Today I’m thrilled to have my good friend, and fellow writing group buddy, Kendall Talbot on my blog. Kendall and I belong to a small but productive writing group called YON Beyond. There are only 7 of us, but we meet monthly at either our State Library in Brisbane, or at a local coffee shop. We also meet online once a week and chat, write, and generally catch up.
Kendall’s debut novel, Lost in Kakadu, is being released on August 1st through Escape Publishing, and I can’t wait! I’m also attending a private book launch party, which should be fantastic.
For those of you not from Australia, Kakadu National Park is Australia’s largest park. Situated in the very far north of Australia, in the Northern Territory, it is a rugged, crocodile infested wilderness area, the likes of which is rare to be found anywhere else. I was lucky enough to go on a camping trip through Kakadu many years ago, before it was designated a National Park, and trust me, it is a stunning place.
So, I’d like to introduce you all to Kendall, and hear about her adventurous life, and her marvellous book.
Noelle: How long have you been writing Lost in Kakadu?
Kendall: I started and finished ‘Lost in Kakadu’ during the ‘Year of the Novel’ course at the Queensland Writers Centre in 2008. But it has taken me five years, dozens of re-writes, and a year with a professional editor to get it to where it is now.
like a labour of love, but well worth it.
What or who inspired you to write about Kakadu?
|Bird's eye view of Kakadu|
Kendall: I love a great survival story – ‘Titanic’, ‘Bear Grylls’, ‘I shouldn’t Have Survived’, I also love a good romance. But it was while I was hiking the Milford Trek in New Zealand that the idea formed to have a survival romance set in Australia’s heritage listed Kakadu National Park.
Noelle: What sort of research did you do to bring your story to life?
|A young Aboriginal boy eating witchetty grubs.|
Noelle: Okay, well remind me not to come over for dinner when you’re researching! Tell us about the heroine and hero:
Kendall: Abigail was inspired by a previous boss I had who was a complete bitch. I imagined what would be the worst thing I could do to her. And crashing her into rugged Australian bush without any luxuries was the answer. But then I wanted to make her suffer more so I made her survive the crash with a complete stranger. Someone she’d never associate with…are you ready…a bisexual man (gasp). During the course of the book, Abigail learns more about herself than she did in her whole life. It’s beautiful to follow her transformation.
Mackenzie on the other hand is a true hero. He’s deliciously handsome, has an Adonis body, eyes the colour of molten honey and cooks a mean snake kebab. His life has been a rollercoaster of tragedy and triumph. Mackenzie is unashamed of being bisexual and during the course of the book, he teaches Abigail what love really means.
Together Abigail and Mackenzie must learn to survive in an environment that’s as beautiful as it is brutal - if they don’t kill each other first.
|A salt water croc in Kakadu|
Kendall: I have a couple of works in progress. Treasured Love is the next book I hope to have published. It’s a modern day treasure hunt with a 700 year old mystery, an evil priest, and a dash of romance. It takes you on a journey from the stunning beaches of Australia, to historical Tuscany and into the exotic waters of the Greek Islands. It’s a fabulous ride and was loads of fun to write.
Noelle: What tips would you have for aspiring authors who feel passionate about the stories they write:
Kendall: Firstly - if your story isn’t written down then just write the next 250 words. And then the next. Gradually it will come together. Everyone has time for 250 words. Each day you’ll find yourself thinking of the next section, so when you do have time, you will produce it with ease.
Secondly - Set yourself milestones and go for them. Whether it’s finishing the novel, researching it, submitting it to publishers or planning a complete series. Write your goals down and stay focused on them.
Thirdly – Surround yourself with writing help. Build a network of writing buddies, join writing organisations such as the Queensland Writers Centre and Romance Writers Australia, or hire an expert. My book would never be where it is without all of these, especially my editor. Oh and never stop learning your craft, join courses, read what your favourite authors have to say, and subscribe to writing magazines or websites.
Finally – believe in yourself…if you LOVE your story then the chances are someone else will too.
Noelle: Kendall, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us about your forthcoming book. I can’t wait to get my hands on it on release day – 1st August. Where can readers get a hold of it?
Kendall: It will be out on Amazon and all good online booksellers. Best ideas is to visit the Escape Publishing website.
Noelle: And finally, where can readers connect with you?
|So, where will my world-wide wanderings take me next?|