Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Tricia Stringer

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Tricia Stringer has recently been travelling with the Australian Voices in Print Tour and we were able to interview her on her return home. It has been a while since we have had Tricia on Beauty and Lace so I thought I’d find out a little more about the tour, which I wish I could have visited, as well as her latest book.

Hi Tricia, welcome to Beauty and Lace and welcome home from your big tour.

Thank you for chatting with me on Beauty and Lace.

Can you tell us how you came to be involved with the Australian Voices in Print Tour?

The tour idea started with Simon & Schuster and they approached Harlequin to supply an author to join their two authors, Karen M. Davis and Jenn J. McLeod. ‘Heart of the Country’ was released around the right time and my writing style was Australian but differed from the two S&S authors so we were a good fit together.

I must admit that I was intrigued when I heard about the tour. I had this idea of strong rivalries between publishing houses. How did you find the partnership between the houses on the road?

The partnership was fantastic. We all learned from each other and supported each other. We authors just did our thing and there was no sense of rivalry between the publishers who went out of their way to make the tour such a great success. I think it was a very positive experiment.

I have to ask, how did you cope weather-wise? I grew up in Canberra and this is a time of year I try to avoid trips over that way.

Canberra was freezing overnight, we had to clean ice off the van before we left. However, I live in South Australia and have had similar experiences here. I’m not a fan of the cold, give me an over 30 dry heat any day. We can get bitterly cold winters in SA. I’m huddled in the heated office as I write this looking out on a cold grey day. After experiencing the beautiful coast of NSW I understand why so many South Australians move there for the winter. I might have to factor in a writers retreat over that way in future.

What is the best lesson you learned on the road with the tour?

When planning travel time always factor in roadworks. With eleven events and over 17000kms we were never late but boy did we get held up by a lot of those people with the STOP signs in their hands. They had all the power.

1700kms is a long way to travel, especially in such close quarters, had you met the rest of your tour mates prior to the tour?

Jenn and I had met once before but I hadn’t met Karen. The publishers had one person from each house with us the first week then they swapped to two new people. I knew the Harlequin team of course but we’d never spent lots of time together and I didn’t know the Simon & Schuster reps. Our first meeting at the hire car office was full of nervous anticipation but by the first squeal of the tyres as we departed the garage we were all laughing and the tone was set for the rest of the tour. (To be fair to the first driver, who shall remain nameless, it was a steep slope to get out of the garage, we had a stack of luggage, everyone was giving instructions and the van was a bit different to drive – talk about pressure!)

Were there many arguments over control of the music? I know that’s always been a big deal on road trips for me.

Not really. We all agreed we liked 80’s music. The front passenger was in charge of skipping anything that brought loud groans from the back or turning up the volume for the big sing-a-longs. We had a few favourites that we belted out, “Hold Me Now” and “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” were very popular. We planned to find a karaoke place while on tour but sadly (or maybe just as well) we didn’t.


Your latest title is Heart of the Country, can you tell us a little about it?

I’ve certainly enjoyed writing historical saga. This book has been a long time in the planning. It’s set in the early days of pastoral settlement in Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Thomas Baker is a young Englishman who arrives in South Australia in the mid nineteenth century. He takes a job as an overseer on a pastoral property in the north which is no easy life. Thomas is tricked by a con man and the two clash as they both battle to overcome the obstacles of the rugged country and the harsh elements. Of course Thomas has a love interest in the delightful Lizzie. I think she rounds him out nicely and she’s a worthy partner. Together they face some exciting and terrible challenges. It is a saga so while I hope readers will be satisfied with the ending, the next book will continue the story with the next generation.

I recently read and loved the book, it has certainly made me look at the surrounding countryside differently. How much research was involved and how did you tackle the research?

I’ve been travelling to the Flinders for years and the story was bubbling away in my head for a long time before I had the courage to write it. I’ve got notes scribbled everywhere. I’ve spoken to locals and got lots of anecdotal stories handed down from previous generations as well as doing lots of reading. Diaries are especially interesting when you’re trying to get a feel of living and social conditions of the era. I also love it when you find unexpected links to the current day. In Thomas’s day there was a Black Bull pub in Hindley St where he met his employer. I was excited to find that pub still operates. Its name was changed over the years and of course its appearance and but it’s now called the Black Bull once more and has lots of early Adelaide photos and facts on its walls. Finds like that are good fun.

Are you working on anything new you can tell us about?

I have another rural romance coming out in December. ‘ Between the Vines’ is set in beautiful Coonawarra wine country in the South East of South Australia. Taylor Rourke is a young Adelaide woman who follows up a chance meeting with a good looking guy, Edward Starr, and decides to make a tree change. Life on a vineyard during the busy time of vintage is not quite what she expected and she finds she may have made the worst decision of her life when it comes to Ed. As it’s based on a real working vineyard I had to do lots of research in Coonawarra. It was tough but I managed.

Is that the first time you have toured NSW and ACT? And have you got plans to tour more widely?

I have toured a lot of SA but never ventured over the border so the Australian Voices in Print tour was a fantastic opportunity for me to meet readers, librarians and booksellers in other areas. I loved it. One of the best things about writing is to meet the people who read your books. They’re the ones who matter most. I get such great feedback from readers and even ideas for future stories. I really enjoy chatting with them. I do hope there will be more tours like this one in the future.

Tricia can be found at Tricia and Facebook.

Heart of the Country is available now where all good books are sold and at Harlequin.

I am so glad to have done this interview because I was previously unaware of the sequel to Heart of the Country – and now I can’t wait.

We have copies of Heart of the Country to giveaway to 5 of our lucky readers. If you want to be one of them tell us in the comments below about what you find the most intriguing about the area you live.

Competition closes 22/07/15 midnight AEST. You must be subscribed to the Beauty and Lace newsletter OR a Facebook fan to enter. Make sure you use a valid email address so we can contact you if you are a lucky winner

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37 thoughts on “Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Tricia Stringer

  1. I love that in Portland, you are close to the SA border, but you have the icean at your doorstep, but the country on the other side. The best of both worlds.

  2. I live in Bundaberg.
    It is a fascinating area steeped in the history of the Sugar Cane Industry. The beginning of early sugar cane growing and what the pioneers went through is still being unveiled. The sugar industry is the backbone of Bundaberg, but there are multiple farms that supply produce Australia wide from Chilli, Ginger, Sweet Potato, Tomato and Rockmelons to name few.
    We also have the renown Mon Repos Turtle Rookery.

  3. Living in Tasmania is incredible, not only for the beautiful scenery but tassie also has a rich history, it’s always interesting to explore especially down at Port Arthur.

  4. I live in the Illawarra area & find most people just think of “the steelworks” Drab & dirty but as you descend Mt Ousley see the beautiful scenery from the top become intrigued discover our beautiful pristine beaches wonderful harbour friendly people skydiving surfing & much more.You won’t be disappointed.The Grand Pacific drive is a must

  5. I live in Tenterfield – a town steeped in history. Sir Henry Parkes made his famous speech here, Peter Allan wrote and performed the Song ‘Tenterfield Saddler’ (so much history in that song).We also have an annual event ‘Oracles of the Bush’ where people come from near and wide for the bush poetry and lloming legends competition. We are surrounded by gorgeous national parks and only 17kms off the NSW/QLD Border. Back in the late 80’s we had a F111 jet crash on the outskirst of town – heaps scary! I’m not sure of the exact time period but we have a place called Bluff Rock where the white people forced the indigenous people over the edge of the cliff. Also we have Thunderbolts Hideout – which I found really interesting and eerie to visit. Like I said – history galore here!

  6. I live in Melbourne and love getting lost! There are so many amazing things to trip over, stumble into, flop onto, and be surprised by that I love just exploring with no planned destination in mind. From quaint cafes and amazing architecture, to things that just make you say ‘WHAT were they thinking’! Its a never ending adventure to find out ‘What will I discover today?’

    Hint for exploring – always look up – its a different perspective and sometimes you find some really cool things on the sides of buildings!

  7. I would love to see my suburb 100 years ago and see how much it’s developed. I live next to the Lane Cove National Park and I would love to see the change.

  8. I live near the water in Cleveland, on the edge of beautiful Moreton Bay which has some 365 islands, some minute but they are all intriguing in different ways some historical like the old leper colony on Peel Island or the quarantine base of North Stradbroke but also the wildlife is intriguing too including the not often seen dugongs.

  9. I live in WA and I love how life here is: so quiet and relaxed. The weather is beautiful, the sea astonishing!

  10. I live in Adelaide. Until about 2.5 years ago. I lived in the suburb of Lockleys in a house built for sale to ex-sedrvicemen from WW11., within walking distance of Adelaide Airport. Over the years I have seen it grow from a Terminal with a small open air carpark, only a few runways and few hangars that planes were serviced in overnight to a Multi-level Terminal, Multi-Storey Carpark, a lot more runways and a large helipad which is used extensively for medical emergency helicopters, other emergency services and the Media Networks.
    I re-located to Northgate to a Retirement Living Complex where I no longer have a huge garden to care for, just a sweet little courtyard one, and property maintenance is taken care of.

  11. Where I live, Red Cliffs Vic, is an old original solider settlement with many of the older generation remembering how things were done. With lots of vineyards, there is plenty of history on the old fashioned ways of harvesting including items that many nowadays dont even know about, the dip tin, drying racks, special implements for raking, all now good for hanging as antiques! Theres irrigation that was begun by the Chaffey brothers, Rio Vista House, Big Lizzie and of course, the mighty Murray River!

  12. I live on the Central Coast of NSW and there are so many thickly wooded, mountainous ranges around that would never have been explored. Anything could live in there….I love staring off into them and imaging the creatures of the wild.

  13. Toowoomba is classed as a city, but one with a large country town feel to it. In truth when the cowboys come into town in jeans and boots and outback style it’s a grand sight. Even better when they tip their hats in a gesture of days gone by.

  14. I live in Morphett Vale, south of Adelaide, which in itself isn’t that remarkable. What is remarkable is we recognise the Kaurna people who are the Indigenous custodians of the land. The Kaurna are one of the oldest Indigenous peoples with a history that is steeped in tradition and lore. Just last Friday I learned that to the south in Sellicks Beach is a section of original scrubland which has been preserved, and contains the oldest fresh water springs whose origin is told in the tale Tjilbruke, created by his tears. It is fascinating to hear the traditional stories being told by descendents of the Kaurna people as we honour the original custodians of our land.

  15. Canberra, the Nations capital and such a pretty and diverse location. Beautiful natural scenery, 4 very different seasons (yes its cold), national iconic buildings and the best sunsets ever. Magic!

  16. Living in Tasmania is incredible, not only for the beautiful scenery but tassie also has a rich history, it’s always interesting to explore especially down at Port Arthur.

  17. I live in the Adelaide Hills in a lovely little valley the wildlife & nature is breathtaking here there is always something amazing to see every single time I venture outside.

  18. Who would have thought that living in an area with aBikers club house would be relatively crime free… Undisclosed area Western Australia 🙂

  19. What I find intriguing about the local area close to me is how it consists of people from all different races, religion, and/or beliefs who strive to make the place the best it possibly can be for all members of the community.

  20. In mid-north SA. Surrounded by beauty, love the fact that even though it is a 250k round trip to either regional city, the landscapes are forever changing. The weather is challenging but you acclimatise. The characters and stories out here are truly amazing

  21. I live in Canberra, and I find the contrasts intriguing – we have dramatic public buildings (like Parliament House) but also so many small special places that mostly locals know about (like Rose Cottage). There are the big touristy attractions that families enjoy, like Cockington Green, but also the smaller places that local kids adore, like the Kingston Miniature Railway. There are so many contrasts in Canberra, between the big, formal, and carefully organised, and smaller, informal, grown naturally places that I constantly find something new to intrigue me.

  22. Redcliffe….Queensland.. <3
    Beautiful one day, perfect the next!!
    The history is our area is so vast and interesting.
    From James Cook naming Point Lookout, Moreton Bay and the Glasshouse Mountains…
    to Matthew Finders landing at Woody Point and Clontarf Point.
    He named Redcliffe Point on his charts!!…
    to a Convict settlement…
    to having a bridge built to connect Redcliffe (and the whole peninsula) access to Brisbane. At the time it was the longest bridge in the Southern Hemisphere and the third longest in the world.
    So much to share and so many interesting places to visit….
    PLUS…the beautiful ocean is all around. Surrounded by gorgeous places to just relax with family and friends to enjoy the most glorious scenery…You just cant beat it….:D
    This time of year is a great time to rug up with a good book too with a nice cuppa…..:D

  23. i love that the whales go past our front door 🙂 need binoculars but it is pretty cool to see them out there!

  24. I live in Deception Bay and the name itself suggests it is indeed deceptive. John Oxley thought it was actually a river due to the bay’s shallowness. We re very sheltered from the storms others nearby seem to get.

  25. I am very lucky to live very close to Shoalwater Islands, near Rockingham, WA. We have a famous island, accessible by ferry called Penguin Island just 10 minutes away. It is inhabited by little penguins, the only colony in the country. I feel blessed and also fascinated to be so close to the little penguins.

  26. Reading everyone’s comments, it seems we all live somewhere beautiful, or at least it’s easy to find our own beauty in our local area… agreed – this is Australia!
    I’ve had the pleasure of spending half my life beachside in Sydney, and now the Gold Coast.
    Lots to like also.
    Beautiful winter weather right now comes to mind – barbeques all year round!!

  27. I live in Armadale WA. I find it intriguing that my once sleepy suburb is expanding into a busy outer hub but that we are still surrounded by hills and bush and only need to drive 15 minutes and it feels like we are out in the middle of nowhere. Love it.

  28. I find it intriguing that our suburb has grown with so many estates that seem to have ne entrance/exit and to think that is ok in an emergency or the fact that they build these estates but do not upgrade the roads to handle all this additional traffic. I also find intriguing that the main shopping centre has a Coles/Woolworths and Target, yet 5 minutes down the road north east is another Coles, 5 minutes down the road the north west is another Woolworths, 5 minutes down the road to the north is yet another Woolworths, 10 minutes down the road they are building another shopping centre with another Target and one of the estates 5 minutes up the road is having yet another small shopping centre built with either a Coles or a Woolworths. How may estates and shopping centres does one town need?

  29. Living on a beautiful Mountain Range I get to see and get close to wildlife. It warms the heart to see native animals up close.

  30. I live in Perth and find it intriguing that we are the most isolated capital city in the world! We are just like a big county town.

  31. I live near Bundaberg, Qld. I find it intriguing that just up the road from me was a huge massacre of aboriginals by the pioneers of the region and yet apart from a tiny plague in a rest area along the highway, it’s forgotten history. I’d love to know the why’s and about the people that were massacred.

  32. I live in Western Sydney and its the history of the region that intrigues me. How much and quickly the landscape has changed and the city has grown is astonishing.

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