Tag Archive | horses

Interview with Ms Destiny

Destiny LogoToday I’m reposting this interview with Ms Destiny which was undertaken just before the release of my latest book, The Lady’s Choice. I hope you enjoy it.

Over a lazy, late afternoon drink I recently caught up with Bernadette Rowley, author of The Lady’s Choice, to talk about bad boys, hidden passions and romance.

Bernadette, I’m wowed by your new book. It’s an enthralling mix of lust, palace life, plotting princesses and swashbuckling swordsmen – have you always been a fantasy fan?

I’ve been a fantasy fan since my aunt introduced me to the genre when I was about fourteen. She gave me The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and since then it’s been one fantasy saga after another for me.

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resYour writing suggests that some intense passions lurk beneath your neat, elegant exterior?

I’m passionate about many things including following your dreams and more than that, being allowed to dream. Intense? Yes, I am that, certainly. I guess my heroines reflect that quality that I have – go after what you want.

Ramon is simply divine … who were you thinking of when you created him? Who would play him in a film?

When I created Ramón initially, he was just a secondary character in Princess Avenger, my first book. But I quickly realised he needed his own stage. I see him as every woman’s best friend, the perfect man; the man you can count on who will put your needs before his always; and he has unforgettable good looks and impeccable grooming.

I would nominate Liam Hemsworth. He has gorgeous blond looks, amazing blue eyes, is the right height and has a great body.

Your hero is a character with a strong sense of what’s right – I prefer someone a bit naughty – you?

I prefer someone naughty and probably dark-haired as well. There’s definitely something within my nature that is drawn to the ‘bad boy’ so it was quite a challenge to see if I could write a sexy beta male.

Your heroine, Lady Benae, has to choose between passion and duty – have you been torn like that?

I’m not too good at duty and would go with passion any day. I think we are all torn between what we ‘should’ do and what we truly wish to do. I try to make decisions that make me happy because you only get one shot at life.

Cruelty and power play a part in your plot – did you find this challenging to write?

I don’t find power and cruelty difficult to write. It seems to be quite as natural for me as writing about love and loyalty. I believe we all have two opposing natures that hopefully are in balance. Fantasy holds much darkness as well as uplifting themes so I’ve had a steady diet of these contrasting values in my reading.

Unless there’s a yacht and a millionaire involved, I’m not very outdoorsy, but I so adored Benae’s horse, Flaire, I can imagine myself galloping off into the sunset, astride some magnificent steed. Clearly you adore horses?

I’ve always loved horses and rode, bred and trained them in my teens and twenties. They’re magnificent creatures and so rewarding to work with.

Benae and her maid are more like sisters than mistress and servant – are you a believer in having good female friends or are they superfluous if you have the attentions of a gorgeous man?

I find I need contact with my close female friends on a regular basis but my husband is my best friend. I’ve always found girlfriends wonderful for sharing your difficulties and bringing problems back into perspective. A problem shared is a problem halved they say.

We know you are a vet and have a family, tell us something else about yourself that will shock or surprise us?

I love being on stage. Before moving to Townsville in 2006, I was part of a ladies barbershop quartet and chorus and just adored singing for a crowd. It was one of the most amazing and fulfilling periods of my life.

Princess Avenger High Res CoverYou write great romance – what’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done in real life?

I’m still doing the most romantic thing I’ve ever done and that’s being part of a loving and supportive marriage. I’ve been married to Michael for coming up 26 years and we’re now entering the phase where children are moving out. We’ve faced some really difficult times, but we’re still best friends and I can’t imagine life without him.

Queensland Vet Turns Romance Writer

By day, Queenslander Bernadette Rowley is a vet. By night she throws off her white coat and stethoscope and becomes a romance writer.

Bernadette and SlippersI had to laugh when my editor sent me this press release but it’s quite true. I have an alter ego and the two seem quite diametrically opposed. They’re not really, though the right side of my brain doesn’t get much of a workout in my job as a vet. Writing, however, requires both sides of the brain to be working in concert albeit not at the same time. The creative right brain is very much in control when I’m crafting a story draft whereas the left side comes to the fore when it’s time to edit.

When I was first introduced to my romance writing community, I was staggered to find that many romance writers were highly-functioning career women. I met bankers, teachers, lawyers and doctors, to name just a few occupations. Then I realized that romance writing (and reading) was therapy- an escape from the high stress of their daily grind. What could be more therapeutic than immersing oneself in a fantasy romance after a hard day dealing with illnesses and emergencies?

I’ve read almost exclusively fantasy since my teenage years so it was natural for me to choose the fantasy/paranormal genre when I ventured into romance writing. Because I’ve lived in the worlds of Tolkien, Eddings, Feist and Jordan for decades, it’s easy to ‘see’ my fantasy in line with these fabulous authors. I love creating my own fabulous world where I make the magic and anything is possible. But I’m not a slave to world-building. My creation is not so developed that it has character status. I give enough information to allow the reader to imagine the rest. No one wants to read through reams of elaborate descriptions. It just needs to make sense.

Princess Avenger High Res CoverWriting is one job where you very definitely learn a lot about yourself and even more so when you succeed in gaining publication. You get asked questions by editors and readers which really cause you to stop and think. I often get asked why I don’t write veterinary stories. My immediate reaction is always violent opposition. I have no interest in writing contemporary stories with a vet as main character. However, animals form an important part of my stories and worlds; only they’re not just boring cats and dogs (though who could say cats are boring!). My debut novel Princess Avenger is a fantasy romance about a forbidden love affair between a kick-ass princess and a shape-shifting army captain who is appointed her protector. The two are irresistibly drawn to each other amidst danger, deceit, palace intrigue and a plot to kill the princess’s father. What could be more natural than a vet who writes fantasy about a hero who can shift into three wild animal forms?

In addition, because my fantasy has a high fantasy setting, horses are integral to the everyday lives of the characters. So the animals I use in my fiction may not be the ones I see at work but are very much at the heart of it. In the next and related story, The Lady’s Choice, my heroine has a rather special connection to her horse and must use her special healing talents on him when his leg is broken. So I guess the reality of our ‘day jobs’ often resonates in our writing, in some way.

If you’re a writer, how does your ‘day job’ show up in your writing?