It is a pleasure to warmly welcome Eva Scott to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews for A Tea Break with Mrs B, a short form author interview series. To help celebrate the release of Lonely in Longreach we sat down for a chat. Thanks Eva!
What is your drink of choice as we sit down for a chat about your new book?
So lovely to be here. Thank you for having me. If we are chatting before noon, I’ll have a lovely strong coffee please. After noon, then it will be tea. Evening, it’s all about the peppermint tea or maybe wine as a treat.
Can you give us an overview of your writing career to date?
I feel as if I’ve been writing forever. I wrote stories all through my childhood and teenage years. Then, as an adult, I became a technical writer before I branched out into freelance magazine writing. When I fell pregnant with my boy I thought I’d have a crack at writing a novel while on maternity leave. The Reluctant Wedding Planner came fourth in the Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald competition that year. I ended up publishing that book (and two others) with American publisher, Musa, before landing a contract with Escape Publishing, part of HarperCollins. The rest is history.
Can you tell us what inspired the creation of your new book, Lonely in Longreach?
I had been watching 90s romcoms to cheer myself up and escape from the events of the world in general. I love Nora Ephron films and while I was watching Sleepless in Seattle I began to wonder what that story would look like if it were set in the twenty-first century. So much has changed, especially technology and aspects of society, that plotting out the novel offered a fun and exciting challenge for me. Setting the book in the country came from a conversation with a cousin about finding love in regional Australia, given the challenges of the smallness of towns and vast distances in between them. The internet and online dating had become her lifeline to love. One inspiration met another and the book was born.
What are the main themes of your new novel?
Sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone to find the thing you’re looking for, whether that be love, a new career or a different direction in life. Sarah, our heroine, finds herself settling in love and in her career. Sam, our hero, finds himself settling for a widower’s life. Both need waking up. It takes a new situation to open their eyes to the possibilities.
Did you have an affinity with a particular character in Lonely in Longreach and why?
Our heroine, Sarah, is the character I most identify with. A lot of the things that happened to Sarah, happened to me. I borrowed liberally from my own life. Including the body-building boyfriend. I too had the yearning for something more meaningful in my life which took me on adventures all around the world. As I said above, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, like Sarah does, to find what you’re looking for.
If Lonely in Longreach made it to the big screen, who would you like to cast?
For Sam, maybe English actor Tom Hopper or even Liam Hemsworth. For Sarah, Margo Robbie would be a fun pick.
What is one thing that you really hope readers will take away from the experience of reading Lonely in Longreach?
My main objective was to create a reading experience where you laugh a lot, maybe cry a little, but mostly get carried along in a happy alternative universe. Basically, I want to give you a brief holiday from everyday life.
Have you developed any quirks or habits while writing your books?
My life resembles a Danish pastry. I’ve developed what I refer to as the Sara Lee work approach. A layer of work followed by a layer of exercise followed by a layer of housework and back around we go. Layer upon layer upon layer, until I have the day finished. I would love to be able to plug into my work and stay there all day but it’s just not possible as I’m too wriggly.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you have a set outline of your books before you sit down to write, or do you allow your books to take shape during the writing process?
I like to plot. Having said that, things often take surprising directions during the writing process and can end up looking nothing like the original story. I think you have to stay open to all the possibilities.
What book or books do you recommend that I add to my reading pile?
Books I’ve loved this year include Maya Linnell’s Bottlebrush Creek, Darry Fraser’s Elsa Goody, Bushranger, and for a completely different pace, Jeanine Cummin’s American Dirt. That book blew my mind and I’m still processing it.
What are you working on writing wise at present?
I’m working on a story called Where the Wildfowers Grow. It follows the story of Annalisa, who is trying to save her small family business from being squashed by a big corporate chain store. Our hero, Ed, happens to be part of the family that owns that big corporate chain store. While Annalisa cannot deny her physical attraction to Ed, she can’t forgive him for effectively ending her family’s legacy. Her heart belongs to a guy she’s met online and she’s torn between the emotional connection she feels for him and the lust she feels for Ed. What she doesn’t know is that they are one and the same.
Thank you for the lovely tea break and chat Eva. Congratulations on the release of your new book, Lonely in Longreach.
In the red heart of Queensland, two teenagers playing matchmaker are about to turn more than one life upside-down.
Widower Sam Costello has no time for love. When he’s not working on his farm, he’s trying to figure out how to connect with his teenage son Levi.
But Levi is about to finish high school, and he has big plans to move to Sydney for university with his best friend Maddie. If only he didn’t feel so guilty about abandoning his dad. Maddie has her own reasons for wanting to go to Sydney and she’s not going to let Levi’s dad ruin her future happiness. Mr Costello needs a girlfriend and, with her talent for matchmaking, Maddie is the girl to make it happen. By the time Mr C figures out what she’s done, surely he’ll be too in love to be angry.
Journalist Sarah Lewis has a good job, a nice boyfriend and a safe life in Sydney. Though sometimes she wonders if life has more to offer than nice and safe. When she starts working on an article about finding love in the outback she finds herself asking whether journalists should become this invested in their research. But there’s just something about Lonely in Longreach. Could it be that the man behind the dating profile is the key to the passion she has been looking for?
Sleepless in Seattle meets rural Australia in this fresh romantic comedy about optimism, online dating and love at first sight.
Lonely in Longreach by Eva Scott was published on 2nd September 2020 by Mira-AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
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