I was really disappointed I couldn't attend Romance in the Bush at Maitland Library last Monday. A panel including Nicole Alexander, Alissa Callen and Ann B Harrison discussed rural romance. I bailed up Ann and asked for a private "audience".
Thanks so much for your time. I am curious to hear about some of the questions the audience asked and how you responded.
It was a great turn out. About 40 people crowded into the room to grill us on rural romance and how we worked out our stories. This is the first time I’d done a panel talk and I loved it. The crowd was great.
If you could pick four questions from the evening that you thought were the most important what would they be?
I’m sure I can’t remember them all but the following are the ones that stick foremost in my mind.
Rural romance novels can be set on vast outback stations, farms, horse studs, or small towns. When you first sit down to plot a story what comes first the characters, the settings, the character or the plot.
I get my ideas from all over - its never the hero first or the setting. It can be a picture or a sentence that gets the ball rolling.
What made you decide to writer rural romance?
It wasn't a conscious decision to write novels set in a rural background. It all came about during a trip through central Queensland. I was taking photos of run down farms along the way and suddenly thought 'what if.' The rest is history.
Why is rural romance flourishing?
I think rural literature is on the rise because people can related to the struggling farmer or the vastness of the huge cattle stations. It could also be because if you were looking for a tree change and couldn't do more than find it in the pages of a book, rural is more than likely very different to your life now.
Can you write a novel and not have your two characters coming together at the end?
I have to have a happy ending. I'm an incurable romantic and have been married for almost 40 years so that makes me want everyone of my characters to find their HEA.
Ah yes! Nothing like a HEA. It sounds as though it was a great evening. I believe you have a new rural romance out this week.
Rhylee and Sassie is Book 2 in Outback Heritage Series. In Book 1, Grady, we got to meet the Ryan’s of Deepwater Valley and found out a bit about the oldest son Grady who is the local policeman. In book two we get meet Rhylee, his younger brother. He is the free spirited son who loves to play the field with no intention of settling down. Not until he meets a wild red haired Irish lass who drives him wild.
A series - great. I love a series. I'm always so disappointed when I have to say goodbye to characters I love. Is there a Book 3 ... and 4?
So far I have plots for at least six books. Let’s hope I get time to write them all. The next book out is Audrey and Finn.
Fabulous! Thanks for the run down. Next time you're on a panel I shall make certain I'm there!
Ann's books are available on Amazon. Here's the link to her author page and her website.
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