Tuesday, September 04, 2012

50th party blog guest - Fiona Lowe

I’ve known Fiona Lowe for what seems like for ever, since she sold her very first medical romance. We have lots in common – gorgeous men, music, cookery (though she’s way more sporty than I am – tennis I could just about cope with, but skiing??? Scary). And I’m absolutely thrilled to see how her career has blossomed this year – with her first mainstream novel, Boomerang Bride, she won both the Rita and the R*BY. I’m so proud of her, especially as this is the book of her heart! I’m hoping that we’ll actually meet in person, next year, and there will be an awful lot of talking and laughing…

Over to Fiona:

I am thrilled to be here today to help Kate celebrate her 50th book. What a milestone! Congratulations, Kate.

Why Wisconsin?

Somewhere in the mid 90s Hollywood sit-com writers started to write one liners about Australia and Wisconsin. Not sure if it started with Frasier and Roz having come from WI but, none the less, it made me laugh because at the time, I had a foot in both countries. Just lately they’ve been targeting Canada (How I Met Your Mother) but they still love taking pot-shots at Wisconsin.

Why? All I can think of is that life in Wisconsin is very different from California and New York. For starters, it is under snow for six months of the year…well at least five anyway! It is the dairy heartland and home of the deep-fried cheese curd…a delicacy I never quite got but hey, maybe it’s like Vegemite and you have to be raised on it to really appreciate it. Settled predominantly by Germans and Scandinavians, it is the home of the biggest brewery in the USA and like Australia, every town in Wisconsin has at least one bar….usually more.

The countryside is pretty and dotted with distinctive red barns. Corn grows high in the growing season and it’s lush. I recently visited again, and even though they were in the middle of a heat wave, the hills still rolled green compared with Australia. I kept saying to my Wisconsin friends, ‘It’s so pretty.” And it is, in a bucolic way.

But fellow writers and readers have commented and said, “Why Wisconsin?” I guess it isn’t as sexy and exciting as New York or London but then again, my Harlequin Medical Romances don’t take place in big cities either. I guess I enjoy writing books about everyday people living out their lives and dealing with the bad and hopefully mostly good things that families and close-knit communities can and do dish out.

So why is an Aussie writing books set in Wisconsin? Cos I can ☺ Cos I loved living there and also because trying to sell a single title romance into the American market that is set in Australia is a bit like pushing boulders up hill. Boomerang Bride was my first US based book and many of the cross-cultural experiences of the heroine, Matilda happened to me when I lived in Wisconsin. I’m am thrilled to say it has gone on to win a RITA®. I had so much fun writing this book, that I’ve kept going and I’m excited to say I’ve sold a bride-themed trilogy to Carina Press and Saved By The Bride, Picture-Perfect Wedding and Runaway Groom will be out across 2013, staring in April.

If you’ve ever lived out of your own country and felt like a fish-out-of-water, or if you’ve lived away from home for a while, then you’ll probably related to Matilda, the heroine in Boomerang Bride. I’m giving away a copy of this award-winning book and all you have to do to be in the draw is to tell me your “fish-out-of-water” experience!

Fiona Lowe is a RITA® award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin and Carina Press. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the mid-west of the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she's not writing stories, she's a weekend wife, mother of two 'ginger' teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes and often found collapsed on the couch with wine. A RuBY nominee, you can find her at her website, facebook, Twitter (@FionaLowe) and Goodreads.


Boomerang Bride is available now from Carina Press, Amazon Kindle, Nook and all other online book stores, as well as being available in print in Australia under the MIRA imprint.

Letting Go With Dr Rodriguez is available now in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Her books can be purchased from The Book Depository , iBooks and other online stores.

15 comments:

Sharon Kendrick said...

Congratulations on your RITA and RUBY awards, Fiona. I must say that I love the premise of this book even more than I love the delicious cover!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Fiona!
I loved Boomerang Bride and am looking forward to your next bride books. Congrats on winning the Rita and the Ruby.

Jill said...

So exciting to hear all this success for the little book that could!
I feel I've told my most embarrassing fish out of water story a million times, but it couldn't be more perfect in this circumstance. . .
When I was 18 and graduated from my American high school, I was lucky enough to stay with a host family in Australia for a month. My first night there, they asked if I liked any particular sports teams. I said I didn't really like sports or root for any team in particular.
Oh dear. They quickly (and politely!) explained to me that "root" had a very different meaning in Australia an that there they use the word "barrack" instead. I was embarrassed in the way only an 18 year-old who thought she was very sophisticated can be!

Caroline said...

Massive congratulations on your RITA and RUBY awards Fiona. Well deserved.

My fish out of water experience was the 2 years I spent working on a building site as the only female. But I have to say the men "adopted" me and always looked out for me! Caroline x

William and Anna Patterson said...

Congratulations!

bn100 said...

Congrats to you both! I'd say traveling to a foreign country and not speaking the language.

Melanie Milburne said...

Fiona, you are such a talented writer and a great person. I felt very privileged to be there both times when you got the RITA and the RBY.

Fiona Lowe said...

Thanks, Sharon! I confess to being totally in love with the Australian cover!

Fiona Lowe said...

So glad you enjoyed BB, Wendy! Thanks again :-)

Fiona Lowe said...

Ah, Jill! I can relate. I was 16, an exchange student and I went to the shop at the school staffed by business students. I asked for a typing rubber. Given blank stares I said, "you know, about 6" with a brush on the end."
Later, I was to discover that rubbers were condoms.....

Fiona Lowe said...

Caroline, thanks for the congratulations and I think working on a building site would be like visiting another planet! Good for you...not sure I would be brave enough for that sort of culture shock.

Fiona Lowe said...

HI, Bn100,
It can be quite scary at times but also exciting being in another country and not understanding the language, can't it? I have fond memories of making 'baa' sounds in a Greek cafe years ago when i wanted lamb.

Fiona Lowe said...

Thanks, Anna!

Fiona Lowe said...

Oh, Melanie, thank you! You're making me blush. It was so great to be able to celebrate with you.

Kate Hardy said...

First name drawn from the hat for 'Boomerang Bride'- Jill. Please contact me kate(dot)hardy(at)btinternet(dot)com with your details, and I'll get everything sorted :o) Thanks for taking part!