I am excited to announce that Wedding Bells by The Creek – the fifth book in my Coorah Creek series, is a finalist in the Aspen Gold Readers Choice Award, presented by the Heart of Denver chapter of Romance Writers of America. So very very thrilled. There are more details here.
The Story Behind The Story
I hate cars. Let’s get that straight right from the beginning. I have a brother who is a total car nut. He started restoring his first Jaguar when he was about 15, helped by our father. Being unable to tell one end of a spanner from the other, my only defence was to hate cars.
But slowly they managed to creep under and over and around my mental block. I still hate cars – but I do like driving the nice ones!
My brother is still a car nut, and he usually has about seven cars parked in a huge shed behind his house. When I go to visit, I borrow one of them. My all time favourite was a big yellow Ford Mustang – two door. A real American muscle car. Sean Connery drove one as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever.
On one of my visits, I had just collected the car from my brother, driven about a kilometre, and was pulled over by a policeman. I wasn’t speeding. I hadn’t been drinking. He just pulled me over because in his mind, women don’t drive big yellow mustangs! He made a couple of comments to that effect which had steam coming out my ears. He didn’t give me a ticket – just made me mad!
At the time, I was thinking about my next book. The challenge I set myself was time. I wanted to write a book that covered just a few days. Could I change my characters’ lives in just one week?
When I added the policeman’s comments to that – the answer was simple. I wanted to write a heroine who not only drove a sport car, but could also do all the mechanics and then beat the men at that thing they think they do best – driving.
A car rally was the perfect solution. My brother, who has raced more than a few times, was a perfect resource for the technical detail. The romance part I could do myself. All I had to do was come up with a hero who would not be threatened by a woman who was a better driver than he was. The answer – someone who knew the insecurity she had deep down inside.
In locating my car rally – I wanted somewhere wild and rugged. A place where emotions would come easily to the surface. A place that could be both beautiful and dangerous. The area where I grew up was as flat as a billiard table, so it’s no great surprise my eyes turned towards the mountains for this story. The Snowy Mountains are stunningly beautiful – and the chance to visit again in the name of research was just too good to miss.
Girl Racers is the result. It was a fun book to research and to write. I haven’t become a car nut – but I think I understand them better now.
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