It is a pleasure to welcome Louise Forster to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews for A Tea Break with Mrs B, an author interview series. Thanks Louise!
Hello Louise. I greatly appreciate the time you have provided to answer a few questions. What is your drink of choice as we sit down for a chat?
A good, strong espresso, with hot milk and two sugars, thank you.
Can you give us an overview of your writing career to date?
I was a good kid, not a good student. In my defence, no one picked up my Astigmatism. What I saw on the blackboard would’ve had multiple lines and funny shapes, and being somewhat dyslexic didn’t help. This has improved enormously over the years, starting with glasses; I nearly fell flat on my face when I first put them on. And the determination to overcome how to spell muscle correctly and various other words that I still look at and think, really? We lived in the Netherlands for a couple of years; I bought and borrowed every English written picture book in the local area. Out of options, I sat with our young girls before bed and made up my own, like Ralph and Flynn’s Adventure, a Christmas story. An editor friend thought I had a fertile imagination. She suggested I write romance. Together we won the Emma Darcy award in 2000. Left to go solo, and after a few edits, that book became Finding Elizabeth. The first book published by Harlequin Escape, making me the happiest writer imaginable, but more importantly, I felt utterly validated. Then came a best seller, WOW! Book #1 Home Truths in Tumble Creek. Then book #2 Tumble Creek, also a bestseller. After running through the house yelling my good news, I took a deep breath, sat back, and enjoyed the moment.
I’m looking forward to starting your Tumble Creek series, can you give us an insight into this popular book series?
Home Truths placed 3rd in a US comp, The Charter Oak Romance Writers Excellence in Writing Award. After Jennifer and Calum in book one, I had to give her sister Sofie and Brock their story. And so it carried on with the introduction of new characters. A reviewer said: “You have nailed how to write a series.” That comment meant everything. I try not to bog the reader down with information they’ve already read in previous books. My heroes are strong, open-minded, and compassionate. They will go after anyone exploiting the vulnerable. Same for my heroines. But they all carry some baggage that needs sorting or accepting.
Can the Tumble Creek books be read as stand-alone stories, or do they need to be read in order?
They should be read in order as characters in all books filter through to the next and so on. Having said that, there are no cliffhangers.
Love in a Sunburnt Land, an anthology featuring one of your stories has recently been released. Can you tell us more about this collaboration piece?
Susan Mackie and I were in touch through author social media sites. We read and enjoyed each other’s stories. Susan asked would I be interested in joining her idea of an anthology and introduced me to three wonderful authors. Through the magic of Zoom, the five of us managed to meet up and discuss a theme, word count and anything that concerned us. We read and edited each other’s work and went through them again when changes were made. We are most definitely not precious about every word we put down, every comma, and thought. It was entirely up to each author to either accept editing suggestions or not. But we always worked as a team. And sometimes, the edits had us thinking along a different, better path in our story. It was an amazing journey and one we’re already planning to do again. The fabulous thing I found was that we all look out for each other. Are we kindred spirits? I believe so.
What key ingredients are essential to crafting a small-town romance novel?
Knowing country people, having seen their empathy, understanding what is needed, and being there for each other is the fabric of a small town and country life. Being welcomed as a newcomer by neighbours who will drop everything and help you out. How life can be great one moment and disastrous the next. Which affects not only the farmers and their families but the towns as well. Battling on because that’s what you do. Finding fun in the simple things, the affordable things: community barbeques, picnics, moonlight country dances, gazing at a perfect star-filled sky. Magic!
Do you find it challenging to capture the complexities of relationships and romance, which are strong themes in your novels?
No, not really, just sometimes searching for that elusive descriptive word that says it all is frustrating. I’m a romantic at heart. I’ve witnessed family and friends deal with all manner of complex romance/life problems. Someone once said I was intuitive. An editor said I was an instinctive writer. Best of all, years ago, Emma Darcy said, “I’m in awe of your descriptive narrative.” That put a big smile all over my face.
Do you have a favourite character from one of your books?
Uncle Bob is one of my favourites and had been through quite a bit of torment. After leaving his nieces a cryptic note, they looked deeper into what their beloved uncle had endured. The other character is young Matt in book 4. My sub-characters introduce a strong element into my stories.
What do you hope readers will take away from the experience of reading your novels and stories?
I just hope they enjoy reading them.
What does your writing space look like?
Paper strewn across my desk with scribble notes that I then look for but can’t find because it’s on a scrap of paper somewhere. Notebooks to keep abreast of a stories flow, dates and seasons, a bottle of water, sugar-free butterscotch, photos, awards, and groaning bookshelves.
What writers have inspired you along the way to publication?
The great Emma Darcy, Trish Morey, Marion Lennox, Keri Arthur, and many more.
Is there a genre you haven’t tried writing yet, but want to in the future?
Hmm… I have actually written fantasy, a photographer thrown back to medieval times with a twist. It’s been sitting in a file a few years; when I get a moment, I’ll go through it again and see if it’s worth pursuing.
What is the best part of being a published author?
Readers getting something out of my stories, their reactions, and reviews.
What is next for Louise Forster, do you have any works in progress you would like to share with your readers?
There’s a fifth book in my Tumble Creek series titled, Tumbling Back. The first draft is almost done.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews Louise.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog.
Five authors – Susan Mackie, Rhonda Forrest, Louise Forster, Leanne Lovegrove and Emma Powell – five small town stories, five chances for love.
Love in a Sunburnt Land will take you on a journey from the tropical coast to the fertile plains and magnificent high country, where quick thinking and endurance is a way of life and where second chance love might happen, right when it’s least expected.
Love on the Sweeping Plains by Leanne Lovegrove
Desperation drove Tori Christensen back to her childhood town, but that’s not why she stayed. Fleeing the end of her marriage, she vows never to be hurt again. But old flame Zac Coleman is the star on a reality TV dating show, problem is, Tori isn’t a contestant.
Love in the Ragged Mountain Ranges by Susan Mackie
Nik swore she’d never trust again. But the removal truck getting stuck in the driveway on the first day threw her into neighbour Robbie’s path. But Nik made a vow that it would just be her and daughter Lucy, and she would keep her promise. Always.
Far Horizons by Emma Powell
When a second chance at life gives Molly a second chance at love, will she take it? Local police sergeant Jack, reminds her what it feels like to be truly loved. But can she trust him? And when her past and present collide, she fights to save herself and her future.
Love by the Jewel Sea by Rhonda Forrest
Frankie knew one thing. She’d return to the city when the job was done. But will an accidental meeting with local farmer Simon, change her perspective on what is important in life and remind her of her ethics. Or will it send her running in the opposite direction?
Core of my Heart by Louise Forster
After a recent breakup, an exciting offer had Madeline moving back into town, definitely sworn off men. Then her teenage crush walks into her life. Ash’s intuitive and gentle questioning, help her come to terms with her past. But is that enough, can she trust and love again?
Will they take the beautiful gift, a second chance at love? Will they succeed in leaving their past behind, or does it follow them home?
Love in a Sunburnt Land by Susan Mackie, Rhonda Forrest, Louise Forster, Leanne Lovegrove and Emma Powell was published on 1st June 2021. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
She’s a chef, he’s a farmer/electrician, and together they discover Uncle Bob’s secret life, the Russian diplomat and the elusive Veronica.
London-based chef, Jennifer Dove, loves her exciting, fast-paced life and she has every intention of returning to it ASAP. This trip to the small country town of Tumble Creek is to visit her sister and niece and together farewell their beloved uncle. But barely hours into her stay, she disturbs an intruder in her uncle’s house and is questioned by police. Jennifer is sucked into the mystery surrounding her uncle. What are the locals hiding? And where is Veronica?
All is not what it seems in this sleepy, small town.
Home Truths in Tumble Creek by Louise Forster was published on 21st May 2019. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
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