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My Blog

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Helene Young

Posted on 29 March, 2011 at 20:30
 
G'day!
 
Hope you have all had a wonderful week.
 
 
Helene Young. Romance AuthorToday I have the fabulous Helene Young, a fellow North Queensland author, here to answer a few questions about herself and her new book, Shattered Sky.
 
Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this blog. Helene has kindly offered to give away a signed copy of Shattered Sky to one lucky blogger!
 
Welcome Helene and thanks for being my guest today. I’m so thrilled to have you here! Also, congratulations on winning the Favourite Romantic Suspense Award at the ARRA convention on the weekend. It must feel amazing to be recognised for your brilliant work as an author.
 
 
Where were you born, raised, schooled?
I was born in Vancouver  - my parents had an extended ‘honeymoon’ in Canada and so my brother, sister and I were all born overseas. I grew up in Brisbane under the shadow of the Gabba Cricket Ground and went to school further up the road at Somerville House – a very proper school for young ladies! (Though I’m not entirely sure they succeeded in turning me from a tom-boy into a young lady…)
 
 
How long did it take you to get published and how did you feel when you were told you had a contract?
I’d been writing with intent for ten years before my book came out in print. Wings of Fear is my fifth completed manuscript so I have four gathering dust in a filing cabinet! I was ecstatic when Hachette Australia offered me a two-book contract. Of course, I then discovered my learning curving had taken a vertical turn that rivalled Mt Everest…
I can still clearly remember the evening Bernadette Foley phoned to offer me the contract. I think, like my first solo flight, that feeling will stay with me for the rest of my life!
 
 
What time of the day/night do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write in the mornings, but with a changeable roster I can’t afford to be choosy. I’ve always been an ‘up with the sun’ kind of girl. And I’m the one at the party who’s nodding off in the corner after 10 pm…
 
 
Can you tell us a little bit about Shattered Sky?
 
Shattered Sky Front CoverShattered Sky is a story about people who are trapped by circumstances beyond their control. Some will rise to the occasion and overcome great adversity; others will pay the ultimate price.
The story explores organized crime, including people trafficking and smuggling, and their connections with Outlawed Motorcycle Gangs. I think the makeup of the gangs reflect the changing cultural make-up of Australia. Their move into global crime is part of that change.
 
 
Lauren uncovers a people trafficking operation that’s bringing in women for the sex-slave trade. Her search for answers takes her deep into the wilderness of northern Australia and she’ll need the reluctant help of Naval Patrol Boat Captain, Callam Granger. Will their history force them together or apart or will it risk more lives?
 
 
What type of plane do you fly and how does it feel to be a pilot?
I fly a Dash 8 400, which is a 74 seat turbo-prop aircraft. The airline I fly for is the largest regional operator in Australia and, while I fly predominantly in regional Queensland, I can be sent anywhere on the east coast if required.
I love flying. The rush when you push the power-levers up and the aircraft hurtles down the runway is still special after 13,000 hours. I love having the best view in the world out my office window. I love watching the seasons change in the shape of the clouds, the hue of the sky and the colour of the land below. I love the challenges of operating a high performance aircraft in sometimes difficult conditions. I love airports and the feeling that I’m bringing people home to their loved ones. It can also break my heart when we carry unaccompanied children with tears streaming down their faces as they travel between their parents in different cities. Maybe that’s why I write romance so my characters always have optimistic endings…
I love rural airports and the wonderful people who work in them and the laid back way they go about their business. It’s quintessentially Australian.
I love being part of a small team. There are two pilots and two cabin crew on board and, with a good ratio of women pilots in the Cairns base, some days I go to work with an all female crew!
 
 
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
 
Wings of Fear, CoverMy inspiration comes from many different sources. Wings of Fear started with finding a body on the beach near where we live. Shattered Sky started with discovering the sweet middle-aged lady I chatted to at the dog walking field was in fact a matriarch in an Outlawed Motorcycle Gang. Burning lies had its early beginnings in being with a friend as their district was consumed by bushfires.
Central through them all is the wonderful Australian landscape, feisty women and equally determined men.
 
 
What is your favourite meal?
Roast Lamb! And my husband cooks the best roast potatoes to go with it!
 
 
Who is your favourite Australian?
Nancy Bird Walton. She was such a gracious lady and did so much for women and aviation in this country.
 
 
What is your favourite Aussie saying?
As useful as an ashtray on a motorbike!
 
 
Where would be your ideal place to holiday?
Hmm, that’s tough… I still haven’t visited South Australia and Adelaide so that’s high on my hit list. But then I love camping so somewhere in the outback with a swimming hole, shady trees and no mozzies will do! Suggestions of places to put on my list are always welcome :-)
 
 
 Thanks for joining us today Helene. I’ve loved hearing about your life and the intriguing events that inspire you to write.
 
If any of you have suggestions for Helene on where she should holiday please leave a comment below. And remember, there is a signed copy of Shattered Sky to win if you do!
 
Thought for the week
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time!
 
Until next week, keep smiling and dreaming
 
Mandy :-)
 

Categories: Guest Author Blogs

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671 Comments

Reply Karly
1:04 on 30 March, 2011 
HI girls! Great interview! It doesn't matter how many times I see an interview with Helene, I always learn something new and interesting!!!
Big congrats on your Rom/sus win at ARRC! I love both wings of fear and Shattered Sky!
Reply Margareta
2:44 on 30 March, 2011 
A lovely blog ladies! Thankyou. I agree with Karly. I'm always finding out something new about Helene. Congratulation too on your award Helene. Much well deserved. My husband has just finished reading Shattered Sky and enjoyed it as well.
Reply Helene Young
3:43 on 30 March, 2011 
Thanks, Karly. It was lovely to catch up again on the weekend. Loved reading North Star on the flight home - didn't even bother eating dinner as that would have meant putting the book down!!
Reply Helene
3:49 on 30 March, 2011 
Hi Margareta, thanks for dropping by and for your congrats:-)

I'm so glad your husband enjoyed Shattered Sky - I love getting emails from guys whose wives have given them the book to read. They've read it to humour their wives and been surprised how much they enjoyed reading a Rom Suspense! It's lovely!

You must be well on the way to holding your book in your hands too!!
Reply Mandy Magro
5:25 on 30 March, 2011 
Karly says...
HI girls! Great interview! It doesn't matter how many times I see an interview with Helene, I always learn something new and interesting!!!
Big congrats on your Rom/sus win at ARRC! I love both wings of fear and Shattered Sky!

I'm glad you enjoyed it Karly! :-)
Reply Mandy Magro
5:27 on 30 March, 2011 
Margareta says...
A lovely blog ladies! Thankyou. I agree with Karly. I'm always finding out something new about Helene. Congratulation too on your award Helene. Much well deserved. My husband has just finished reading Shattered Sky and enjoyed it as well.

Thanks for stopping by Margareta! When can we get ourselves a copy of your book? Can't wait! :-)
Reply Fiona Palmer
8:20 on 30 March, 2011 
lol go the tom-boys! Thanks girls! Hmm, Helene I can't even get my hubby to read mine let alone anyone elses lol. As for camping, next time you visit WA come visit me and i'll take you to Hopetoun on the coast...but I can't guarantee there won't be mozzies lol Little suckers seem to be everywhere. x
Reply Helene
20:01 on 30 March, 2011 
Hi Fiona, my husband has no choice! If he wants to come to RWA conference dinners (and he does!) then he has to read the first draft :-)

Hopetoun sounds bliss and I can always bring repellant!

Loved Heart of Gold and the insights into the world of a shearer - you've set the bar high for your third book!!
Reply Amanda Reynolds-Smith
23:33 on 30 March, 2011 
Fantastic interview - and Mandy (great name btw!) look forward to reading your novel!
Reply Kellie Schache
1:17 on 31 March, 2011 
Hi Girls,
Just can't wait to get my hands on Shattered Sky - Australia has so many talented authors at the present time. My pile is growing and will have to add Helene's & Mandy's books to it. I believe that we have such a beautiful country to explore that we don't need to go elsewhere. I live in SA - on the River Murray and also regularly travel to the Yorke Peninsula. Innes National Park has great camping spots and fantastic scenery. Just can't wait to get out there and relax with a book and a nice glass of wine. Well done and keep it up!!!
Reply Mandy Magro
3:42 on 31 March, 2011 
Amanda Reynolds-Smith says...
Fantastic interview - and Mandy (great name btw!) look forward to reading your novel!

It's lovely to get emails from people like yourself who are keen for Rosalee Station's release, thanks Amanda!
Reply Helene
3:45 on 31 March, 2011 
Hi Amanda, (nothing wrong with a bit of name bias!) thanks for stopping by. Hope you found some writing time on the weekend!
Reply Mandy Magro
3:45 on 31 March, 2011 
Kellie Schache says...
Hi Girls,
Just can't wait to get my hands on Shattered Sky - Australia has so many talented authors at the present time. My pile is growing and will have to add Helene's & Mandy's books to it. I believe that we have such a beautiful country to explore that we don't need to go elsewhere. I live in SA - on the River Murray and also regularly travel to the Yorke Peninsula. Innes National Park has great camping spots and fantastic scenery. Just can't wait to get out there and relax with a book and a nice glass of wine. Well done and keep it up!!!

Hi Kellie, thanks for your email. It sounds like you live in such a beautiful area. I might have to make my way down there one of these days! I am honoured to know my book will be joining your pile, along with Helene's. Cheers!
Reply helene
3:48 on 31 March, 2011 
Hi Kellie, thanks for visiting. You must have seen a lot of changes in the River Murray in the last few months! I really will have to organise a trip to SA - the Barossa has been on the agenda for a long while :) - and check out your national parks. You're right about having such a beautiful country. We're are very lucky!
Reply Mandy Magro
3:48 on 31 March, 2011 
Fiona Palmer says...
lol go the tom-boys! Thanks girls! Hmm, Helene I can't even get my hubby to read mine let alone anyone elses lol. As for camping, next time you visit WA come visit me and i'll take you to Hopetoun on the coast...but I can't guarantee there won't be mozzies lol Little suckers seem to be everywhere. x

Hi Fee. Hopetoun looks so amazing! I might have to visit it one day and you can show me around. Cheers for dropping by mate. xo
Reply Mandy Magro
11:16 on 7 April, 2011 
Kellie Schache says...
Hi Girls,
Just can't wait to get my hands on Shattered Sky - Australia has so many talented authors at the present time. My pile is growing and will have to add Helene's & Mandy's books to it. I believe that we have such a beautiful country to explore that we don't need to go elsewhere. I live in SA - on the River Murray and also regularly travel to the Yorke Peninsula. Innes National Park has great camping spots and fantastic scenery. Just can't wait to get out there and relax with a book and a nice glass of wine. Well done and keep it up!!!

Hi Kellie,

Can you please email me your postal address as you are the lucky winner of Helene's new book, Shattered Sky. It will be signed by Helene for you. Congratulations!

My email is [email protected]

Thanks kellie :-)
Reply Kellie
10:26 on 10 April, 2011 
helene says...
Hi Kellie, thanks for visiting. You must have seen a lot of changes in the River Murray in the last few months! I really will have to organise a trip to SA - the Barossa has been on the agenda for a long while :) - and check out your national parks. You're right about having such a beautiful country. We're are very lucky!

Yes Helene, the river has completely changed again in the last few months - we've gone from very little water to now almost too much!!! The Barossa is one of SA's most beautiful spots - also great wineries!!! I am so excited that I won your book and look forward to reading it.
Cheers, Kellie x
Reply Helene
22:43 on 10 April, 2011 
Hi Kellie, thanks for being part of the blog and congrats on winning Shattered Sky! I'll drop it in the post today and it should make its way to you before the end of the week.

Hope you enjoy the story :)

Helene
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