Christmas is Coming ... and I have got presents for YOU!
Not only is Christmas coming, but it's my birthday and we all know that means presents (I love presents) - but this time the gifts are for you lovely readers out there.
In the next few weeks a cavalcade of fabulous authors will be joining me here, answering some fun questions and helping me giveaway some presents.
Books obviously. There's a range of books that I'll be randomly giving away to kind readers who drop in and leave a comment on any of the author's posts here.
PLUS every author who is joining in has promised to send one lucky commentor a specially signed, inscribed, Christmas Card. That's right - you post a comment, and I'll randomly select one of you to get a Christmas card direct from the author that you commented on here on the blog. How cool is that!
AND THEN, because it is Christmas after all, if you share, tweet, retweet or mention any of these posts on Facebook and Twitter using the tag #bushchristmas, you'll go into the draw for a $75.00 Booktopia voucher to spend on whatever you'd like. I'd rather like to win that one myself but ... apparently I'm not allowed to enter. Damn!
When we get to all the other lovely authors I'll let you know more about who they are and their latest releases, but seeing it's my birthday (Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to meeeeee) , lets go straight to the answers ... from me!
My Latest Release
In the rugged and beautiful high country of East Gippsland, HOPE'S ROAD connects three very different properties and three very different lives.
Sixty years ago, heartbroken and betrayed, old Joe McCauley turned his back on his family and their fifth-generation farm, Montmorency Downs. He now spends his days as a recluse, spying upon the land - and the granddaughter - that should by rights have been his.
For Tammy McCauley, Montmorency Downs is the last remaining ties to her family. But land can make or break you - and, with her husband's latest treachery, how long can she on to it?
Wild-dog trapper, Travis Hunter, is struggling as a single dad, unable to give his son, Billy, the thing he craves most. A complete family.
The, out of the blue, a terrible event forces the three neighbours to confront each other - and the mistakes of their past ...
What was the idea/the revelation/the ‘kicking off point’/the impetus for writing this particular novel?
Two things. My friends own a very beautiful property nearby where you can sit on a hill and see the Great Dividing Range splayed out before you in all it’s rugged glory. I sat on this large rise one day and all I could visualize was an ancient miner’s shack, with an old man sitting on the verandah staring out across ‘his kingdom’. At around the same time I was listening to songs by country music artist Lee Kernaghan. Many, many songs as my youngest son was (and still is) obsessed by Lee’s music. There’s a tune ‘Changi Banjo’ and in one part, the lyrics talk of a man passing from this world as he is out sitting on his verandah. Find the tune. Listen to it. And if you’ve read HOPE’S ROAD you will feel the inspiration for old Joe in that part of the song.
What is your funniest ‘real life’ Christmas story?
The year my uncle ran over our old, low-slung car in the fire truck after the local community Christmas tree. Doesn’t sound too funny, but that car was due to go to God but I couldn’t kill it no matter how hard I tried. (Can you guess how much I hated the thing?) We were in the middle of some huge fires so the proper fire truck was away being used on the fire line. The replacement to deliver Santa to the hall was our family fire truck known as ‘Mother Duck’. (Yes, I know. Doesn’t everybody have their own fire truck?) It’s an solid, big, ancient clunker of a vehicle Dad bought to replace the family cattle truck but as we seemed to be having a run of bush fires he decided to leave the tanker set-up as it was. Mother Duck was being garaged at our farm, and as my uncle returned from dropping off Santa at the local hall, he somehow, in the dark, managed to drive over the old car. He was so upset and I was just so happy!
Best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
A flattened car?
No, in fact, it was an amethyst pendant on a beautiful heavy gold chain, I received when I was twenty-five. My mum and dad gave both my sister and I one each (my sister’s was a garnet). My mother suddenly passed away not too long after so I treasure this gift with all my heart.
I also have to mention my second most treasured gift. In the first year after my mum’s death, Dad gave me a cake plate. He’d gone to our local farmers store to buy stuff to fix a pump. The place had a tiny ‘ladies section’ (think old fashioned emporium in miniature). Here he’d chosen a cake plate for the three girls in the family - myself, my sister and sister-in-law. He got a big, thick, cattle-tag marking texta and wrote a beautiful message on the back of each one. For a man who was used to his wife doing this kind of shopping, it was so thoughtful. And beautiful, despite the thick,black texta. That plate brings tears to my eyes every time I use it.
Worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?
A bike. It was a lolly-red, gorgeous two wheeled girls bike. It even had a shiny silver bell. And the problem with that is, you ask? Santa gave it to me but my parents told me I had to give it to my older sister as it was too big for my little legs. I got her fourth-hand battered dingy blue bike instead. What was Santa thinking?!!!
Best Christmas present you’ve ever bought for someone else?
I adore buying Christmas presents. I just love finding the RIGHT gift for each person and every year I usually have one present that I’m particularly happy with, the one gift that I just can’t wait for the recipient to open. Two years ago was an extra special year. I had three awesome gifts I was delighted with. One was a flannel quilt in rich burgundy’s and forest greens I’d made for my uncle (yes, the bloke who ran over the car - he deserved a great present) and I had a clock each for my sister-in-laws. One was a cow and the other a pig. Their eyes went back and forth in time with the ticking ‘seconds’ hand. They were so completely awesome I wanted one myself.
This Christmas, who would be the best person to buy your novel for?
Anyone – male or female - who loves an Australian saga spiced with a bit of everything. Evocative mountain bush settings, life on the land, family relationships, humour, drama, grief and love.
HOPE’S ROAD featured in GET READING’S 100 Best home Grown Reads of All Time.
In the following weeks you can expect to hear from all sorts of fabulous authors, across many different genres, who are releasing books in time for your Christmas reading pleasure. These amazing, talented people include Caroline Overington, Rachael Johns, Tony Park, Susan Duncan, Fiona Palmer, Angela Savage, Honey Brown, Anna Campbell, Nicole Alexander, Michael Robotham, Sue Williams, Deborah O'Brien, Karly Lane, Rob Cook, Kerry Greenwood, Katherine Scholes, Pamela Cook, Jaye Ford, Danielle Hawkins, Zelie Bullen and Freda Nichols.
And remember, if you share, tweet, retweet or mention any of these posts on Facebook or twitter, use the hashtag #bushchristmas and you'll go in the draw to win $75 Booktopia voucher. Whoo Hoo!
Seeing it's my birthday, let's give away a couple of presents. One lucky commentor will win a 'Margareta Osborn Gift Pack' which includes a copy of HOPE'S ROAD (inscribed to whom ever you want), a bookmark and a rather nice coffee mug . Another will receive a lovely Aussie Chrismas card from me. Just drop in and say hello to us below.
So, let the fun and the gifts begin!