Australian Romance Author Showcase with…Helene Young

by |July 19, 2013

As part of Australian Romance Month, Romance Specialist Haylee Nash will be interviewing one Australian Romance author per day. Much like a beauty pageant, each author will be using their charm, wit and grace (and the power of social media) to take home the Booktopia Romance Bestseller crown. Booktopia invites bestselling rural romantic suspense author Helene Young to the stage.

1. Describe the perfect date.
It would start with a stroll along the beach to an understated but elegant restaurant with gorgeous views. We’d watch the full moon turn the water silver as we sipped champagne and dined on delicious fresh seafood. The sea breeze would have enough of a chill that my handsome date (that would be my husband!) would slip his jacket over my shoulders and the scent of his aftershave would remind me of all the wonderful years we’ve had together. At the end of the evening we’d walk back hand-in-hand along the beach to the beautiful catamaran we now call home.

2. Which of your books are you most proud of?
Half Moon Bay is a story that evolved over almost ten years and it’s been rewritten several times. With each rewrite a little more of me has gone into the characters. The themes in Half Moon Bay of family betrayal and the devastating effects of war are ones that resonate very strongly with me.

3. What is the hardest thing about being a romance author?
I think it’s important that the romance and developing relationship between the main characters build at a realistic pace. That can be tricky when it’s been driven by suspense and intrigue with truckloads of danger thrown in as well…

4. What is the best thing about being a romance author?
I love writing stories that are uplifting. The readers know there will be an optimistic ending, but for me it’s the characters’ journey and the ways that they grow and change which makes romance a joy to write.

5. Who (aside from a significant other) do you swoon over?
Hugh Jackman. He has so many qualities I admire and then he just happens to look pretty darned special as well!

6. Tell us something very few people know about you.
If I didn’t have a career as an airline pilot I’d be running a gourmet Bed and Breakfast, cooking delicious food and chatting to interesting guests. They may even end up in a story!

7. Describe your writing style in three words.
Fast-paced, action-packed, passionate! (Did I just cheat? :p)

Click here to buy Half Moon Bay from Booktopia,
Australia’s local bookstore

8. What is your definition of a good book?
A good book captivates me from page one and never lets me go. I read across most genres and the main thing I look for are compelling characters I care about.

9. Which author would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Posie Graeme Evans. She was the main script writer for the TV show, McLeod’s Daughters. I think the popularity of the Rural Romance genre owes much to her wonderful stories. The novels she now writes, such as The Island House, have historical threads through them that are meticulously researched so I’d love to talk to her about the different genres she’s tackled in her career.

10. Finish this sentence: I would do anything for love, but I won’t do_____
graphic sex scenes! No ‘docking’ procedures for my characters, it’s all about a sensual but emotional connection.

Multi-award winning author Helene Young lives aboard a catamaran moored near the Great Barrier Reef with her husband and their dog, Zeus. She draws inspiration for her stories from the communities she visits all over Australia as a senior airline captain. Helene won the Romance Writers of Australia’s (RWA) Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. She was also voted most popular romantic suspense author by the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) in 2010 and 2011, and is shortlisted for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Crime/Suspense in 2013.

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  • July 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Ooh, am I the first fan off the block? Waving madly to Haylee and Helene! Helene, really loved your Half-Moon Bay – talk about high stakes and then every chapter the stakes get higher. Edge of the seat stuff! By the way, can I come and stay at your B&B?

    • July 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Anna, love to have you at the B&B. We could do breakfast all day and solve everything that’s ever needed solving!!

  • July 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

    You could be the flying gourmet chef, sourcing the freshest of all Australian foods and bringing them together for your gourmet restaurant, Helene. You might want someone else to make the B & B beds though! I enjoyed Posie GE’s The Dressmaker but haven’t read The Island–will have to add it to my list. Thanks for sharing more about yourself.

    • July 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

      What a great idea, Susanne! I could fly to Tassie for amazing oysters, pick up some wine in the Barossa, some gorgeous fruit from the Riverina and a kilo or three of grass fed beef in Rockhampton. Yum!! I’ll second Capt G to make the beds while I whip something up for a long lunch!

      The Island House is very different to The Dressmaker but both of them are wonderful stories. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  • July 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

    mmm… just chewing on a chicken leg here … and had to laugh at you’re description of ‘docking procedures’. Sex scenes are always tricky. Also like your comment regarding the realistic pace of the love relationship, something I’m pondering on at the moment. If we succumbed to realism our books would be thousands of pages long and probably a little dull, with funny or sexy bits punctuating the long day dreaming sessions. But Instalove is also dreary in it’s own way.
    However, I tell myself that due to the form (book) and nature of our industry (entertainment) a certain leeway is allowed. Our characters are always sexier, prettier, braver than most of us, their lovers are kinder, stronger, always up for passionate, generous sex, and so they MUST fall in love faster than in real life, because they are symbolic figures in a sense. It’s making it feasible and inevitable and getting the timing right and the emotions right that makes writing romance so much fun.

    • July 19, 2013 at 11:32 am

      I love your reasoning, Phillipa, and Instalove sums it up perfectly! Maybe heat of the moment romance even more believable in an era of social media with everything’s running at full speed!

      Will get back to writing and toss Darcy and Noah into bed – they’ve been procrastinating for too long!!

  • helensibbritt

    July 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Helene

    Love those answers and I too loved Half Moon Bay

    Have Fun

    • July 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks, Helen! There’ve been some fabulous interviews this month and looking forward those still to come 🙂

  • July 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    You can so tell you’re a writer from your description of your perfect date! And a good one at that 🙂 I can so see you running a B&B! I’d love to stay there!

    • July 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Lol, Rachael, I think Capt G is secretly hoping I do make my B&B dream come true so he can talk to authors all year round rather than just at RWA conferences! He’s looking forward to FREO too 🙂

  • July 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Interesting interview. I’ve never heard of Posie Graeme Evans. Must find out more. Loved Half Moon Bay by the way Helene …

    • July 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks, Jennifer 🙂 You will love Posie’s books. They are wonderfully crafted.

    • July 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks, Jennifer, I’m sure you’ll love Posie’s books!

  • July 21, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I’d stay at your B&B, Helene!
    I’ve had The Island House on my TBR list for ages. Might have to push it to the top now.
    Another lovely interview. Thanks, Haylee and Booktopia.

    • July 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      You’d be most welcome at the B&B, Cathryn 🙂 You’ll love The Island House. Mystery, intrigue, ancient history, romance and wonderful storytelling!

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