Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hello, Tricia McGill

Thank you so much for being here, Tricia.

And many thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Roseanne.

1: What genre do you write?
Strictly Romance. I have published works in a few sub-genres including, mainstream, futuristic, time-travel, historical and contemporary, but all are romances.

2: How long have you been writing?
Since childhood, but began writing full time when I was forced to retire early, and cannot believe now that I look back it was about twenty years ago.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
I really love the research entailed, especially in time-travels and historicals. The creative process fascinates me. Often when going over my stories I find it hard to believe I actually wrote it. For this reason I love the editing process. It’s satisfying to know that the story is down and just needs going over and adding or correcting. I like the promotional side of writing the least. I’m not good at pushing myself or my books and even after all these years get embarrassed asking readers to take a look at my work.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
Until forced to give it up because of needing two major operations I line danced regularly for fun. I’m just back to walking regularly and hopefully will be able to ride my bike again soon. I lost my dear pet dog a few weeks back to jaw cancer and last week adopted two new dogs from the local pound—both small—so now enjoy walking and playing with them. I also do volunteer work for a local community group which takes up most of my time when not doing writing-related tasks.

5: Which authors do you like to read?
I have many favorite authors, but always read in the genres that I enjoy writing, especially historical and time-travel. I’ve known Ginger Simpson since we met up, lord knows how long ago, when we were both with the same publisher and love her western historicals as they are similar yet so dramatically different in lots of ways to my Australian early settler stories. Fellow Australian Margaret Tanner’s historicals are among my favorite reads too. When I began writing seriously I read all of LaVyrle Spencer’s romances. 

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
Perhaps that I value honesty and integrity above other traits in people. I can’t abide bigots or two-faced folk who tittle-tattle behind someone’s back. I think that’s probably two or maybe three things.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it?
My latest release is Remy, a historical romance set in Australia in the 1800s. It’s available now at Muse It Up Publishing. Poor Remy has to suffer through many misfortunes and disasters before he gets to find his pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. He has many faults as we all do, but basically is a good man who makes a few poor judgments.

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
It’s been said before, and any author will give the same advice. You only succeed if you have determination, dedication and devotion to your craft. Study the publisher’s requirements and guidelines then you won’t be disappointed. And write, then write some more. I cringe when I read over some of my earlier efforts. Practice doesn’t make perfect but it sure is the only way to improve. Don’t be in too great a hurry to submit your manuscript. Put it to one side, start another book. You’ll be amazed at how you can improve on a story that’s been left to ferment.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
I was about to say never, but most of my heroes probably have a tiny bit of my father in them. He was a gentleman in all senses of the word. My heroes have many faults but I can never instill bigotry, vanity or cruel streaks in their nature. I leave those nasties to the villains.

10: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Remy was previously published by a house that went out of business and was the follow up to my other historical, Blue Haze. Remy came on the scene right near the end of Blue Haze, and without too much persuasion demanded his own story.

11: What are you currently working on?
I’m re-writing one of my early contemporary romances that never got to a publisher, reading through a novella I hope to submit soon, trying to work out how to finish another paranormal/ghost story I began some time ago. Time is the enemy; there never is enough of it in one day.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Apart from my romance books I’ve had short stories published in the Australian Woman’s Day magazine. I’ve compiled, edited and in one case, published three books of poetry and stories for my community group. I’m very proud of these books as the contributors had mostly never written before. My Traces of Dreams, won the Romance Writers of Australia Mainstream Romantic Book of the Year in 2003. This probably remains my favorite book as it was based on my mother’s life and came about through stories passed down to me from my older sisters over the years. My parents lived through two world wars and the depression and raised ten children. 

13. Where can we find you?
Details of all my published books, trailers, excerpts and reviews can be found on my webpage:
I have a blog—Romantic Journeys—at

Excerpt from the final version of Remy:

Rem stared at Sara Greenwood, unable to take his eyes off this beauty. She was, without a doubt, the most entrancing creature he’d ever seen. With hair and eyes as black as sin and skin as flawless as pure porcelain, her face was that of a goddess. A bloom on her cheeks gave her face a vital sheen of good health. How his fingers itched to unpin her silken tresses from their neat coils. He ached to touch that skin to see if it felt as soft and downy as it looked.
    She carried her youth and beauty with a proud bearing that was missing in so many of the young women in the colony; these women brooded and sulked, despairing of their lot in life after being dragged to this awful continent by their fathers against their will. Most had pasty faces they kept well hidden beneath large-brimmed bonnets that shielded them from the sun they saw as an enemy to their complexions.
    Rem thanked God it was a Sunday, and they allowed him to join the small gathering. The thought he might have missed meeting this goddess made him shudder. Tiger made a habit of inviting all newcomers to the district to his and Bella’s home soon after their arrival. The Greenwoods had recently settled here after living in Sydney for five years. Bella met them briefly on a trip into town, and Rem knew by her remarks she wasn’t particularly enamored of Edmund Greenwood or his timid wife Eleanor. Rem couldn’t give a damn about them, but was already half in love with their daughter.
    “So charmed to meet you,” Sara was saying to Bella and Tiger. The pair was decked out in the finery kept solely for such occasions.
    Extending her long, slender fingers, Sara took their welcoming outstretched hands one after the other. Turning to Rem, she offered the same delicate hand, and he bowed over it reverently. Her scent filled his nostrils, battered at his senses. Like a garden in full bloom, or a bowl of roses. Not very poetic, he knew, but she would forever remind him of a spring day; an English one, where rosebuds sent out their fragrance to entice the bees, and butterflies were entranced by the colors.
    Rem realized his breathing was as uneven as his heartbeat. As he straightened, their eyes met, and for one infinitesimal moment Rem felt sure a message passed between them. Could she be as smitten as he?
    “We are delighted to meet you at last,” Bella said, and for a moment, Rem wondered what she was talking about. So entranced had he been that everything had gone out of his head, except this vision of loveliness.
    “How do you find it here in Bathurst?” Bella asked graciously as they all took seats on the porch.
Sara spread the skirt of her blue dress about her knees, her dainty feet clad in black pumps peeped beneath the hem. Those bewitching eyes, filled with a sort of devilment met Rem’s as Bella continued, “I’m so glad the weather has seen fit to hold.” She looked to the sky, where a weak winter sun was trying its damnedest to shine through the gray clouds.
    “As I’m mighty glad it’s decided not to rain before we’ve had a chance to settle in our house,” Sara’s burly father said, as he settled his large frame on a chair, and huffed. “I must say I’m also glad we brought plenty of help with us to this godforsaken neck of the woods.” He had a perpetual air of grievance about him, as if the world should have tried harder to do better by him.
    “'Tis a good life, once you grow used to it, and if you’re prepared to work hard for what you wish to attain, it’s very rewarding,” Tiger said, looking out over his land. It was obvious to Rem his brother-in-law was no more enamored of this man than he was. Edmund Greenwood was brusque to the point of rudeness and loud-mouthed. How did an ugly brutish man manage to sire an angel like Sara? And how did her meek and homely mother ever produce such a beauty? Perhaps she had been adopted. The thought made him smile, and he glanced over at his angel in time to see her watching him, her delicate brows raised.
    “You must call on me for any help you need,” Bella offered, turning to Sara’s mother. The pallid, insignificant woman looked to be about sixty in age, but she was more than likely only in her forties. Rem suspected it was years of living with a boor that had etched those deep lines on her face. Her pinched mouth looked forever on the verge of protest. Though, Rem doubted she would ever dare to come forth with a complaint. “We lean on each other out here where months can go by without us seeing anyone from the other side of the mountains.”
    “Thank you.” The words came out on a thready whisper. Glancing up like a scared hare, Mrs Greenwood added, “I didn’t want to come,” earning a wrathful glare from her husband.
    “Balderdash!” Edmund waved an arm, his brows beetling, and she seemed to shrivel even more. “You’ll soon get used to it. And with kindly ladies like Mrs Carstairs here” —he gave Bella a sickly, condescending glance—“you’ll soon acclimatize.”
    “I found it very strange when I first arrived in the colony.” Bella smiled at Mrs Greenwood, and Rem thought, for the umpteenth time, what a lovely woman his sister was. “And please call me Bella,” she invited. “Everyone does. We don’t stand on ceremony here. Being so isolated we have to become friends.”
    Rem wondered if these people knew his sister and her husband had both been convicts, sent to the colony by the British Government, same as he had. No doubt they did, for news traveled fast despite the great distances. Gossip was rife among the Exclusives and the Emancipists.


Michelle said...

Wow! You love the two aspects of writing that I hear people hate the most: research and editing. :o)

I don't have a lot of research to do for my books, so I don't mind it too much. But editing? Eh, hate it.


gail roughton branan said...

Tricia, so nice to meetyou!

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm not a research person, but editing is okay until I get down to the real nitty gritty and have to check every space and make sure everything is spelled right. It's fun at the beginning when I think up just the right words which I hadn't thought of before.

Morgan Mandel