WHY DOES MARGARET TANNER WRITE AUSTRALIAN HISTORICAL ROMANCE?
Like the heroines in my novels, my forebears left their native shores in sailing ships to forge a new life in the untamed frontiers of colonial Australia. They battled bushfires, hardship and the tyranny of distance in an inhospitable and savage land, where only the tough and resilient would survive. They not only survived but prospered in ways that would not have been possible for them had they stayed in Europe.
I would like to think I display the same tenacity. My goals are a little different from those of my forbears. I want to succeed in the publishing world.
I received my baptism of fire on the literary field of battle at an early age. I have known the highs (winning awards and having my books published), but also known the lows of the volatile publishing world. Publishing company closures, an opportunity for one of my novels to be turned into a film, only to be thwarted at the last minute by government funding cuts, and writing friends dropping off because they couldn’t get published and gave up the struggle.
I am a fourth generation Australian. We are a tough, resilient people, and we have fought hard to find our place in the world. We have beautiful scenery, unique wild life, and a bloodied convict history.
I am a medical audio-typist, specializing in the field of radiology. I have a husband, three grown up sons and a cute little grand daughter.
I admire heroines who are resourceful, not afraid to fight for her family and the man she loves. I want my readers to be cheering for her, willing her to obtain her goals, to overcome the obstacles put in her way by rugged frontier men who think they only want a wife to beget sons. A chance for revenge. To consolidate their fortunes. That love is for fools. Oh, the victory for the reader when these tough, ruthless men succumb to the heroine’s bravery and beauty, and are prepared to risk all, even their lives to claim her.
Then there are the brave young men who sailed thousands of miles across the sea in World War 1 to fight for mother England, the birth country of their parents and grandparents. I also wanted to write about the wives and sweethearts who often waited in vain for their loved ones to return. Who were there to nurture the returning heroes, heal their broken bodies and tormented souls.
This is why I write historical romance, even if it means trawling through dusty books in the library, haunting every historical site on the internet, badgering elderly relatives, and risking snake-bite by clambering around overgrown cemeteries.
Wild Oats from The Wild Rose Press is an EPICON 2010 Finalist.
English aristocrat, Phillip Ashfield, comes to Australia to sow some “Wild Oats”. After seducing Allison Waverley, he decides to marry an heiress to consolidate the family fortunes. Phillip has made a fatal choice, that will not only ruin his own life, but the repercussions will be felt by the next generation.
To save Allison from the disgrace of having Phillip’s baby out of wedlock, Tommy Calvert, who has always loved Allison, marries her. Mortally wounded on the French battlefields, Tommy is found by Phillip who learns that Allison has borne him a son. He vows to claim the boy when the war is over, because his wife cannot give him an heir.
TWO CONTRASTING SCENES FROM WILD OATS
Captain Phillip Ashfield toasted his elevation to fatherhood, as a barrage of artillery pounded the battle scarred fields around him. No more would he have to feel Isobel’s cold, unresponding body under his as he tried to beget an heir.
Australia 1914, just prior to Tommy’s embarkation for the war in Europe.
The lights dimmed when the Tango was introduced. Every man in the room held his partner close. This dance had made the Palais Theatre notorious. Evil, depraved and immoral were just a few of the descriptive words printed by the newspapers, but Allison liked it. Neither she nor Tommy could dance, but they soon copied the antics of others, and laughed and clapped as much as anyone.
The tempo of the place quietened when the saxophones in the band started up to accompany the man who sang, “If you were the only girl in the world, and I was the only boy…” They stood close together, listening, until it finished.
“Let’s leave now,” Tommy said, and Allison waited near the door as he went to collect her coat. He helped her into it, took her hand and they left.
Instead of making for the train station, Tommy led her towards the beach. It was a cool night, with dark clouds scudding across the sky, but numerous stars twinkled. A moist, salty breeze blew straight in off the sea, and the sand felt soft beneath her feet.
They didn’t speak, just ambled away from the lighted Palais. Except for the muted sound of the waves silence reigned on the beach, and Allison felt as if they were the last two people left in the world.
Tommy stopped and drew her close. “I love you, Allison.” He started whistling the tune. “If you were the only girl in the world, and I was the only boy,” softly in her ear and she leaned her head against his chest.
A magic spell cast itself over them. She didn’t want to speak, lest the spell be broken. Some instinct from deep within warned her this moment, once it disappeared, would never come again. She closed her eyes to shut out everything except Tommy’s nearness.
Margaret Tanner is an award winning multi-published Australian author. Her favorite historical period is the 1st World War, and she has visited the battlefields of Gallipoli, France and Belgium, a truly poignant experience.
Margaret is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Melbourne Romance Writers Group (MRWG) and EPIC. She won the 2007 Author of the Year at AussieAuthors.com. She also won it for a 2nd time in 2010. Wild Oats was an EPICON 2010 Finalist
Margaret’s two publishers are – Whiskey Creek Press and The Wild Rose Press.
Thanks for visiting with us today, Margaret. Our countries have much in common. As do we! We both work in radiology. I’m a radiologic technolgist certified in mammography. But I still take diagnostic x-rays and you type the radiologist’s reports. And, we both write historal romance. Slightly Tarnished released 6/3/11 so I know how excited you are about the release of Wild Oats. Congratulations!