AusRom Today Author of the Month: LISA HEIDKE
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
Though I studied journalism at university, I was intimidated by the thought of interviewing people, so I went into publishing, marketing and promotion before returning to journalism and writing for magazines including Bride to Be and Practical Parenting.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
I think I always wanted to write a novel and really became committed in 2000. My first novel, Lucy Springer Gets Even was published in January 2009, so it was a very long journey.
The Callahan Split chronicles the lives and playing careers of sisters Annie and Samantha Callahan. Sibling rivalry and twists and turns abound… What was the inspiration for the novel?
That’s a good question! For some reason I became fixated on the idea of tennis playing sisters…It’s not like I am an avid tennis player or passionately follow women’s tennis but I liked the idea of developing a competition between sisters and then explore how that might psychologically and emotionally challenge them. Throw in an absent mother and abandonment and commitment issues…well clearly, tensions and dramas will ensue.
Both Annie and Samantha are such vastly different characters, Annie a carefree and relaxed kinda gal whereas Samantha is certainly more highly strung and singular in her focus on succeeding. So here’s a curveball – which character is your favourite, and what one character trait will most endear both Annie and Samantha to your readers?
Another great question. I am going to say Samantha. Yes, she’s highly strung and often one-eyed but I do think her heart is in the right place most of the time. She has many fears, particularly regarding abandonment and failure, and I think those traits really come into play as we get to know her character. As the reader gets to know her, I hope they will have an understanding and sympathy for why Samantha behaves the way she does.
Samantha – commitment, both to the game and her sister
Annie – loyalty – she chooses to see the good in people and focus on that.
What was your biggest challenge in writing The Callahan Split?
The Callahan Split was a real joy to write. In fact, it is my favourite novel. I loved exploring the sisters’ relationships with other women on the circuit. I would say the biggest challenge was making sure I got the tennis terms, tournaments and facts right. Hopefully I achieved that.
What’s next for you?
A glass of champagne and a long soak in the tub! And then, I’m writing about Lily – a city gal who loses her job and boyfriend and takes off to the coast to begin a brand new life as a florist. Of course, she doesn’t know the first thing about flowers!
About the Author:
Once upon a time, I made a New Year’s resolution to write a book. Like most people, I woke up on 1 January with a headache. Unlike most people who’d made resolutions the night before, I took two painkillers and started writing.
The result was Lucy Springer Gets Even (Allen & Unwin, 2009), followed by What Kate Did Next (Allen & Unwin, 2010), Claudia’s Big Break (Allen & Unwin, 2011), Stella Makes Good (Allen & Unwin U, 2012), and It Started With A Kiss (Allen & Unwin, 2015).
My sixth novel (and favourite), The Callahan Split, is out NOW!
The Callahan Split
No one knows you better than your sister.
In tennis, as in life, nothing ever goes truly to plan.
Samantha and Annie Callahan are successful doubles champions — the toast of the Olympics, Wimbledon, and Flushing Meadow. But their winning partnership spirals out of control when Annie’s new boyfriend announces their engagement at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Bear, the sisters’ coach, guides Annie as much as she’ll allow. But when she insists on dropping Samantha in favour of a singles career, her game and rankings plummet.
Samantha is left floundering. Disillusioned, her only sweet spot is the growing passion between her and Bear. Amidst rising anger and betrayal, Samantha completely changes both their destinies when she does the unthinkable after a devastating Wimbledon loss.
The sisters are driven to create new lives by confronting the past and taking control of the present. But can Samantha and Annie both win?
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