1. Tell me about your latest release? Genre?
Thanks so much for having me on your blog again, Janet. It is always a pleasure to be here. Challenging Mountains, Book 3 in my Settlers series, traces the lives and adventures of members of a family. Set in the early 1840s in Australia, Tim, eldest son of Bella and Tiger Carstairs, is fed up with his Government job in Sydney, and decides to set out on a month long trek to the budding settlement of Port Philip in the south. Accompanied by his uncle Carlos, and Josephine, a headstrong young woman who decides to join them, they encounter many setbacks along the way in the mostly untamed land.
2. Where did the idea arise?
Book 3 in this series had been brewing in my head for a long time. My dilemma was who to set in the lead role, as Bella and Tiger had a large family. Once I began to plan the story, I realised that the main character was always meant to be Timothy Carstairs, their eldest son. Tim was born in tumultuous times and was a small child when his father, Tiger, decided to head west to greener pastures. The road across the mountains was barely defined in those early days and so Tim was no stranger to dangerous journeys.
3. How much research was involved? Did you stay on point or be distracted by wanting to look at just one more thing?
There was still an immense amount of research to do to keep the facts correct, even though it is set in the 1800s as were book 1 and 2. The trip the travellers undertook covered many miles and the landscape was changing constantly as new towns sprang up along the way in those early days of discovery. They covered many miles on horseback or wagon. There were numerous rivers and creeks to be crossed, some hazardous, and in those days once Sydney was left behind, the bridges were few. There was little in the way of law; few churches and even less schools, so it was a fact that the children of squatters ran wild and as untamed as the land. When the travellers reached their destination there was another set of problems coping in a barely settled town, where bushrangers sought an easy life and were a constant threat. This was supposed to be the last in this series, but now Tim’s sister Annie is pestering me to write her story so that is in its early stages, while I wait for her to tell me exactly which direction she wants to go.
4. How long did you take to write the book?
I’m not really sure as I have no record of when I began, but think it was something like 8 to 10 months from when the idea started keeping me awake at night to when I typed ‘the end’.
5. Now a bit about you. How long have you been writing? What is your Sun Sign?
I guess my short answer to that is, always, but I began writing in earnest about 30 years ago. Most writers, like me, started scribbling stories from the moment we discovered how to put words together. My first published book was Mystic Mountains (Settlers Book 1) then published under another title. Readers seem fascinated by the early days of Australia. I am a Scorpio.
6. Do you write in a number of genres or stick to one?
I have written Historicals, Time-Travels, Contemporaries, Family Sagas, and had a crack at a Fantasy/Sci-Fi, but all have romance at their heart, so I am most definitely a romance writer. Only one of my books strays from the Romance genre and that is Crying is for Babies, which is based on the life of one of my sisters.
7. Where can you be found?
Find me and my books here on my Books We Love author page:
Or here on my Web page: http://www.triciamcgill.com
My Blog: http://triciamg.blogspot.com/