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 Romance author Margareta Osborn to the stage.
1. Describe the perfect date.
My husband and I camped up in the mountains, lying in our swag by a fire, looking up at the stars chasing satellites. It would be a balmy night. We’d have just had a camp oven roast cooked by someone else who has now strategically disappeared. A bottle of wine would be to hand and no children within one hundred miles.
2. Which of your books are you most proud of?
Very tricky question, as I have a love/hate relationship with my manuscripts whilst they are being written, but in the end I love them all. I think I’d have to say Bella’s Run because it was the book of my heart. They say you are given one novel to write in your life, the rest you have to work for. Bella’s Run was my gift. I still had to work damn hard for it, but that wonderful vibrant story pretty much wrote itself.
3. What is the hardest thing about being a romance author?
My books aren’t all about romance. They are rural fiction so the romantic entanglements of the novel aren’t solely the plot. That said, I adore a good love story so the romance in my books is right up there beside life on a cattle station, dairyfarming, mustering, wild-dog trapping, brumbies, fires, floods, broken families, aging with dignity, hearing impairments, grief etc. The other difficult thing about being a romance author is being asked in that tone of voice ‘oh, you write romance, do you?’ like it’s a tad second rate. The thing is, as humans, romance and love are part of our natural psyche, so I’m not sure why writing about happy endings is considered so ho hum. I choose to ignore the tone and respond with ‘Yes, isn’t it great!”
4. What is the best thing about being a romance author?
I get to dream up the most gorgeous man in the world and the strongest, loveliest heroine, chuck in a few flaws, throw them together and watch sparks fly. Honestly, some days it’s more fun than real life and if you lived my life, that’s saying something!
5. Who (aside from a significant other) do you swoon over?
Country music singer, Lee Kernaghan. It’s his dimples. I love dimples. Daniel Craig’s gorgeous blue eyes do my head in. Hugh Jackman would come a close third particularly with the pecs and decs of his Wolverine character. And if I could turn back time I would be Sigrid Thornton on that horse with Tom Burlinson in The Man From Snowy River. Sigrid wouldn’t have stood a chance.
7. Describe your writing style in three words.
Raw, emotive, vibrant.
8. What is your definition of a good book?
A well-written novel, which completely immerses me in its world.
9. Which author would you invite to a dinner party and why?
The late Mary Grant Bruce, author of the Billabong series. I read these books when I was twelve whilst watering farm trees in a drought. She was my inspiration to want to write. Her passion and love for the Australian bush made the rural landscape come alive like it was a character within itself. I adored this because I, too, as a fifth generation farmer and loved the land, the bush. And as a rural romance author I seek to do the same.
10. Finish this sentence: I would do anything for love, but I won’t_____
…give up my family. I adore them. They make life worth living.
Margareta Osborn is a fifth-generation farmer who has lived and worked on the land all her life. She also writes about it in the Gippsland Country Life magazine. Home is the beautiful Macalister Valley of East Gippsland where, with her husband and three children, she spends many hours in the mountains in which her novels are set. Bella’s Run was her first novel. She is also the author of Hope’s Road and the bestselling e-novella, A Bush Christmas.