Books Spark Joy with Sarah Williams

Books Spark Joy with Sarah Williams

Welcome to this week’s edition of Books Spark Joy with Sarah Williams. Sarah is the bestselling author of Australian romantic fiction including the successful Brigadier Station series. She spent her childhood chasing sheep, riding horses and picking Kiwi fruit on the family orchard in rural New Zealand. After a decade travelling, Sarah moved to Queensland to raise a family and follow her passion for writing. She currently resides in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Australia. When she’s not absorbed in her fictional writing world, Sarah is running after her family of four kids, one husband, two dogs, a horse and a cat. She is CEO of Serenade Publishing, hosts the weekly podcast/vlog Write with Love, runs writers workshops and retreats, mentors and supports her peers to achieve their publishing dreams.     Over to Sarah … My mother was a teacher, so she knew the value of reading to kids. Every night my brother and I would snuggle in and listen as she read us story after story. As I grew up my interest in books wanned as I found other hobbies. However I clearly remember the moment my life changed. I was fourteen and my family were attending a party at my aunts house. I stumbled across a pile of books in her garage and spotted a worn paperback with a pioneering couple in a dramatic pose. The blurb of “This Calder Range” by Janet Dailey promised romance, suspense, cowboys and indians. Everything 14 year old me could possibly want. My aunt let me have the book – she’d obviously forgotten how steamy parts of it were. While...
Books Spark Joy with Susanne Bellamy

Books Spark Joy with Susanne Bellamy

This week in the Books Spark Joy series we’re joined by Susanne Bellamy. Born and raised in Toowoomba, Susanne is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations, and rural romance set in Australia. She adores travel with her husband, both at home and overseas, and weaves stories around the settings and people she encounters. Susanne loves connecting with readers and fellow writers and you’ll find her social media links at the end of the post.     Over to you, Susanne …   Books have been important to me since I was little. My parents were great believers in the empowerment of knowledge and the inspiration of story. Two of my older sisters gave me books for Christmases and birthdays – Girls Annual, and Enid Blyton. My parents weren’t wealthy, but they valued books and reading and gave me the gift of Reader’s Digest for Children, bi-monthly anthologies of four great stories. Although shortened versions, these, along with the books from my sisters, set me on the path of a lifelong love affair with books.     When I was three, my mother ran a small coffee shop for those attending the Maternal and Child Welfare Clinic, which was next to our town library. Apparently, I read the books I borrowed quickly (and frequently borrowed them again). Mum would watch me walk the few metres to the door of the library, and her friend in the library would help me ‘change’ my books for the next set, and then see me back to Mum, a trip I am told I did several times...
Books Spark Joy with Fiona Macarthur

Books Spark Joy with Fiona Macarthur

One of the best things about being a writer is all the lovely writers and readers you get to meet. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Fiona Macarthur. We hit it off immediately and I can’t wait to catch up with her again. In the meantime I’m very happy to welcome her to the Books Spark Joy series. In her compassionate, pacey fiction, Fiona McArthur’s love of the Australian landscape meshes beautifully with warm, multigenerational characters as she highlights challenges for rural and remote families, and the strength shared between women. Happy endings are a must.   Over to Fiona … Thanks for having me, Pamela, ‘cause I had a ball poking through my bookshelves and actually found more books than expected. I’ve been culling for a while now and happily give away a lot. Noted while culling – that some old books can transport me to moments in time. As a pre-teen, zoom back to my dad discussing the latest Modesty Blaise book with me and how much better she was than James Bond. No culling of that collection of stories written by Peter O’Donnell and always, wistfully, as I re-read. And Dick Francis. We both loved those. Pretty sure he’s where my heroes came from. I also suspect Modesty is where my strong, independent women are born, a can’t-kill-her-with-a-stick-woman, yet a woman with practical kindness for others, except the bad guys. Which is why I’ve started to collect the full set of Madeleine Brent women’s fiction P.O’D wrote under that pseudonym (why did I not know this?) and I love discovering each new book. These...
Books Spark Joy with Historical Fiction Author Kim Kelly

Books Spark Joy with Historical Fiction Author Kim Kelly

Welcome to the first edition of the Books Spark Joy. I was inspired to start this series by a fabulous article in the Washington post featuring a number of American authors talking about their bookshelves. It was such an enjoyable read I wanted more – and I wanted to find out about Australian writers and their relationship with books. The series will continue throughout the year with new authors appearing each Friday. If there is an author you’d like to hear about please email me or add a comment, and remember to subscribe to the blog so you know when a new post is up.   I’m so excited to have historical fiction author Kim Kelly kicking off this series. Kim writes breath-taking historical fiction and lives in the beautiful Millthorpe area of New South Wales. You can find out more about Kim and where to find her online at the end of the post.     Over to Kim …   I’m such a cliché there are books in every room of my house, including the kitchen – and they’re not of the cooking variety there, but novels. The main paperback hang is the back wall of the living room, where my muse de bloke, Deano, built me some five-metre-long shelves.   Book-hoarder? Me? No. The boxes of books in the junk room are all important, too. I’m not precious about them, either: file copies of romances and short story collections I’ve edited sit jumbled together with Nietzsche and Aristotle; history and art mingle with science and the classics of English Lit. The predominant flavour is Australian, though. Unsurprisingly,...