Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Can there really be a favourite?

I've been asked to name two of my favourite books (of mine) and they're now available as an Author's Choice release.

To be asked to choose a favourite book that I’ve written is a bit like being asked to name my favourite child. It’s not possible. While I’m writing each book, the characters always feels intensely special to me. This is how it must be, otherwise I couldn’t give my best effort.

But when I look back over the books I’ve written, I do find myself remembering some stories with special affection. In the case of Her Secret, His Son and A Parisian Proposition, the settings gave these books extra meaning for me. They reflected my love of Australia – especially the Outback, and the Atherton Tablelands – as well as my fascination with exciting cities I’d visited overseas. They also captured some of the emotions I’ve experienced while being in these different places.

In spite of A Parisian Proposition’s exotic title, a great deal of this story takes place in the Australian Outback, and before I wrote it, I visited a cousin’s cattle property near Roma. I attended the Roma cattle sales (just as Camille Devereaux does) and I welcomed the new steers when they arrived home that evening on the back of a huge cattle truck. I also “helped” with branding and vaccinating them the next day – okay, I worked the gates. 

I loved every minute of this experience and of course everything I learned went into Camille and Jonno’s romance. I also included very special memories from my fabulous trip to Paris in 1998, which followed my first meeting in London with my Mills and Boon editor – a very exciting for me, I can assure you.

Her Secret, His Son was inspired by two special events – the VP 50 celebrations in Townsville, when I first became aware of the very strong ties between Australian and American military forces that have continued since WW2, and my first trip to America in 2003.

In New York I attended a fantastic Romance Writers’ conference, and afterwards my husband and I travelled to Washington DC to stay with friends we’d made during VP 50. I visited Arlington cemetery and the Pentagon, where I saw a chapel rebuilt from the rubble of 9/11, and I also visited the Washington and Lincoln memorials. I came away feeling very moved, and my head was buzzing with story possibilities. As soon as I arrived home I started writing Her Secret, His Son. It was a story that seemed to hold me in a deeper emotional place.

But beyond these settings and situations, I also loved the characters in these books. Yes, I fell more than a little in love with my reluctant hero, cattleman Jonno Rivers, and my sexy SAS soldier, Tom Pirelli. I admired Camille Devereaux’s spunk and Mary McBride’s faithfulness, and I had a wonderful time giving them their well deserved happy endings.

I hope you enjoy these books, too.


2paw said...

I saw this over on the UK site and I wondered about how you chose, thank you for sharing!!!

Barbara Hannay said...

2paw, I sent four titles, and M&B decided on these two -- and afterwards I kept thinking of others. It really was impossible -- but I hope that doesn't make me sound conceited.