Happy writing from the heart
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.”