April 24, 2014
Hey, all. Kari Lynn Dell here. Well, actually not here. I’m off at the Roundup all week. And for once, the kind that doesn’t leave me stinking like cow something. My buddy Fiona Lowe offered to step in and pinch hit for me, so I’m handing over the reins.
Thanks so much for having me, Kari! Everyone, I met Kari on Twitter and she’s the best! Generous and funny, she’s a huge source of information for me while I’m writing my Montana series of books. We have conversations that go a bit like this…
“Kari, Please help. I need the name of any wildflower that’s flowering in May that my cowboy can pick a bunch of. ” (Fiona sits back thinking Kari will pluck a flower off the top of her head)
“Fiona, ….. and she sends me three pages of botanical information with links to flowers!!
Fiona slumps under a great deal of guilt for the time sink. Like I said, she’s generous!
So, Fiona, where are you from?
A lot of places! I was born in a country town in Australia, although my mother crossed state lines to have me so I’m the only family member born out of state. I started school in Papua New Guinea, lived in Canada for a year at seventeen, moved to the big smoke of Melbourne, Australia as a young adult to study, lived a few years in the mid-west of the USA and now I’m back in Australia. The cupboards in the house are filling up so it must be time to move again!
Why small towns?
The bulk of my twenty-five novels have all been set in small towns with big hearts because I have lived in small towns and I have traveled extensively. There’s a spirit to country people; the love of the land, the sense of community that is borne out of isolation. That’s not to say that you don’t get a sense of community in a city; you can and many people do at a grass-roots local level in their suburb. But it’s a bit different from an entire town or district coming together. It’s also a lot harder to hide in a small town and that has its advantages and disadvantages.
I love nature — mountains, ocean, desert…they all have their own appeal and I love being outdoors although I don’t love the bugs and flies quite so much. The isolation of far-flung country also opens up lots of good scenarios for an author.
I’m really excited that Harlequin has bundled up three of my favorite Outback stories in the anthology, Fiona Lowe’s Weddings. They’ve also thrown in a fourth book, one I set in Vietnam…a different kind of far-flung isolation but a story of coming home. This is the first time these books have been available in the USA for my American readers. WOOT!
The two Warragurra books are set in the outback think red dirt and rocks, … a bit like New Mexico! Add in a small town called Warragurra, which can be both caring and critical, a Flying Doctor’s base, a sheep & cattle station and you have all the ingredients to create wonderful and intoxicating stories. In Wedding in Warragurra, Kate Lawson has come back to town and no one is happy to see her. They blame her for the death of her husband, the town’s sporting hero, and clearing her name will only blacken his memory. Sometimes, small towns have to bleed before they can heal.
The second Warragurra book is a bit lighter and centers on Emily. Born and raised on a cattle station, she’s the only daughter with four brothers. She can shoot pool, hot wire a car and fix a pump, but she’s seriously out of her depth when it comes to being anything other than friends with a bloke. Of course, to make matters worse, I threw her up against Linton (literally) who has been flirting since the cradle. He thinks he knows everything there is to know about women until he meets Emily. I had so much fun writing this book and even pitied poor Linton when he had to deal with Emily’s four brothers and a father. I’m surprised he didn’t run straight back to Sydney.
The Surgeon’s Chosen Wife, is set in glorious tropical Queensland. Oh, how I adore the old Queenlander houses so I put one in this book and it became its own character and an integral part of the book as Ryan slowly rebuilds his life after being hit by a car. The idea for this book came from a real life event; a surgeon at the top of his field who almost died after bouncing off the bonnet of a car.
A Woman To Belong To, pays homage to Vietnam, a country I love. Australia has a strong connection to this beautiful country and Eurasian, Tom, raised in Australia after the Vietnam war, is working as a doctor in Hanoi and trying to find his birth mother.
I hope you enjoy these four stories, which I promise will take you on an emotional ride but no matter how dark it gets, I always guarantee you a happy ending. Next January, I’ll be bringing the same community spirit to small town Montana, which shares a lot of the same heart as Outback Australia! For now though, all I can say is that my editor at Berkley “loves” the story and we’re playing with covers and titles which is lots of fun.
Fiona Lowe is a RITA® and R*by award-winning multi-published author with Harlequin, Carina Press and in 2015, Berkley USA.
Whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the mid-west and west of the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she’s not writing stories, she’s a weekend wife, mother of two ‘ginger’ teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes and often found collapsed on the couch with wine. You can find her at her website, facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.