I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Australian debut rural romance author, Meredith Appleyard.
Meredith, thank you for taking the time to stop by The Australian Bookshelf to talk about your debut novel with Penguin Random House, The Country Practice.
South Australia is my favourite state in Australia (I fell in love with the Clare Valley and Barossa!), why did you choose to set your story in country South Australia?
Born and bred in SA, and although I’ve travelled I’ve always ended up back here. I am country South Australian and proud of it! The Flinders Ranges are one of my most favourite places, and I love the Outback. The fictional country town of Magpie Creek is set in the country around Peterborough/Orroroo – there is something about the wide open spaces, the scrub and salt bush, against the bruised backdrop of the Flinders Ranges.
You’ve worked as a nurse and a midwife in country settings. What does your healthcare background bring to your writing?
An understanding of how complex and multi-dimensional small country communities are. I’ve met some wonderful people and worked with a few real characters over the years. And I’ve had some amazing experiences and the opportunity to make a difference in some people’s lives.
Who are your favourite Australian authors who write rural fiction?
I enjoy Rachel Johns, Tricia Stringer, Helene Young, Bronwyn Parry and Fiona Palmer.
Some of my favourite authors too! And just for fun, when writing do you prefer…
Coffee, tea or hot chocolate? Coffee to get me started, tea to keep me going.
Plotting, pantsing or both? A bit of both I reckon. I need to have a rough idea of where I’m going but am more than happy if my characters take me someplace else! It’s what makes it fun.
Quiet solitude or background noise? I’m definitely a quiet solitude kind of a writer.
A warm, sunny day or a rainy day? A bit of variety works. Easy to write happy and sunny when it is!
Typing or pen and notepad? Typing. I sometimes think the pathway for my creativity is through my fingertips. I love the whole ‘cut and paste’ thing, and I’m not afraid of ‘select and delete’ either!
After working in a London hospital emergency room, a month as a GP in rural South Australia can’t be that hard – or can it?
Meghan Kimble is taking control of her life. Newly single, she’s returned to Australia to follow her dream of working as a GP. And her first stop is a month-long locum in the colourful community of Magpie Creek.
It’s been months since the town has had a doctor and Meghan is generating more than her fair share of attention, especially from forthright farmer Sean Ashby. A handsome man with a difficult past, Sean isn’t shy about making his intentions known to the redheaded medico.
Against her better judgement, Meghan finds herself charmed by the enigmatic Sean. But time is against her and when love threatens to derail her career plans, she is forced to reassess her priorities in ways she never imagined. Is Meghan ready to fall for all that life in Magpie Creek has to offer?
Set in vibrant small-town Australia, this heart-warming contemporary rural romance heralds an exciting new voice in Australian fiction.