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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Australian Romance Author Cheryl Wright

Making It Real in Historical Romance

By Cheryl Wright
Cheryl Wright
As an Australian writer, I like to write about the towns and cities in my own country, particularly the  state of Victoria, where I live.

As a young child, my parents travelled around the country in a caravan, taking my siblings and me to many places I would never have seen otherwise. Along the way, my father – who was a true man of the land, talked about the history of the areas we visited, including places he’d been to as a young lad working in rodeos.  This instilled a love of Australian history, and as a result, wherever possible, I include local history in my stories, without making them sound boring.
I’ve long been intrigued by the Old Melbourne Gaol, which is where the infamous Ned Kelly was hanged.  Over the years I’ve written several articles for magazines in the US about Ned Kelly and the place of his demise, and along the way learned loads of historical information that only added to my interest.

So it made perfect sense that I’d use it as the basis for one of the chapters in my romantic suspense novel, Running Scared.  Which wasn’t all that difficult since that particular section of my novel was located in the vicinity of the ‘gaol’.

Running Scared is the story of an undercover cop who falls in love with a very mysterious woman. 
When Emma Larkin meets Gary Bedford, she has no idea he’s a cop, undercover or otherwise.  Past girlfriends have dumped him because of his dangerous job, and he has no intention of losing Emma.

Emma is being stalked by her husband’s killers, and she must find what they’re looking for before she becomes their next victim.  She also needs to keep her four-year-old daughter Sally safe from the killers.
Emma is a massage therapist who uses aromatherapy.  This is one of my favourite subjects, and I’ve done multiple courses over the years to learn as much as possible about both aromatherapy and massage. At one point I even considered doing an accreditation course to become a massage therapist, after doing a hobby course that spanned several weeks. 

I pride myself on crafting characters that readers will connect with, and do a lot of research (where necessary) to ensure that happens.  As a reader, I cringe when I read something that doesn’t ring true, so as a writer, I like to ensure my books have credibility and realistic characters.
To that end, I’ve done my fair share of interviewing real-life police officers, detectives, and private investigators.  I’ve also learned as much as possible about guns, without being pin-pointed as a suspicious character, although I admit to being told by a librarian that I was a ‘very dangerous woman!”.

An excerpt of Running Scared can be found at:  http://cheryl-wright.com/freebies.htm

My website is:  http://cheryl-wright.com/
And blog is:  http://cheryl-wright.com/blog

My author page on Facebook can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/cherylwrightauthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/writercheryl


Michelle Somers said...

Hi Cheryl

Isn't it great when we can pepper our stories with things that interest and inspire us? And we always hope that it will interest and inspire our readers!

I loved reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your story.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cheryl,

Great blog. We share an interest in the Old Melbourne jail, as I researched it for one of my novels.
I have read Running Scared, and I have to say it is a great story with plenty of intrique. Real edge of the seat stuff.



Cheryl Wright said...

Michelle, as you've guessed, I'm very passionate about Australian history. It's intrigued me for as long as I can remember.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheryl Wright said...

Margaret, The Old Melbourne Gaol is incredibly interesting - a lot of history there! If you haven't done so, I suggest a night tour. Very scary!

So glad you enjoyed Running Scared. My aim is always to write books I'd like to read myself.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Judith Ashley said...


So glad you could join us today on RTG. I admire you and Margaret and any other writer who is meticulous about the details in their historical novels. (I write contemporary so there is a lot I don't have to do).

I took an Introduction to Aromatherapy course and enjoyed it. It introduced me to new scents I'd not really smelled. One of the highlights was developing my own blend of essential oils. A fun class with long lasting benefits as I use my blend as an air freshner all the time.


Paty Jager said...

Cheryl, Welcome to RTG! I appreciate books that the author has done their research. I've had a couple of massages and the mood that is set and the aromas that are in the room to make it more soothing.

Sounds like a great book! Congrats!

Shannon said...

Hi Cheryl and all!

I've known Cheryl for (mumble, mumble) years on other writers' boards and loops, and am a fan of her newsletter.

Cheryl congrats on the book. I'll definately check it out. I had no idea that you went through so much research to get it right in your books.
As for aromatherapy, we've recently discovered that you can add a few drops of essential oil instead of medicine to the well in the humidifier. Makes the whole house smell good!
Good Luck!!!

Cheryl Wright said...

Judith, I hate it when I read a book and know the information is incorrect. I promised myself years ago that I'd never be that kind of writer.

I've spent a lot of time 'getting it right' and I'm so glad that I took the time. It was definitely worth it.

Cheryl Wright said...

Paty, I looooove having 'real' aromatherapy massages!

The soft music, the oils burning, and the really good ones that have a mini electric blanket for you to lay on!

Absolute heaven.

I hope you get to have more massages in the future. They're not a luxury, they're a necessity!

Cheryl Wright said...

Shannon! Thanks for stopping by!

Yes, loads of research, including gun shops, police stations and more. I am meticulous about getting it right.

Aromatherapy is so versatile. Put 1-2 drops of lavender on your pillow for a good night's sleep.

You can thank me later. LOL

Serena Tatti Story Editor said...

Hi Cheryl,
One of my big bugbears is when I read and the information is wrong. Whether it's foreign dialogue that is incorrect, or a modern word that wasn't in use until well after the time period, mistakes like that really through me out of the story.
I love that you're a real stickler for details. It makes reading so much easier. I loved Running Scared and those extra touches that add authenticity to the story.

RTG, thanks for having Cheryl as your guest blogger. Great blog!

Cheryl Wright said...

Thanks for stopping by, Serena. Yes, all those things annoy me too!

I find if the details aren't credible, it pulls me out of the story. So when I am writing, I ensure my readers won't have the same issue.

I'm glad you enjoyed Running Scared. I loved writing it!

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Cheryl,

I enjoyed your post. I'm wondering how the Old Melbourne Jail figures into your contemporary romance. I must read your book!

Local history fascinates me. It's amazing what can be learned in little museums you run across in small towns here in the US!

Not that Melbourne, Australia, is a small town. There's nothing wrong with bigger museums and historic sites, either!

Cheryl Wright said...

That would be telling, Sarah!

Seriously though, it does fit, and it fits very well. Some of the action was in very close proximity to the gaol, and after some thought, I knew I could weave it in without it seeming contrived.

I love visiting old jails (and gaols!) as well as museums. But even more than that, I love when I can pass that knowledge onto school children when I visit their school to talk about writing. Last time I did that, I had a group of grade five children enthralled. Their teachers were extremely thrilled! (And so was I!)

It just goes to show that passion really does show.