I love the beautiful little country of New Zealand with its farms, lakes, mountains, beaches and friendly people. It’s also the home of many really great writers. Among them is Shirley Wine a writer I discovered this year. Please join me in welcoming her to the US and the Ruby On Tuesday blog. Don’t forget to leave a comment or question at the end of the post.
ABOUT SHIRLEY WINE…
I am a New Zealander born and bred, a mother, grandmother and recently a great grandmother…what can I say…we started young!!!
Most of my stories are set in our wonderful country in the antipodes. I’ve always written, freelancing for local and National newspapers, but Romance is my true love.
I’ve been a reader of romance from the moment my sister introduced me to The English Women’s Weekly and their wonderful serialized romances.
I know the world is full of heroes. I have my own hero right here at home to prove it. We fell in love when we were young teenagers…and believe me we heard all the old chestnuts…you’re too young to know your own minds. Young love never lasts. It gives me great pleasure half a century on to thumb my nose and say, “You know what? You were all wrong!” Why Romance? I write romance because to me first and last…family matters. My enduring loves are reading, my house is crowded with books on every subject imaginable. My other great hobby is gardening. Now, after a lifetime spent farming, I live with my husband in semi-retirement on the traditional Kiwi quarter acre section with a cat and a two dogs.
ABOUT THE RETURN…
When Logan Sinclair turned his back on his home, his family and the prosperous Racing Stud of Darkhaven and vanished… he also turned his back on Piper and her love … and his return after ten long years is greeted with suspicion and distrust and he finds the good people of Cambridge have long memories … there’s no way he can escape the ghosts of his past, the woman he left behind, or the grief that threatens to bring him to his knees …. He’s heard it said often enough, that you can never return home…and he quickly comes to realise that he’s compounded his mistakes by doing exactly that…
EXCERPT FROM THE RETURN…BOOK II OF THE SERIES PRODIGAL SONS…
Would Piper welcome him, or would she tell him to piss off?
Unaccountably nervous, Logan knocked on the door, but the dark silence mocked him, and now really worried, he used the key Caleb gave him and let himself in. One step inside and he knew she wasn’t there. The house held that intangible aura of emptiness. Was this nocturnal call a complete waste of time?
With Caleb’s assurances that she would come here before returning to his place Logan had the distinct impression that this was a familiar pattern. But it was the need to be certain she was safe that made him decide to settle in and wait.
The silence was absolute, not even the tick of a clock disturbed the stillness. If he was a superstitious man he could well be spooked by this surreal atmosphere.
Questions nagged him. What had happened in Piper’s life?
When he decided to return home to New Zealand, he was reconciled to the idea that he could well find Piper married and settled with a family of her own, a dream she’d shared with him more than once. And in his many conversations with Keir and Caine, they didn’t mention Piper, and as a married man, Logan knew he’d forfeited the right to ask.
What he didn’t expect was that on his return, he would find Piper still single and living under Caleb’s unnaturally protective umbrella. The Daintry family was close, something he’d always envied when he was younger.
But Caleb never hovered over his younger twin siblings in the past as he’d hovered over Piper tonight. And the woman Logan remembered would have quickly told her big brother where to get off. Heaven knows, Logan had felt the sharp edge of her tongue more than once in the past.
Yet when Piper walked out, Caleb had panicked. Why?
Something was decidedly off.
Logan replayed that scene.
Leave it alone. You’ve done enough damage … Anna’s soft, fierce words increased Logan’s anxiety.
Will Aunt Piper come back?
Not tonight, son.
That snatch of conversation, the change he’d noticed in Piper, Anna’s anger … all these revealing signs added up to something he couldn’t ignore.
What was it about him that upset her? Why had she walked out?
Logan reviewed that scene again.
The only thing different from their earlier meeting in town was the presence of his children. Did Piper resent them? That made no sense, nor did the dread that crawled down his spine.
He turned his attention to the pleasant room of her cottage, looking for anything that would reveal why she’d reacted so badly, but it didn’t give up a solitary clue.
No photos. No personal ítems. Nothing.~~~~
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A FEW QUICK QUESTIONS FOR SHIRLEY…
SHIRLEY, no matter how many books you write, I’m sure each one has its own challenges. How was this book more challenging to write than your others? How was it easier?
I found The Return a little easier than some of my other books because I already knew a good deal about the characters because they were subsidiary characters in a previous book in the series Prodigal Sons.
The hero and heroine Logan Sinclair and Piper Daintry were minor, but important, characters in Lovers’ Lies.
What I did find difficult was reader pressure …so many people wrote to me wanting Logan’s Story after they’d read Lovers’ Lies. Unfortunately readers read faster than I can write.
Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it for sale, what’s your favorite part of the process?
My favourite part is the first draft … I love the messy haphazard creativity of putting all those words on paper. And once that’s done …then of course there is the editing. This is when you have to juggle scenes and things within scenes to ensure that it reads seamlessly for a reader.
What’s your least favorite?
What I most dislike is the final polishing where you have to go over every word or sentence and examine it in minute detail and ask…does this sentence say what I intended to say… or does it say something else entirely.
What’s the first thing you do when starting a new book?
I create a story board.
This is where I create a visual for myself … pictures of characters …pictures of the house or places where the scenes take place … I find I work better when I have a visual for my characters and settings.
Once I have the story board … then I’ll do a rough…and the emphasis here is on ROUGH, outline of the plot. With The Return I wanted at least 40% of the book to happen in the Stables or outside on the estate and 2 major scenes inside the homestead of Darkhaven (because the house plays a character role)…an outline of salient plot points and with this very rough outline in place I give myself licence to let creativity lead me along interesting byways.
Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Having readers contact me with fan letters and feedback… It is such a satisfying feeling… there is nothing to equal it.
What’s up next for you?
I have the rough outline already done for the third book in the series Prodigal Sons mapped out … Whitby or Me… and I’m busy writing another book in the Katherine Bay series…about Cassie and Grayson… Cassie is the witch that has a cameo appearance in the other three books and now she’s demanding I tell her story … Grayson is a by-the-book attorney who unless he can see or touch something it doesn’t exist …this is such a fun book to write as I feel I already know these people.The first three books in this series is currently being formatted into a boxed set… titled The Mulleins of Katherine Bay and should be available by next month.
Shirley, thank you so much for visiting with us.