I am very excited to welcome fellow Queenslander and author, Eva Scott. She has just released her newest Australian Rural Romance – Red Dust Dreaming and has agreed to subject herself to my barrage of questions. First a little about Eva.
Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.
Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history. She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.
Now for my questions:
Whether or not you loved or hated it, is there a book that has grabbed you by the throat and changed the way you write?
I remember reading Kaui Hart Hemmings “Descendants” and wandering about for a week with the blues. She captured perfectly the internal turmoil of a man whose life is not what he thought it was. I thought I will never write like that. I guess it remains to be seen! (JL: It’s true! Once you become a writer, instead of enjoying amazing writing, you lament your own inadequacies in comparison.)
I see you are an anthropologist who then worked in the area of health. As a fellow Queenslander, I do know how wild the Queensland health department has been lately. How did life take that turn?
I worked in Patient Safety so you can imagine what a giggle fest that was! I met so many amazing people whose lives had been touched by tragedy. I met some amazing indigenous health workers whose enthusiasm and drive made me feel as if I was trundling about in the slow lane. I got to assist in developing some ground breaking training and implement the Patient Health Care Rights Charter as part of a National project. Then I was “set loose” in the very first round of redundancies right when I was due to come back from maternity leave. The timing was priceless and I’ve never looked back.
I was very interested to read that you spent time in Papua New Guinea. Madang, in PNG, is where I was born and grew up. Do you think you will ever set a book there?
Wow! Madang is amazing – all those bats! I’ve never seen so many in my life. I have very fond memories of a trip there. I lived in Port Moresby but travelled about a bit. I learned a lot from my staff who were all funny, warm, delightful folk. I think we laughed more than the boss would like – especially when I tried out my terrible Tok Pisin. My husband speaks it fluently. It’s so much fun as it’s absolutely literal. (JL: I spoke Pisin before I spoke English, much to my mother’s dismay.)
PNG is such an eclectic place with so many different cultures and tribes. It also comes with a great many security issues for everyone. I couldn’t imagine setting a story there – at least one that didn’t make all the people down at the Royal Papua Yacht Club very nervous.
I am fascinated with your eclectic writing journey. Roman historicals, contemporary rural romance and spicy romance. I am also intrigued by the titles of two of your works in progress – The Audrey Hepburn Appreciation Society and The Funeral Club. Tell us about what draws you to the different stories you write.
I have no idea where my ideas come from. I kind of wake up with them. Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) said inspiration/ideas are like things with feathers which alight on you. If you don’t honour them and bring them into the world they fly off and roost with someone else. I can totally relate to that.
The cover and title of your newest rural romance, Red Dust Dreaming, grabbed me immediately I saw it. I have just finished reading it and loved the story, setting and characters. Talk about where the idea for the story and the setting came from.
The story was a combined inspiration that ignited when three elements came together – a story a friend told me, a trip to the art gallery and an old Sophia Loren/Clark Gable film. The story is set deep in the heart of Australia where the Aboriginal art gallery is located, the community which inspired me in the first place. Such colour! Just gorgeous. My next story was inspired by a friend of a horse doctor I know. She used to be a dancer at the Moulin Rouge then she married a farmer. So I got to wondering what would happen if a showgirl inherited a farm she thought could run by Google and Youtube….
What is your favorite sentence or quote in your new release?
What a great question… I’m going to cheat and give you an entire section that I love. Elizabeth (our heroine) has arrived at the outback station but isnt making a great first impression on our hero, Caden….
He reached into the tray of the Ute and wrenched another piece of luggage out, dropping it unceremoniously on the ground. If Miss Elizabeth Langtree thought she was going to be waited on hand and foot she’d better have another think! He heard the screen door slam behind him. Thelma’s voice wafted across the yard.
“Did you get her?”
“Yep,” he said, not turning around as he unloaded a small case, depositing it with the rest of the growing pile.
“So is she getting out of the car or planning to stay there for the entire time?”
“Dunno. Why don’t you ask her?” he muttered.
“Caden Carlyle where are you manners!” He knew that tone. Thelma expected him to be a gracious host regardless of the circumstances, or the guest. Right now the last thing he felt like doing was extending Kirrkalan hospitality to a woman determined to tear his life apart.
Sighing heavily he wiped his hands on his jeans and walked deliberately to the front of the Ute. Elizabeth sat huddled on the passenger seat. She wasn’t very tall and somehow she’d managed to make herself look even smaller. Okay so this wasn’t swanky New York she was used to but it wasn’t exactly a rat-infested corrugated shack either. The sooner they got this visit over and done with the sooner she could go home and he could get on with the business of rebuilding his life.
He waited a heartbeat before wrenching the door opened. She jumped, turning a pale face towards him.
“Sorry to startle you,” he said trying to keep the sarcasm out of his voice, at least while Thelma was in earshot. “My housekeeper wishes to know if you’d like to come inside for tea.”
She blinked at him as if he’d spoken Swahili. “Tea?”
“Yes, tea. I’m sure coffee will be available if you’d prefer.” He held out his hand. She flinched slightly as if expecting him to manhandle her. “For goodness sake!” His anger exploded. “No one is going to hurt you. Please get out of the car and into the house before we all get another year older.”
His words had the desired effect. She shot out of the car and up the steps of the homestead in a flash, clutching her handbag to her chest. He shook his head and slammed the car door shut. Bloody city women! Next she’d be worried about spiders in her bed or being attacked by Drop Bears. Caden returned to the task of unloading the car. He’d carry the luggage up the steps and Miss Langtree could take it to her room herself.
How much trouble did your characters give you while writing your new release? Which one gave you the most trouble and why?
Elizabeth’s father, Gerald, gave me the most trouble. I wanted to make him a perfect balance of warmth, charm and evil self-centeredness. Rather hard so I hope I managed to pull it off! (JL: You sure did! I started to like him and then wanted to slap him.)
So all that remains is to show off your wonderful new book!
Elizabeth Langtree has her life in order – safe, organised, planned. Sure, she has her troubles, but they are nothing she can’t handle. Then everything is turned upside down when her family send her to Australia to collect her orphaned nephew.
It all seemed so simple in New York, but Australia is nothing like she expected, and she soon falls under the spell of the Outback – the station, the lifestyle, and the seriously sexy owner who has been caring for Luke since the death of his mother.
Elizabeth soon discovers that what seemed simple a world away is anything but, and her duty is at odds with the dictates of her heart. She must choose, knowing that a mistake will not only cost her everything, but destroy the future of a devastated little boy.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk about your books and yourself, Eva. Good luck with the new release.
To buy this and other books by Eva Scott:
Buy Link –
Escape Publishing: http://bit.ly/escapepublishing
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1AsLmBd
Amazon Aus: http://bit.ly/1BIa3wj