Wednesday 13 April 2022

Looking for Love in All the Right Places

'Write what you know.' Authors often receive this advice. 

That's why my novels 'Retreat into Paradise', 'Trading Secrets' and 'Still Waters Run Deep', all works of fiction, are based on worlds I have inhabited. A farm outside Melbourne. A foreign exchange trading room in Sydney. A third world country. The clue to each setting comes from the picture at the bottom of each cover. The writer's task of conveying the right ambience, convincingly, seems easier when you've lived in the environment central to your story.

And, like the interesting women I've met in life, my heroines pursue serious careers, are aged around thirty, and fall in love with intelligent men:
  • In ‘Retreat into Paradise’, historian Hannah is ‘not yet quite thirty’. The hero, senior bank executive Philip, is ‘late thirty-ish’.
  • In ‘Trading Secrets’, risk manager Nicola is ‘late twenties’. The hero, foreign exchange manager Tom, is ‘mid-thirties’.
  • In my 'Still Waters Run Deep', economist Sarah meets and bonds with her boss Jack when both are in their mid-twenties and they meet again in their mid-thirties. 
Louisa Valentine Novels
These are romantic stories about marriage, children, divorce, parenting and women in the workforce - in unexpected roles and places. They are believable people living believable lives - yet readers say they can't put these stories down.

I ask myself - where else could I choose as the setting for my next novel? Where would be the right place? 

The City of London and Hong Kong Island are old stomping grounds of mine. I've spent years as a resident of Melbourne, famous for its changeable weather, its coffee culture and for being one of the world's most liveable cities. My long days at the wheel on the Hume Highway, driving between Melbourne and Sydney, might inspire a road trip story.  I frequently spend time with my sisters who live in three widely-scattered country towns in Australia - the basis for another rural romance? The Northern Beaches area of Sydney, where I grew up, is famous for its surfing culture and dare-devil kids.
Board Surfers and Pool Surfers at Dee Why Beach, Sydney
A few ideas are percolating for using one of these locations to generate, I hope, a fourth engaging page-turner.

Meanwhile, why not try my latest book 'Still Waters Run Deep', released on 1 May 2022? More details on my website. Order it here.

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