Friday, November 26, 2010

The Game--Inspirational Historical Romance award winner

THIS MONTH'S GIVEAWAY IS The Game by award-winning Amanda Deed. TO BE IN THE DRAW, POST A COMMENT. For submissions for author interviews to aussiewriters, email Wendy Sargeant at aussiewriters (at) gmail (dot) com (without the spaces), but before you do, be sure and post a comment.

Amanda won the fiction category of the new CALEB Inspirational Award. Congratulations, Amanda! I loved editing your book and share in your thrill at the award!

What got you into historical fiction as a genre?

I have always loved this genre. I find it fascinating to learn about history at the same time as being entertained by a storyline.

What did you do previously that was grist for your mill as a writer?

I always loved making up stories as a child. I have read hundreds of books over the years, and as an adult, particularly historical romance. That naturally led to wanting to write that kind of story.

How did you go about your research?

Some research I did online, but it is not always reliable. I borrowed library books on Australian architecture, horses, fashion history, Sydney history and social history. I researched information on church history in Australia. I also went to a few historical places to get a feel for them. There are so many aspects of life I needed to be sure of!

How do you see the Australian publishing industry now?

To be honest, I don't know a lot about the Australian publishing industry. Unlike many other authors I did not spend years and years submitting manuscripts, which probably would give a great deal of learning. So, I feel like a newbie and as such I am just learning what is 'out there'. I am very grateful for the opportunity I have been given, however, and I am sure other authors would find the same opportunities.

Amanda, your story is somewhat unique. But then The Game is a unique novel.

Do you have any tips for historical fiction writers?

Read. Read history books and learn your period well. Read journals and letters written by real people who lived in that time. Read other novels set in that period too, which give you a good feel for the setting.

Are there any programs or events you would recommend to budding authors?

Go to writers conferences. There is so much to be learned by others with more experience. Join a writers' group like FaithWriters, where you can hone your craft and have others critique your work.

What would you say is the most important message to help a new writer gain publication?

Firstly, work hard on improving your craft. Get lots of feedback on your work, and not just from family and friends. Then it is a matter of being persistent and not giving up. A rejection letter does not mean the end.

What are the themes running through your work?

I love to show the grace of God at work through my writing. And romance...I am a sucker for a good romance.

Tell us something about The Game.

The Game is an historical romance set in the 1840s in the Sydney/Paramatta area. My leading man, Jack Fordham, thinks that love is a game. Unfortunately he has to learn that it is not a game—the hard way. Many readers have told me how they have fallen for this loveable rogue--that's the kind of guy he is. But, the woman he has his eye on will not have a bar of him because he doesn't share her faith. Poor Jack! You will have to read The Game to see how his story unravels and whether he gets the girl in the end or not.

Thanks, Amanda. We look forward to the next book!

Amanda's book is available through Arkhouse Press at


Monday, November 8, 2010


The winners for the inaugural CALEB prize for Australasian inspirational will be announced shortly here:-

We will be interviewing one of the winners, so keep posting comments for your chance to WIN A FREE COPY of The Game by Amanda Deed, WINNER of the FICTION category, coming up next.

The Word Writers Fair was packed with interesting seminars, loads of great books to ferret through and plenty of sparkling conversation.

There was a look at self publishing by well-known authors Meredith Resce, Jeff Townsend and a new author, Liz Curtis. Anne Hamilton gave a fascinating look at fantasy publishing. Mary Hawkins led us through the mysteries of romance writing. Paul Clark gave a witty rendition of writing for children, Janet Camilleri and Nola Passmore showed and insider’s view into writing for magazines, Coralie Buchanan spoke on writing non-fiction, Kerry Townsend covered time-management and Jo-Anne Berthelson helped all stay focused. Aleesah Darlison surprised everyone with the ins and outs of marketing books.

Manuscripts were assessed by Jeff Townsend, Deb Porter and myself and I for one felt privileged to get a sneak peak into some great emerging talent.
Deb also gave an insight into the workings of digital books which will be on every Queensland school desk soon with the advent of the IPAD for schools.

Rochelle Manners gave an overview of the Australian publishing scene. Two of Rochelle’s company’s authors were represented in the awards—Andrew Landsdowne and Paula Vince, both finalists. HSM were also represented with Rosie Boom and the Psalmscapes team. Well done on both scores.