This month my first Outback book hits shelves in North America.
If you drive not so very far north of Melbourne, braving congested traffic and suburbia as far as the eye can see, you will eventually find yourself on a long winding road leading you to a whole new world.
Think wombat holes hidden in tall grass, fallen logs that double as homes to families of wild rabbits, and yabby filled dams which are haunts of families of grey kangaroos. From abundant hilltop farms, panoramic views reveal the smudge of the city skyline to the south, tracts of clear-cut green pastures to the west, distant eucalypt scattered hills to the east, and sweeping, burnt umber sunsets peaking over the tops of shrub lined gullies the likes of which you have never seen...
1. WORKING TITLE - "Something About Her"
From page one thids felt like a really endearing story and my workig title always gave me warm and fuzzy feelings as I read it. It gave me focus too, that my poor hurting hero had no chance from the moment he met this whirl wind of a woman
2. CAST - Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Whitford
I love this picture of Jen, and it sums up my feisty heroine, Laura Somervale perfectly. She's all tumbling auburn curls held back by a pink shoelace, bare feet, bright and raw as the land aorund her, and in the opening scene is caught singing her heart out to an audience of magpies as she hung the washing on her wonky old clothesline. The freshness, and freedom and cheeky look in Jen's eyes are all Laura's qualities.
But then I had to give her a hero. A hero who would challenge her, spark against her, and make her wonder if her idyllic Outback life was all she really needed. So I gave her jetsetting, in demand, city boy economist Ryan Gasper, who I saw as a mixture of heavenly Josh Lyman from The West Wing and JFK Junior. Yummo on both counts, right?
Chloe was named after my friend Sheree's niece who was born about the time I first started writing this book.
Irmela the cow was named after my arch nemesis from school camp in grade 10. Irmela was a milking cow, and she hated me. She would see me coming and charge! But I have never forgotten her, so I gave her a small cameo in this book.
And Chimp, the miniature fox terrier was inspired by my own sweetness and light, Squiffy.
3. MUSIC - unknown
I don't know that I actually had a favourite song or CD for this one. Around that time my hubby bought us a new CD hard drive thing and all his spare time was spent buring our CDs into this machine. So I mostly had to listen to bits and pieces of songs as he titled them.
4. FAIRY DUST - the location
I dedicated this book to my hubby's Auntie Mel, on whose farm we both stayed for several weeks when we first moved to Melbourne. I wrote the majority of my first book, THE WEDDING WISH while seated at a table in her dining room, staring out at the view Laura sees every day.
For more location info, with gorgeous pictures of the Outback location on which Laura and Ryan fall in love, check out my earlier post "it's all in the details".
A FATHER IN THE MAKING, a Harlequin Romance, is out in April 2006 in North America
Buy A FATHER IN THE MAKING here
Read it! Excerpt here...