South Australian author, Tricia Stringer, has taken the rural romance sector by storm, penning six books in the genre over the last seven years, and another three historical sagas set in the Flinders Ranges.
Prior to writing full-time, Tricia worked as a teacher, librarian, as well turning her hand to small business, running a post-office and bookshop in the Copper Coast region.
These close-knit country communities have proved fertile ground for her imagination – that and keeping an ear out for turns of speech in conversations all around her – a touch that is reflected in her authentic characters and the resulting success of her bestselling books. I was delighted to meet Tricia at her book launch in Mt Gambier, where she shared insights into her writing routine, and the stories that shaped ‘Come Rain or Shine’, released by Harlequin Mira in November 2017.
Her latest book reunites readers with Dan and Paula, the leading characters from ‘A Chance of Stormy Weather’. The road for the newlyweds is already paved with challenges, as Paula – a pregnant former Sydney-sider – settles into country living, and a series of bad seasons take their toll on the rural district. In a nod to the notoriously hot topic of farm succession planning, the pressure mounts when a distant cousin tries to stake a claim on Dan’s property. Written in Tricia’s engaging yet easy-to-read style, the book had me turning pages well past my bedtime, and reaching for tissues in the final chapters.
Short and sweet Q & A with Tricia
Current book on your bedside table: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Hard to put it down.
Favourite Australian holiday destination: Noosa.
What’s your preferred drop? Sauvignon Blanc.
Guilty pleasure? Chocolate.
Pet peeve: Rubbish, especially plastic left on beaches.
Name an emerging author to keep an eye out for: Jane Carter. Her first book, Prodigal Daughter, came out last year and is a compelling rural romance.
Established authors who inspire you? Monica McInerney and Fiona McIntosh who not only write great stories but share their wisdom and their enthusiasm with other authors.
Best thing about being a writer? Flexibility of work hours, after a lifetime of being bound by timetables and bells.
Worst thing about being a writer? Flexibility of work hours, I’m a procrastinator.
Favourite perfume: Estee Lauder’s ‘Beautiful’.
TV/film crush: Daniel Craig.
Top three tips for aspiring authors? Write regularly. Read regularly. Write down your writing goals and refer to them often.
What theme do you hope shines through in your writing? New beginnings are always possible.
Proudest author moment? Receiving the RWA Ruby for Queen of the Road.
My favourite thing about writing romance is… the dance of the characters.
If anyone gives me flack for writing in the romance genre, I tell them… name me a book that doesn’t have some romance in it or at least a love interest.
Rural fiction writer Maya Linnell honed her journalism skills at a country newspaper before moving to PR and now fiction. She loves living in regional Victoria with her husband, three children and a growing menagerie of animals. Their hand-crafted home recently graced the front page of the Owner Builder Magazine (December/January 2017/2018 edition), along with a series of articles she wrote about their unique building project and hand-made bricks. When she’s not writing, Maya can be found sneaking strawberries from her garden, trying to replicate recipes from food magazines, attempting yet another DIY project, or devouring a good book.
Follow Maya on Instagram.