I’ve never been one to conform. I always push the boundaries of whatever I do, whether it was rebelling against the constraints of society as I grew up, or rallying against being told what to do (yes, I was a HORRIBLE teenager!) or writing. And I guess it shows in the way I really wanted to work on the land even if it was unusual choice, back when I was first starting out.
Writing isn’t any different. I’ve always fought against the term ‘rural romance’ because I’ve never seen my books as that, but the covers can portray that image. In a ‘rural romance’ it’s expected that main character will be get together with their bloke in the end and live happily ever after. Well, again, I challenge that expectation. I especially did that in Sapphire Falls. Fiona’s husband dies by suicide and I didn’t want her to find another love by the end of the book. So, Fiona becomes pregnant and doesn’t have the baby until the end of novel… Now that means she can’t really be involved with someone else, nine month after her husband’s death with a new baby in tow, does it?!
I’ve also really pushed the boundaries in Deception Creek. I can’t tell you where – I’ll leave you got read it and then get back in contact with me to see if you liked/laughed/cried/hated what I did, but I did it for the shock factor. To push those boundaries and make sure my writing never goes stale. I look to shock and surprise you… And myself. I have to say, I knew right from the start that the incident I’m talking about here, was going to happen, but there’s also a slight twist at the end I didn’t see until I was writing it – again it’s a bit out there and possibly not what you’d expect from one of my books, but it’s all in aid of keeping the stories fresh and moving along. I want to see what type of novels I can create without thinking of the rules of the genre, or adhering to that expectation. Because there might be a moment there, that I do make those ‘ordinary’ books, that little better.
Most people have an idea of what they’re going to get when they pick up a Fleur McDonald book; lots of mystery, crime, perhaps the odd murder and hopefully a good storyline. Yes, there’ll be relationships. Afterall, I decided Dave and Kim should be together, then Jack and Zara come into being during Starting From Now, so there is a smidgeon of a love story. Only a smidgeon.
An author is only as good as their last lot of sales, so I try to make every book better than the previous one. I want to get better for you.
I hope it’s worked with Deception Creek.