It is a pleasure to welcome Eva Scott to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews for A Tea Break with Mrs B, an author interview series. To help celebrate the release of Meet Me in Bendigo we sat down for a chat. Thanks Eva!
Hello Eva. It is my pleasure to welcome you back to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews. I greatly appreciate the time you have provided to answer a few questions. To begin, can I interest you in a strong coffee again, or would you prefer another beverage?
Hello, Mrs B! Delighted to be back once more. Thank you for having me. I’d love a nice strong cup of coffee, something with a bit of a kick to it please.
Can you give us a little insight into your achievements as a writer to date?
Gosh, this is book number twelve. I can hardly believe that when I say it out loud. When it comes to achievements as a writer, my focus is very introverted. I’m constantly looking to push through my technical boundaries and reach deeper as a writer. The last twelve months has been full of breakthroughs and I think this past year has been a milestone one for me. A couple of projects I’m working on are certainly going to benefit from this process.
What came first in the creation of the novel – the title, plot, characters, setting or something else when you first set out to write Meet Me in Bendigo?
Picking the movie came first. I’m currently obsessed by 90s romcoms so selecting the right one to use as a framework for my story is the first step. Once that’s settled, I sketch out the plot and that allows the characters to unfold. The setting often comes last weirdly enough.
How different was the experience of writing Meet Me in Bendigo, compared to your previous releases?
Two words – home schooling. We were deep in lockdown and I was trying to juggle writing with home schooling. One of the reasons I selected the Victorian goldfields in which to set my story was a family association with the place. I spent a lot of time there growing up and I had such fond memories. Because I couldn’t travel, I had to rely on family still in the area and good old Google to fill in any gaps.
What issues do you explore in Meet Me in Bendigo?
I’m exploring a couple of issues in this book. The first is how we communicate and connect in the modern age. This is a theme I return to often in my novels. Social media has become an integral part of how we communicate with each other. I like to explore how that impacts our relationships, both positively and negatively.
The other issue is one of legacy – specifically family legacy. When do you hold on and when do you let go? Are we obliged to continue our family legacy when it doesn’t align to who we are? Or when the times have changed and the legacy no longer holds relevance? Both Ed and Annalisa struggle with this issue, although it affects them in different ways.
Are the characters in Meet Me in Bendigo inspired by any real-life figures?
Joe and Nonna are very much like my own grandparents. They had a teasing banter and the strongest memory I have of my grandmother is her chuckling at some remark. She chuckled a lot.
Is there anything surprising you discovered from the process of writing Meet Me in Bendigo?
As I couldn’t travel (lockdown) I had to rely on my relatives in Victoria for assistance. As my son was studying the gold rush at the time, I thought it would be fun to do our DNA and map our family tree as our Cornish ancestors arrived in the 19th century and have populated the gold fields ever since.
During our project, I was contacted by a woman who said I’d flagged in her family tree but she couldn’t work out how I fitted in. Turns out that my grandfather was the illegitimate son of her great grandfather! We had no idea. One of my brothers investigated further only to uncover this family secret in further detail. Great Aunt Bertha was actually Great Grandma Bertha. Making the connection was a wonderful experience and helped explain a few family traits (like story telling and non-stop talking). We get that from our mysterious great-grandfather’s family.
Can you give us an insight into setting used in Meet Me in Bendigo?
I poured over maps of the region trying to find a town that would meet my very specific requirements. A few came close but none had what I needed in full. I didn’t want to give a town aspects it didn’t possess, however quaint it happened to be. So, I invented a town based on those in the area. I kept the architecture true and I hopefully captured the feel of the place. This region has an energy about it that makes it distinct from anywhere else and really helped shaped the character of our nation.
What is one thing you would like your audience to take away from the experience of reading Meet Me in Bendigo?
I want them to think of the book as a portal to a fun time, a place they can laugh and connect with the community of Wongilly. Somewhere they can go for a while to forget the real world and all its challenges.
How will you celebrate the official release of Meet Me in Bendigo?
I started the day with a radio interview which was a bunch of fun. Then I spent the day with some wonderful friends filming promo for an up coming book gig. I came home to an amazing bunch of flowers and a dinner date with my posse, those people who sustain me and support me on my storytelling journey.
What ingredients are essential for a successful rural romance novel?
Lots of lovely emotional and sexual tension. Plenty of conflict and challenges to overcome, whether personal or physical. And what a friend of mine refers to as a ‘cosy’ atmosphere; warmth, likeability and connection between the characters.
What does your writing space look like?
At the moment it looks like a warehouse! My husband runs a business out of the same office. He’s in one corner and I’m in another. I have boxes of books and piles of research material for my current projects. We need more shelves!
What book is next on your reading pile?
Cathy Kelly’s Other Women. I have no idea where I’ve been but I’ve never read a Cathy Kelly book before so I’m super excited to start this one.
What is next for Eva Scott, do you have any works in progress you would like to share with your readers?
My next novel, With love from Kalbar, is in the hands of the publisher. This one is based on While You Were Sleeping, that 90s classic romcom starring Sandra Bullock. I have three other projects loaded in the chute. I’m currently contemplating which one should fire off first! Ah, the problems of a writing life. 😉
Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews Eva and congratulations on the publication of Meet Me in Bendigo.
Thank you so much for having me. Having coffee with Mrs B is always a delight.
Rural Australia meets You’ve Got Mail in this romantic comedy about online dating, second chances, and following your heart.
Small-town sweetheart Annalisa Cappelli has returned to Wongilly to take over her family’s hardware shop while she heals from a tragic loss. The business was hit hard by the pandemic, and now a Carpenter’s Warehouse hardware superstore is opening in the district. There’s no way Annalisa is going to let two hundred years of history go down the drain, but she’s going to need to fight to keep her family’s legacy alive.
The one simple thing in her life is her no names, no complications, easy-breezy online relationship with GardenerGuy94. For now, their online flirtation is the only kind of romance Annalisa needs. Until she meets Ed Carpenter. Sexy as hell, he’d be the perfect man … if he wasn’t trying to destroy her business.
Ed Carpenter is in Wongilly to offer the owner of a small hardware shop a payout to pave the way for his family’s next superstore. What he doesn’t expect is for the owner to be the woman he’s been talking to online. Annalisa is beautiful and passionate, and he’s sure she’s the one for him. But how can he reveal the truth without losing her?
Meet Me in Bendigo by Eva Scott was published on 28th July 2021 by Mira-AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
Connect with Eva here: