I am delighted to host Helen Lacey today as part of her launch for her new novel, Date With Destiny. Helen is a fellow Aussie, fellow Queenslander, with an interesting story to tell of an early childhood spent travelling around the Australian Outback. What great motivators to write -- travel and reading.
Hi Denise and thank you for having me here today.
I think most of us have people or places that shape us and make us who we are and generally we’re moulded from a young age. I had a happy, although fairly unorthodox childhood.
My parents and siblings emigrated from Wales to Australia when I was two. Once some of the older brothers and sisters moved out and married, my parents and three of my siblings started travelling this wonderful country in a fabulously renovated motor home and did so for several years.
Because of this lifestyle I didn’t have a conventional education for a number of years. I actually went to a total of seventeen schools over several states, but while we were travelling for those few years I didn’t attend school for any regular length of time. Instead, I had books. Lots of them, compliments of my dad.
Next came Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, R.L Stevenson’s Kidnapped and several Dickens’s classics. Of course, some of these books were hard going for an eight year old, and I often resisted and begged to go back to the classics I loved like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. But my lovely dad insisted and whenever we stopped at a small town he would take me to the local book exchange or second hand book shop.
It was on one of these trips where I discovered the stories that would enrich my life in ways I had yet to imagine. Little did I know at the time that these books were my education when school wasn't an option. Over the course of several towns we picked up three books – Little House On The Prairie, Anne Of Green Gables and Little Women. Because we travelled and moved around so much making friends my own age was hard and my brother and sisters were a lot older than me . . . but I had my books. I had Anne Shirley and Jo March and Laura Ingalls. These three young heroines changed my young life and set me on my path to become an author. Anne Shirley in particular resonated with the girl I was who never quite fitted in. Not that I was an orphan or had red hair. I was the youngest of eight siblings and had very ordinary brown locks – but the way Anne lost herself in stories and had such fabulously huge dreams, struck me in a profound sense.
My dad’s gone now, but I am eternally grateful to him for introducing me to the world of Black Beauty and all the countless books I read during those early years that made me what to write stories of my own.
Financier Grace Preston did fourteen-hour days in New York City. She didn't do small towns in Australia. Not since she'd fled almost twenty years ago. But when a personal trauma sent her home-with a secret she couldn't reveal-the last person she needed was her first love.
Local cop Cameron Jakowski had loved Grace for most of his life. But he wanted marriage and family and she didn't. He was small town, while she was big city-and lived half a world away. But for now she was right here-a walking, talking temptation. One he managed to avoid...until he made one mistake. He kissed her. And reawakened the passion that could change their lives...forever.
Mills & Boon UK
I have a copy of my August Harlequin Special Edition, Date With Destiny, to give away to one commenter. So leave a comment and share with us your favourite books when you were growing up.
Thanks Helen for appearing on my blog today. I loved reading about your literary childhood influences, very similar to my own.
And please, pretty please, don't forget to sign up here for Write...Edit...Publish's blogfest where you can post just about anything. Travel stories would be very apt for the VACATION (HOLIDAY) prompt. Thanks to everyone who's already signed up.