AUSSIE MONTH with Jennie Jones
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
Acting professionally – then not acting and wondering how I’d survive, artistically. Cue writing stage left.
Tell us about The House at the Bottom of the Hill:
I hope it’s a fun, fresh take on a small-town community, with adventures for every character in town and adventures of the heart for the hero and heroine who have to come to terms with some daunting issues in their lives before they can accept that they’re “home” when they’re together. They meet in my fictional town of Swallow’s Fall (population 97) in the NSW Snowy Mountains and sparks fly over a pink house, an outback pub, a hillside full of wildflowers and a deep yearning to belong.
What inspired this novel?
I’m part British part Aussie (not quite half-and-half but getting very close as the years drift by), and I like to write about new things, true things, fictional things – and things I know about. So although I haven’t been a Brit for 19 years now, I still remember what it felt like because it was me. I lived a British life, then I travelled, then I moved to Australia. So I wanted to bring a little of my British side into my Australian side – hence I created Charlotte Simmons, born in Australia but brought up in England and Daniel Bradford, born and raised a country boy in Australia.
What are you reading right now?
I received Anita Shreve’s novel Stella Bain under the Christmas tree, so that’s what I’m reading first. Then it’s Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
Go to New York (please let this happen one day…).
Best thing about being an Aussie?
It’s a fresh way of living. It’s invigorating, challenging and it’s not easy but it’s home.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
Women like it, and nobody seems to know why we like it. Well – perhaps this will help a little– because it’s a memory stick of the times love and hope were high on our needs list. A romance story transports us to those heady first days of our own love affairs and romances, and really – we work hard, we play hard, we run households, bring up children, keep down jobs and work as hard as anybody, and if it means that we females who are nurturers by nature take pleasure in a romance book – who dares say we shouldn’t?
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
Two more stories in the Swallow’s Fall series: The Turnaround Treasure Shop and Magic on Main Street. Plus I’ll be writing a new story for a rural anthology and starting two new series! This is exciting and daunting.
What were your big achievements of 2014?
Courage. Oh, and writing three books – that was a huge deal for me as I’m not a particularly fast writer but in 2014, I learned how to write faster.
The House at the Bottom of the Hill
From the best-selling author of The House on Burra Burra Lane, comes a brand-new story about opposites, attraction, an outback pub, and a pink house…
The mysterious death of her mother has left Charlotte Simmons on edge and off-balance for too long. Searching for the truth, Charlotte buys a Bed & Breakfast establishment in Swallow’s Falls, a small town in Australia’s Snowy Mountains, as a ploy to get close to the man who might have the answers. She’ll jazz up the old place, flip it, get her answers, and be gone in two months – max.
What she doesn’t count on is opposition from the dogmatic and slightly eccentric members of the town council. And the hotshot owner of Kookaburra’s Bar & Grill and his two-hundred-squats-a-day physique is simply poking his handsome nose in when he offers to act as mediator between Charlotte and the council.
Easy-going Daniel Bradford knows progress is slow in Swallow’s Fall. He’s finally about to put his plans into place to upgrade the hotel when a prim-and-proper, citified redhead blows into town, putting everyone on edge. The only way to contain the trouble she’s about to cause is to stay close – he knows trouble when he sees it, and soon it becomes very clear that there’s absolutely nothing containable about Charlotte, or the way he feels about her.