Tuesday, October 16, 2007
A Noble Place by Anne Whitfield
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anne Whitfield is an award winning Australian author, married with three children. Her passions, apart from writing, are reading, researching, genealogy, collecting Victorian diaries, roaming historical sites, buying books and gardening. She has written seven historical novels, one contemporary novel and six short stories. She is also an acquisitions editor for Enspiren Press. You can learn more about Anne & her books by visiting her website www.annewhitfield.com
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I always enjoyed writing stories as a child, and as a teenager my head was usually filled with characters, but I didn't seriously think I could write a book until I was in my late 20s. Then I decided to write down the characters that played out scenes in my mind, driving me crazy.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love being able to bring enjoyment to others. When people say they liked reading my books and want to read more, then that is so rewarding and inspiring.
There is nothing I really dislike, except when listening to those people who think writing is easy and that anyway can do it and become published. That annoys me.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
It's not always easy I will admit. Thankfully, I am able at the moment to write during the day while my kids are at school and my husband is working. I try to keep the weekends free for family time, unless I have a deadline to meet.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
It depends really. Sometimes I'll have a character in my head, but other times I will read something, or see something that stirs my imagination and then I start to wonder, what if ?
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write mostly historical fiction with romantic elements, but I also sometimes write contemporary romance and short stories. Recently I finished writing Broken Hero, a historical romance set in England in Word War II, that was something new for me, but I had this great idea for a story set in those difficult times. Usually I write in the Victorian times of England and Australia, as I adore both countries.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That it is easy. That you can write a book and be published by a large mass market publisher and instantly become rich and famous. Not true for about 99% of authors sadly. It takes years of studying the craft of writing, of making contacts, of querying, submitting and being patient.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are from my imagination, but all authors use their observations and life as a base to draw on.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Lord, this is too tough! I love all my characters. Each one is like a member of my family. I do have a soft spot for Kitty McKenzie, she was such a great character to write. At the end of writing the sequel Kitty McKenzie's Land, I felt I'd made a best friend. She will always stay with me as a great heroine.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
I am strange in that I like unknown actors. I think unknown actors bring a freshness to the screen. However, saying that, I do have a few favourites. Robert Redford is magical, as is UK actor Damien Lewis, and I can't forget Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Mel Gibson and Hugh Grant. There aren't that many current women actress who I find unforgettable, but I do like Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchette and Nicole Kidman.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
I want them to take away a sense of enjoyment and fulfilment, that the story left them feeling good and happy. I want them to care for the characters and think fondly of the book years later.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Study the craft of writing, learn the techniques of point of view, head hopping, passive writing, etc. Don't think that it's going to be easy. Work hard. Make contacts within the industry. Studying your targeted agent and publisher. Join a good critique group and listen to peers' advice.
I'm also an editor at Enspiren Press, and so from that side of the desk, my advice is to submit manuscripts that have been edited to the best standard you can make them.
Who are your favourite authors?
Catherine Cookson, Audrey Howard, Elizabeth Chadwick, Sharon Penman, and so many more.
What are you reading right now?
I've finished a few books for this month,
Elizabeth Chadwick's The Conquest
Dianne Blacklock's, Call Waiting
Anita Davison's, Duking Days Rebellion.
Susanne De Vries, Great Pioneer Women of The Outback. (non fiction)
and next on my list are
The Mayflower Maid by Sue Allan
Amy's Touch, by Lynne Wilding
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Phillippa Noble, strong minded, spirited and adventurous, urges and encourages her parents and her twin to emigrate to the distant land of Australia to begin again. In a new country they can put their tainted past behind them, and Pippa can forget the unrequited love she felt for a distant cousin.
Pippa blossoms in the new country and is determined that their horse stud will be the finest in the land. However, circumstances ensure that not all is golden. For every success, she has to bear up under the challenges of bushfire, death, the return of an old love and danger on the goldfields. Her strength is tested as she tries to find the right path to happiness, but it is the near loss of her dearest friend that makes her realise true contentment rests within her grasp and she must not let it go.
Sydney, Australia – October 1850
Phillippa Noble lifted her face to the sun and listened to the soft
murmur of the waves slapping the rocks below. A delicate breeze
ruffled the six inches of fine lace at the hem of her blue linen dress. She
breathed in deeply, filling her lungs with air so pure it was intoxicating.
‘Pippa, if you keep on allowing the sun to touch your face you’ll tan,
or worse, develop freckles,’ Hilary tutted and, hitching up her skirts,
climbed back up to the bush path. ‘I’m not going down any further.
Your madness to explore will most likely cause me a twisted ankle.’
‘Oh, do shush, Hil. The day you start moaning like Mother is the day
I’ll renounce you as my twin.’ Pippa grinned, but seeing Hilary frown as
she dusted down her pale-pink skirts, she gave up the idea of investigating
the little bay below and turned back for the bush track that led from
town. ‘I need to find a new advantage point to paint from, but I guess I
can do it another day. Shall we walk on around the headland then?’
‘I think not. It is miles.’ Hilary softened her words by smiling and
linking her arm through Pippa’s. ‘Perhaps we can return now and look
at some shop window displays instead?’
Pippa sighed. ‘Why that gives you pleasure I have no idea. We spent
this month’s allowance last month.’
‘You might have spent yours, but I saved some shillings.’
‘Well, I was out of paint and charcoal.’ She shrugged one shoulder.
‘I know, let us stop by the stables and check on the horses?’
Hilary groaned. ‘We checked them yesterday. They are perfectly
fine. They survived the journey in the ship’s hold so I’m certain they’ll
survive living in comfortable stables.’
In silent, mutual consent they returned the way they came. Large
gangly trees, that they now knew to be called eucalyptus or gum trees,
loomed above them in colours of grey and blue-green. The sandy track,
one of many, snaked through the bushland bordering the outskirts of
Sydney Town. To their right the wide expanse of the harbour shimmered
in dazzling splendour, a host to watervessels of all shapes and sizes.
‘I’ll never be tired of looking at all this.’ Pippa whispered. ‘How
could anyone ever say this was the land of the forgotten?’
‘It was though, in its infancy.’ Hilary squeezed Pippa’s hand where
it rested on her arm. ‘Not everyone here arrived of their own will.
Many do not appreciate it as you do.’
‘I understand that you and Mother prefer England, but to me this
country affords me the opportunities I’d never have back home. Here I
can breathe.’ She closed her eyes in excitement. ‘I have so many
‘I know you do, dearest, but I do worry you’ll be disappointed.
Standards and society still hold sway here as they do back home.
You’re a woman and not as free as you’d wish.’
‘True, but I’ve heard of other women here who have done well for
themselves, like Elizabeth MacArthur.’
‘Yes, but she and her husband have money, something we lack.
Women can only do great things if they have money or sponsors who
have money. We have little of both.’
‘Thanks to Father,’ Pippa murmured. She gazed through the trees
and over the water to the dense blue-green forest on the other side. No,
not forest. It’s called ‘The Bush’ here, she had to remind herself. She
and Hilary had read numerous books before and during the voyage
from England, but despite knowing that Australia was built as a
convict country, she had become enthralled with sketches and paintings
of the dry, untamed land. Its diversity fascinated her.
‘Oh, look, Hil.’ To the side of the track a large deep hole went at right
angles under exposed tree roots. ‘I believe it is a tunnel for those fat
Hilary kept strolling. ‘Come away, Pippa, for heaven’s sake the
thing could come and attack us.’
Pippa hesitated, studying the hole’s entrance. ‘No, I don’t think they
do attack, not like lions or anything. If I remember rightly I think they
sleep all day . . .’ After another long look, she hurried to catch up. ‘I
want to know everything there is to know about this country. I want to
know all the animals’ names, the birds, the flowers.’
Stooping, Hilary picked a small yellow wild flower from the sparse
undergrowth. ‘How can you admire it so much? Nothing is lush here.
Everything is hot, dry and dusty. You must miss England some?’
‘Not likely!’ she snorted. ‘Moving from house to house around the
country, never settling down in one place, dodging creditors? Why on
earth would I miss England?’
‘Because it’s home.’
‘Not any more. This country is our home now. Here we have a
chance of bettering our lives. When the house is built and we are selling
the best horseflesh in the country, we’ll never have to worry again.
We must believe it.’
Hilary slowed, her gaze earnest. ‘Don’t place all your hopes on
Father, dearest. You know he has a . . . tendency to . . . let us down
despite his good intentions.’
Pippa glanced away to the right and feasted on the harbour view,
trying to ignore Hil’s warning. ‘Father promised us this time would be
different. We could build a home here, a future of wealth and social
‘I hope we do...’
A Noble Place by Anne Whitfield
Publisher: Robert Hale Publishers
Release Date: August 31, 2007
Genre: Historical Romance
£16.14 from Amazon.co.uk
Purchase A Noble Place by Anne Whitfield HERE!!!