The book is aptly titled considering Helene recently survived TC Yasi, a category 5 tropical cyclone that made landfall not far from her home town in Queensland, Australia.
Welcome back, Helene!
Kylie, thanks so much for having me on your blog. I love reading your posts – I’m guaranteed to learn something every time!
What's been happening in your world since the RWAustralia Coogee Beach conference?
Kylie, the RWA Coogee conference seems like a million years ago. I can’t believe New York is only a touch over three months away and Melbourne a mere five months. I keep thinking I must have slipped into a time warp somewhere!
2010 was an incredibly busy year with my day job where I fly aircraft for a regional airline. I changed roles within the company, which meant I was back on the receiving end of training instead of being the trainer. That made my brain rev into gear at full speed…
The release of SHATTERED SKY was moved forward a month to February, leading to some pretty hectic editing and a few very late nights.
Are you a panster or plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influence you most? What's your writing process from start to finish when writing a book?
I’ve always thought I was a panster, but a friend introduced me to the term scener and I think that fits pretty well. When I start writing a story I have a theme I want to explore and a series of scenes. I can see my characters in situations, but from there I’m happy for them to take me on their journey without a clue where we are headed. While that leads me up blind alleys occasionally, I do think I know the characters better for the winding path. Sure I then have to cut more words than if I’d rigidly written to a plot line, but because I have to be so pedantic in my day job I enjoy not knowing the exact ending. (It would be a bit of a worry if the passengers didn’t know where the flight was landing, lol.)
Can you tell us about your new release?
SHATTERED SKY was a long time in my head. Lauren, a secondary character in WINGS OF FEAR (previous title was Border Watch) was always trying to muscle in on that story. I knew she had to have her own book and I knew just the man she needed to cross swords with.
The theme in SHATTERED SKY is people feeling trapped by forces outside of their control. The story explores organized crime, and particularly the Outlawed Motorcycle Gangs, as I think they reflect the changing cultural make-up of Australia. Their move into global crime is part of that change.
Lauren uncovers a people trafficking operation that’s bringing in women for the sex-slave trade. Her search for answers takes her deep into the wilderness of northern Australia and she’ll need the reluctant help of Naval Patrol Boat Captain, Callam Granger. Will their history force them together or apart or will it risk more lives?
It was so much fun seeing these two find their way forward!
Can you share a few fun facts about the geographic locations where your novels takes place?
Trinity Beach was used during World War II as a training camp for the Australian Army. Vasey Esplanade takes its name from Major General George Vasey who died in a plane crash in the waters of Trinity Beach in 1948. He’d been a hero in the New Guinea campaign and was much loved by his troops.
The largest recorded crocodile was shot in 1957 by Mrs Kris Powloski on the banks of the MacArthur River near Normanton in North Queensland.
|Golden Shouldered Parrot|
Cape York is home to the Golden Shouldered Parrot, which is one of Australia’s most endangered bird species. It only lives in very small areas and is really sighted.
What’s the most unusual place you have visited?
Antarctica! Without a doubt, the coldest, driest place on earth is amazing!! We did a twenty-six day voyage starting from Bluff in New Zealand, tracking right down into McMurdo Sound before returning to Hobart in Australia.
|Scott's Hut, Antarctica|
Are there any particular settings or sorts of characters you'd like to use in a future book?
I want to set a novel on Macquarie Island. We visited there on the way back from Antarctica and it’s had more than its fair share of dramas and adventures. The early whalers have always fascinated me. They were so mentally and physically tough. I’m dying to write that story, but it will have to wait its turn…
Do you have any advice/handy tips/craft skills you'd like to share with unpublished authors?
Persevere! Writing is about being stubborn. Keep knocking on doors. It’s one tenth talent and nine-tenths determination.
Join Romance Writers of Australia. Rejections hurt so a more gentle way of toughening up is to use the RWA contest circuit. Writers such as Kylie, Anna Campbell, Tracey O’Hara and Erica Hayes all used those contests to hone their skills and learn their craft. I can’t speak highly enough of the organization and the opportunities it offers. And it’s not just for category romance writers!
Kylie thanks so much for having me here today.
Helene, it's always a pleasure!
As a special extra, Helene has generously donated a copy of her books SHATTERED SKY and WINGS OF FEAR.
If you'd like to be in the running to win one of them, please leave a comment about the most unusual or favorite geographical location you've visited.
Please leave a comment by midday (Aussie Eastern Daylight Savings Time), Saturday 19th March 2011. The 2 winners will be posted by that evening.
If you'd like to know more about Helene go to her website, follow her blog, Facebook page or on Twitter.
|Formerly BORDER WATCH|