Sunday, November 3, 2013

Author Talk - S.E Gilchrist

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with S. E. Gilchrist fellow cofounder and member of Hunter Romance Writers.

Hi  SE and welcome to my blog.

Hi Sandie, its lovely to be here and I like the look of your new site.

Well thanks you.

1.      Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Australian, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. A writer and lover of animals especially dogs, although at the moment, I’m feeding stray cats at my day job.

2.      You have a new release out, what is it about?
This story is a contemporary, rural romance set in outback Australia and features a heroine who cherishes her childhood dream of belonging and family. Abandoned by her mother when young, Melanie spent a long time in the system before running off to live on the rough streets of The Cross in Sydney. She has offered to help her best friend restore his marriage and heads off to the outback to ‘babysit’ his two daughters. But his brother-in law is not that impressed with her and makes it obvious he wants her off his cattle station and out of their lives.

3.      How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
I love the concept of the trope, ‘fish out of water’ and admit it’s one I seem to use a lot. I also wanted to write a series of contemporary stories about a group of young people who’d had it tough in life and who manage to find happiness. So my idea of friends from a children’s shelter was borne.

4.      Do you plot your novels or fly by the seat of your pants type of girl?
The first two or three chapters are usually pantsing, then once I have a better concept of my characters, I work out their backgrounds, history and fears and see how I can work these aspects into the story. I guess I end up being a plotter then for the remainder of the story.

5.      How long does it normally take you to write your first draft?
Oooh, what a hard question! That depends on the length of the novel, what other dramas and demands that occur in my ‘real’ life and whether I get side-tracked by social media. And the lure of spreadsheets. I love them. Any excuse and I make up a spreadsheet – I do this in my day job too.

6.      Who are your favourite authors?
Another not fair question –here are a few: John Birmingham, John Grisham, Lisa Gardner, J D Robb, Elizabeth Peters, Dorothy Cannell, Janet Evanovitch, Matthew Reilly, Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, Denise Rossetti, Anne Gracie, David A Rollins, Jo Beverley, Julia Quinn, Teresa Scott, Betty Neels, Linea Sinclair, Angela Knight, Karen Marie Moning, Dara Joy, Karen Hawkins, Tess Gerritson, James Patterson, Kerry Greenwood....

7.      You have had an offer from Hollywood to turn your novel into a movie, who would you have play the lead roles? Why?
No idea, maybe...Abbie Cornish and Chris Hemsworth.

8.      Who would like to direct it?
Hunter Romance Writers – wouldn’t that be fun? I can just see us, yelling out ‘action’ ‘camera’ and laughing an awful lot.

9.      Can you give us a small extract from your novel?
Extract from Dance in the Outback © S. E. Gilchrist

“How far are we from the nearest town?” Melanie asked.

Dirk drawled, “Missing the bright lights already? Longreach is the largest town and it's to the nor-east of us. It’s more than a fair day’s drive. I wouldn't go thinking you can take off for a coupla hours at the beauty salon and be back by lunch.”

Irritating man.

“I was making polite conversation.”

He laughed.

The deep sound did something funny to her insides. After clearing her throat, she asked, “Is this the Diamantina Country?”

She fielded the surprised glance he shot her by batting her long eyelashes and was rewarded with an upward quirk of the edges of his mouth. Dear me, is that a smile I can see? "I've always been interested in the Outback. It's so vast and untamed."

"It is all that and don't forget it can also be deadly. You must carry water on you at all times," warned Dirk. “The Diamantina Country is further south of us. We're on the edge of the Channel Country.”

“Oh. Then I guess flooding could be a problem during the wet season.”

“Sometimes, it depends on how much rain we get up north. Of course if a cyclone crosses the coast, anything could happen. Especially if she's a category four or five. There's a low pressure system churning about in the Arafura Sea at the moment.”

Charming. Another fly buzzed about her face and she swatted uselessly at the pesky insect. Heat, flies and possible floods. Sounds like a fun break. I wonder if I'll get to see an emu. She sank back into her seat feeling the heat press in on her from all sides. Longing to rest for a moment, she resisted the urge to close her eyes, unwilling to reveal her weariness in case it was construed as weakness.

As if he was in tune with her thoughts, he asked, "It might take some days before your body acclimatises to the heat. You'll need to take it easy for a while before you can start pulling your weight."

"Pardon?" Startled, Melanie turned to stare at his profile.

Dirk said in a smooth voice, "This is a working cattle station. Everyone has a job to do. We need everyone we can get to help with the mustering out in the western region. Probably only take about seven days. Ever ridden a horse? Or maybe a camel might suit you better."

Mouth open, Melanie shook her head. Was he serious? Visions of a female version of Lawrence of Arabia chasing a cow floated about in her head. She’d wear a pit helmet and a long floaty white scarf. She swivelled round and looked at James who nodded encouragingly.

James said, "You'll love it, Mel. Just think; no need to worry about bathing every day, sleeping under the stars with scorpions and meat ants and nothing but red dust for miles."

“You’ll need to keep a sharp lookout for camel spiders too. Ever seen one?” Dirk turned on the car’s fan and immediately hot air blasted from the vents.

Melanie shook her head again.

Dirk made a sweeping motion with his left hand. “There’re bigger than my hand and can run about 16 kph.”


10.  Now the most important question. Where can we get a copy of your novel?
     Amazon UK

    Thanks so much Sandie for hosting me.
You can find Suz at::
     Twitter @SEGilchrist1
      Hunter Romance Writers

Thank you S.E for joining me today. All the best on your new release.
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