Today I’m talking to Contemporary Women’s Fiction Writer Loretta Hill.

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Loretta has not one but two new releases out: The Girl in The Hard Hat, a follow-up to her hugely successful The Girl in Steel Capped Boots, and One Little White Lie, a romantic comedy novel available as e-book only. Here’s a little about The Girl in The Hard Hat before we get chatting.

The Girl in the Hard Hat

To tame a bad boy you will need:

  1. a.      One hard hat
  2. b.      Three hundred and fifty sulky FIFO workers
  3. c.       A tropical cyclone

Wendy Hopkins arrives in the Pilbara to search for the father who abandoned her at birth.

Getting mixed up in construction site politics at the Iron Ore wharf just out of town was not high on her ‘to do’ list.

But when she takes a job as their new Safety Manager she becomes the most hated person in the area. Nicknamed ‘The Sergeant’, she is the butt of every joke and the prime target of notorious womanizer, Gavin Jones.

Giving up is not an option, though.

For, as it turns out, only Wendy can save these workers from the coming storm, find a man who wants to stay buried and … put a bad boy firmly in his place.

From the author of The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots comes another funny and deliciously romantic tale of a woman in a man’s world.

Loretta Hill HardHat cover final (2)

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1. What activities (other than writing) get your creative juices flowing?
All other forms of story get my creative juices flowing. Songs, movies, TV, newspapers, books, talking to people about their day. They always prompt those “what if” questions that have me looking at my own work and wondering…

2. What sort of writing routine do you have – disciplined or undisciplined, regular or erratic, focused or easily distracted?
A mixture of all of the above. I have four kids under five. So fitting writing around looking after them definitely tends to be erratic, spontaneous and undisciplined. However, if I do have some set times that I am fully focused. I have a nanny who is with the kids Fridays so that I can write. And also my mum comes over Tuesday and/or Wednesdays so that I can have some solid blocks of time to write then too.

3. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if so what do you do about it?
Yes, I do. If so, I stop writing and do something else for a while. Or I start writing on a different project. I don’t go back to the original manuscript until I have a burst of inspiration. Sometimes if it doesn’t come quickly enough, I will try brainstorming with my critique partners.

4. Which aspects of the writing life do you most love?
I love living in an alternate universe in my spare time – a world where I have complete control. I guess for me writing is a form of escapism.

5. Which aspects do least love (or detest!)? Revisions! Just when you think you’re all done they come back to bite you.

6. What books and writers have most influenced your own writing?
My favourite author of all time is Georgette Heyer. But I wouldn’t say I write like her, particularly because she writes regencies. What I love about her work is the comedy and culture of the era that she portrays so well in her novels. I guess you could say, I do focus on these areas in my Pilbara novels too.

7. Can you describe for us your writing process, from getting the original idea to completed manuscript?
I start at chapter one and just write through to “the end.” I almost never plot though I might write a short blurb to get the ideas flowing. I will however go back and re-write chapters as the story progresses to foreshadow what I’m doing in later chapters.

8. Please describe your path to publication.
Long  I was writing for years before my work got noticed by a publisher. The catalyst was a pitch at a RWA conference in 2009. From there I sent my manuscript in and got some very positive feedback. I was then able to acquire an agent. The publisher who had my manuscript, then called, “Life in Steel-Capped Boots” eventually rejected it. But by that stage my agent was already on the lookout for more interested parties. Random House offered to buy my manuscript within three weeks of receiving it.

9. What advice would you give to writers who are working towards publication?
Don’t give up, constantly work on improving your craft and tell the story you love.

One Little White Lie Cover (2)

Thanks for visiting Loretta!

You can read more about Loretta’s writing and life at www.lorettahill.com.au