You said you were surprised when you started writing fiction, what set you on your way?
We moved to be near our daughter and her children - wonderful except I found it difficult to set up practice in a new community.
Copyright 2010-2014 Gwendoline Ewins. All Rights Reserved.
So you thought "I'll just write a book"???
Not quite! But I woke up one morning after being a famous author all night. For years I had been an avid reader then university and establishing myself in a profession intervened. Now here I was, back in the world of fiction, a household name, capturing the hopes and fears of heroines and heroes who lived in the 1800's.
Why historical, and why the South Pacific?
For one thing, in my dream I wrote historical romance, and for another I like the added intensity of writing about people in a bygone time facing different circumstances but experiencing, I believe, joys and sorrows remarkably similar to ours.
Just the mention of the South Pacific conjures up romance, and I was fortunate to live in Polynesia for many years. Travellers have always been attracted to these glorious islands. The sky really is azure, the sea really is purple, Polynesian dancing really is erotic.
Polynesia remained relatively isolated throughout the 1800's - apart from whalers, traders, explorers and missionaries! - but New South Wales' links with the rest of the world strengthened rapidly. Its population burgeoned. By the 1850's Botany Bay was awash with sailing ships. Gold had been found. There was a railway between Parramatta and Sydney.
These are wonderful settings for my heroines and heroes.
And why romance?
Because romance is committed to relationships which bring joy and fulfilment. It is about hopes and dreams and finding a way to make what seems impossible possible.
Are you a reader?
I spend half my days writing and half reading. I enjoy researching the world of my characters as well as reading old favourites and finding new ones. Jane Austen's world comes alive every time I reread her books, and Lavyrle Spencer's "The Gamble" is breathtaking no matter how often I read it. Other favourite writers are Philippa Gregory, Mary Balogh, Candice Hern, Beverley Swerling, Nicola Cornick, Henning Mankell, M. J. Rose ... and the list goes on.
What did you do before you began writing fiction?
I went to university late and got a master's degree in Sociology and at the same time trained as a group therapist. I specialised in maternal stress and anger and worked with the "Being the Mother you want to be" programme.