Happy writ­ing from the heart

Shepparton News - - WEEKEND | BOOKS -

Best­selling au­thor C. J. Dug­gan rose to in­ter­na­tional ac­claim af­ter be­com­ing in­spired to self-pub­lish her Sum­mer se­ries in 2012. Since then she has been signed on by Ha­chette Aus­tralia and has be­come known world­wide for her ro­man­tic tales of ad­ven­ture, love and ex­cite­ment.

Hav­ing grown up in Euroa she has a strong con­nec­tion with coun­try life and now lives in coun­try, NSW, with her hus­band.

Ms Dug­gan said she loved writ­ing about Aus­tralian cul­ture and see­ing how di er­ent peo­ple in di er­ent coun­tries still con­nected with her work.

“A fel­low au­thor said to me, ‘Why are you pub­lish­ing a book about Aus­tralia?’

“I thought about it for two sec­onds and thought, ‘Why bloody not?”’

Her lat­est novel Par­adise Rd picks up where its pre­de­ces­sor — Par­adise City — left o by fol­low­ing the story of sweet coun­try girl Lexie Atkinson who has moved back to Red Hill af­ter a stint in the big smoke.

Lexie misses her glitzy life in the city and is strug­gling to re-ad­just to the coun­try.

She knows in or­der to move for­ward she must go back and face the man who stole her heart: Luke Bal­lan­tine.

How­ever, when she ar­rives in Par­adise City, Luke is nowhere to be found and Lexie soon nds her­self sling­ing drinks at the wild Wipe Out Bar, where be­fore too long she catches the eye of bar owner Dean Sav­ille.

When Luke reap­pears, Lexie must make a choice: will it be Luke or Dean?

Ms Dug­gan said al­though the Par­adise se­ries was based in Aus­tralia, she was in­spired to cre­ate the story when she trav­elled abroad to the United States.

“I was hol­i­day­ing in LA and that’s where it ini­tially started with this story,” she said.

In­trigued by what it would be like to sling drinks at a bar, the mo­tions were put in place for a new ro­mance se­ries.

Ms Dug­gan said it took her about three months to write Par­adise Rd and she was look­ing for­ward to it com­ing out in early De­cem­ber this year.

“I sur­vive on very lit­tle sleep,” she said.

“But I’ve been do­ing it for­ever now .th.th. I think if I did have eight hours’ sleep my body would go into shock.”

Ms Dug­gan seemed amazed by how pos­i­tively her books had been re­ceived across the world.

“It’s a really ex­cit­ing time to be a writer, there’s so much op­por­tu­nity out there,” she said.

“I think that some­thing that changed ev­ery­thing for me was that one per­son telling me you have to own what you do. “Back then I was more of a closet writer.” It was af­ter this that Ms Dug­gan self­pub­lished the Sum­mer se­ries.

“I pub­lished my rst book and I thought if 100 peo­ple read it that would be amaz­ing,” she said.

“It’s just sort of be­come much big­ger than I am.”

A few years on and Ms Dug­gan seems happy that Ha­chette Aus­tralia is pub­lish­ing the Par­adise se­ries.

She said it was im­por­tant for peo­ple to take own­er­ship of their work and to be well-read and un­der­stand­ing of what peo­ple were in­ter­ested in.

“Gen­res change ev­ery ve min­utes so you’re bet­ter o writ­ing from your heart than fol­low­ing a trend.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.