Tell Us Your Backstory with Charlotte Nash
I grew up a horse-mad girl in the Bayside of Brisbane when it was still pretty rural. I was also nerdy … which unfortunately meant I didn’t have many friends. The combination meant I read a lot of horse books – if it had a horse on the cover, I would read it! Then sadly a teacher told me to stop reading so many books about the same thing – I’m sure he meant well, but instead of branching out I gave up on reading for a while. It was the first and last time I’ve allowed someone else’s opinion to sway what I like to read!
Through school, I enjoyed writing but never considered it as a career. I read lots of things … David Eddings, Jane Austen, Michael Crichton … and Jilly Cooper, who I secretly snuck out of my mum’s collection. So at the tender age of 13, I was reading about all these bolshy Brits bonking each other (along with some horse riding, polo, and business conquering too). Quite an education! Books were cool. I wanted to write one, but only idly, and I didn’t know how. I forgot about it.
Ten years went by while I dutifully followed the expectations of nerdy students everywhere and went to uni, studied and graduated with degrees in engineering and then medicine. I’m making light of a decade which was at various times fun, exciting, challenging, upsetting, and the very pits of despair. I came out of it knowing a bunch of stuff, but also that medicine was not the career for me. I wanted to write. I figured I’d be a technical writer since I knew some technical things.
So I trotted back to uni to learn some in-depth writing and editing skills, and instead I landed in Kim Wilkins’ class. We talked about fiction – about writing it, editing it, publishing it. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me that I could actually be a writer. But it finally clicked in that class. For the first time in my life (where I’d often been good at things in a bloodless way) I was actually excited about something. I wrote my first book (science fiction). And then my second (erotic urban fantasy romance) – that was the best fun of my life. Then another (historical fantasy). I was still kind of flapping around.
Then the floods came to Brisbane in 2011 and changed everything. Afterwards, I wanted to be serious about writing. So I wrote Ryders Ridge, a romance inspired by my working experiences. I sold it. It did well. Two related books followed, and now a fourth (unrelated) where I’ve blended all my childhood horse fascinations with my working life: The Horseman (out 28 June 2016). It features Peta Woodward, capable emergency doc stranded in the Australian high country, and horseman Craig Munroe. Love, horses, medicine, family drama, and a hint of crime.
So I found my stride in contemporary love stories, and I haven’t looked back. Next year my current work-in-progress (The Paris Wedding) will come out. The research has taken me half way around the world, and I’m planning the next book after that now. I hope it never ends.
I always love to meet readers in person. If you live around Brisbane, we are having a launch for The Horseman on 15 July at Avid Reader. Details will be on my Facebook page below.
It’s been eleven years since Dr Peta Woodward, born into a horse-breeding dynasty, fled the family stud in the wake of a deadly tragedy that split her family apart. Carrying wounds that have never truly healed, Peta has focused on helping others. But when an injury during a solo trip through the Australian high country leaves her stranded, the man who comes to her rescue is Craig Munroe, a born and bred high-country horseman, and the kind of man legends are written about. Stuck in the tiny town of Yarraman Falls while she recovers, Peta is surrounded by prying eyes and heartbreaking reminders of all she has lost. But while she resolves to leave as soon as she can, fate has other ideas …