Margareta Osborn, author of Hope’s Road
Tell us about your latest creation…
My latest book is called HOPE’S ROAD (Bantam, Random House). This novel is a captivating rural romance set in the rugged, beautiful high country of East Gippsland.
Montmorency Downs has been in Tammy McCauley’s family for five generations. The land, and all it has to offer, flows through her veins, and she couldn’t imagine any other life. When her abusive husband walks out, he strikes where it hurts most, and Tammy is forced to do something she never imagined she could do.
Joe McCauley has long been estranged from his family. Sixty years ago he walked out on his parents and brother, and never looked back. He now lives alone on McCauleys Hill, widowed, with no friends or family to rely on. When he falls and breaks his hip, he is forced to rely on his neighbours and great-niece – who he has never spoken to – to avoid being placed in a home.
Travis Hunter is struggling to adapt to the role of single father. A dog trapper who hasn’t spoken to his brother in years, he is attempting to suppress growing feelings for Tammy and trying to be a father – but doesn’t know how to. Still heartbroken from his wife walking out on him, he finds it hard it hard to let anyone in, especially his ten year old son, Billy.
Hope’s Road brings these characters together in a tale of love, faith, heritage, and loss. When pitted against adversity – whether in the form of abusive, unfaithful husbands, absent mothers, deep feelings of betrayal and anger, lack of self belief, the perils of the land or the temperament of Mother Nature, Tammy, Joe and Travis will unite to show that no matter what life throws at you, there is always hope.
Where are you from / where do you call home?
I’m a fifth-generation farmer who has lived and worked on the land all my life. Home is the beautiful Macalister Valley of East Gippsland where, with my husband and three children, I spend many hours in the mountains where my novels are set.
When you were a kid, what did you want to become? An author?
A farmer, a parks and wildlife ranger or a nurse with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. I’ve managed to achieve variances of the first two of the three. I also seemed to think back then I could write in my spare time. Why I thought there would be any of that, I have no idea!
What do you consider to be your best work? Why?
My children. Because a) they are adorable (most of the time). I love and cherish every moment with them, and b) they are a blank canvas. It is up to us to guide and support their growth in life. It’s such a privilege (and challenge).
Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?
My office. It is chaotic. Farm bookwork rubs up against writing paraphernalia. Craft work and the linen press compete for attention. Sometimes I just give up, grab my laptop and head for the nearest hilltop. At least the view is good there and I’m not filled with guilt over what I SHOULD be doing.
When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?
I have an eclectic taste. I like to read good quality fiction. I love anything written by Geraldine Brooks, Caroline Overington and Diana Galbaldon. Other all time favourites are The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd), The Dovekeepers (Alice Hoffman), The Guersey Litereary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer & A Barrows). I also like to throw in the occasional Lee Child or Vince Flynn novel and even some of Robin Hobb’s fantasy tales.
What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?
Mary Grant Bruce’s Billabong Books. I adored them and whilst watering the farm trees in the drought of the early 80’s, I devoured the whole series. It took me the whole summer. When I found out Grant Bruce was born not 30 kilometres from where I lived, and the country she was writing about was ‘my’ country’, I was in heaven.
If you were a literary character, who would you be?
Elizabeth Bennet. Why: Mr Darcy (especially if he looks anything like Colin Firth in a wet shirt). Need I say more?
Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?
Fight bush fires. Hike around the mountains searching for brumbies. Arrange church flowers. Ride motorbikes, horses and waterski like a mad woman. Oh, and I bake cakes and make the odd quilt.
What is your favourite food and favourite drink?
A camp oven roast followed by apple pie and cream. Drink? Where do I start? Cowboy shots (see my book BELLA’S RUN :). Vodka and raspberry? I will have to say though, nothing goes past my late
mother’s cold tea punch recipe, especially on a boiling hot day.
Who is your hero? Why?
My husband. He embodies everything that is good in a man.
Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?
Accessibility to books for everyone. It’s all very well to have e-books being the way of the future. But here in the bush, we need to have good internet access to ensure we can join in this evolutionary
change. Here, where I live, I can barely download one book let alone a whole personal library.
- Website URL: www.margaretaosborn.com.au
- Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages
- Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/margaretao