Our Awesome Aussie Author today is the very inspiring and multi-talented Helene Young.
Helene is a fellow North Queensland author and her third novel, Burning Lies, is being published by Penguin in July. She is constantly reaching out to other authors, encouraging their craft and showing wonderful camaraderie. I have had the pleasure of meeting Helene in person and she is a genuinely warm and wonderful lady.
Welcome, Helene, and thanks for joining us today.
Where were you born, raised, schooled and what was the most mischievous thing you did when you were a child?
I was born in Vancouver, Canada, but left there when I was six months old – clearly with some help from my Australian parents! I grew up in Brisbane and had an eclectic education starting at St. Joseph’s Catholic primary school at Kangaroo Point and finishing at Somerville House, a private girl’s school at South Brisbane, run by the Methodist and Presbyterian Schools Association. The varied religious education is very handy for weddings and funerals as I know hymns in both denominations. I just need to work on my singing voice a little more… :)
Mischievous? Who me? I was the model of good behaviour as a child. As a teenager? Well that’s another matter, but you didn’t ask me that so my lips are sealed! (My mum might read this and then there’d be trouble…)
How long did it take you to get published and how did you feel when you were told you had a contract?
It was almost ten years from starting my first manuscript to getting ‘the call’ from Bernadette Foley at Hachette. I think I will always remember the breathless ‘floating on air’ feeling as I pressed the phone to my ear not sure I was hearing her correctly. Champagne never tasted so good.
My husband took a photo of me while I was taking the call – it was our first night of holidays on a yacht in the Whitsundays. I’m not exactly looking my most glamourous, but those smile lines were suntanned into my face. :)
What time of the day/night do you prefer to write and where do you like to write?
I’d love to write from about 8 am to 3 pm sitting at home at the dining table. The reality is I write when I can and wherever I find space. With a hectic full-time job that takes me away from home I can’t afford to be picky… Doesn’t stop me dreaming though of my own little corner and routine…
Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming book? And what date it will be released?
Burning Lies, (and fingers crossed for me we keep its working title) is due for release in July 2012 with Penguin Australia. It’s the final in the loosely linked Border Watch Series and picks up Kaitlyn’s story, a secondary character in Shattered Sky. It’s a story of redemption, of rediscovering identity and of forgiveness, set on the stunning Atherton Tablelands in the middle of bush-fire season.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Inspiration comes in unusual places from finding a body on the beach, to news stories, to random conversations with people that spark ‘what if’ moments. A setting can also grab me, or a philosophical discussion can prompt my imagination. Looking down from an aircraft every day at work gives me a different perspective on this wonderful land and flying features heavily in my current series.
What is your favourite meal?
Roast Lamb! I’ve had that for my birthday for many years!
Who is your favourite Australian?
That’s a tough one… My husband! (But he did have to have some remodeling to turn him from a Pom into an Australian!)
What is your favourite Aussie saying?
‘No worries, mate.’ It’s so quintessentially Australian.
Where would be your ideal place to holiday?
Right now I’d love a holiday on a quiet resort island or a yacht in the Whitsundays. I’m still searching for the pause button on life so some quiet time and a stack of books with Graham beside me would be heaven. But ask me next week and I’d probably say something different!!
Thank you, Helene, for giving us an insight into your amazing life. It has been a pleasure having you as my guest today. I look forward to the release of Burning Lies and I'm sure, like your previous books, it will have me reading well into the wee hours or whilst running on my treadmill- not an easy feat!
You can visit Helen at her website.
Thought for this week
“When you come to a roadblock on life’s journey be clever and take a detour.”
Next week’s Awesome Aussie Author is the bubbly, hilariously funny and extremely gifted author, Lisa Heidke. I am a huge fan of Lisa’s books and her most recently released-Stella Makes Good is next on my list of reads.
Until next week, keep smiling and dreaming