Interview · Tea with Mrs B

Tea with Mrs B: Rania Battany

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Welcome to Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. Here to share a pot of tea and to chat about her latest book, Fleeting Moments, is Rania Battany.

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Rania Battany lives with her husband and children in the beautiful Yarra Ranges, Victoria, Australia. When she isn’t getting her hands dirty in the garden, frolicking with her chickens or dog, or chasing after her three young children, she is writing contemporary romance novels that tug at the heartstrings or curled up with a cup of tea and a book.

Hello Rania. It is my pleasure to warmly welcome you to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews. 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?

Thank you so much for having me. As for my choice, I’d love a tea, and a side serve of scones with cream and jam. Yum!

Can you tell us what genres you write for and how many books you have had published?

I write contemporary romance and women’s fiction that pack an emotional punch. I have published two full-length novels, This is Kaylah and Fleeting Moments.

Can you describe your latest book, Fleeting Moments, in just a sentence?

A tender and heart-wrenching exploration of the difficulty in dealing with grief and loss yet reminds us that, by being brave enough to connect to others, happiness is possible.

What came first in the creation of the novel – the title, plot, characters or setting when you first set out to write Fleeting Moments?

I started with one simple idea: A man leaves his long-term girlfriend, and despite her heartbreak, she finds love again. That single premise built over time until it developed into a complex story with multiple plots.

How long did it take you to write Fleeting Moments?

I wrote Fleeting Moments in about four months. There were three chapters that I found incredibly difficult to write, and it took me a month to get through those.

How different was the experience of writing Fleeting Moments, compared to your previous novel, This is Kaylah?

They were a completely different experience! This is Kaylah is a light-hearted, warm, easy read. Kaylah is such a beautiful and lovable character, and she lifts the book with her energy. Fleeting Moments tells Maya’s journey to happiness following a dark period in her life. Maya is a seriously flawed but misunderstood character. Her pain is real and raw, and her journey to healing was gut-wrenching. At times, I struggled to continue, and there were moments where I had to force myself to keep going, knowing that she would ultimately find her peace.

Where did the inspiration for your characters come from?

I often read stories with strong, independent, and powerful women, and while these characters may empower others, I can never relate. With Fleeting Moments, I wanted to create a heroine who had to fight her way to happiness after loss, not only the loss of a loved one but the loss of connection with themselves and others—the loss self-identity and relationships. With the hero, Sam, I drew a lot of inspiration from my husband. Sam is a beautiful, lovable and patient character, who has a wonderful outlook on life. My husband is very much like that.

 Can you tell us more about the main themes of your novel?

Fleeting Moments explores grief and the grieving process. It also explores finding love after a break-up, familial fragility, and the loss of connection with ourselves and with others. We all deal with painful experiences differently. Some of us use that pain to make us stronger, while some of us drown under the weight of all our hurt.

What was the most challenging and rewarding aspects of writing Fleeting Moments?

The most challenging was putting myself in the emotional state I needed to when Maya hit rock bottom. The most rewarding was creating a beautiful character like Sam, who was the one that helped her find her way out of the darkness she was drowning in.

What ingredients do you feel are necessary to compose a successful women’s fiction narrative?

I am also a romance writer, and the rules for that are a little easier to follow, as the romance is the core of the story, and it always ends with a happily ever after. Women’s fiction is a little tricker. Women’s fiction centres around the protagonist’s emotional experience, so her journey needs to be the heart and soul of the story. The ingredients for composing a successful women’s fiction narrative may vary from person to person, but focusing on issues that are specific to women is probably the main thing, as is exploring different sorts of relationships, such as romantic, friendships, children and family.

What do you hope readers will take away from reading Fleeting Moments?

Sometimes we lose our way. Sometimes we lose connection with ourselves and others. Often, we need the help of those that love us to help us reconnect, to help us laugh and find happiness again.

If Fleeting Moments made it to the big screen, who would you like to cast?

Gosh! I haven’t allowed my mind to travel that far. If I allowed myself to dream, I would say maybe Emmy Rossum for Maya and Alex Pettyfer as Sam.

How did you make the transition to a published author?

I am Indie published, and that is a very different journey from being published by a large publisher, but I love the freedom offered to me as an Indie author. I am also a member of the Romance Writers Association of Australia. That is a wonderful organisation that has the most supportive members. With their help, I made connections with editors, book designers etc., and learnt so much about the publishing process.

Can you tell us about your creative working space, where do you write and is there anything vital you need to get started?

My creative workspace at the moment is terrible. I have three young children and the only time I get to write is in the evenings or during the day when my hubby is home to watch them. I write in my living room, nestled into the edge of the couch, beside a lamp on a coffee table. One day, when all three of my children are at school, I will create my dream writing nook, tucked far away from the main house, the walls lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves and a picturesque view of rolling hills (a writer can dream, right?).

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writers out there?

Write! Write, write, write and write some more. All the while, be sure to read, read and read as much as you can. Network with other writers and find your tribe. Writing can be so lonely sometimes. And don’t give up.

Aside from writing, do you have any interesting hobbies?

Yes! I love gardening and have spent the last several years building a food forest on my suburban block. I grow seasonal produce and focus on sustainable eating. Currently, we have 25 fruit trees, but this number is growing!

What is next on the horizon for Rania Battany? Do you have any writing projects you would like to share with us?

I am starting on my third full-length book next week. This book will be romantic drama, and it’s something I am very excited about as there will be elements of suspense, which is something I have never done before.

What 2019 book releases are you most excited to read?

I was very excited about 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. Also, Love and Other Battles by Tess Woods. Both very different style of books, but I have eclectic tastes.

If you could slip back in time, what era would you travel to and why?

I would travel back to the 60s and 70s. This was a time of major change and revolution. I’d have loved to be a part of that change.

Finally, wrapping up our tea themed interview, who would you most like to share a pot of tea with?

If I could choose anyone, dead or alive, I would choose Jesus. What an amazing conversation that would be! If the person had to be alive, I would choose Prince Harry. I’m not particularly interested in the royal family, but I am fascinated by what life as a royal would entail.

Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews for Tea with Mrs B Rania.  Congratulations on the publication of Fleeting Moments!

Maya is floundering. She’s stuck in a dead-end job, is isolated from family and friends, fleeting moments smalland her father—the only person to ever truly understand her—has been gone four years. When her boyfriend leaves her for another woman, the rocky foundations of Maya’s life crumble to dust, and she sinks even further into the pit of grief and despair.

Until she meets him. Sam. The one with the animated smile and gentle eyes, who always sees the positive no matter how bad the negative. Sam reignites Maya’s passion with his enthusiastic outlook and helps to rebuild her life, piece by piece.

But when ghosts from Maya’s past resurface, her decisions almost destroy the few important relationships she has left, and the happiness she’s so recently found is threatened. She must overcome her demons and decide what matters most—the familiarity of the past, or the hope, love and possibilities of the future.

Fleeting Moments by Rania Battany was published on 11th July 2019. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

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