1. Can you tell us a something interesting that readers may not know about you?
My family know that I'm not a great fan of television, but dare anyone disturb me when I'm watching Miss Marple, Hercule Poriot or Midsummer Murders. I don't read or write murder mysteries so this may appear unusual. Upon reflection, it's probably due to the strong characters, mysterious settings and spooky music.
2. Do you get to read many books and if so do you have a favourite Genre?
I read at least two books simultaneously. Since the introduction of the Kindle I usually have a queue of e-books waiting to be read, as well as a pile of real books next to my bed. I like most genres of Fiction but am particularly interested in stories that serve to entertain while broadening my knowledge base. If I put a book down knowing a little bit more about myself or the world, I feel satisfied.
3. Where did you get the idea for your current book?
I listened to a heartbreaking account of an Aboriginal baby stolen, in the 1950's, from a cot in a South Australian hospital. I realized how little I knew about the tragedy of the Aboriginal Stolen Generations. I set about researching this dark chapter of our history and I wanted to share the outcome of my research. I chose Inspirational Fiction as the format in order to weave romance, humour, spirituality and faith throughout the story. I hope this makes it an entertaining as well as an informative read.
4. In your latest book did you learn any interesting tidbits in your research?
Where do I begin? I learnt about Aboriginal totems, photographic dark rooms, the story behind the Song of Songs, icy hair caps in cancer treatment and medical emergencies in the Australian outback. I'm hoping that readers will benefit from all this research.
5. What does a typical writing day look like?
Out of necessity, I've learnt to be a 'morning person'. On my non-work days I set the alarm for 5.15am and struggle out of bed. Once I've had my cup of tea I'm ready to function and I can write prolifically until 9am, when the rest of the household is in full swing. Our four children are gradually moving out of home but our family life remains ever busy. I've learnt that early rises are the only guarantee I have of undisturbed time.
6. If you had one tip for aspiring writers what would it be?
Join a writing group! At the beginning of my writing journey I joined 'Writing Right', a group that balanced a teaching session with a critique session. The greatest benefit though was the camaraderie and support of other writers. After almost ten years the Group ended and I searched the internet for other options. This is when I came across Omega Writers. Living interstate, my initial contact with Omega was via social media. I travelled to their writing conferences and, once again, benefited from the support and fellowship of other writers. If it wasn’t for Omega I wonder if this debut novel would have been released. I am also a member of two local groups.
7. What do you hope readers take out of your latest book?
The story has multiple layers and if readers can take a thread of just one and feel enriched, I have achieved my goal. The characters learn about the Song of Songs and correlate its principles to their own romance. Dimitri uncovers potential roots to the Stolen Generation. Leah manages breast cancer as a young woman. Being a new midwife, Leah's experiences open up the medical world. The setting provides insight into Outback Australia. Most of all, both characters grow in their experience of faith. Readers should find many gems in its pages.
8. A couple of fun questions to end if you were to come to Australia what would you most like to see?
I would like to experience a high speed ferry ride across Sydney Harbour during a magnificent sunset. How thrilling to have the wind whip my face and the waves thrash beneath my feet as we circumvent the Opera House. When the grey sky turns to black and the Sydney Harbour Bridge blazes into life against the darkness, I will know those postcards are genuine.
9. Do you have a favourite Ice cream flavour (this interview was composed on a day where it was over 100f or 40C in Australia)?
My children complain that I buy low fat, low sugar ice cream. They ask what point there is of buying a tub of ice-cream without flavour. I tell them it's the only guarantee I have of finding ice-cream in my freezer within 24 hours of doing the shopping.
10. Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.
'Twice stolen' won the CALEB prize for an unpublished manuscript. It is a love story. It has a sprinkling of medical romance, is imbued with Christian spirituality and set in the Australian Outback.
It is due for release on Valentine's Day, 2016 in Adelaide, South Australia. The book is published with Armour Books. I will have the honour of the publisher, Annie Hamilton, travel to SA to launch the book.
You can find further information on my website: www.susannetimpani.com.au