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I’ve been tagged in The Next Big Thing by fellow writers Alison Stuart and Tereasa Bellew. Alison and I belong to a wonderful writers loop within Romance Writers of Australia. I have read two of Alison’s books, just recently finished “Gather the Bones” and it was a brilliant read. Her skilled research of the historical events in her books bring them to life. Am very much looking forward to Secrets in Time, coming out in April 2013. Tereasa and I belong to an in-house group through our publisher, Crimson Romance and Tereasa writes Romantic Suspense. Visit her blog to find out about her books and read her Next Big Thing Blog:

According to the NBT instructions I am here to tell you all about my next book by answering these questions and then to tag three other authors about their Next Big Thing.

So here I go!

What is the title of your next book?

THE LAST SYMPHONY (working title) is my current WIP. It has been read by my publisher and following a suggestion to rework an event in the story, I am doing extra research and some rewriting. This one is not as long as my last book but with e-book format being the most common form of publishing, shorter books of around 50 K seem to be preferable to publishers. My publisher thought she would have to cut my most recent book in half but, thankfully, decided to leave it intact.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

In early 2011, I made the decision I wanted to write a romance set on the Titanic. What a perfect setting for a romance impacted by the most powerful environmental conflict imaginable. If I could get it written and submitted by the second half of the year, I thought it would be perfect timing. Of course life got in the way and the book did not get completed until halfway through 2012 which meant I’d missed the boat (so to speak :-)). With “a little bit of help from my friends” I researched other shipping disasters and found myself drawn to the tragic sinking of the Lusitania. Unlike the Titanic, the innocent passengers of the Lusitania were victims of government bungling which, if at all possible, was an even greater tragedy.

What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely falls under the genre of Historical Romance. History provides so many strange, tragic, unbelievable events, a writer does not need to imagine the events, only the people who live and love through them. I am not attached to any particular era, I love to write stories in which ever era takes my fancy at the time.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?That’s easy – I worked out at the beginning of my story who would play the roles of hero and heroine. That way I could imagine them as I wrote and the characters established themselves easily. As they were both quite young I chose the following:

Lily Marshall would be played by Dakota Fanning

And Edward James would be played by Chris Egan.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A great act of war; a greater act of love.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Crimson Romance, which published my last book, BEYOND INNOCENCE, have expressed interest in publishing my next book. They publish in e-format followed by print format a couple of months later.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I am quite a slow writer, doing preliminary edits as I go (I am a No. 1 on the Enneagram – they are relentless perfectionists). I was also writing another story and editing a third. So it probably took me over 12 months. But at the end of that time, it could not be called a first draft – there had been much editing already done. I have tried to write without correction or edits and let the muse flow unimpeded but my brain does not function like that and I have finally given in and stopped trying to reprogram the neural pathways.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Any books which take a world-changing event in history and weave a fictional romance around the event while retaining historical accuracy. This covers many historical romance novels.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I love to create interesting, humorous and often unlikeable characters and there are a few of those in this book. A life and death situation will always bring out the best and worst elements of a character.

That’s it from me. I am looking forward to sharing THE LAST SYMPHONY with you.

And here are some more lovely authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing!

Vonnie Hughes

Tereasa Bellew

Antonia Marlowe

In the meantime while you are waiting impatiently for THE LAST SYMPHONY, don’t forget my latest release BEYOND INNOCENCE is out and getting some great feedback. If you like early Australian history, adventure and romance, then I believe you will love this book.