Friday, December 27, 2013

Award Winning Australian Author Margaret Tanner Talks About Her WWI Romances!

Hello, Margaret. Thanks for joining me today. I just reviewed your WWI historical romance, A Rose in No-Man’s Land, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wanted to learn more about you so I’m so glad you accepted my invitation to be my guest!

And, let me note that Margaret is gifting from Wild Rose Press one copy of her novel to one lucky commenter. While it was still unpublished, it won an award for the best unpublished manuscript in a literary competition in Australia. You won’t be sorry you read this one! (Leave your email or send it to me if you comment and want to be included.)

1. Tell us a little about yourself and what led you to write historical romance?

I live in Australia and I have always been interested in our history. My ancestors came to Australia from England, Scotland and Ireland. They were pioneers who fought a savage land and prospered, despite having to overcome incredible hardship.

As for romance, I have always been a sucker for the happily ever after endings that always happen in romances. I started off reading Mills & Boon, and graduated to romances with a little more bite to them. I like tortured heroes who put up a fight, but eventually succumb to the heroine, and for historicals in particular, this is a perfect scenario.

I started writing as a child, mainly sad little ditties. Then I graduated to short stories, and I actually won a few writing competitions. In my late teens I started reading romance novels, and after I was married and home with my 3 sons, my hubby worked shift works, so I often had plenty of time on my hands. So, I started writing novels. I would have to say I have been writing romance novels for fun for about 25 years, I got serious and started submitting to publishers about 10 years ago. My first novel was published in 2006.

2. I understand World War I is your favorite period in which to set a story. Why is that?

My family has a proud military record in both world wars, but like many Australians the Great War, as World War I was known, cost us dearly, three relatives were killed in action, several others were wounded.

When the 1st World War started, Australia had a population of less than four million, yet we sent over three hundred thousand soldiers overseas to fight, over sixty thousand were killed and more than twice that number were wounded. Some small country towns became ghost towns because so many of their young men had been killed. I wanted them to receive the recognition they deserved. I also wanted to include the brave women who waited at home, sometimes in vain, for their loved ones to return.

The monument pictured on the left is from a French battlefield on the Somme called Fromelles.The statue is called "Cobbers," an Aussie expression of the day for friend or buddy. Fromelles was one of the most costly, most deadly battles of the war for Australia. We had 5,000 casualties in just a matter of a couple of days.

3. I could tell from my reading of A Rose in No-Man’s Land that you had done a considerable amount of research. Tell us about that.

I have visited the battlefields on Gallipoli (in Turkey), and in France and Belgium. I also had access to letters and diaries from relatives, and I trawled through history books in the library. The soldiers in the trenches called the army nurses who treated their wounds “the roses of no-man’s land,” and as the heroine in this story is a battlefield nurse, I thought the title was appropriate.

I have written three other novels set against a background of World War I: Lauren’s Dilemma, Daring Masquerade, and Wild Oats. Lauren’s Dilemma is set in the same farming community as the beginning of A Rose In No-Man’s Land, and a couple of the characters from A Rose In No-Man’s Land briefly appear in Lauren’s Dilemma.

4. What are you writing now? Any new directions for you?

I am glad you asked. Now this is hot off the press, so to speak. I am writing a Western romance, The Gunslinger's Angel, as of a couple of weeks ago. I was invited to join a group of Western romance authors and was asked to write a short story for an anthology they are planning. As I used to watch and love all the Westerns on TV, I thought I would give it a go. Yesterday, I finished my first draft, and I have to say, I am quite happy with it. Needs more work, of course, but the skeleton of the story is there.

5. Have you traveled much? To the US? Where in the world would you like to go, and would it be research for one of your future novels?

I have visited the UK four times as I have a son living over there; a great jump-off place for France and Belgium. I have been to New York and Las Vegas in the US, and I would like to go back and see San Francisco and perhaps see the American west, purely for enjoyment.

6. What do you do in your down time? For vacation?

I like catching up with friends and family. I do like to get out in my garden. Shopping is good.

7. What are you reading? What are some of your favorite historical romances?

I have just finished reading and enjoying several historical romances: Blind Acceptance and its sequel Blind Achievement by Western romance author Susan Horsnell. The Partisan’s Wife, Destined To Love, and Time Invested, are three other great books I have recently read.


8. I have had the pleasure of seeing some of your beautiful country and have friends in Sydney. Is there a favorite place for you in Australia?

Ah Sydney, I have been there a few times, it is only about an hour away from me by plane. I think I would have to say Tasmania [pictured above] is my favourite destination in Australia.

I can sure see why you like to visit Tasmania! And on my Exotic Locales Best List, there's at least one historical romance set there.

Thanks for being my guest, Margaret, and letting my followers know more about you and the story behind your wonderful novels! If you ever get to San Diego, or one of the romance author conferences in the US, do let me know!

49 comments:

  1. Hi Margaret,
    Frome one Aussie to another, well done!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, David. I know Margaret will get to you when she is overlapping with our time zone!

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    2. Hi David,
      Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it.

      Best wishes

      Margaret

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  2. Hi Regan,
    Thank you so much for inviting me to your wonderful blog, and for the great review you gave A rose In No-Man's Land. Yes, the different time zones do make it difficult.

    Regards

    Margaret

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    1. You are welcome! and the post will be up for two days so not to worry.

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  3. Hi there, Margaret! great interview, my dear. I love it!

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    1. Hi Maggie,
      Thank you so much, I appreciate you dropping by.

      Regards

      Margaret

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    2. Thanks, Maggie, for stopping by my blog!

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  4. Great interview, Margaret. And I can attest that Margaret is a great writer.

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  5. Hi Shirley,
    Thank you for dropping by and for your praise. You are too kind.

    Regards

    Margaret

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  6. I always enjoy reading about Margaret and her great historical fiction books. She is dedicated to her genre and we all appreciate her.

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    1. Thanks, Dr. Barbara! I am new to Margaret's books and happy to discover them!

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    2. Hi Dr, Barbara, thank you so much for dropping by and for your kind words, much appreciated.

      Regards

      Margaret

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  7. Great interview. I've read a few of Margaret's books and I look forward to reading this one.
    Happy New Year,
    Tricia ( a fellow Australian)

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    1. Welcome, Tricia! G'day to you!

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    2. Hi Tricia, thank you for the support, much appreciated.

      Regards

      Margaret

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  8. Wonderful interview. I'm so impressed with historical novels and all the research that goes into them!

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    1. Ah, you have no idea, Ann. Hundreds of hours, but for those of us historical romance authors, research is many times our passion!

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    2. Hi Ann, thank you, there is a lot of research involved, and I agree with Regan you have to be passionate about it, but I am, I love it.

      Regards

      Margaret

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  9. What a wonderful family legacy you have, Margaret! No wonder WWI is one of your favorite settings.

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    1. Hi Gail,
      Thank you, I suppose because of my family history I am biased toward WW1. It was such a terrible and tragic conflict.

      Regards

      Margaret

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  10. I have read most of Margaret's book, including A Rose in No-Man's Land. I've enjoyed all Margaret's books, but this one is my absolute favourite.

    In many of the scenes, it was like I was right there, living it. It's a wonderful book, and one that I won't forget easily.

    Loved your interview Margaret, and loved learning more about you.

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    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Thank you, praise from an author of your calibre is very gratifying.

      Regards

      Margaret

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  11. Margaret, As always, I'm impressed by the strong personal connection you bring to all your books. It definitely shows in the writing.

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  12. Hi Kathy,
    Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.

    Regards

    Margaret

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  13. Hi Regan and Margaret. I have read a number of Margarets books and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Glad to hear you have also enjoyed mine. Best wishes to you both.

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by, Susan.

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  14. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it, and I did enjoy reading your books.

    Regards

    Margaret

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  15. Hi Margaret. Your WWI novels are on my TBR list. I'm glad you decided to join our group for the western anthology. Can't wait to read your story! I need to get busy with mine. Maggie's 5-word challenge gave me some ideas. See you on Amazon.

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  16. Hi Lyn,
    Thank you for dropping by. I am quite excited about the Western short story anthology, I have mine written already, but I just need to tidy it up a little more.

    Best wishes

    Margaret

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  17. I always am interested in how historical authors do their research. Great that you were able to visit the battlefields you us in your book. I will look forward to the Western tales.

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  18. Hi Victoria,
    Thank you for dropping by I appreciate it. Historical research is not a chore for me, I love it.

    Regards

    Margaret

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  19. Hello, Margaret!

    Fabulous interview. I've traveled a lot, but so far I haven't made it to Australia. Got to get there before I'm too old.

    I really like your personal family connection to your work, by the way. That gives it genuine intensity that can't be faked.

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the interview, Lisabet.

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  20. Hi Lisabet,
    Thank you for dropping by. I have no doubt you would love it if you did come to Australia. The landscape and animals are very diverse here, unique really.
    I am pleased that I was able to include my family's connection to the era.

    Regards

    Margaret

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  21. Great interview, Margaret. My husband's dad fought in WW I, so we also feel a personal connection to the Great War.

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    1. Hi Nancy,
      Thank you for dropping by, when you have a personal connection to the Great War, I think it makes a lot of difference.
      Regards

      Margaret

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  22. Margaret, Enjoyed the interview and really enjoy all your books. Though I seldom write historicals I enjoy reading them, You've given me much reading pleasure.

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    1. Thanks, Janet, for coming to my blog. Glad you liked the interview. You'll find lots of recommendations for wonderful historical romances here!

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    2. Thanks Janet, I appreciate you dropping by. There are plenty of historicals for you to choose from over here.

      Regards

      Margaret

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  23. Thanks to all who stopped by and read Margaret's interview. I had fun doing it!

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  24. Hi Margaret,
    Great interview! Your WW1 books sound wonderful and I can't wait to begin reading them.

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    1. Glad you liked the interview, Jennifer! Thanks for coming.

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    2. Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for dropping by I appreciate it.

      Regards

      Margaret

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  25. Hi Margaret, I can only repeat what others have already mentioned. You are a great storyteller and your love of family and history shines in your stories. I've enjoyed some of your other books and I know I'll enjoy this one. Hope all is well with you and yours and 2014 brings you mega sales! (You also Regan).

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    1. Judith, thank you for the kind wishes. I hope you have a great 2014, too.

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    2. Hi Judith,
      Thank you so much, you are too kind.

      Regards

      Margaret

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  26. Hi Margaret,
    I enjoyed reading your interview. Visiting the battlefields was profoundly moving experience. I'm looking forward to reading your books.
    Mary Galusha

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  27. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for dropping by, Yes visiting the battlefields was very poignant and left a lasting impression on me.

    Regards

    Margaret

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