Heather Garside resized author photoDuring last week’s writing race we had the pleasure of chatting to guest author Heather Garside. Heather is a rural romance writer who grew up on a cattle property in Central Queensland, and now lives with her husband on a beef and grain farm in the same area. Although not usually a ‘night-time person’, Heather kindly stayed up late last Wednesday to answer all our questions. (Thanks, Heather!)

Here are some of the insights Heather shared with us…

…on what makes a good story…

I suppose we all have different ideas about what makes a good story. To me, it’s warm, believable characters, an interesting plot and I don’t mind a bit of mystery or suspense thrown in!

…on the qualities that help to make a character believable…

A sense of humour, definitely flaws (as there’s nothing worse than a perfect character), :-)and traits that fit with the character’s age, work experience, geographical location etc. I’m sure there’s lots more but this isn’t the brightest time of day for me!

…on her writing schedule…

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m not a night-time person. So I like to get to my writing in the morning once I’ve done my chores and write for a couple of hours, depending on what’s happening that day.

I always write one book at a time, although I have done short stories at the same time as writing a novel. But different things work for different people. I know some writers find it helps them to have a couple of projects on the go. If they get stale with one, they can go to the other.

…on staying motivated…

Sometimes if I’m stuck, it helps if I read back through what I’ve already written. That helps draw me back into the story and the characters’ heads and hopefully will inspire a new train of thought.

…on her most recent novel, Breakaway Creek…

Breakaway Creek by Heather Garside book coverBreakaway Creek is a dual timeline story set in the present day and the 1890s. Two city women, a century apart, find love and adventure in the Queensland outback.
Betrayed by her boyfriend, Shelley Blake escapes the city on a quest to unravel a century-old family mystery. Her search takes her to a remote cattle station run by Luke Sherman.
Shelley and Luke try to resist their mutual attraction as he fights to reclaim his children from a broken marriage, and Shelley uncovers the truth about her ancestors, Alex and Emma.
Emma’s story of racial bigotry and a love that transcends all obstacles unfolds in the pioneering days of the 1890s.

…and if she could give only one piece of advice to aspiring authors…

Persevere! It’s the writers who keep at it who are eventually published and make a successful career. I’m sure we’ve all read the stories of famous authors who were rejected numerous times before they sold a book.


If you would like to learn more about Heather Garside, you can check out her website.


Want to join us for tonight’s race?

Just sign up to this week’s event page, and head on over about 7:45pm, for an 8:00pm start. Tonight will be one of our regular races, but next week we will be joined by guest author Mary McDougall.

If you want to know what a writing race is, check out our writing race page.

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