My fabulous CP Louise Reynolds has agreed to be on my blog today! Hi Louise, thanks so much for coming on. Outback Bride is as the title suggests but this is a rather complex and well-written novel. There are some real life issues that are explored in this book that I enjoyed immensely.
LR: Thanks for inviting me, Dana. You’re my very favourite person to chat with 🙂
DM: Why thanks! Louise, you do the struggle between Lara’s quest to succeed in her law career and her burgeoning life back on the farm so well. For me, when Lara returns I get a sense that she is overwhelmingly ‘home’. It really jars when she goes back to the city.
LR: I guess this is something many people struggle with. What may be ‘right’ for them can be apparent to an observer and maybe even to them on a subliminal level, but they continue to follow other paths and deny their true self. Change is hard. In ‘Outback Bride’ Lara has already turned her life upside down once so it takes a very special person, Jake, to change that and show her where she really belongs.
DM: Change can be very hard! I love how Jake ‘left for the bright lights’ and then came back home. I love how you build the sense that Lara is being drawn back to Jindaburra on so many different levels.
LR: Sometimes it takes us a while to realise that, as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. Jake’s family background is subtly abusive, the allure of riches hiding an unloving, manipulative father. I wanted the reasons for Lara’s return to be more multilayered. First she returns to care for her niece, the call of responsibility but with a deeper tug of familial love. Then there’s the allure of Jake, her old love. And sitting over the top of all that is her deep-seated loved for her family property.
DM: EEEE! And to introduce a child into the mix when the conflict is already so volatile. Little orphan Jessie’s character is cast perfectly, throwing Jake and Lara into a turmoil that seems unending. Was it hard to find the HEA at the end?
LR: WC Fields said never work with children or animals. I know writers who write children all the time but as a childless woman no one was more surprised than me to see Jessie pop up. But she’s intrinsic to the story – she connects my heroine Lara with the child she once was, as well as ensuring Jake and Lara must stay together long enough to realise how they feel about each other. Endings are always hard because there are a lot of hoops of fire for your characters to jump through but these three – Jake, Lara and Jessie – were destined to be a family.
DM: You seem to know so much about the outback, what it looks like, the way it feels. Have you grown up there or do you visit regularly?
LR: I visit the outback regularly, Dana. It’s a beautiful place full of larger than life characters. As a city girl I find it recharges me, refills the well. I have time to sit and think and just be. Which is awfully good for dreaming up stories.
DM: Dreaming under the stars. Sounds perfect! At the end of ‘Outback Bride’, I did a bit of a fist punch in the air when Lara turns her back on city life/city career and finally knows where her heart lies. Did you enjoy writing that part as much as I loved reading that?
LR: Thank you! There’s a lovely tension in writing these scenes. They’re hard. In this case it was painful because Lara was forced to confront her feelings about her father and about how she believed Jake had betrayed her in the past. On the other hand, you’re about to give your characters (and reader by extension) the happy ever after they deserve, so that’s pretty cool.
DM: Thanks for coming on my blog Louise. Please tell us what’s coming next from you?
LR: Thanks for having me here, Dana. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m just finishing another romance, tentatively titled ‘The Love Tattoo’. It’s about a jaded English aristocrat, a strong and resourceful Aussie outback girl and a helluva mystery about a painting.
DM: Oooo, you heard it first here folks! ‘The Love Tattoo’ sounds extremely mysterious and fascinating. Who can go past one of Louise Reynolds Aristocrats?
You can find Louise Reynolds at:
Outback Bride can be purchased here:
Blurb: Legal star Lara Burke has worked hard to escape her country past and is finally on the way to being made a partner at her city law firm. At the worst possible time, her former flame Jake Forester arrives, bringing tragic news from home.
Forced to return to her family property, Jindaburra, Lara must confront her past at the home she loved and lost. But big-sky country and bittersweet memories are not all that await her at Jindaburra.
As Lara’s past and present collide, old passions are rekindled and new connections are formed. And as her visit comes to an end, how will Lara choose between the city life she’s grown to love, and the life she left behind?