This month one of our top book club reads is The Waterhole by Lily Malone.
To celebrate the launch of her book, Lily took some time out to chat with Beauty and Lace. Read on to learn more about her:
Welcome back to Beauty and Lace –
Thank you for having me!
Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m a journalist by trade who started writing creatively when my youngest son was one year old. He’s now 12. My big break came around 2015/2016 when an ebook that I had published with Escape Publishing (The Vineyard In The Hills) did well enough to be put into print with Harlequin MIRA (Harper Collins).
I was lucky to be writing smalltown country stories at a time with rural romance really took off in popularity. After Vineyard, I wrote the Chalk Hill Series set in the Great Southern wine region of Western Australia. (psst: There is a new Chalk Hill book out in April 2022 called The Vet’s Country Holiday).
Outside of writing, I love bushwalking – particularly hunting native orchids in WA’s south west. This year for my 50th birthday, my present from my family was to go visit Albany and find the very elusive and rare, Queen of Sheba orchid. That’s a story in itself: https://lilymalone.blog/2021/09/13/my-search-for-an-elusive-queen/
I live in a gorgeous part of the world over near Margaret River in WA, and exploring it always fills my creative well! I get doubly filled if I can explore it with some of my very best friends. And fishing, and family, and our boat. I seem to have lots going on, but nature is always at the middle of it somehow.
Tell us about The Waterhole…
Well, it’s a book I started writing about four years ago, and it’s based on a ‘what if moment’ and a true(ish) story. We live in a new subdivision built over what was a farming property, going back a few decades. Very near to us there used to be a waterhole in a creekline that was filled in when the subdivision began because it was deemed to be too dangerous.
From time to time over the years we would talk with our neighbours and we learned more about this waterhole. It was said to be too deep to stand, and beautiful fresh water and you could swim in it all year round. Well, our neighbours and us began plotting about whether there were ways to drill/tap into that old waterhole to get free water for our vegetable gardens and lawns… we never did it, by the way.
Anyway, after a few of these discussions, one day or night (can’t remember) but a thought hit my head: what if we got in an excavator to try to find this waterhole and the excavator dug up human bones?
And that’s where the story starts!
What are three things we would find on your desk?
Dust. A calculator. One of many notebooks. I love notebooks.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
Not much, but I do have a lovely view. (I’ve got a picture for you). I’m good at staying focused (usually).
Name an underappreciated novel that you love.
The Barbershop Girl by Georgina Penney, and anything by Ainslie Paton but particularly, The One series. And also, a book called Hindsight by Sarah Belle.
If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
Monique Mulligan, and we’ll go to lunch with a bushwalk to follow.
Who are your favourite authors?
Ainslie Paton is a marvel for contemporary romance. John Sandford (American crime writer) and Michael Robotham.
What are you currently reading?
A Home Like Ours by Fiona Lowe. I just finished Camp Leichhardt by Greg Barron.
Where can our readers follow you?
What is next for Lily Malone?
I love writing rural romance but lately, my thoughts have turned to some darker/grittier topics, and I think that’s why I wrote The Waterhole. I’d also read Jane Harper’s THE DRY and FORCE OF NATURE, and I really liked that style of dual narrative. The detective in The Waterhole, I have an inkling of an idea for Marley in a new story, so let’s see. Otherwise, I do have an idea kicking around for another rural romance set in the Margaret River area.
Late 2021/early 2022 will be very busy for me with two new releases, and I am sure there will be some author events and tours along the way. It might be a while before I am actually writing something new.
Just a note about The Waterhole that people won’t find it in shops like Big W, or bookshops. It is a self-published title. You can find it at all the regular ebook retailers, but to order in paperback people will need to visit Amazon Australia (choose the paperback) or Booktopia, or email me directly at email@example.com (and that way you can have your copy personally signed).
I am a mother of four beautiful children. I can’t leave a book unfinished which equals a lot of late nights! When I’m not reading you can find me in the garden, or helping out at Beauty and Lace.