My guest today on Espresso Tales is Australian author, Jacquie Underdown, whose latest novel, Sweet from the Vine, completes a gorgeous trilogy.
Jacquie lives in Central Queensland, Australia, where it's
always hot and humidity coats the skin, summer or winter. When she wrote her first novel ten years ago, she was working as an accountant. But it didn’t take long for the writing bug to take over and she happily did away with her business career. Now she spends her days wrapped up in her imagination, creating characters, exploring alternative realities, and meeting a host of characters who occupy her mind at first, then eventually her books.
She has a business degree, studied post-grad writing, editing and publishing at The University of Queensland, and earned a Master of Letters (Creative Writing) from Central Queensland University.
Escape Publishing (Harlequin Australia) has published nine of Jacquie’s romance novels. MIRA (Harlequin Australia), in 2018, printed one of those titles, Catch Me a Cowboy, in an anthology called A Country Love. And a novella, The Christmas Wish, was printed as a part of an anthology called Our Country Christmas.
Megan: Thanks for joining me today, Jacquie. First up, may I offer you a drink?
Jacquie: I'd love a skinny flat white, thanks.
Megan: I'll join you on that one. Now, please tell me about your latest book, Sweet from the Vine. I'm naturally intrigued given it is set in a vineyard - one of my favourite settings.
Jacquie: Sweet from the Vine is the third book in my Brothers of the Vine series. The emotive story is set on a picturesque vineyard in the fictional small town of Alpine Ridge, Victoria. The series follows the trials and tribulations of the Mathews brothers as they each find love. It centres on the eldest brother, Mitch, whose story is quite tragic, so it’s lovely to see him find his happily-ever-after.
Megan: I'm so pleased that we've been able to see this series continue and conclude in such a happy way. What have you turned your hand to now?
Jacquie: I have just completed a small-town romance novel called Meet Me in the Middle. It’s the start of a new series set in rural Victoria. That’s now sitting with my publisher, and while I wait to see if they enjoy it, I’m about to start on a women’s fiction novel about an overbearing mother-in-law.
Megan: That sounds great! How do you approach writing. What are your rituals?
Jacquie: My writing rituals have changed over time. When my children were younger, I could write under noisy conditions and endure countless interruptions. I would write deep into the night. But now, I tend to keep school hours and need complete silence. Night time writing is out too as I don’t create my best work when I’m tired.
Megan: Of all the characters in your books who would you most like to have coffee with or least like to have coffee with?
Jacquie: Ooooh, that’s a tricky question. I would have to say Wil Parker from Catch Me a Cowboy. He’s simply gorgeous.
Megan: That's on my Kindle, I'll look forward to meeting him. When developing your characters and writing your manuscripts, do you find the process energises you or do you find it exhausting?
Jacquie: Writing leaves me in a shifting state between the two. When the writing is flowing and I’m deeply imbedded in the story, I am energised and can sit at the keyboard for long hours. The story is the first thing I think of when I wake up and I tend to leap out of bed to get back into it. However, when the story isn’t moving well, or I’m in a lull between stories, or just after publication of a book, I tend to get into a somewhat depressive state. This writing business is up and down for me.
Megan: It is a bit of a roller-coaster, isn't it? Congratulations again on Sweet from the Vine and this fabulous series. Thanks for joining me.
To learn more about Jacquie's work and books, you can visit her Jacquie on her website, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.