Friday Five: Fiona Greene

1d65948065817365d620cd57a5257f0dAuthor: Fiona Greene
First published with Escape: November 2014
Favourite romance trope: Returning home/the one that got away
Ideal hero: Sexy, strong and funny
Ideal heroine: Confident, capable and kind
Latest book: Home for Christmas

What began your romance writing career? Why do you write romance?

It was the eighties, and having discovered a box of Mills and Boons in my new stepmother’s house, I was instantly hooked. They all had exotic, foreign settings (lots of Betty Neels) and it wasn’t till I spent my first pay buying more romance that I discovered there was such a thing as Australian romance. Better still – Queensland romance. That’s when the dream was born.

This photo was taken in 2015 on a tour of the State Library’s Queensland Romance Author collection – a treasured experience, with so many familiar names and books.

Fiona Green

I’m drawn to romance because no matter what, there are compelling characters, places I may never travel to and a happy for now/happy ever after.

How did your latest book come to life? What was your eureka moment?

Writing Home for Christmas I had two very different critiques, and I credit them both with causing eureka moments:

  1. Theme = Family. This single statement, written exactly like it is here allowed me to take Layla and Tate’s story from a Christmas short story to a published work.
  2. I’m bored with this story, you should work on something else. I was gutted to hear this, a lone voice in a sea of “this is good”. Should I give up? Start something new? I pulled the story from my critique group, worked on it solo, and (eureka moment) learnt to trust my instinct about what it needed. In hindsight, it was the wrong book for that reader.

What do you do when you’re stuck with a scene?

When I’m stuck, truly stuck, I take the point of view character, and flip their usual reaction to the situation they find themselves in, sending them one hundred and eighty degrees in the other direction. Then I change point of view and show the other character in the scene trying to figure it out. Chances are, what you write will end up in the bin, but the characters should at least be talking to each other, and sometimes characters surprise you with what happens next.

What’s the thing about writing that surprised you the most?

Writing is seen as a solo pursuit, but I’ve found the comradery in both my critique group and the wider romance community make it anything but. Knowledge and experience of what works and what doesn’t is shared, and there is always someone who will support you as you work through your “apprenticeship”. The friends I’ve made through writing are some of my closest, and I treasure each and every one of them.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any secret hobbies?

When I’m not writing, I split my time between my day job (in health) and an owner builder project on a rural block that will never be finished (or so it seems). I don’t have any secret hobbies, but my favourite escape is generally a run. Headphones and mobile free, I set off on a journey, and while my feet might be pounding the pavement in suburbia, my head will be deep in wherever my latest story is set.

In 2017, I’m doing an A-Z run of Brisbane – finding a different suburb to run in starting with the next letter of the alphabet. Next up: “E”.


22581What began as an impersonal-but-cheerful holiday gift for a soldier far from home becomes so much more…

Sergeant Tate McAuliffe, stationed in Afghanistan, opens his Christmas care package from Australia and is stunned by both its contents and the sender.

Fun-loving Christmas tree designer Layla Preston is a breath of fresh air for loner Tate. Although they’ve never met, their email friendship quickly develops and their feelings for each other deepen. But Layla knows the heartache that loving a soldier can bring and when Tate is injured, her deep-seated fear drives them apart. With their relationship in tatters, can Layla and Tate work through their differences, so Layla can welcome Tate home for Christmas?

Buy now!

 

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Christmas Titles

If you love them, we’ve got them!

Contemporary Christmas!

We can recommend all of Rhian Cahill’s holiday titles, but her latest is super fun.

25629

For a man called Chris Kringle, Christmas is the most magical time of the year.  But this year, there’s something about a certain elf that’s grabbed his attention in the best of ways. 


Christmas Magic!

Like your Christmas with a bit of sparkle? Try this funny, sweet story about a ghost, 12 Daves, and true love…

22839

A beautiful, uplifting holiday story from bestselling author Juliet Madison about a lonely writer, her grandmother’s ghost, a road trip, and twelve different Daves.


Country Christmas!

The small town of Swallow’s Fall will make you feel the Christmas spirit, even if they have to force it upon you…

22819

From the author of the internationally bestselling The House on Burra Burra Lane comes a Christmas story — country style.


Heart-warming Christmas

Not everyone gets to spend Christmas with their loved ones, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be special…

22581

What began as an impersonal-but-cheerful holiday gift for a soldier far from home becomes so much more…


Sweet Christmas

Because what’s Christmas without a special treat?

19723

It’s going to take more than a few pieces of chocolate to fill this Scrooge’s heart with Christmas cheer. Luckily Candice Cane has a whole shop full…


Christmas that’s out of this world

For SFF fans – we haven’t forgotten you!

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What if your only chance at survival was to seduce the man who broke your heart?

 

 

 

December Recipe – Butterscotch Brownies

by Fiona Greene

This is my butterscotch brownies recipe. It’s an old hosptial recipe dating back to about 1995 and it’s the slice everyone wants me to bring if I bake at work.

brownie

Melt 60g butter with 1 cup of brown sugar till smooth. Add a generous teaspoon of vanilla essence and cool, then add 1 pre-scrambled egg and a pinch of salt (optional). Stir in 1/2 cup self-raising flour and 3/4 cup coconut. Spread into a slice tin, smooth top and bake at 180 degrees C for 20-25 mins. Cut when cool.


 

22581

What began as an impersonal-but-cheerful holiday gift for a soldier far from home becomes so much more…

‘Tis the Season – for Christmas titles!

Red_Christmas_ball_christmas_bauble_608600Every Wednesday, in the lead-up to Christmas, we’ll be chatting with one of our authors about their holiday-themed story. Follow us in merry measure, as we meet Fiona Greene!

1.    Give us a Twitter-length description of your Christmas title, Home For Christmas.
A cheerful holiday gift for an overseas soldier becomes so much more. Share Christmas with Layla and Tate.

2.    Why did you set your story at Christmas?
A few years ago we were considering sending a Christmas care package for one of the Australian Service Dogs in Afghanistan and we went online to get details and discovered that every dog receives four packages, while there are not enough packages sent for the soldiers – some soldiers miss out. I began thinking about that and I decided to write the story of a soldier and his Christmas care package. Then I decided he should come home the following Christmas and Layla and Tate’s story was born.

3.    What is your favourite thing about Christmas time?
Giving to family and friends and watching the joy that gifts bring.  Giving to strangers you will never meet, and hoping they have a better Christmas because of your gift.

4.    What do you hope Santa will leave you under the tree this year?
I was going to ask Santa for a rescue doggie who found herself fallen on hard times at Christmas, but my husband surprised me with a gorgeous puppy last week. Now I’m wishing for a toilet trained puppy so Santa doesn’t step in a puddle 🙂

Dreaming of a white Christmas??

Dreaming of a white Christmas??

5.    Finally, are your characters naughty or nice?
90% nice, 10% naughty. How else did they end up on a mattress in the back of a ute under a blanket of stars ?


 

22581What began as an impersonal-but-cheerful holiday gift for a soldier far from home becomes so much more…

Sergeant Tate McAuliffe, stationed in Afghanistan, opens his Christmas care package from Australia and is stunned by both its contents and the sender.

Fun-loving Christmas tree designer Layla Preston is a breath of fresh air for loner Tate. Although they’ve never met, their email friendship quickly develops and their feelings for each other deepen.

But Layla knows the heartache that loving a soldier can bring and when Tate is injured, her deep-seated fear drives them apart. With their relationship in tatters, can Layla and Tate work through their differences, so Layla can welcome Tate home for Christmas?

New in November!

Releasing today – time to spoil your e-reader!

22577From the dark mind of Rhyll Biest comes a story about a Teutonic god, a guarded recluse, some dirty pictures, and the spark of curiosity that leads to a dangerous attraction.

Contemporary romance, heat level: scorching


22585As the Black Raven, she’s cold, distant and alone…untouched by the gossip and scorn of her aristocratic peers. Until he enters her house — and her life — then suddenly her icy shell is no match for the heat of attraction…

Historical romance – Regency, heat level: steamy


22582One treasure map; a pair of priceless emeralds; two very keen hunters — only one can win, but who says that competition can’t be a little fun?

Contemporary/Action & Adventure romance, heat level: steamy


22581What began as an impersonal-but-cheerful holiday gift for a soldier far from home becomes so much more…

Contemporary/Holiday romance, heat level: sweet


and don’t forget that our first Sydney Housewife made her debut this week:

22583From the hottest writers in Australia comes a scintillating new series. Enter the world of Sydney’s elite, and find out what goes on behind the doors of the most exclusive addresses in the country…

Contemporary/Erotic romance, continuity series, heat level: scorching

Happy reading!