Susanne Bellamy is a writer of rural romance with a twist of suspense, and contemporary romance. She grew up in a provincial city on the edge of a mountain range with glorious views over the Darling Downs, which gave her a love of small town fiction. Her rural series, Hearts of the Outback, began with Just One Kiss (Hearts of the Outback Book 1), and is set within the world of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. After living in Cloncurry and growing to love the lifestyle and the people, it seemed a natural progression for Susanne to write Second Chance Love (A Bindarra Creek Romance). Susanne also loves to travel with her husband, and many of the places they visit provide inspiration for stories, such as One Night In…: An Italian Anthology inspired by our month–long visit to Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, and Winning the Heiress’ Heart is set on a pineapple plantation in Hawaii in 1960.
Your new book, Wild About Harry (Hearts of the Outback Book 5), released on 31 July. What was the inspiration for the story?
This is a second chance at love story for widower, Harrison Douglas and his five-year-old daughter, Vicky.
Harry is the pilot briefly mentioned in Winds of Change (Hearts of the Outback Book 4). The opening scene of book 5 simply popped into my head while I was trying to plot a story around an entirely different protagonist! After we lost my mother-in-law, Harry’s story, his grief and guilt about losing his wife, really drew me to write about him. This story flowed so easily, and I think it had much to do with coming to terms with one more loss. Writing can be cathartic, and channeling emotions onto the written page can be a step towards healing.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
My perfect hero is an imperfect man. He strives to be the best he can, puts his family first, rises to challenges, faces up to his vulnerabilities, and is honest and ethical. In the world of fiction, threatening any of these aspects will create wonderful conflict because it is a threat to his very being.
What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
When a reader says they had to read into the small hours of morning because they couldn’t put my story down, or tells me I gave them joy/pleasure or made them feel better, then it’s like a warm ‘fuzzy’ for me.
“I can honestly say it was a joy to read”
“I‘m a huge fan of Susanne Bellamy’s “Hearts of the Outback” series”
“I fell in love with [hero] …”
How do you think being an Australian author has affected your writing?
We Aussies have a different sense of humour; it is laid-back, often self-deprecating, and grounding. I love building that trait into a character in my books.
I also think we have a strong sense of social justice and there is often an element of that in my stories. Engaging The Enemy is set in Melbourne’s CBD; the heroine, Andrea (Andy), has set up a women’s shelter and the story deals with issues of heritage preservation and domestic violence.
My first published novel, White Ginger is set on Kauai. The hero, Arne Keloki, is a marine biologist engaged in a David and Goliath battle to protect the reef from a major developer.
In Wild About Harry (Hearts of the Outback Book 5), Briony’s grandfather suffers from black lung disease and she is working with him to get acknowledgement and compensation for the miners and stop a super mine being given the green light.
If you had a pet, which book character would you name it after and why?
We have had a number of pets over the years; the only one with a bookish angle to its name was Clyde, as in Bonnie and Clyde. Except ‘Bonnie’ was Bella. Currently we have a German Shepherd named Freya, barely out of the puppy stage.
About Wild About Harry (Hearts of the Outback Book 5)
Trying to be both father and mother to his young daughter, Harry Douglas has no interest in a new relationship. If he had known that helping Briony Middleton on a lonely Outback road would put his closely guarded secret at risk, he wouldn’t have played the white knight.
Briony has no time for relationships; her focus is on avenging her grandfather’s ill-treatment at the hands of a big mining company by gathering photographic evidence of wrongdoing and stopping a proposed super mine.
But as fate and Harry’s daughter keep throwing them together, what will Briony do when she discovers Harry’s secrets?