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Author spotlight: Tea Cooper

1 February 2019

We’re featuring a wide range of Australian authors participating in ARR2019 in venues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

Today we’re having Elevenses with Téa Cooper, author of eight Australian historical romances. She will be attending ARR2019 in Sydney.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

For as long as I can remember. I was the little girl who wrote stories for her teddy bears! It took me about fifty years to pluck up the courage to realise my dream.

Why romance and not a different genre?

Because I like happy endings! Although to be perfectly honest some of my more recent books are expanding into mysteries, but there’s always one, if not two romances in the story.

What was the first romance you read and why did you love it?

Gone with the Wind was the first romance I read, hotly pursued by The Far Pavilions. It was a long, hot summer (in England—they do occasionally happen) and I’d been packed off to Dorset to stay with some friends of my grandparents. They had a study lined with bulging bookshelves and a hammock strung between two apple trees … the rest, as they say, is history.

What is the single most important characteristic for an aspiring author wanting to be a published writer?

Patience and perseverance … never give up! I celebrated my 60th birthday by signing my first contract.

What is your favourite part of creating a story?

That’s an impossible choice. I love plotting, and with historicals comes research, world building, character creation—all those back stories! I enjoy every part of bringing a story to life.

What is your best tip for fighting writer’s block/writer’s fear?

Write a little every day. Take your pen, pencil, keyboard for a walk, have a conversation with yourself, your characters, whinge, rant, celebrate. Those words may not become part of your story, but they will sink into your subconscious and clear the way for your story to emerge.

Pick a favourite (bold your preference):

  • series or stand-alone?
  • ebook, paperback or hardcover?
  • first person or third? Either!

Who has been an inspiration to you, in life or your writing career?

I was lucky enough to have a fabulous English lecturer at university, the well-known English poet and novelist, Alan Brownjohn. He encouraged me to pick up a pen and convinced me I could write, but life got in the way and it took me a very long time to act on his advice.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less 

In The Woman in the Green Dress a mystery from another era draws Londoner Fleur Richards deep into its web in pursuit of an inheritance, the first Australian opal, and a poisonous legacy …

What else will you be working on in 2019?

I will be working with my editors and publisher on my 2019 book The Girl in the Painting, which I have already completed, and writing the first draft of my next book The Cartographer’s Secret.

Please recommend an Aussie romance you read recently.

The Widow of Ballarat by Darry Fraser. Passion, adventure and a woman’s quest for independence … what more could you want?

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2019 yet, you can buy one here.

One Comment
  1. 1 February 2019 1:07 pm

    Great post, Tea. I don’t often read historical novels, but I’m curious to find out what Fleur Richards will find 🙂

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