Welcome to Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. Here to share a pot of tea and to chat about her new book, Wrath & Mercy, is Faye Hall.
Faye Hall spent her early years listening to stories about the families – including her own – who settled townships in and around her hometown in North Queensland, Australia. The local townspeople, including her own parents, told her stories of corruption and slavery, along with family secrets and forbidden love.
Desperate to remember what she’d been told, along with her already growing love of writing, Faye began to write about the history of her local area. Never could she have imagined the history of her small home town in Australia would become a growing list of published books.
Faye’s passionate stories combine controversial subjects and provocative encounters as her characters struggle to survive the lifestyle in early rural townships throughout Australia. She explores slavery and abortion, drug addiction and murder, as well as forbidden love and passionate affairs of the heart.
When she’d not writing, Faye enjoys sharing a bottle of wine with her husband in their ever-growing garden, and encouraging the varied interests of their combined family of nine children.
Hello Faye. It is my pleasure to welcome to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews and thank you for joining me for Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. To set the mood for our tea infused interview, what is your preferred beverage, tea, coffee or other? And side accompaniment, scone, cake or other?
I love coffee and, if I dare, a slice of tiramisu.
Can you tell us what genres you write for and how many books you have had published?
I write Historical Romances set in Australia. My 13th book will be released on January 28.
Wrath & Mercy, Sins of the Virtuous, your latest novel has recently been released. Can you describe the book in just a sentence?
Lovers torn apart by the lies and deception of a smuggler desperate to find her black opals.
Wrath & Mercy is volume 5 of the Sins of the Virtuous series. Can this book be read as a standalone, or does it need to be read in series order?
Each book in the series can be read as a standalone title. There are several minor characters common in all books though.
How long did it take you to write Wrath & Mercy?
This one actually only took a few months, which is shorter than some have taken.
What character did you most identify with in Wrath & Mercy?
I really connected with the hero, Finley. He was dragged through so much, and was forced to live a life he didn’t want, but still he never gave up hope that life would get better for him.
Can you tell us more about the inspiration for the setting of your novel?
Wrath & Mercy, like the rest in the series, ends up in Jarvisfield, a township near where I grew up. It’s a lovely, rural little town that had such a booming population during the 1800s. I grew up listening to so many stories from the locals about smuggling, and family secrets that I’ve tried to display what I can in my books.
What ingredients do you feel are necessary to compose a successful historical romance based narrative?
For me, there has to be some suspense and scandal. It’s this kind of hardship that really shows the strength of the growing relationship throughout the pages.
What was the most challenging and rewarding aspects of writing Wrath & Mercy?
Most challenging would have to have been researching about opium smuggling into Australia. It was hard to find exactly what I needed. Most rewarding was when I finally wrote an ending that managed to tie together all the loose ends.
What do you hope readers will take away from reading Wrath & Mercy?
A little piece of Australia in their heart. Also to see that my hometown has just as much of a romantic history as any place in Britain or United States.
Can you tell us about your journey to publication?
Very bumpy! The very first novel I wrote was accepted over 20 years ago. My publisher for it went bust though after only a year or two. Then I got a book contracted by another publisher and just as I was about to reach editing I was told the owners (a brother and sister) had a dispute and were shutting down and cancelling contracts. Around this time I also finally managed to leave a volatile marriage with my four children. My life was completely uprooted and without direction. When finally I resubmitted, I was taken up by a 15 years old publishing company who took several books, but aren’t very good at paying their authors. Then a few years ago I took a chance on a small publisher Beachwalk Press and so far, I haven’t looked back. They have been great to work with.
What writers have inspired you along the way to publication?
I like quite a few from many different genres but the most influential would have to be Amanda Quick, Harper Lee, Agatha Christie and William Golding.
Can you tell us about your creative working space, where do you write and is there anything vital you need to get started?
I have a lovely (though messy) desk in my bedroom where my computer and notebooks are. Usually before I start I need to put some music on otherwise chances are not many words will happen.
Aside from writing, do you have any interesting hobbies?
I love gardening, though summer in Australia makes that interesting. I also love cooking for my family.
What is next on the horizon for Faye Hall? Do you have any writing projects you would like to share with us?
I’m working on the next book in the series and will hopefully have it to the publisher in a few weeks. I’m also trying to get together some things I wrote in high school and see if I can self-publish them.
Finally, wrapping up our tea themed interview, who would you most like to share a pot of tea with?
Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews for Tea with Mrs B Faye. Congratulations on the publication of Wrath & Mercy, book 5 of your Sins of the Virtuous series!
Would you show mercy to the lover who deserted you?
Finley Helmer thought he had it all when Elina invited him into her bed. He thought he found passion and love beyond compare. Instead he was thrown into a life of smuggling black opals, drugs and aboriginal slaves. When he was charged with murder, he fled town to escape the charges, vowing to return and ask his lover why she’d handed him over to the police.
Elina Clemence was ripped away from her home and the man she loved and brought to Australia to start her life anew. Her father promised her beauty and opportunity. What she found was a cruel and abusive business partner, and a step-daughter who wanted to destroy her.
Despite the constant accidents following her and threatening her life, Elina sets herself up as a profitable shipping tycoon, with control over most of the towns supply. Despite her powerful position, her heart still ached for the man she once loved who disappeared from her life without a trace.
Finding themselves passionately reunited, Finley and Elina discover the cruelty that tore them from each other. As they search for answers, they uncover the unrelenting wrath and vengeance of an opium addict who will stop at nothing until she has possession of the black opals she thinks they are hiding.
Will their love for each other allow them forgiveness, or will they fall victim to the horror that seems to be following them?
Connect with Faye here: