Feature Spotlight with Eva Scott
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I’ve been working as a “technical” writer and freelance writer for years before I became pregnant and thought it was a good opportunity to try my hand at novel writing. My first effort finalised in the RWA Emerald competition – and I’ve never looked back.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
I was really more interested in paying the bills! Although once I embarked on novel writing I became determined to get published. But I must say if anyone is looking to make money as a writer then freelancing is far more lucrative and immediate.
Your latest rural romance, Red Dust Dreaming is somewhat a departure from your previous historical-romance novels. What led to this change in sub-genre and how are you finding your new-found success as a rural romance novelist?
I am a complete genre tart. I guess I don’t think of belonging in a genre. It’s more about the story – it “arrives”, I write it and then we work out what genre it fits in. Red Dust Dreaming came into being after I was inspired by an Aboriginal art exhibition in Brisbane. My Mum knows the curator so I got to hear the stories behind the work. One thing led to another and here we are.
What was your biggest challenge in writing Red Dust Dreaming?
Portraying the Aboriginal art community accurately. I’m an Anthropology major so I understood you can’t get all your information from books. Having lived in Papua New Guinea I’d experienced the nuances of tribal life. You need to find a subject matter expert, someone who is from that part of the world or interacts with them intimately, to advise you on how relationships are conducted. I nearly made a pretty critical mistake and my informant put me right. Thank goodness! There are some things that just wouldn’t happen and you need guidance so you don’t get it wrong.
What kind of research was involved in the planning of Red Dust Dreaming? Was there anything surprising that you learned during the research process?
I had the help of an Art Professor from Queensland University and my husband who had worked out on the Tanami Track with the Australian Defence Force. Apart from learning a bit of art history (fascinating) I also learned some handy facts like the need to check under your 4-wheel drive for spinifex. It gathers under the car and can set fire. Who knew!
In your opinion, what makes the rural romance sub-genre so special?
I think it speaks to the need Australians have for the wide open spaces. And if you happen to live in a city then it’s a delightful escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. The women are strong and capable, and the stories are about overcoming hardship and personal growth. I think that has mass appeal.
What’s next for you?
Currently working on another rural romance. I know a horse doctor who has a client who used to dance at the Moulin Rouge before coming home to Australia and marrying a farmer. I got to wondering what might happen if she had inherited a small holding she thought she could run with the help of Google and Youtube. And what might happen if her next door neighbour happened to be a good looking man with a secret to keep….
Red Dust Dreaming
Elizabeth Langtree has her life in order – safe, organised, planned. Sure, she has her troubles, but they are nothing she can’t handle. Then everything is turned upside down when her family send her to Australia to collect her orphaned nephew.
It all seemed so simple in New York, but Australia is nothing like she expected, and she soon falls under the spell of the Outback – the station, the lifestyle, and the seriously sexy owner who has been caring for Luke since the death of his mother.
Elizabeth soon discovers that what seemed simple a world away is anything but, and her duty is at odds with the dictates of her heart. She must choose, knowing that a mistake will not only cost her everything, but destroy the future of a devastated little boy.
— Excerpt —
“You know it’s wrong to put those ideas into Luke’s head, don’t you?” Elizabeth hissed at him from across the table.
“Don’t look at me.” He raised his hands in mock surrender. “All of that came from your sister.”
“New York smells and there are no horses?” She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him with those blue eyes.
“Okay, so that bit was me,” he admitted.
“And I bet you think it’s all very funny, don’t you?” She glowed with a strange kind of beauty when she was fuming.
“You’ve got that wrong, sister. This isn’t a joke to me. This is war. You’re trying to take Luke away from the only home he’s ever known to give him to people who his mother spent her life trying to get away from.” He leaned towards her, palms pressed flat against the table.
Elizabeth pushed her chair back and stood up. “You’re the one who’s got it wrong, buddy. And if you cared so much for my sister and her son why didn’t you marry her and adopt him?”
Caden’s chair scraped loudly on the floor as he rose to his feet. “My relationship with Angela is none of your business. She lived her life the way she wanted to.”
Elizabeth gasped in outrage. “What are you implying?”
“Implying? Nothing at all. I’m not implying anything I’m saying it plainly. She ran away from your dysfunctional family and made a new family here with us. We’re Luke’s family, maybe not by blood but sometimes blood just doesn’t matter.” He noticed he’d walked around the table to face her. When had he done that?
“I live my life the way I want to.” She narrowed her eyes, her fists were balled up at her sides. Unless he was mistaken she was sizing him up.
“Right, sure you do. You did whatever Mummy and Daddy wanted. I bet life is just peachy. Well it wasn’t, to hear Angela tell it.” Caden really hadn’t meant to start this fight. If he could take it all back he would but the words just kept pouring out of his mouth uncensored. He had to stop before they both all went too far.
“My childhood wasn’t so great either but I made the best of it. Angela rebelled every inch of the way and look where that got her!”
“What exactly are you implying?”
“I’m not implying anything. I’m calling it as I see it. She ran away to hide in this godforsaken place and left me to face our parents on my own.” Her hands were on her hips and her cheeks were flushed. Damn she looked pretty! And that particular fact only fuelled his anger.
“I can’t stop you from taking Luke to New York. Believe me if I could I would. Just ask yourself this question, if New York is so damned good why did Angela run so far? Why did she deny your parents their grandchild? Why didn’t she tell you she was dying? She had a choice and she exercised it. She chose freedom. Do you really want Luke to wind up as uptight and miserable as you are?” He’d gone too far now. His words whirled about their heads like a flock of startled sparrows. Caden’s heart pounded in his chest. In some strange way he was having Angela’s argument for her, the one she never got to have. He’d heard her side of the story a thousand times and part of him justified his cruel words in defence of Angela.
Elizabeth looked as shocked as if he’d slapped her, and in some way he had – verbally. His bravado evaporated as he looked into her eyes. Fury and pain lurked in their blue depths. He’d ignited both tonight.
“I am not uptight,” she bit out between clenched teeth. She looked so angry, so small and alone in his kitchen there was only one logical thing to do.
He took a step closer, inhaling her scent of sultry summer flowers. “Oh really,” he said before crushing her to him and kissing her with everything he had.
About the Author:
Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.
Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.
She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.