Avril Tremayne is the newest member of the Get Lost In A Story family. She was born in Australia and took a scenic route to becoming a writer, most recently a highly successful career in corporate affairs and public relations.
She's a mad keen traveler with more favorite destinations than should be allowed, but currently resides in her hometown of Sydney, where her husband and daughter try to keep her out of trouble - not always successfully. When she's not writing or reading, Avril can generally be found eating - although she does not cook - drinking wine, and obsessing about shoes!
Avril posts almost daily on her Facebook page about going out for breakfast. That surprised me because she seemed to find a different place every day so I asked her to enlighten us on the Aussie way of dining:
LET’S TAKE IT OUTSIDE
A Canadian once told me you could always tell the Aussies apart from everyone else living in Canada: they were the ones out firing up the barbecue and pouring the beer the minute the temperature eased a degree above zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit).
I knew exactly what he meant: we Aussies love food; we love booze; and we love coffee (to the point of actual snobbery) – but we prefer to have it al fresco, thank you very much! But because I live close to the heart of the city of Sydney, where yards are either small or non-existent, that generally means going out – a lot – to restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes.
Two years ago, for example, I bought my husband a Nespresso machine for Christmas. A good present for a coffee snob – but the look on his face as he unwrapped it told me instantly it was going straight back to the shop. Why? Because he likes to go out for his coffee every morning and every afternoon, and get his shot of Vitamin D while he’s at it. It’s like a ritual.
Fortunately for us, we’re spoilt for café choice in our neck of the woods – there are gazillions of them, all within a short walking distance of our house. And if you take a quick look at the small selection I’ve photographed for this page, you’ll see they all have one thing in common: outdoor seating. Even cafes with only the tiniest sliver of footpath available to them still manage to squeeze a stool outside for people who want to take in the sun while they’re sipping.
So what does all this have to do with my writing career?
Well, it’s all about setting. And I’m not talking about the “I was walking down 5th Avenue” style of writing, but rather about geographic ‘sensibility’.
As a reader, I love being transported to unfamiliar destinations, but for me, it’s not about street names or landmarks; it’s about having a window to a lifestyle that’s different from my own. What do the people in that place do? What’s normal, exciting, challenging, dangerous or just plain funny, to them? How has where they live influenced who they’ve become?
Stuck in a log cabin during a blizzard – something that’s never going to happen in Sydney? Yes please. Wyoming ranch – bring it on. A lost treasure in ancient Egypt – love, love, love! I adore the Brontes’ Yorkshire moors, and swoon over Poldark’s Cornwall. (Actually, I swoon over Poldark, full stop – but that’s another story!) Bring on the holiday-vibe Greek Islands, family-focused Italian vineyards, and austere Scottish castles; the bleak landscapes, the snowy terrain and eerie mountains. I’m thrilled by them all, and especially when they’re part of the fabric of the characters. I love it, too, when someone is taken out of their place and plonked somewhere else, like a fish out of water: an outback Australian in London; a workaholic businessman banished to the country; a farm girl landing in Hollywood; a modern young adult transported back in time to ancient Rome. In those situations, the setting almost becomes a character in its own right.
And all right, perhaps a glimpse of the gorgeous Harbour and our beautiful beaches while I’m at it
Oh yeah, and food, booze and coffee!
Just remember, we’ll be taking it outdoors if at all possible…
HERE'S AVRIL'S LATEST RELEASE
ESCAPING MR RIGHT
Television reporter Chloe Masters is a woman of cool control . . . except when Casanova rugby league player Nick Savage is around. Then cool control goes out the window. Her boyfriend, Marcus, is everything she ever wanted - but it's getting harder to deny her body's reaction to Nick . . .
Nick Savage has been head-over-heels since he first laid eyes on Chloe - just a moment too late to stop her connecting with his team mate, Marcus. But when the goalposts shift and he and Chloe are thrown together on a week away, Nick dares her to get physical in whatever way she wants - with a kiss, a punch or anything in between. And if Chloe claims to feel nothing, he'll leave her alone for good.
How can Chloe say no to a week of mindless passion with the man she hasn't been able to get out of her head?
Trouble is, a lot can go wrong (or right) in a week . . .
Watch for Avril's first interview to appear on the blog next month. In the meantime, she's giving away a copy of her newly released book, ESCAPING MR RIGHT. Scroll down to the Rafflecopter to enter...
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