Thursday, April 23, 2009

Welcome guest author Margaret Tanner!

Cate: Please welcome special guest Margaret Tanner. Margaret, will you please share a short bio with us?
Margaret: I’ve had numerous short stories published over the years, but writing Historical romance novels is my passion. My favourite historical period is the 1st World War. Not only have I painstakingly researched this era, but was fortunate enough to make a poignant pilgrimage to the battlefields of Gallipoli (in Turkey), also France and Belgium.
I live in Australia with my husband and have three grown up sons, and one grand-daughter. I recently reduced my working hours as a medical typist to concentrate on writing.
I’m published with Whiskeycreek Press and The Wild Rose Press.

Cate: Tell us about your latest release, The Trouble with Playboys, and where it's available.
Margaret: The Trouble with Playboys opens in 1938, when a wealthy Englishman, Paul Ashfield, travels to Australia in search of the birth-mother he thinks deserted him. He meets and falls in love with Daphne Clarke. Upon meeting her parents, Paul is horrified by the possibility that they have the same mother. He departs the scene quickly, believing he has slept with his sister.
Amidst the turmoil of WW2, Paul and Daphne meet again in Singapore, where they discover the truth – they are not siblings. They marry as the Japanese pour into Malaya and Singapore teeters on the brink of invasion. In the chaotic aftermath, each believes the other has died during the bombing. Heartbroken, Paul returns home to England and agrees to an arranged marriage.
After a daring escape from Singapore, Daphne finally reaches England, only to find out that Paul is about to wed another woman.
The Trouble with Playboys is available April 24 from The Wild Rose Press.
The Trouble With Playboys, is particularly close to my heart, as my late father served in Singapore and Malaya during the 2nd World War, and as he was engaged to my mother at the time, he wrote frequently, and she kept all his letters, so I was able to gain a lot of insight into those traumatic times from his writing. He didn't speak about the war much, but I remembered the things he did tell us as children, and coupled with what my mother and her sisters told me about how it was for the woman left at home, I feel confident that I have captured the era well.

Cate: I understand you’re working on a prequel to this novel. Can you share a little bit about it?
Margaret: Yes, the prequel to this novel has the title of "Wild Oats" and it will be released by TWRP in 2010.
Wild Oats starts with Sir Phillip Ashfield (Paul's father), arriving in Australia as a young man in 1914 to sow some wild oats. His betrayal, and the tragic consequences that follow, have the power to ruin the lives of the next generation.

Cate: Your list of awards is very impressive! Tell us more.
Margaret: I’ve won or been commended in competitions on several occasions. In February 2008, I won the Australian Author of the Year Award from My unpublished manuscriptStorm Girl was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest in 2008. My World War 1 novel, Devil’s Ridge, from Whiskeycreek Press, finished in the top thirty in the 2007 Preditors and Editors poll.

Cate: At what age did you discover writing?
Margaret: I have written short stories since childhood, but ventured into novel writing when my children were small. My husband worked night shift so I used to sit up late and write to fill in time.

Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Margaret: Emotional - Dramatic - Sensual.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine, or any special system that helps you, such as organization techniques?
Margaret: No, I just write when and where I can. I always carry a notebook with me to jot things down in.

Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Margaret: They just pop into my head of their own accord.

Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Margaret: Finding the time is the most challenging, Thinking of ideas is the easiest.

Cate: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Margaret: Receiving feed back from my readers.

Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Margaret: Oh yes, they certainly haunt my dreams.

Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Margaret: An elderly man wrote to me and said how he enjoyed reading my 1st World War stories, Devil's Ridge and Shattered Dreams. He picked the first book up and started reading it when his wife left it on a chair. Then he went out and ordered the second book himself. He said that his father had served in the 1st World War and my stories rekindled the memories of his father. I was really touched.

Cate: Wow, and what a great tribute.
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Margaret: Ginger Simpson, Tricia McGill and there are several TWRP authors who I enjoy reading, including a certain Cate Masters. I am just about ready to start reading a story from Linda Swift, which I know I am going to enjoy.

Cate: What's next for you?
Margaret: I am working on a family saga set in Australia during the 1860's.

Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
Margaret: My web site is

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Margaret: I don't think so, except to thank them for their support. I would also like to thank you for having me on your blog Cate, I've really enjoyed chatting with you.

Cate: My pleasure, Margaret! Best of luck with your release!
Readers, you heard Margaret. She's giving away a copy of The Trouble With Playboys to a random commenter... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Monday, April 27, and announce it here, so be sure to check back!


Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Margaret and Cate, what a wonderful interview! Especially the part about the gentleman who picked up your book off his wife's chair, and then he ordered another. That's got to be one of your coolest 'fan' correspondence. Thanks so much for sharing!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Margaret and Cate. Lovely interview and so inspiring. Congratulations on your many accomplishments, Margaret--and welcome back! Your list of awards is indeed impressive. Best of luck with sales today. It sounds enticing.

Christina Phillips said...

Great interview, Cate and Margaret. Margaret, congratulations on all your writing awards! I love the premise for The Trouble with Playboys. Hope you sell heaps!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Stacey, Christina and Sharon,

Thanks for dropping by and for your lovely comments. I certainly appreciate them. Thanks also to Cate for having me on her blog.


Susan Shay said...

Enjoyed the interview! Very inspiring.
Re: Character names & characters in dreams. I'm so jealous! I usually have to search for names and rarely dream about mine. I wish I did!
I know a woman who says she dreams her plots. Must be nice.
Great job, ladies!

Anita Davison said...

Hello Margaret
I love the cover of 'The Trouble With Playboys' it's beautiful. The story sounds really poignant and I know it will make me cry. My Grandfather fought at Gallipoli with the British Army, so I find that era interesting too and will keep your books on my to read list

Tricia McGill said...

Great interview. I love your books, Margaret, probably because I like reading and writing historical novels as much as you do. Keep up the good work. A fellow Aussie,and long-time friend, Tricia.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Susan and Anita,
Thanks you for leaving such nice comments, I appreciate it.
Anita, I have visited Gallipoli as it is very important to Australian and New Zealanders. I have a relative (Scottish), whose name appears on the monument at Lone Pine, as he was one of the thousands killed and who doesn't have a known grave.

Pat McDermott said...

Hello Margaret and Cate. Nicely done interview! How amazing that you had all those letters as part of your research, Margaret. What better way to help add that touch of authenticity sure to engage readers? And the gentleman who read his wife's book and became a fan himself? Wonderful. Best of luck with your writing!

Gail Symmonds said...

Lovely interview Margaret and Cate. Margaret...I'm just waiting for the day one of your books becomes a mini-series. It's only a matter of time. Can't wait to read it. Another one to add to my special collection!

Gail :)

Cate Masters said...

Ooh, a miniseries would be so cool! Have any stars in mind, Margaret? ;)

Pauline B Jones said...

Great interview, Margaret. Is the amazon winning book going to be published by anyone? Cool title and great insight!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Gail, Tricia (my two Aussie mates) and Pat,
Thank you for dropping by. I am pleased you think the interview went well, but you have to give the credit to the the multi-published and clever Cate Masters. I have to confess "The Trouble With Playboys" is especially close to my heart because of the connection with my late father.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Pauline,
Thanks for popping by. Unfotunately, the book that did well at Amazon has not found a publisher as yet. I am in the process of polishing it some more, then I will start sending it out.

Mary Ricksen said...

Hi Margaret, Cate, great interview. I enjoyed learning a little more about you, Maggie.
You are an icon of TWRP and we all know and respect you for your writing talent and your good nature. You are on the way to the top!

Anthology Authors said...

What a wonderful tribute to your books, Margaret. It's always nice when a reader shares their experience of your writing. :)

Great interview, Cate!


Cate Masters said...

You are too modest, Margaret! It couldn't be a great interview without you!
I know it won't be long before some publisher will snap up Storm Girl too!

Ebony McKenna. said...

Well done Margaret,
and great timing too for ANZAC Day

Emma Lai said...

Great interview, ladies! Margaret, I can see why you like reader feedback. It's always nice to hear that someone likes your work...especially someone familiar with what you were trying to achieve. Cate, I'm going to start following your blog so I can keep meeting new authors!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks, Emma! Yes, I'd love to have more guest authors. If anyone's interested, just let me know...

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Mary,
Oh shucks, you say the nicest things. Thank you so much for dropping by.

Margaret Tanner said...

Emma and Ebony,
Nice of you to drop by. Thank you I am glad you liked the interview, mostly due to Cate's skills as an interviewer I think.
And Cate, thank you too,I am keeping my fingers crossed about Storm Girl and working hard to polish it.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Marci,
Thank you. Yes it is nice to get positive feedback, makes all the hard work worthwhile.

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Margaret, Playboys sounds wonderful, as does the prequel. Best of luck with them!

Cate, thanks for posting the link on your Facebook. ;-)

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Cate and Margaret

I really enjoy reading about fellow authors, especially when they also write for the same publisher as I do, TWRP, so I feel as if I 'know'them. I love the story about the gentleman who became a fan after reading his wife's copy of your book. Good Luck with 'Storm Girl' and congrats again.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi LK and Hywela,
Thank you for dropping by.
Hywela, I didn't get to visit your beautiful Wales on my recent visit to the UK. We wanted to go but just couldn't fit it in.

Cheryl Wright said...

Great interview Margaret. I've read The Trouble with Playboys and loved it! It's easy to picture the area, and I loved all the characters. Well done!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cheryl,
Thank you for dropping by, I appreciate your kind words.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Everyone,
AND THE WINNER IS: I randomly drew Anita Davison's name out of my "hat" so Anita wins a copy of The Trouble With Playboys.
Anita, if you could email me at I can make arrangements about getting the book to you.
Many thanks to everyone who left a comment and to Cate for inviting me to her blog.