We are delighted to welcome Kendra Smith.
Exciting times for you, Kendra. Your debut novel, Jacaranda Wife, has recently been published. Can you tell us a little about it?
VERY exciting! Well, London-loving Katie finds herself on a plane to Australia as her husband’s company has sent him there to save their financial bacon. Katie’s heat rash starts just thinking about going quite so far outside the M25 to rectify their debt, but she reckons it might be wise. Why? To distance herself from her best friend’s husband whom she had an encounter with… When she gets there, it’s a bump-a-minute journey of discovery about her new country, her new friends and her marriage! I hope people enjoy my heroine’s escapades and the best bit: you can travel 10,000 miles sitting in the comfort of your living room! I’ve had some lovely reviews already, some comparing my writing to the Australian best-seller Liane Moriarty, which is so lovely.
Your heroine ups sticks and crosses the globe. I believe you’ve done the same and are now living back in the UK. Town or country?
Yes, the word ‘boomerang’ comes to mind! We now live in leafy Surrey, but I have lived for nearly 8 years in Sydney and 10 in London.
Your roots are in magazine journalism. How much of a help, or indeed a hindrance, was this when writing your book?
Bit of both, really. Writing isn’t new to me and I enjoy capturing events and feelings on paper. However, writing fiction seemed like writing in free-fall, without any ropes – quite scary after journalism!
Is there a certain type of scene that's always harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Action scenes need to be done well and not sound clunky. I have a dive scene in my book that (hopefully!) creates tension. However, you have to make sure it’s technically accurate. I ran it by a dive master to make sure. It did help, though, that I have dived myself and can remember some of the feelings.
How did you set about finding a publisher?
Ah, now pull up a chair, this could take a while… Getting published is never easy (trust me, I have read EVERY blog on the subject!) and can testify to this myself. I started this book around seven years ago, and each stage has required extreme patience! But would you believe, it was at an RNA event that I bumped into the lovely people at Endeavour Press who turned my book into a reality.
So the Romantic Novelists’ Association has once again aided an author in her push to get on the ladder. Tell us how you see your relationship with the RNA.
I’m very proud to be a member and so far it has introduced me to some wonderful people. I am very much looking forward to carrying on my learning, networking, and attending as many events as I can as part of my new ‘family.’ I’m also keen to visit my local Chapter meetings, a wonderful added bonus to membership.
We’d like you to share with us a random fact about yourself
Can’t open a book, new or old, without inhaling the scent of it first…
So what’s next?
Book Number Two! The word count reminds me I am a third of the way through… once the little darlings are back at school and I am not dodging bullets from BB Gun wars, I shall be notching up a few more. I can’t wait!
About Jacaranda Wife
Katie and Tom’s marriage is in trouble. As is their bank account.
Is going to Australia really the solution? Find out how Katie copes with an absent husband, deadly spiders, a new friend who might not be all she seems… and a rather sweaty school run. Does the trip Downunder provide the spark her marriage needs, or send the whole thing up in smoke?
About Kendra Smith
Kendra has been a journalist, wife, mother, aerobics teacher, qualified diver and very bad cake baker. She started her career in Sydney selling advertising space but quickly moved to editorial, working on several national women’s magazines in both Sydney and London including Cosmopolitan and OK! Magazine. With dual Australian-British nationality, she currently lives in Surrey with her husband and three children. Jacaranda Wife is her first novel.
Good luck with your Jacaranda Wife, Kendra, and thank you for joining us today.
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