1. How did you start writing romance?
TREE CHANGE was my first book. It was published by Breathless Press as an e-book in November 2012. I had always wanted to write romance and one day I woke up and decided I would stop dreaming and do it. I resigned from my teaching job, sold my house and bought a smaller one and six months later TREE CHANGE was published!
I should explain that a tree change is an Australian expression! The term sea change was adopted in Australia some years ago and comes from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. It’s used to describe a sort of human migration – people leaving the city for an easier life. Tree Change is a preference for the bush rather than the sea.
2. Plotter or pantster?
Oh … I was a panster. TREE CHANGE is pure pant but since then I’ve written six more books and I’m gradually plotting my stories more and more. I pant the first three chapters then stop and sort out the plot. It invariably changes but it saves a lot of rewrites and agonizing cutting.
3. What are three things you have on your writing desk?
Two photographs – a picture of my grandfather … he always said, “You can do it, my sweet,” and photograph of my daughter, without a doubt my greatest achievement to date! And my Mac book Pro.
4. Favorite food?
BBQ-ued seafood and a chilled Verdehlo (wine’s food, isn’t it?)
5. Tell us a little about your new print book. What character in the book really spoke to you?
TREE CHANGE is a tale of love and loss … Cassia is determined to follow her career, but in order to do that she has to make choices, as we all do. There’s a lot of me in Cassia but, like Cassia, it’s Jake I can’t get past. I think he’s gorgeous!!
When Tree Change first came out one of the people who live in my local village read it. I didn’t know until I found a note in my mailbox “Is Jake based on anyone I know? I think I’m in love with him, please don’t tell ….” (Name with held for obvious reasons!!)
6. I write because … I love to, and I have the opportunity. It’s a luxury I will never give up!
7. What is your favorite type of character to write about?
I like my heroines, whether they are contemporary or historical, to be sassy independent women who know what they want and are determined to succeed and I love an angsty hero, preferably with a dark past and a secret or two!
8. What is the sexiest scene you’ve ever written?
I don’t think of my books as being particularly sexy, but apparently, according to some of the reviews I’m getting, my writing is ‘sensual’. A WINNING STREAK, an Ancient Greek novella Breathless published last year, is probably the most sensual. I tried to convey the mood and undercurrent of Atalante and Melanion’s attraction … I think I succeeded.
9. What advice would you give new authors in the romance field?
Be patient! (I’m the most impatient person in the world!) And write what you want to write – not what someone else wants then it will be from the heart and that’s what makes a good romance – writing from the heart.
10. What is next on your writerly horizon?
My horizon is busting right now! I’m so excited! TREE CHANGE will be available in print this month, THE PROTEA BOYS, another Australian contemporary romance, in March and PASSIONFRUIT & POETRY at the end of February. I have another three historical romances due out this year. One is the first in a family saga entitled From the Ocean to the Outback, another a follow up to my Australian historical MATILDA’S FREEDOM and the third … something completely different for me. It’s called JAZZ BABY and is set in the 1920s in Sydney.
A full horizon!
Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog! May I do a quick plug for my newsletter here? Sign up and go in the draw for a print copy of one of my contemporary romances!
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Forced to choose between the world she wants and the man she loves, Cassia opts for fame and fortune. But it's not enough—one taste and she's hooked again...
Despite her success in the Sydney art world, Cassia yearns for the idyllic life she once lead with Jake in their shack over looking the Pacific Ocean. Seeking closure she falls, like an addict, straight back into his arms, and out again equally quickly. Not only has he taken up with his brother's wife, but it seems they have a child.
Truth is, Jake's living a lie, sworn to secrecy, and hamstrung by the debt he owes his estranged family. But one glimpse of Cassia and he knows he cannot live without her. Her fey, artistic character and magical body possess his imagination and his heart. Can he convince her to trust him long enough to save the crumbling remains of their relationship?
She dismissed his words with a wave of her hand, but her eyes betrayed her. He knew her too well. The burn of hurt behind their velvety depths had nothing to do with the here and now, but everything to do with what had gone before. His fault. Lyle's fault. No one's fault. Just circumstance.
"No, no, I'm not. I need answers, and I need them now. I can't go on like this. Either we are together or we are not. You have to make a choice: Madeleine or me. I can't be a convenience you can pick up and put down as the mood takes you."
"My feelings for you, Cass, are a million things, but convenient isn't one of them." He shook his head in sorrowful disbelief. How could she not recognize the bond they had?
"Madeleine?" Her raised eyebrows challenged him.
"Right now I can't explain what happened with Madeleine, but her safety is paramount."
Her body shuddered as if she were trying to lift a great weight. What was he doing to her? Madeleine, Madeleine, always Madeleine. "I can't do this again, Jake. I need to go home."
Jake slipped her cardigan over her frail shoulders and then stepped back to allow her to lead the way past the bar and up the narrow stairs to street level.
He unlocked the car door and held it open. Her skirt caught on the ribbons of her espadrille. As he leaned down to untangle them, she flinched. He closed the car door with exaggerated care and walked around to the driver's door and let himself in. He clicked his seat belt into its clasp before he twisted the key in the ignition. The engine sprang to life, and he pulled out into the darkened street.
"You have to trust me, Cass. I know it is difficult, but you just have to trust me and wait. Everything will be sorted out soon."
Her sigh filled the car. "Jake, I can't. How can I? I've tried and look where we've ended up. Me in Sydney, and you living with your brother's girlfriend." "Wife," he corrected, regretting the word the moment it left his lips.
Téa Cooper lives in a stone cottage on one hundred acres of bushland, in the Hunter Valley. When she isn't writing, Téa can be found haunting the local museum or chatting to the locals, who provide her with a never-ending source of inspiration. The settings for her stories range from the glittering beachside city of Sydney to small country towns and the harsh outback. Take a ride from the ocean to the outback in search of pure Australian romance.
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