I am excited to announce that Wedding Bells by The Creek – the fifth book in my Coorah Creek series, is a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award. So very very thrilled. There are more details here.
The Story Behind The Story
As many of my stories do, Bring Me Sunshine started as a writing challenge to myself.
When I wrote Girl Racers – my challenge was to write a book set over just 7 days. Okay, I cheated by putting in some flashbacks – but the action of the story takes place over a very limited time frame.
Having down that – I wanted to write a book where the setting was limited. I wanted to lock all my characters up somewhere small and see what happened. A cruise ship seemed a good place to do it – and a tropical cruise was certainly a romantic setting.
It was also a good excuse to watch (for the umpteenth time) one of my favourite films An Affair to Remember (1957) with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant – just to rediscover the whole concept of shipboard romance
Then my sister-in-law and her amazing elderly mother went on an Antarctic cruise. Wow – I thought – THAT’s the setting for a book.
I normally like to visit places I write about – to get a good feel for the place and to make sure I write about it accurately. I’ve never been to Antarctica, and a real Antarctic cruise was a bit beyond my budget.
I had spent a fortnight in Iceland, however with my day job. I’d been on a glacier and I’d met some icebergs, and I know what it feels like to be very, very cold.
A cruise ship, however, was a very different matter. I had never been on one. It wasn’t that hard to talk Webmaster John into a cruise – although like Jenny in the book, I think he may have imagined somewhere warmer. Instead, we flew to Norway and boarded a ship heading even further North – around the top of Europe, with nothing between us and the North Pole but open water.
It was a wonderful trip. We saw the Northern Lights. Drove a dog sled across a frozen lake. And, got very, very cold.
Even more importantly, from a book research point of view, I experienced life on board a cruise ship. The fabulous crew on board the Trollfjord even allowed me to visit behind the scenes, places a passenger wouldn’t normally go.
Sometimes it’s easy to come up with the title for a book. But for this book, the title eluded me. For a very long time it was ‘the boat book’. My editor and I talked about titles for a while – before the idea struck. It’s a book about a dark and damaged hero and the girl who brought the light back into his life…
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