Aussie Month with Coleen Kwan
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I’ve always been a keen reader and love getting lost in a story. Over the years, I dabbled a little in writing but only got serious about five years ago when the day job was beginning to stress me out. I found a natural inclination towards writing romance and persevered with it, taking writing courses, reading books on craft, and above all writing and finishing my stories. I joined the Romance Writers of Australia and was lucky enough to win an Emerald award for best unpublished category romance, which boosted my confidence. Later, I sold my first story to Carina Press. I wish I could say it was plain sailing after that, but it hasn’t. I’ve had plenty of setbacks and rejections but also been privileged to work with some great editors who have all taught me so much.
Tell us about your REAL MEN books:
My REAL MEN series are sweet contemporary romances set in a fictional small town in the Southern Highlands region of NSW. Each book is a standalone story but characters from previous books do make reappearances.
In REAL MEN DON’T BREAK HEARTS Ally is shocked to learn that Nate, the man who convinced her ex-fiancé to jilt her, is the new owner of the building where she both lives and runs a struggling gift store.
In REAL MEN DON’T QUIT acclaimed author Luke, struggling to overcome writer’s block, is distracted by the fiery redhead next door. Tyler has enough on her plate running a gift store with her friend and taking care of her young daughter. She doesn’t need a man, and besides, Luke will be quitting Burronga as soon as his novel is finished.
WHITE-HOT HOLIDAY is a Christmas novella. American Aaron has a “Bah humbug” attitude towards Christmas. But when he’s stranded in Burronga over the festive season, Naomi shows him that family holidays are to be celebrated, not endured.
My latest book in the series, ONE REAL MAN, is due out early 2015. Paige was once the beautiful, spoilt, rich girl who suddenly finds herself down on her luck. A messy divorce sends her running for cover back to her home town, only to find her family home is now in the possession of Owen, the former pool boy whom she once teased and humiliated.
What inspired these novels?
I had the idea of an enemies to lovers romance for the first story, REAL MEN DON’T BREAK HEARTS. When I sold that one, my editor asked me if I wanted to submit ideas for two more books in the series, and of course I jumped at the chance. The heroines in the second and third books had already appeared in the first book and I already had a general idea of what their journeys to true love would be, so it wasn’t too hard to write the synopses. Luckily my editor liked them!
What are you reading right now?
At the moment I’m going through a fantasy romance feast. I’m reading Dark Vow by Shona Husk, which is an unusual mix of western, sci-fi, and magic.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
I don’t have a bucket list! I take each day as it comes.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
Being part of a tolerant and inclusive society. We might have lost some of that in recent times, but I still think that is one of our greatest strengths.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
There is a romance out there for everyone. Be proud of reading romance!
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
My ONE REAL MAN comes out in early 2015. Other than that, I don’t have anything confirmed at this date, but I do have two other books in the pipeline.
What were your big achievements of 2014?
I was part of the committee that organised the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Sydney. It was the first writers’ conference I’d ever attended and a real eye-opener for me! It made me realise how much goodwill there is amongst romance writers, and I was glad to be able to contribute and to be part of a great community.
White Hot Holiday
Nice is about to meet Naughty…
When Aussie Naomi Spencer hears her uncle’s American friend is coming Down Under for a short visit, she can’t wait to be rid of him. Aaron’s “Bah Humbug” attitude drives her crazy…and so does his incredibly sexy smile, and the way he pitches in to help her get ready for all her relatives. Okay, so maybe he’s not a total Grinch. But when Naomi’s uncle warns her to stay away from his playboy friend, Naomi’s simple holiday gets even more complicated.
When a volcano grounds all flights back to the States, Aaron Cade finds himself stranded in Oz. For Aaron, family holidays are to be endured, not celebrated. Only Naomi brings magic to the simplest things: shopping for gifts, finding the perfect decorations, and making him feel at home in the bizarrely tropical December heat. His sudden, overwhelming attraction to Naomi will turn his idea of home upside-down…but can he change everything for one white-hot love?