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Friday, December 27, 2013
Award Winning Australian Author Margaret Tanner Talks About Her WWI Romances!
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 While it was still unpublished, it won an award for the best unpublished manuscript in a literary competition in Australia.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.
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.
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!
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Frome one Aussie to another, well done!
Thanks for stopping by, David. I know Margaret will get to you when she is overlapping with our time zone!Delete
Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it.
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.
You are welcome! and the post will be up for two days so not to worry.Delete
Hi there, Margaret! great interview, my dear. I love it!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, I appreciate you dropping by.
Thanks, Maggie, for stopping by my blog!Delete
Great interview, Margaret. And I can attest that Margaret is a great writer.ReplyDelete
Thank you for dropping by and for your praise. You are too kind.
I always enjoy reading about Margaret and her great historical fiction books. She is dedicated to her genre and we all appreciate her.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dr. Barbara! I am new to Margaret's books and happy to discover them!Delete
Hi Dr, Barbara, thank you so much for dropping by and for your kind words, much appreciated.Delete
Great interview. I've read a few of Margaret's books and I look forward to reading this one.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year,
Tricia ( a fellow Australian)
Welcome, Tricia! G'day to you!Delete
Hi Tricia, thank you for the support, much appreciated.Delete
Wonderful interview. I'm so impressed with historical novels and all the research that goes into them!ReplyDelete
Ah, you have no idea, Ann. Hundreds of hours, but for those of us historical romance authors, research is many times our passion!Delete
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.Delete
What a wonderful family legacy you have, Margaret! No wonder WWI is one of your favorite settings.ReplyDelete
Thank you, I suppose because of my family history I am biased toward WW1. It was such a terrible and tragic conflict.
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.ReplyDelete
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.
Thank you, praise from an author of your calibre is very gratifying.
Margaret, As always, I'm impressed by the strong personal connection you bring to all your books. It definitely shows in the writing.ReplyDelete
Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.
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.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you stopped by, Susan.Delete
Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it, and I did enjoy reading your books.
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.ReplyDelete
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.
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.ReplyDelete
Thank you for dropping by I appreciate it. Historical research is not a chore for me, I love it.
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.
I am so glad you enjoyed the interview, Lisabet.Delete
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.
Great interview, Margaret. My husband's dad fought in WW I, so we also feel a personal connection to the Great War.ReplyDelete
Thank you for dropping by, when you have a personal connection to the Great War, I think it makes a lot of difference.
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.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Janet, for coming to my blog. Glad you liked the interview. You'll find lots of recommendations for wonderful historical romances here!Delete
Thanks Janet, I appreciate you dropping by. There are plenty of historicals for you to choose from over here.Delete
Thanks to all who stopped by and read Margaret's interview. I had fun doing it!ReplyDelete
Great interview! Your WW1 books sound wonderful and I can't wait to begin reading them.
Glad you liked the interview, Jennifer! Thanks for coming.Delete
Thanks for dropping by I appreciate it.
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).ReplyDelete
Judith, thank you for the kind wishes. I hope you have a great 2014, too.Delete
Thank you so much, you are too kind.
I enjoyed reading your interview. Visiting the battlefields was profoundly moving experience. I'm looking forward to reading your books.
Thank you for dropping by, Yes visiting the battlefields was very poignant and left a lasting impression on me.