especially a song by John Williamson and Sara Storer, Raining on the Plains Again. I also love Peter Liks photography of outback Australia. As for a book, I would have to say Fiona Palmer’s Family Farm was the book that made me want to begin my writing in the country genre, and I’m glad I did because I am just so passionate about it!
5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?
I always loved English at school, it was my favourite subject! I adore the fact that as a writer you can describe the smells, sounds, and sights of your landscapes so incredibly down to the last tiny weenie iota. I think it allows the reader to fall head first into your world and head over heels in love with your leading man! Writing is a release for me, a way to express my obsession with the outback.
6. Please tell us about your latest novel…
Rosalee Station is about a feisty but loveable young woman, Sarah Clarke, and her amazing journey from her family’s fruit farm in Mareeba to the wide open spaces of a cattle station in the heart of Australia. Here, in the outback, she discovers a secret that tears her world apart. Somehow, she finds the strength to stay on at Rosalee Station and the choice to do so will change the course of her life forever. From the thrill of a wild bush rodeo to falling head over heels in love with a sexy cowboy, this novel takes you to places that will sometimes warm your heart and at other times make you laugh out loud. Click here to read an extract
7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?
I hope it inspires people to go to the outback for their holidays and it gets city people passionate about discovering what’s only a hop skip and jump from their own backyards. A lot of people don’t travel to the country; never see the simple beauty of a mountain enclosed in a glorious outback sunset, the enchantment of an outback night sky or the depth of colours in the red dirt. I hope it touches people in the romantic sense and they fall in love with my characters and I hope it makes them feel very proud to be living in Australia. And I’m hopeful that people love it so I can keep writing of course!
8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?
I cannot pick one writer in particular. They are all so talented and gifted in their own unique ways. I admire each and every writer out there for the amount of drive it takes to write in the first place and after going through my first experience of editing I have the highest regard for every single author as I now know how much blood, sweat and tears, (buckets of tears!) goes into completing a book.
9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
I love this question! It gets the creative juices flowing! I would love for one of my books to be made into a mini-series. Oh bugger it, lets just go the whole hog and say, hmmm, a Hollywood blockbuster. As they say, reach for the skies!
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Don’t ever give up on your dream of writing. Remember, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. Breathe your writing, live it, love it. Write as much and as often as you can, even if it feels like you are babbling at the time. It will put your creative ideas in motion. This in turn will drive you to write more, to feel the passion of your unique craft. Be true, write about things that you have experienced and really mean something to you as this will be what appeals to your readers. Reach out to other authors, most of them will be happy to answer any questions you have. Surf the net; it will connect you with people who will support you, especially for those of us in remote areas. Read read read! Others writer’s works will inspire you. Never give up, be brave, be driven, be fearless, believe in yourself-you can do it!
Mandy, thank you for playing
I’ve been trying to come up with a catchy name for this rapidly growing and successful fiction genre. They are novels set in Outback and Rural Australia written by women. Rural Reads? Bush Books? Have you got any suggestions?
LISTEN to Mandy Magro talk ‘rural lit’ with Greg Muller on ABC radio’s Bush Telegraph: http://bit.ly/m7gcTC
About the Contributor
John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia. The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian debut author in 2012. The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for the last twenty years. While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Now he is the Head of Product and Chief Buyer at booktopia.com.au.