Scheduling a book launch in the Whitsunday Islands might sound like a sneaky excuse for a vacation, but for this New South Wales author, whose latest novel is set in her favourite holiday destination, it made perfect sense!
The setting is a central character in her novel – Whitsunday Dawn – which recently hit the bookshelves through Harlequin’s Mira imprint. The story follows two timelines, each tale weaving in and around the spectacular Whitsunday Islands. The present-day character, Olivia Sheridan, travels to the islands to complete a business presentation. Her good intentions are shattered when she discovers a conflict of interest that challenges her loyalties and makes her moral compass spin. No matter where she goes on the island, she keeps bumping into passionate local and ecological campaigner Fynn James. As well as the tension between Olivia and Fynn, readers are drawn into an unsolved mystery from t
he 1940s. I loved Annie’s knack for suspense and storytelling, similar to the style that lured me into her earlier novel Daintree. I devoured the second half of the book in one sitting, flying through the pages as I raced to find out what happened in the alternating plots.
When she’s not writing or reading, Annie is drawn to the beach. This love and desire to preserve the environment shines through in her writing, and in the fundraising she undertakes with each book release. She also loves gardening and travelling, roaming remote locations of Australia each winter in search of story ideas. Prior to becoming an award winning and internationally published author, Annie worked as a research librarian, high school principal and university tutor.
Short and sweet questions
Current book on your bedside table: Carpentaria by Alexis Wright
Favourite Australian holiday destination: Whitsunday Islands
What’s your preferred drop? Sauv Blanc
Guilty pleasure? Potato chips
Pet peeve: People driving slowly. I’m always in a hurry!
Favourite fictional couple and why? John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford. Love my medieval history and it is a fabulous love story.
If you could pack two non-essential items for a deserted tropical island, what would they be? My camera and a very thick book.
Name an emerging author to keep an eye out for: Leanne Lovegrove
Established authors who inspire you? Kristan Higgins, Nora Roberts
Best thing about being a writer? Where do I start? Everthing!
Worst thing about being a writer? Not enough time to write all the stories I have to tell
Do you prefer music, podcasts or silence? Silence.
Favourite perfume: Estee Lauder Private Collection
TV/film crush: Dominic West
The best non-writing related prize I won was … a set of books on a TV children’s show many years ago
Top three tips for aspiring authors? Follow your heart, be determined and persevere.
What theme do you hope shines through in your writing? My love of the Australian landscape, and the importance of family.
Proudest author moment? Seeing Kakadu Sunset in a bookstore.
My favourite thing about writing romance is…exploring relationships.
If anyone gives me flack for writing in the romance genre, I tell them…life is about relationships.
Connect with Annie online
Rural fiction writer Maya Linnell honed her journalism skills at a country newspaper before moving to PR and now fiction. She recently completed her debut rural romance manuscript and is hard at work on the sequel. A voracious reader, Maya also loves baking, gardening, preserving home-grown fruit and veggies, and raising three little bookworms. She lives on a small country coastal property in regional Victoria with her family and a growing menagerie of animals, gathering inspiration from her rural surrounds and the close-knit communities within.
Follow Maya online