Friday, September 13, 2013

Guest Author day with Isabelle Rowan

Please give a warm welcome to author Isabelle Rowan today.

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?

I have a few too many projects on the go right now! The one that is the closest to being finished is a novel length manuscript called Snowman. It’s an expanded version of a short story that was included in the Curious anthology. I’m having fun with it because it’s a contemporary romance set in both the alpine region of Victoria and Melbourne – that means I get to include horses, dogs, and coffee culture! I remember being really disappointed to leave those characters because there was so much more to their story that needed to be told.

The other work in progress is a third installment in the A Note in the Margin series. It will have all the characters of the others (plus a few more), but will focus on Jamie. That boy needs a love life.

Third thing is totally different – a zombie YA story!

What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?

Okay, I hope you don’t think I’m a total weirdo when I admit this. I was having a tattoo done and watched the black ink swirl through a little trail of my blood. It looked amazing and I wondered what it would taste like for a vampire. Yes weird, but I have a bit of a thing for vampires. That was the inspiration for Ink. The tattooist had blue and purple dreadlocks with a key sewn on the end of one, so of course he had to appear in the story too.

Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?

The easiest to write was my most recent novella. The Red Heart flowed very quickly once I decided on a general premise, and the main character Daniel appeared as soon as I played an old Sisters of Mercy CD! It was an interesting story to write because, even though I’m an Aussie, I’ve never been to the outback. The whole narrative is the journey through the desert to Uluru so I needed to get the feel of the Australian landscape – that turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. I didn’t get to travel to the outback, but I spoke to people who have visited as a tourist, worked on cattle stations, and experienced walkabouts. Visions of the red rocks and scrubby desert soon found their way into my imagination and, with the help of the muses, the rest all came together.

The hardest was A Note in the Margin. It wasn’t difficult to write, but I wanted to make sure that David was written with empathy to his situation. My hope is that people who read Margins will look at the homeless in a different light and perhaps even offer them a helping hand.

Are your characters able to love or do they need to be taught?

I really like this question because it is something I hadn’t considered before. My first response was, of course they can love, but now I’m starting to rethink it. Jamie in A Note in the Margin is probably the character most open to love. He is a truly gentle and giving soul and I hope he can find a man who will love him in the same way – I’m working on it!

Most of my others fall into the other category! John (A Note in the Margin) had no idea how to love - communication was done in a business meeting or through sex. Dominic (Ink) had lived his vampire life alone so long that love seemed impossible. Matthew (The Road to Byron) was young and hiding his sexuality. Luckily, the genre is romance so there was someone there to teach them.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

This is a fun question and one I’ve fantasized about quite a bit! Even though I live in a wonderful country, I still dream about living other places. Two of my favourites show the different sides of my personality. The first is New Orleans. I’ve been there several times and love the place. The music, the food, the architecture, and of course the people. My other choice would be the West Highlands of Scotland or the Lake District in the North of England. Beautiful scenery and not too many people around. But right now I’ll stick with Melbourne.

What can readers expect next from you?

I will be back online! I’ve had three more skin cancers removed this year and they have messed with my time and typing – one was across my knuckle! I owe a lot of people replies to emails and blog questions. I am back to writing my many projects and will be attending the first MM Ozmeet next month! YAY!

There will be another sneak peek of Jamie’s story appearing on my website this weekend!

A Note in the Margin
Dreamspinner Press
Available at Amazon / Publisher

John McCann, a man who judges life by the tally of an accounts ledger, has a supreme goal in life: To achieve, live, and enjoy the rarified executive lifestyle. But he's encountered one problem: The migraines are going to continue to get worse unless you make some major changes in your lifestyle. What you need is a 'sea change'… Perhaps buy a nice little business in the country, settle down, something easier to occupy your time…

While John knows the doctor is right, he just can't resign from the job he's fought so hard for. He decides the sacrifice of taking a year's leave of absence won't interfere too much with his plans, and so he finds himself running Margins, a cozy little bookstore, with the help of the former owner's son, Jamie. John expects to put in his year, get his stress under control, and then get back to business.

What John doesn't expect is how Margins and its denizens draw him in, particularly the quiet, disheveled man who takes refuge in the old leather chair in the second-hand book section. John's plans for an unattached year of simple business crumble when he meets David and is forced to reevaluate life, love and what he really wants from both. John and David are forced to come to terms with their pasts as they struggle to determine what possible future they might build together.

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