Get Lost in a Story readers, a little history to today’s guest (June 14th, 2013), I judged Helene Young’s novel, Burning Lies in RWA’s prestigious RITA® I was so disappointed when the book didn’t final (after all, she’s been voted by Romance Writers of Australia as the most popular author of the year, and I for one can see why.)
But Helene didn’t give up with her mission to become recognized, not only in Australia but in the United States. So imagine my delight when I saw that she was a 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense finalist. I knew she’d found a home because Romantic Suspense is what she writes.
About: Burning Lies - July 2012 – Penguin Australia
Kaitlyn Scott is searching for the truth about her husband’s death, even if that means revisiting the most painful day of her life. But what she uncovers is a criminal willing to stop at nothing to keep his secret.
Ryan O’Donnell, an enigmatic undercover cop, is investigating arson attacks when he is drawn into Kaitlyn’s world. He tries to fight his attraction for her, hoping the case might put his own demons to rest, but it only threatens to push him over the edge.
With Kaitlyn and Ryan on a collision course, the arsonist seizes the chance to settle some old scores. As the Atherton Tableland burns, the three of them are caught in a fiery dance of danger and desire, and not everyone will come out alive.
Set in Australia’s tropical far north, this is an explosive story of peril and passion by the author voted by the Romance Writers of Australia as the most popular novelist of the year
And now, let's get to know Author Helene Young:
DONNELL: Helene, welcome. In Burning Lies, your protagonist Kaitlyn Scott is a fearless young woman. She has to be. She holds a special occupation. Will you talk about that, please.
HELENE: Donnell, thanks for inviting me to visit your blog. It’s lovely to be here!
Kaitlyn Scott is a Mission Commander on board a Border Watch aircraft patrolling Australia’s vast coastline. Her job is to co-ordinate the search missions for illegal immigrants, drug smugglers, terrorists and anything else that threatens Australia’s security. In Burning Lies she and her crew have the task of tracking an arsonist, which means flying the aircraft in horrendous conditions as fires engulf North Queensland.
DONNELL: How alike would you say you and Kaitlyn are, and then in what ways are you different?
HELENE: I’m nowhere as near courageous as Kaitlyn. She’s endured heartbreaking tragedy, but has rebuilt her life with her son and mother and does everything in her power to protect them from the past. I think we probably share the same reserve and sense of duty, but as an author I often think my characters have the traits I wish I could claim for my own!
DONNELL: How long have you been writing and describe what’s the best thing that’s happened to you since you’ve been published. Then also what’s the most difficult?
HELENE: I’ve been writing with intent for fourteen years now. The best thing that happened to me was being a finalist the Golden Heart RWA competition in 2008. I made some wonderful friends in America and the prestige of the competition helped to secure me a publishing contract in Australia.
The most difficult time was definitely changing publishers after my second book was released. I’m very happy in my new home with Penguin, but making the move was hard…
DONNELL: When you’re not writing, what would you say is your favorite pastime?
HELENE: Sailing! And I love my day job flying aircraft for Qantaslink!
DONNELL: Here’s something new we may learn. We generally ask authors: What’s in your refrigerator right now?
HELENE: Since we live aboard a catamaran our fridge is very small. The most note-worthy item is probably the bottle of Veuve Cliqout champagne which is being chilled for my birthday in 6 days time! Otherwise there’s some very yummy home made salsa and a packet of Tim Tam biscuits – an Australian tradition for dunking in coffee – do you ‘dunk’ biscuits in America?
DONNELL: What would you recommend us Americas coming to visit Australia should see?
HELENE: A definite first stop would be the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches the length of the Queensland Coast – it’s amazing! Then you’d need to fly for three hours to the red centre and visit Uluru (Ayres Rock). It’s a truly spiritual rock with a special presence. I’d suggest a visit to Sydney and the Opera House, followed by a quick flight south to Melbourne for lunch in Flinders Lane and then finish off in the Margaret River, over on the west coast, touring our wonderful wineries. (I’m exhausted just thinking about that itinerary as Australia is quite a large country!)
DONNELL: Are you more comfortable in high heels, sneakers or ….?
HELENE: Boots! I wear boots for flying, boots for hiking and boots for fun! (But I don’t mind a gorgeous pair of high heels on occasion.)
DONNELL: What is a favorite tradition your family holds?
HELENE: Our family celebrates birthdays at home and that means you get to choose the menu for your special day. I always request roast lamb followed by pavlova and strawberries – a good Aussie tradition ;)
DONNELL: If you could meet anyone, past or present who would it be?
HELENE: I’d love to meet Freda Thompson, the first Australian woman to fly solo from England to Australia. She doesn’t have any of the recognition she deserves for such an amazing aviation feat. And if she’s too busy then Amelia Earhart will be fine!
HELENE, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. TIME TO ASK THE READERS A QUESTION. Donnell, it’s been lovely to chat with you today.
I’d love to know where your readers would go for a holiday if they could choose anywhere in the world – money no object as we’ve all just won the lottery :) - a girl’s allowed to dream, right? One lucky commentor will win a copy of Burning Lies as an e-book.
Thanks for joining us, Helene! It's been a pleasure!
Links and contact information
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