As part of Australian Romance Month, Romance Specialist Haylee Nash will be interviewing one Australian Romance author per day. Much like a beauty pageant, each author will be using their charm, wit and grace (and the power of social media) to take home the Booktopia Romance Bestseller crown. Booktopia invites bestselling rural romantic suspense author Helene Young to the stage.
1. Describe the perfect date.
It would start with a stroll along the beach to an understated but elegant restaurant with gorgeous views. We’d watch the full moon turn the water silver as we sipped champagne and dined on delicious fresh seafood. The sea breeze would have enough of a chill that my handsome date (that would be my husband!) would slip his jacket over my shoulders and the scent of his aftershave would remind me of all the wonderful years we’ve had together. At the end of the evening we’d walk back hand-in-hand along the beach to the beautiful catamaran we now call home.
2. Which of your books are you most proud of?
Half Moon Bay is a story that evolved over almost ten years and it’s been rewritten several times. With each rewrite a little more of me has gone into the characters. The themes in Half Moon Bay of family betrayal and the devastating effects of war are ones that resonate very strongly with me.
3. What is the hardest thing about being a romance author?
I think it’s important that the romance and developing relationship between the main characters build at a realistic pace. That can be tricky when it’s been driven by suspense and intrigue with truckloads of danger thrown in as well…
4. What is the best thing about being a romance author?
I love writing stories that are uplifting. The readers know there will be an optimistic ending, but for me it’s the characters’ journey and the ways that they grow and change which makes romance a joy to write.
5. Who (aside from a significant other) do you swoon over?
Hugh Jackman. He has so many qualities I admire and then he just happens to look pretty darned special as well!
6. Tell us something very few people know about you.
If I didn’t have a career as an airline pilot I’d be running a gourmet Bed and Breakfast, cooking delicious food and chatting to interesting guests. They may even end up in a story!
7. Describe your writing style in three words.
Fast-paced, action-packed, passionate! (Did I just cheat? :p)
8. What is your definition of a good book?
A good book captivates me from page one and never lets me go. I read across most genres and the main thing I look for are compelling characters I care about.
9. Which author would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Posie Graeme Evans. She was the main script writer for the TV show, McLeod’s Daughters. I think the popularity of the Rural Romance genre owes much to her wonderful stories. The novels she now writes, such as The Island House, have historical threads through them that are meticulously researched so I’d love to talk to her about the different genres she’s tackled in her career.
10. Finish this sentence: I would do anything for love, but I won’t do_____
…graphic sex scenes! No ‘docking’ procedures for my characters, it’s all about a sensual but emotional connection.
Multi-award winning author Helene Young lives aboard a catamaran moored near the Great Barrier Reef with her husband and their dog, Zeus. She draws inspiration for her stories from the communities she visits all over Australia as a senior airline captain. Helene won the Romance Writers of Australia’s (RWA) Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. She was also voted most popular romantic suspense author by the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) in 2010 and 2011, and is shortlisted for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Crime/Suspense in 2013.