Our Friday Friend today is Margaret Tanner, Australian writer of historical romance.
HWH: Hi Margaret and welcome again to Heroines with Hearts.
MARGARET: Thank you Paula, as always, wonderful to be here.
HWH: Your latest novel, Frontier Wife, has just been released by The Wild Rose Press. Please tell us about it.
MARGARET: Well, I have to say that Frontier Wife has had a rather stormy life up until now. It has previously been released under the title of The English Rose, with one company who closed its doors a few weeks after my story was released. At the time it received several great reviews, so I always felt confident that I had penned a jolly good yarn. Another company contracted it, but due to problems that were out of my control, I had to ask for my copyright back.
Third time lucky. A change of publisher and title, extensive editing and re-writes and I now have a book that I am truly proud of. This goes to prove the old adage – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Frontier Wife shows how only in the new world can a highborn young Englishwoman and a tough frontier man, ignite the passion that will fulfil their hopes and dreams in ways they never imagined possible.
Tommy Lindsay arrives in colonial Australia to claim the rundown farm she and her brothers have inherited.
Hidden behind her fragile English rose beauty, beats the heart of a courageous young woman. She will need all this strength to survive the unforgiving heat, and the dangers lurking around every corner. Lost in the bush, capture by a feral mountain family, raging bushfires are nothing, compared to the danger she faces if she gives her heart to Adam Munro.
Adam Munro, a rugged frontier man, has no room in his heart to love a woman. All he ever wanted was a presentable wife who would provide him with heirs. He didn’t need passion in his life, not until he met the beautiful English rose living next door to him.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Tommy Lindsay wiped her damp forehead with a lace handkerchief. Perspiration ran in rivulets between her breasts, pooling at the waistband of her gown and leaving a damp patch. She coughed a couple of times to clear the dust clogging up her throat.
“I don’t like it here.” Her little brother Jamie kicked one of the leather sea trunks and she was tempted to join him. “Why doesn’t someone come?”
A few boxes and trunks stacked on the hotel verandah held all her possessions and those of her two brothers. Just thinking about how the once proud Lindsay family had been reduced to such pernicious circumstances caused tears to build up at the back of her eyes. She wouldn’t cry. Couldn’t afford such a luxury, not with a young brother and a sick older brother to worry about. She had to be strong, resolute.
Warrior, a thoroughbred black stallion, stomped and snorted restlessly. “Easy, boy.” David patted the stallion's glistening neck. “How much longer do we have to hang around, Tommy?”
“I don't know.” Her voice trembled even though she fought to control it. “Uncle Henry’s lawyer said someone would take us to the farm. Do you think he might have forgotten? Maybe he got the days mixed up?”
Sick dread washed over her. Oh God, what if this desperate undertaking of theirs failed? It was sheer madness sailing thousands of miles across the sea to start a new life in an alien, hostile country, but what other choice did they have?
HWH: What research did you do for this book?
MARGARET: As always, I make extensive use of my local library. My forebears were pioneers to Australia in the 1850’s, so I had access to a family diary and there are always the family stories floating around amongst the various elderly relatives.
HWH: You’ve written books with a variety of settings and in different times – colonial Australia and First and Second World Wars. Are there any other settings or times you would like to write about?
MARGARET: I have actually written two novels set against the background of the Vietnam War too, Cardinal Sin which is published by The Wild Rose Press (TWRP) and Reluctant Father, which is to be released on September 2nd from TWRP. I found it very interesting writing about this era, a trip down memory lane you might call it. I may be giving too much away here, but this was my time (I was a little younger than my heroines). Of course, I was just as beautiful as them - well, I am prone to exaggeration but I can honestly say that I was slim, and I had good legs. (handy for the mini-skirts I used to wear, not to mention the stilettoes, and I have the bunion and fallen arches to prove it.)
HWH: How long does it take you to write a novel and how much editing do you do after you’ve written the first draft?
MARGARET: I can write the novel fairly quickly. A couple of months or so. Have to do lots of editing though as I write in long hand. Just keep writing, no capital letters, no full stops, commas or paragraphs, I fix all that up after I have typed it up. Then I go over it several times more.
HWH: In what ways do you promote your books?
MARGARET: Interviews with kind people such as yourself, and I belong to several loops. I have resorted to some paid advertisement as well, but I am not sure whether that has helped or not. I have a lovely website, created by Rae Monet, one of TWRP cover artists. I have started a blog, a pathetic little one at present, but I am trying to work on it, and once I do get it up to a decent standard (I wouldn’t humiliate myself by inviting people to visit yet), I would like to do interviews such as this in the future. Once I give up work I will have more time to concentrate, or that is what I keep telling myself.
HWH: Do you manage to read as well as write? If so, what are you reading at the moment?
MARGARET: I love reading but don’t get much time. The last book I finished, Sisters In Time, by Ginger Simpson was terrific, I had to stay up late to finish reading it and went to work the next day with bags under my eyes.
HWH: What’s your favourite romantic movie (and why)?
MARGARET: Easy. An old black and white English film, Mrs Miniver with Greer Garson. It is set in England during the Second World War. I cried the first time I saw it, and I still cry when I watch it. I must have seen it about twenty times. Any time it is on pay TV, I watch it. A box of chockies and a pile of tissues, and I am all set for an enjoyable night.
HWH: Many thanks for visiting us again, Margaret, and we wish you every success with this book and, of course, for all your future work.
Frontier Wife can be obtained from
Also please visit Margaret’s website:
Margaret has very kindly offered an e-book copy of Frontier Wife as a prize for someone who leaves a comment for her - so look forward to seeing lots of comments!