Today Indie Author Land is hosting me for my first ever interview!! Jumping up and down, nail-biting fun! Indie Author Land consists of two very generous spirits who help self-published authors by interviewing them and giving them a plug on their site for a day. How wonderful is that? As they say, the indie community is about helping each other out and sharing ideas (I have a couple of indie-type friends who’ve been very generous in this way who I’m also giving cyber-hugs to right now).
Photo credit: http://bit.ly/19SxhBn
Indie Author Land is run by a couple. She is a journalist covering the arts, and he is a computer programmer. Neither is an author, but both are voracious readers and both want to contribute, in whatever way they can, to the creation of good fiction. Hence, Indie Author Land, loud applause from me. I know you’re both going to Indie heaven.
You can follow them on Facebook, or Twitter @IndieAuthorLand.
Anyhow, here’s the interview:
Interview with Susan Lattwein, author of Arafura
By David Njoku / August 30, 2013
Arafura is set in tropical Darwin, Australia, in the build-up. That’s the season prior to the monsoon rains. The novel is about a schoolteacher, Kat, who plans to marry when her long-term fiancé finds the time. When a magnetic and troubled stranger arrives in town, Kat’s predictable life begins to unravel. Now she must wrestle with the pull of instant attraction complicated by post traumatic stress, loyalty and a dead body. The reader accompanies Kat on an evocative journey, exploring one’s self-imposed limits and desire for intimacy. It also touches on indigenous education.
The build-up is the season prior to the monsoon rains? We didn’t know that.
I wanted to call the novel, ‘The Build-Up’, but another author already beat me to it. As with children and dogs, you soon get used to a name, and it’s Arafura to me now.
And where did that title come from?
The Arafura Sea is off Darwin.
Oh, that’s something else we didn’t know. Back to the story, though. Complete this sentence for us: if you like _________________, you’ll love my book.
Witty banter and sexual tension between two intelligent characters.
Tell us about these characters.
Katherine, engaged school-teacher. She’s a bit of a searcher who hasn’t reached her full potential but doesn’t know it. Kat doesn’t take risks, is a bit passive in her current relationship, doesn’t wear clothes that show off her figure etc
Adam is the enigmatic stranger with post traumatic stress disorder who throws Kat’s predictable existence into disarray. He challenges her, physically and emotionally, but it isn’t all one sided either.
What genre is it?
Romantic drama? Written originally as a screenplay, Arafura can be described as either a romantic comedy with a criminal twist, or a romantic drama with a humorous twist.
It’s not typical chick lit, with a pink book cover and mini-skirted heroine in heels toting a Prada handbag. But it aims to entertain.
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
I thought Arafura would appeal to women (especially ones who enjoy agonizing over two men), because it’s written from a female character’s point of view. I’m surprised (and delighted) that men have read and enjoyed it.
The sequel still has romance, but a lot more drama and action. Hopefully that will appeal to more male readers.
How would you like the reader to feel as they read the last word of your book?
I’d like the reader to feel as if they’ve been on a journey with the characters in Darwin, and want to read the sequel. Happily, this is the feedback I’ve received so far.
I’m half way through the sequel to Arafura and hope to publish it early next year. I have a lot of ideas but have only recently followed my heart and started writing in earnest.
We’ve already learned lots about Darwin, but is there anything else?
Darwin is a unique tropical setting. I think it’s interesting how there is actually a season called the build-up, where people get very tense waiting for the rain that threatens every day but doesn’t come.
Darwin has a rich military history compared to the rest of Australia. This gives it a great backdrop for the dramatic parts of the plot.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Canberra, Australia, with my husband, two daughters and two dogs. I have a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Education but have worked in a variety of fields, from residential support worker for women in psychiatric crisis to teacher, to assisting migrants and refugees in their tertiary studies. The older I get, the more I value people with a generous spirit and a sense of humour (and of course aspire to have these things myself, except when I’m really tired and/or hungry. That’s when my husband either passes me a glass of red or suggests I get an early night. Bless him.)
Writing is fun.
The movie or two-part TV drama! Just kidding, that would be fun, though. The sequel is next, yet to be named. The whole story is in my head and is currently half written. I could write a third and make it a series, or even have a prequel. Will see what eventuates.
Thanks again Indie Author land!