Millicent Library were lucky enough to host popular Australian author Tricia Stringer. Highly engaging and entertaining the audience listened as she talked about her background, getting into writing and the processes she uses during the writing of the novel. Bringing with her Margie from Meg’s bookshop in Kadina. Margie has been a great supporter of Tricia since she first began writing when she was self-publishing..
She grew up on a farm in country South Australia and has spent most of her life in rural communities, which is where she loves to be. She has led a very busy life and has filled various roles in her local community, owned a post office and bookshop and spent many years in education. She and her husband, Daryl, currently live in the beautiful Copper Coast region. Tricia loves to walk on the beach and travel to and across Australia’s vast array of communities and landscapes. A sense of place in her stories is very important.
Reading and writing have always been a focus in Tricia’s life. It was a yearning to write stories which would bring local history alive for children that started Tricia on the journey to develop her writing skills and begin to write for younger readers. A path that led on to writing adult stories.
She started writing when she was teaching 4/5’s and realised there wasn’t much around at that stage for children of that age to read so she decided to write something herself – ‘Because writing a book is so easy” she said with a laugh.
It was in 2012 that she was at a fork in the road and she had to decide whether it was worth getting up at 6 in the morning, cramming in some writing and then heading off to her full time job as a teacher as well as being a mother to 3 children. Luckily she decided that it was worth it and it was around this time that Queen of the Road was written and won the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year award in 2013 and she was indeed very happy to have won this award. Tricia by her own admission fell in love with her male main character Coop (who wouldn’t!)
When she writes her books she changes the names of her towns so people don’t think that she is writing about people!
After she wrote the novel Riverboat Point (which was also short listed for the same award as Queen of the Road) she was awarded a 4 book contract with publisher Harlequin so in 2014 she handed in her resignation to the Education Department and started writing full time. This was quite a change for her as when she was working full time she had to be more disciplined to fit everything in so she had to learn a new way of doing things as it was easy to get distracted or procrastinate over things. Tricia now works a day in Meg’s Bookshop to give her a release away from her writing.
Tricia enjoyed writing her new book ‘Between the Vines” as she enjoys a glass of wine so was excited to mix work with pleasure doing research! Her son happens to be a winemaker which was fantastic when she needed extra information and to have certain facts clarified. He read one of her first drafts and was able to make some changes to make it more factual.
The audience was left hanging when Tricia read a couple of pages from her new book with her listeners laughing and wondering what was about to happen when she snapped the book shut meaning we had to read the book before we could find out what happened, this was met with many groans and a few chuckles.
Her novel Heart of the Country which is set in early Australia in the Flinders Ranges will be part of a 3 book series with Book 2 coming out in May next year.
She’s delighted her portrayal of rural Australia is enjoyed by many. It’s her goal to bring the country to readers. She also finds great enjoyment in bringing history to life in her short stories for children and her sagas for adults. There’s always another tale to be written and she is currently working on her next manuscript.