by Tea Cooper
I was thrilled, honored, chuffed, excited…in fact just downright stoked to discover that The Horse Thief was a finalist in the Favourite Historical Romance section of the Australian Romance Reader Awards 2015.
The story began with a throwaway line one Sunday afternoon in a pub in the Hunter Valley, just before the Melbourne Cup in 2013. ‘The horse that won the first Melbourne Cup was a Hunter animal,’ someone said.
I didn’t know that.
I went home to check.
But it was the beginning of NaNoWriMo and so The Horse Thief began. I wrote the first 50,000 words that November but the story was far more complicated than I originally thought and by Easter 2014 it had grown to 100,000 words.
At that stage it was the longest manuscript I’d written and I decided to pitch it at the 2014 RWA conference. In mid-2015 I signed a contract and The Horse Thief was released at the beginning of November. (The perfect date because India’s dream is to win the Melbourne Cup and, in case you’re not an Australian, the race is run on the first Tuesday of November).
To discover that The Horse Thief, an ‘oztorical’, is included with such a fabulous group of historical writers is my dream come true.
Huge thanks everyone who nominated The Horse Thief…oh, and not only that…drum roll..The Horse Thief is also in the running for Best Cover. I can’t lay any claim to fame for that. All accolades go to the wonderful cover artists at Harlequin and their perfect interpretation of my heroine, India Kilhampton. Thank you.