Obviously I use the Internet a lot. TROVE is a fantastic resource, especially the old newspapers and for Australian historical information I love the Power House Museum website. Sometimes it is more fun to get more hands-on. My local museum has the most amazing collection and when I am down in Sydney I love going to The Mitchell Library.
What are you working on now?
I have two WIPs at the moment. The Stud Master, another rural historical romance and a series I am still planning, I’ve written a few scenes, called The Adventures of Miss Abigail Wynter. I’m hoping to use parallel time lines but it is proving to be quite a challenge!
What are your favorite things to do when you're not writing?
I like to “garden” – that’s in inverted commas because I live in the bush and gardening usually consists of huge bonfires and lots of lopping and I love junk shops and flea markets – anything “vintage”.
What's the one piece of technology you can't live without?
My Mac Book Pro. I can do without a mobile phone; I have to most of the time. The coverage is pretty patchy where I live. My Kindle I use a lot but sometimes I prefer to read hardcover books. I like my iPad but I prefer my laptop. Does a coffee machine count as technology? I can’t live without that!
What do you normally like to read when not writing?
I read pretty much everything. I dip in and out of research books. I usually have about three or four fiction books that I’m reading at any one time. If I get caught up with a series I will read every book one after the other and if I’m taken by an author I will read everything they have written.
What is your favorite book of all time that you can reread a hundred times, and it still feels like the first time?
The Far Pavilions by M M Kaye and, not very original, The Lord of the Rings.
How do you come up with your characters’ names?
Most of my characters’ names I take from my family tree or from places I have visited – but I swap them around a bit. I would hate to upset anyone past or present!
What do you do when a flash of inspiration hits you at an inopportune moment?
I am absolutely hopeless at remembering so I rush off and write it down. I always carry a notebook and pen.
What fears do you face with the release of each book?
The same as everyone else, I think. Have I made some ridiculous mistake, does the plot hang together, what will the reviews be like, should it have had one more edit …? It’s making me go cold just thinking about it and today’s the day!
Thanks for inviting me to visit, Ann!
From Escape's Queen of Australian historical romance comes a story about a privileged member of Australian's squattocracy, a bushranger, and a very special horse.
Born into the rough, but privileged society of the Australian colonial landowners, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and, much to her distress, back under her father’s thumb, all before her twenty-first birthday. Determined not to forgo her dream of breeding the perfect racehorse, Lilibeth ignores propriety and sets out to restore the family’s flagging fortunes.
When Captain Tom and his mismatched band of bushrangers stumble across a mob of the best horses they’ve ever seen, and the daughter of the famed Dungarven horse stud, they know their fortunes have changed. Their catch is worth a king’s ransom. All they have to do is hold her for seven days. How hard can it be to control the pampered daughter of a colonial upstart?
ISBN: 9780857991713 Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Harlequin Escape | Amazon | Amazon.aus | iTunes | Kobo
Amazon and Goodreads Reviews:
“Forget work, forget all your responsibilities and slide into this delicious story ... a well-written book by a talented writer ... since I doubt I’ll be visiting Australia, it was a treat to feel like I was there, herding horses to market across the Australian Outback. The landscape assumes the position of a character in this exciting romance; playing a pivotal role in Lily’s adventure. A fabulous read by a very talented Aussie author … I have no hesitation in HIGHLY recommending Lily’s Leap.”
Hunter Valley, Australia 1848
Lilibeth Dungarven’s cry of pure pleasure soared skywards as the massive black stallion rose to clear the fallen tree, sending the horrors of the last four years scuttling into the dirt of the ancient land.
Clenching her knees against Nero’s heaving flanks she bent low, ducking the overhanging branches framing the bush track, her cheek pressed to the warmth of his muscular neck. When the erratic pounding in her chest settled she drew Nero to a shuddering halt and pushed the damp curls back from her forehead.
A pair of black cockatoos, disturbed by her madcap gallop, shrieked their annoyance and resettled in the whispering casuarina trees. The crack of their beaks as they threw the mangled nuts to the ground filled the silence. Below her the ribbon of sandstone road weaved its way towards Payne’s Crossing and she shielded her eyes from the sun, searching for her mob of horses.
A glint of reflected sunlight drew her eye to a mounted figure in the middle of the road. Despite the hat pulled low shadowing his face, the stockwhip crack of his words registered deep in her belly.
‘Bail up! Guns down and off the horses.’
‘What do you think you...?’ Constricted by the tension in her throat her words petered out. No one would dare steal such a valuable mob of horses. They were branded. Everyone in the colony knew the Dungarven brand. To lose them was unthinkable. Years of breeding — the first pure Dungarven bloodlines. Months proving herself capable of managing the sale and the trip to Sydney. And now a hold up! It would not happen. Not if Lilibeth Dungarven had any say in the matter.
Téa Cooper lives in a stone cottage on one hundred acres of bushland, just outside the time-warp village of Wollombi, NSW Australia. When she isn't writing, Téa can be found haunting the local museum or chatting to the locals, who offer a never-ending source of inspiration.
Lily’s Leap is Téa's second Australian historical romance set in Wollombi. Her first, Matilda’s Freedom is available now.
In October, Jazz Baby, a 1920s rags to riches story set in Sydney will be released and in February, Forgotten Fragrance, Book I of a family saga entitled From the Ocean to the Outback. At the moment she is working on a parallel time-line series called The Adventures of Miss Abigail Wynter. She has also written three contemporary romances.