Today Helene Young, one of my fave romantic suspense authors has stopped by to chat about her much anticipated fourth novel, Half Moon Bay.
Eleanor Wilding in Half Moon Bay
Lauren, it’s lovely to be a visitor on your blog. I’ve discovered many new authors in the last year through your great reviews so thank you!
I’m in the middle of writing my next book and that’s making me reflect on what it is I enjoy in the writing process. A large part is the cast of characters and the insights into their lives that emerge through the story.
I love characters that have some angst in their lives because I can relate to them. My life is overloaded, stressful and messy at times. I have days when I’d love to give in to a good old-fashioned tantrum (but since I’m no longer two I’d look ridiculous so I refrain…). There are days when life is overwhelmingly sad or frustratingly complicated. But there are also days when I want to weep because life can be so beautiful, so unexpectedly generous and giving. There are days when I can’t help but be moved by the human spirit, by the world we live in, by the kindness of strangers.
I love finding those moments in my characters’ lives. I usually start writing a new story with a strong sense of at least one protagonist. Half Moon Bay was Ellie’s story from the very outset. I wanted to explore how a photographer views the world and, more particularly, how a war correspondent stays sane dealing with the horror they capture in images.
Ellie finds herself in the middle of a battle, not just for Half Moon Bay, but for her own survival. All the evidence suggests that the night Nina, her sister, died in Afghanistan holds the key. Ellie has no other option but to search for the truth, no matter the cost. She’s confronted by lies and half-truths at every turn.
What keeps her grounded is the love of old friends, the feel of the ocean on her skin and the unwavering love of her dog, Shadow.
Ellie’s reserved, a behind the lens kind of woman. She loves the simple things in life, to ride a surfboard, walk on the beach, and listen to Missy Higgins. She doesn’t see herself as strong or adventurous, but finds an inner strength when she needs it. She believes it is possible to make a difference against the odds. She believes that truth will prevail. Above all else she’s an optimist. Her glass is half-full, there are silver linings on those storm clouds. But she’s wary of love and weary of lies.
Finding a hero who could overcome that wariness was the tricky part. Luckily a battle-scarred soldier stepped up to the plate, but that’s a discussion for another day 🙂
And if I could choose an actress to play Ellie? Rachael Taylor would be my pick!
So what sort of characters do you enjoy reading about? Someone like yourself or someone completely removed from your real world? Leave a comment to go into the running for a signed copy of Half Moon Bay.
And thanks again, Lauren for having me over for a chat!
Ellie Wilding has been running from her past, but when the residents of Half Moon Bay call for help she knows it’s finally time to return home. As an international photojournalist, she’s used to violence in war zones, but she’s shocked when it erupts in the sleepy hamlet on the north coast of New South Wales, threatening all she holds dear.
Battle-weary Nicholas Lawson walked away from his military career leaving unfinished business. In a coastal backwater, that decision returns to haunt him. He remembers all too vividly his last lethal assignment in Afghanistan when Ellie’s sister, Nina, was shot and killed. Ellie’s been in his dreams ever since, even if she doesn’t remember him…
As a storm rages and floodwaters rise, Ellie struggles to save her community. But who can she trust? Nick Lawson, the dangerously attractive stranger with secrets, or an old friend who’s never let her down?