This anthology is proudly brought to you from four Australian authors:
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
and debut author - Abbie Jackson.
Today I spoke with Susanne Bellamy.
Q. Susanne, your story – The Wish List – in the anthology Second Chance Café is divine. I love that it is set in your real home town. Is this the first time you’ve used Toowoomba as the location for a story?
Yes. I haven’t felt comfortable enough as a writer before now to set a story in my home town, but this one is different, partly because it began in response to losing our beloved Anna in June. Setting the story anywhere else simply didn’t work for me.
Q. What’s the best part about collaborating in a project such as the Second Chance Café anthology?
I love the brainstorming, the support, the sharing of ideas, the vibe of working with such a wonderful group of writers. And I love how, this year, we are able to welcome debut writer, Abbie Jackson, and travel with her on the first step of her writing journey. It’s FUN!
Q. It’s very obvious that you are a dog-lover, and the dogacter (that’s a doggie character) Anna is – I know – a tribute to your recently dearly-departed German Shepherd, Anna. I imagine you cried a lot while writing this story. Did you find comfort in having her star in a gorgeous story such as this?
|Dear Anna - who sadly passed away a few months ago.|
Anna was such a big part of our lives and our children’s growing up. With her passing, there is also the loss of that final link as both ‘children’ are now adults living away from home and studying at uni. I did cry, quite a lot at first, and I had to put the story aside for a couple of months as I couldn’t get past the loss. However, our beautiful girl now has ‘her’ story; ‘Anna’ is very much like real life Anna was. And yes, we used to have many conversations.
As a bonus, Jack’s dog, Bear, is based on our Ricky who was big and black and a real Houdini hound
|Susanne's new puppy, Freya|
Q. I love the lead (human) characters too. Julie and Jack are opposites in many ways, yet are brought together initially by a shared devotion to their dogs. Had they both not been ready to embark on a new chapter in their lives, do you think they would have struck up such a good friendship?
That’s a really good question about relationships. My husband and I have had discussions about how important timing is to whether an attraction is pursued, or relegated to the land of ‘might-have-been’. I suspect that most people need to be in the right head space to follow a romantic attachment through. And I do think there is a lot of truth in the idea that opposites attract. Perhaps we subconsciously look for someone to ‘complete’ us, who is better at things we’re not. Jack is a ‘numbers man’, logical and factual; Julie has more of an emotional reaction to life and work. Together, they are just what the shelter (and each other) needs.
Q. Both Jack and Julie have issues they are dealing with - pressures from others, injuries from the past. Did you set out to create characters who had the ability to heal each other, where they couldn’t seem to heal themselves? Is this a theme that you see in real life, where people find freedom through the help/friendship/understanding of another person?
Funnily enough, both characters started out rather differently but, as is often the case when I’m writing, they told me their back story along the way and The Wish List evolved. I didn’t set out to create this pair with the ability to heal each other, but they found something in each other more than pure physical attraction.
If we’re honest about it, in real life, there is usually that first impression that either strikes a chord with us, or doesn’t. In Julie’s case, it was Jack’s voice; the fact that he is hunky is a bonus, but for her, a dog lover (especially one with another Shepherd) says much about his personality – caring, and careful of others. I think they give each other the freedom to grow and to be more together than the sum of their parts.
Q. Can you please share a blurb about the story – The Wish List?
Julie Aster has worked hard to make the animal shelter a success but money is short. Then the sexy Jack Shulz sweeps into her life with an answer to all her problems.
Can she trust this man who seems to have all the answers... and more to the point, can she trust her heart?
Q. When can readers get a copy of the anthology – Second Chance Café?Black Friday! November 13 will see the release of Second Chance Café on most good e-tailers.
Pre-orders open on NOW on Smashwords.
About Susanne Bellamy, author of The Wish List
Born and raised in Toowoomba, Susanne Bellamy is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations, and rural romance set in Australia. She adores travel with her husband, both at home and overseas, and weaves stories around the settings and people she encounters.
Her heroes have to be pretty special to live up to her real life hero. He saved her life then married her.
Susanne is a member of the RWA and was a finalist in their 2011 Emerald Award. She placed third in the 2015 Pan Macmillan short story competition with Chez Romeo. Mentoring aspiring writers, and working as a freelance editor keeps her off the street! She loves connecting with readers and fellow writers.
You can find her at the following:
a. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/susanne.bellamy.7
b. Twitter https://twitter.com/SusanneBellamy
c. Website http://www.susannebellamy.com/
d. Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/susannebellamy/
Books by Susanne Bellamy
- Second Chance Love (Aust store) amzn.to/1FEJyx4
- Second Chance Love (A Bindarra Creek Romance) bit.ly/1O5ngaN
- Sunny with a Chance or Romance amzn.to/1Cmy9jM
- One Night in Tuscany amzn.to/1dKLyX6
- One Night in Sorrento amzn.to/1brE2Jp
- Winning the Heiress' Heart (The Emerald Quest) amzn.to/1B9TVUJ
- A Season To Remember: Four Short Stories For Christmas – a book by Susanne Bellamy, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Noelle Clark and Eva Scott
- Engaging The Enemy amzn.to/1wrYGHQ
- White Ginger amzn.to/MiDjVr