Today was another first for me. I donned my new boots from the fabulous Birdsnest crew and actually slapped on a little bit of make-up for a change, and then I was off to my first newspaper interview with the Editor from the regional newspaper – The Avon Valley Advocate!
I admit to harbouring a few nerves and needing my poison of Diet Coke before I went in, but I figured at least it wasn’t radio, I wasn’t on-air. That might come later and I think this first interview was excellent training ground. John the editor was very friendly and immediately put me at ease. I felt like I was having a chat with an old friend and within a couple of minutes, I’d almost forgotten it was an interview. Hopefully I didn’t get too carried away 🙂
John mostly wanted to know how I’d come to writing, where I believed my book fit and whether I liked writing books. I told him that although there were times when writing was excruciating, I’m so happy and blessed to have been given the chance to fulfill my dream! Yes – I LOVE writing books.
He told me I should write about English backpackers coming to work in Aussie pubs and I was happy to tell him my next book was set in a pub although not exactly this story line.
We chatted about why rural romance is so popular – I said I thought programs such as McLeod’s Daughters and Farmer Finds A Wife had helped but I wrote rural-set books because I love being able to portray close-knit communities and their amazing characters and how they all pull together in a crisis. We chatted about Mills & Boon and I think I managed to dispel his myth that they were NOT easy to dash off in an afternoon, as there were thousands of people trying to write them and only a fraction of them got published. We chatted about my family and our shop, where I’d lived and how my birthplace of Newcastle Upon Tyne in England is surrounded by a rural very different to the rural of JILTED. He made a few jokes about my characters – one which wasn’t exactly correct but he seemed to like and I think will make it into his article.
It was a totally enjoyable half an hour and then when it was finished, John took me to the local agricultural machinery outlet and photographed me standing in front of a massive red tractor. He wouldn’t let me see the pic, but hopefully I’ll be able to scan the article and share it with you all next week.
All in all my first interview experience was a good one and I’m looking forward to chatting to more journalists about JILTED and spreading the rural romance message!