Welcome to Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. Here to share a pot of tea and to chat about her brand new book, Heart of the Cross, is Emily Madden.
Emily Madden covets books like some women covet shoes and handbags (although she has a decent collection of each of those too!). While she reads anything and everything, stories that touch the heart and uplift the soul are what she loves the most. Emily lives in Sydney with her two girls and husband. She’s a coffee lover and can often be found writing at her local haunts.
Hello Emily. 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?
Coffee – preferably a strong one, served on it’s own.
Can you tell us what genres you write for and how many books you have had published?
My first book was contemporary fiction but my second and third are both dual time line historical and contemporary. I think it’s a genre I’ll stick to.
Heart of the Cross is your latest release, can you describe it in just a sentence?
Three generations of women living in the Cross in three very different times.
How long did it take you to write Heart of the Cross?
About six months, a little longer if you take into account the research element.
How different was the experience of writing Heart of the Cross, compared to your previous novels?
The three time periods. Originally the story was only meant to be told through Rosie and Brie’s eyes, but Maggie’s voice was too strong to ignore. I wasn’t sure how it would work adding a third time period to the storyline.
Can you tell us about the research process to bring Heart of the Cross to life?
It was fun and unlike the research for The Lost Pearl. For starters, it was set in my home city, in a well known location. A highlight was attending an interactive cabaret at a bar that was once a brothel that had the biggest bed in the southern hemisphere! I also spent time in the Cross and was fortunate to be able to chat to entertainer Jeff Duff who has lived in Kings Cross since the early 1980’s. His stories about the Cross were invaluable and built a vivid picture of that time period.
Heart of the Cross is a multi time period novel, did you find one time period easier than the other to write? How hard was it to link the time frames together?
The contemporary period was more straightforward because there’s less to research, but I loved writing about the 1980’s. Surprisingly, linking the three time periods wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Each period had their own purpose and weaving them together – once I figured out how was utterly satisfying.
Where did the inspiration for your characters come from?
Rosie came from an article I stumbled across as I was researching The Lost Pearl about a mother who had to do what she could to provide for her children during hard times. Jack too came to me before I started writing a story. I was chatting to a woman at my local café who grew up in Sydney in the during WW2 and she told of how the American pilots looked so dashing in their uniforms and bomber jackets and I thought – that’s it, I need to have an American pilot in there!
What do you hope readers will take away from reading Heart of the Cross?
I hope that I can transport them to a different Kings Cross than what they know, or take them back to the Cross they grew up with but more than anything, I hope they can see that we all belong whether it be to somewhere or someone. It’s something that the characters in Heart of the Cross take a while to understand!
What is the best part of being a published author?
That I get to make up my own world and share it with readers! I still pinch myself that I get to do this!
Do you have any advice for the aspiring writers out there?
I know it sounds clichéd – but write what you love. I’ve heard it time and time again and for a reason. When you write what you love, it shows in your words.
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 trained myself to write pretty much anywhere! I often write at my local café and while I can generally write with noise, I’ll often listen to New York jazz music.
Aside from writing, do you have any interesting hobbies?
Does sleep count? These days, it feels like a hobby!
If you could slip back in time, what era would you travel to and why?
The 1980’s. I’m a bit of an 80’s tragic. I was too young to experience going out in the 80’s so I would LOVE to transport myself back to a time of big hair, no mobiles and of course – the BEST music.
What is next on the horizon for Emily Madden? Do you have any writing projects you would like to share with us?
I’m writing a WW2 book with the working title The Buchanan Girls about a girl that defies her father’s wishes and joins the Australian Women’s Army Service.
What 2019 book releases are you most excited to read?
Just One Wish by Rachael Johns (reading & loving this one ATM!) Matters of the Heart by Fiona Palmer, House of Brides by Jane Cockram and although it’s not coming until 2020 – I’m eagerly awaiting The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland.
Finally, wrapping up our tea themed interview, who would you most like to share a pot of tea with?
My Aunt Lu. I miss her so much and would love to know what she would’ve thought of Rosie!
Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews for Tea with Mrs B Emily. Congratulations on the publication of Heart of the Cross!
From Ireland to Kings Cross, a legacy of loss and hope echoes across the generations …
Tinahely, Ireland, 1959 Rosie Hart is content leaving her home behind to follow her new husband to Australia. But she soon discovers there is no room for her or their young son in the life he has built in vibrant Kings Cross. As their marriage crumbles, Rosie will need to fight for the golden future her son deserves.
Rose Bay, 1984 Haunted by her past, Rosie is determined her daughter Maggie will follow the path she has set out for her. But Maggie has plans of her own, and Rosie can only pray the grief that plagues the Hart name won’t follow her.
Sydney, 2017 When her grandmother dies and leaves Brianna Hart a secret apartment in Kings Cross, Brie wonders what else Rosie was keeping from her. As Brie chases the truth of Rosie’s past she uncovers an incredible story of passion, violence, love and tragedy. Is the Hart family’s legacy of loss inescapable, or has Rosie gifted her granddaughter with a future of hope?
Heart of the Cross by Emily Madden was published on 19th August 2019 by Mira – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
Connect with Emily here: