Bronwyn Stuart is an Adelaide Hills resident whose first print book is officially released TODAY! I was one of the lucky ones in attendance at her book launch in Adelaide last week (more about that later) and by all accounts Bron is definitely an author to watch. I just finished The Road To Ruin, review to come, and I know I will be watching her career.
Hi Bronwyn, welcome back to Beauty and Lace. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us again and congratulations on your first print book release.
So it’s been a while since we interviewed you last Bronwyn, can you tell us a bit about how your career has progressed since then?
Huge things are happening for me right now. Obviously I have a sparkly new release in print!! And my next book is due to the publisher on Monday. I might also have a few contemporary romance novels out in ebook next year so it’s all happening!
Can you share a little about your journey to publication with us?
I’ve been at this writing gig for about ten years with two published ebooks under my belt. But I was still hungering for that print release. I wanted something to hold in my hand and say, “Yep this is my book!”. It was also a dream of mine to be published through either Avon or MIRA. I’m so honoured to be a Harlequin author. I pitched The Road to Ruin to Hayley Nash when she worked for HQN but then Behind the Courtesan was contracted and I never sent the book in so at the RWA conference in Fremantle in 2013, I pitched it again and Sue Brockhoff asked to see a partial. In December she had the full to read and then in January came ‘the call’ I’d been waiting for. There was lots of squealing involved.
The Road To Ruin is your latest release, what can you tell us about it?
It’s about an ex-military assassin now a Marquis who arrives home from his club one morning to find his mother and sister gone with only a cryptic note left behind. When he tracks them to a notorious pirate who has taken them from their ship destined for the Americas, he puts into motion a plan for a hostage swap. He plans to swap the daughter of the pirate captain for his mother and sister. The problem is, the darling daughter of the pirate, Daniella Germaine, is more spoiled girl than English rose. She is full of passion and fire and James, the strict, disciplined Major, kind of likes it. There is loads of tension, a little fighting, a lot of hot guys and a happy ending to make your toes curl.
How did you feel the first time you held a copy in your hands?
Haha I was at our local post office and when I realised what it was in the postbag I went a little insane. Then I drove to my dads and let him have a hold. It was a fantastic feeling! I’m going to keep that first book for myself. It even has a little #1 on the inside page.
I believe you were able to actually see the book being printed, can you share a bit about the experience with us?
Well, I do believe my husband enjoyed that experience more than I did. I just kept thinking, when can I have a book! It was really great. They went through all the steps and let me see the huge book plates they use. I also have an unbound copy with some bookplates which is very special to have. We were very lucky to have been shown through the press and it was so cool to see it in all it’s glory.
How involved are you in creating the buzz for the book? And How involved do you think authors should be in their own marketing?
You know there are so many opinions about this very thing out there in the writing community. I’m so very lucky to have an amazing publisher who will advertise and promote the book for me but I also need to be ‘present’. Social presence is important as well as a media presence if you want people to know who you are. The Today Tonight interview I did with Trish Morey has really put me on the map as far as our community goes and it was so much fun. Now, for me, it’s about getting my book to the rest of Australia and then beyond. It’s always going to be a joint effort. No author can fully promote themselves on their own without some help. The buzz comes from friends, family and readers who spread the word quicker than anything or anyone else.
Can you tell us a little about your writing space and if that has changed your writing habits at all?
I have a new writing space and I am totally in love with it. Like, beyond in love! When I received my first advance for The Road to Ruin, I bought a beat up old 70’s caravan and with the help of my amazing dad, we renovated it into an office. It has driftwood flooring and beech surfaces and a sunny, buttery cream on the walls. I now have my very own space to create and it’s all me from the colours, to the books, to the trinkets. The best thing about it, is there are no distractions there. No kids, no hubby, no internet and no mess. It’s perfect.
Are you working on anything at the moment that you can tell us about?
I probably shouldn’t since my publisher hasn’t even seen it yet but here’s a bit of a blurb (it doesn’t even have a title yet).
After forging a marriage contract to the wrong man, Eliza Penfold is forced to admit she and her siblings need protection more than she needs to hold onto her wounded pride, flawed schemes and questionable virtue. But when the said protector is a vengeful bastard pirate, is she asking for more trouble than his protection is worth?
Darius might be a nameless bastard and ex-pirate but his word is his bond, and damsels in distress his weakness. In order to collect monies owed by a dead man, Darius takes a duke’s eldest daughter as wife and her dowry to repair his crippled ship but the unseen dangers lingering in wait might spell the end of his hard-won existence, the end of everything he sweated blood to achieve for a lad who’d started with nothing.
This is one damsel he should have dropped from the side of his ship while he sailed back to America and out of England’s filthy clutches forever…
Thank you so much for your time Bronwyn and we at Beauty and Lace wish you all the best for a memorable first print release.
Thanks for having me!