ANNOUNCEMENT: The winner of Teresa’s Giveaway is Caroline. Congratulations.
I’m happy to welcome the wonderful Teresa Ashby to MBB today. I might as well reveal that I hold Teresa in very high esteem indeed. She’s everything, as a writer, that I’d love to be. A prolific short story writer who also writes novels, she recently released THE DOCTOR’S DECISION. She’s come to tell us a bit about it.
So, Teresa, tell us everything!
Teresa, you’re best known as a short story writer and you’re probably one of the most successful short story writers around today. What made you decide to take up writing novels?
I’ve always written novels. They were my first love and after trying, unsuccessfully, to write one (or rather to find anyone willing to publish one I’d written), I decided to try short fiction and work my way up to a novel. The short stories took over and my novel writing took a back seat, but I’ve written lots of longer stuff over the years. I haven’t kept most of it and lost a load more in a computer breakdown – probably for the best!
Which is your favourite form, the novel or the short story and why?
It’s difficult to answer this and I’ve tried to come up with one or the other but I can’t. I love both forms of fiction – the quick fix of a short story and the emotional engagement of a novel. I just completely love fiction.
What, for you, are the main differences between the two?
Sometimes I think you can have almost as much happen in a short story as in a novel, but it all happens at a faster pace. You can have more characters in a novel and more time to get to know them, smell the flowers and check our the scenery, so I think it does come down to pace.
Where do you get the inspiration for your writing? Do you plot and plan or let it happen as you write?
I have tried, oh how I have tried to plot, but I can’t do it. If I know what’s going to happen, I lose interest. I like to go on a journey with my characters and find things out as they do. Inspiration can come from anywhere and it often starts with a character who has a story to tell.
What’s most important in a story, plot or character?
Character. For me anyway. If the characters are great, you can forgive plot inconsistencies or a weak plot, but however brilliant the plot is, if the characters aren’t real, it just won’t work. When I think of my favourite books, it is very often the characters that do it for me.
What are the main characters like in your latest novel?
Dr Cara Stanford is a confident career woman who definitely has no time for love in her life, in fact she seems to be terrified of it. She’s deeply caring and medicine is her first love. She appeared briefly in an earlier book, The Call of Home and for some reason she kept coming into my mind, demanding that her story was told. I felt there was much more to her than I’d seen. Greg Harding is a trauma consultant and as passionate about his work as Cara is about hers. He’s put his own life on hold since he witnessed the death of his brother for which he has always shouldered the blame. He’s taken complete responsibility for his brother’s widow and her little son and like Cara, he just hasn’t the time or the inclination for love.
Who is your favourite writer?
There are so many that I love, Maria. Anne Tyler, Milly Johnson, Colin Cotterill, Jeffery Deaver, Jill Mansell, Deric Longden, Lianne Moriarty to name but a few – but if I had to choose just one writer, it would have to be Stephen King.
TERESA ON THE WEB:
THE DOCTOR’S DECISION
When ship’s doctor, Australian Cara Stanford meets trauma consultant Greg Harding on a busy quayside, the sparks fly! Despite the instant chemistry, both know that they won’t meet again after the ship sails. Cara will be returning to Australia as soon as her stint on the Princess Helena finishes and Greg has his work cut out caring for his widowed sister in law and her little boy.
The Princess Helena runs into trouble at sea and Cara finds herself inundated with casualties. Greg has to overcome his fear of helicopters to go to the rescue and when he is winched aboard he finds Cara amongst the wounded. He takes care of her as she recuperates, but just when Cara starts to let her guard down, a near tragedy brings her to her senses and thinking there is no future for them, Cara returns to Australia – alone.
Teresa has kindly agreed to give away a copy of her new release to once commenter, so please leave a comment before you go!