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 aussieauthors.com. 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 www.margarettanner.com/.
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!