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Hitting The Road with Helene Young and Giveaway!

Let's meet Australian author Helene Young. She also hass a giveaway of her latest release HALF MOON BAY for one commenter.

 Multi-award winning author, Helene Young, lives aboard a catamaran moored near the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. She shares her sailing adventures with her husband and their dog, Zeus. Her work as a senior captain with a major regional airline takes her all over Australia and she draws inspiration for her stories from the communities she visits.

She won the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. She was also voted most popular romantic suspense author by the Romance Readers of Australia (ARRA) in 2010 and 2011, and shortlisted for the same award in 2012.

Helene is the custodian of several thousand bees and in what spare time she has left, loves to read and travel.

Over to Helene now...

Get reading, Australia!

If you think that sounds like a good slogan aimed at improving literacy then you’d be correct. The Australia Council has teamed up with the publishing industry to create the Get Reading programme. It works to bring authors to regional areas to connect with readers. Local libraries and vibrant booksellers play their part in hosting the events and help to spread the word about Australian stories.

Along with producing the ‘50 Books You Can’t Put Down’ publication in September, Get Reading also choose a Book of the Month. I was fortunate to have Half Moon Bay chosen as the June book so I’ve just returned home from spending several weeks on the road visiting four states.


I started off in Caloundra and finished in Ballarat by way of Warwick, Brisbane, Perth, Bunbury, Adelaide, The Barossa Valley and Melbourne – in total 17 author events and almost the same number of radio interviews.

It was an amazing experience and a wonderful reminder of why I write books. It’s easy when you’re writing a story, sat in a quiet space, to forget about who is going to read the finished book and how they may react to it. At every event I was approached by a reader who wanted to share a personal story. They were prompted either by something I’d said in my talk or because one of my stories had resonated with them. It’s very humbling to be able to make that connection and those conversations are the highlights of the trip for me.

Question time at the end of the talk always threw up interesting discussions. I think the gustiest question came from the dapper older gentleman in the front row who asked what the heat level was in my love scenes as he’d just finished Fifty Shades of Grey and hadn’t really enjoyed it. As there were only two men in the audience he got my gold star for asking the question in the first place and for having read Fifty Shades!

It was wonderful to see so many Booksellers out supporting writers. I was intrigued that fewer than 30 percent of the audience admitted to reading books on e-readers. So while the e-book is definitely taking off there are still plenty of people who like a physical book in their hands – and I’m one of them!

The other wonderful component to the tour was seeing how libraries are all grown up and
sophisticated now. My favourite was the Mt Gambier Library. The children’s reading space was all decked out as the Great Barrier Reef and there pinned to the roof was a scuba diver!


Of course no author talk is complete without afternoon tea or supper and I’ve tasted some delicious egg and lettuce sandwiches in my travels. The Friends of the Barossa Library even put on a high tea for me at Seppeltsfield Winery which was truly worthy of The Ritz!


So I’m very grateful to Get Reading, and Penguin Australia, for taking me and Half Moon Bay on tour. A round of applause goes to all the libraries and booksellers who hosted the events. And a heartfelt thank you goes to everyone who came along and joined in the conversation. I hope we can do it all again next year!

So what do you like about author talks? What would you like to see an author include in their talk? Can you suggest a local library that you’d like to see hosting author talks? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and go into the running to win a copy of Half Moon Bay. Contest will close on 30th of June at midnight and Nas will announce the winner.
www.getreading.com.au

Half Moon Bay

Ellie Wilding has been running from her past, but when the residents of Half Moon Bay call for help she knows it's finally time to return home.  As an international photojournalist, she's used to violence in war zones, but she's shocked when it erupts in the sleepy hamlet on the north coast of New South Wales, threatening all she holds dear.

Battle-weary Nicholas Lawson walked away from his military career leaving unfinished business. In a coastal backwater, that decision returns to haunt him. He remembers all too vividly his last lethal assignment in Afghanistan when Ellie's sister, Nina, was shot and killed. Ellie's been in his dreams ever since, even if she doesn't remember him…

As a storm rages and floodwaters rise, Ellie struggles to save her community. But who can she trust? Nick Lawson, the dangerously attractive stranger with secrets, or an old friend who's never let her down?

 

Find Helene at


https://twitter.com/HeleneYoung

41 comments:

  1. Great to meet you, Helene. Your own life sounds as interesting as that of your characters.

    Hi, Nas.

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    1. Hi Carol!

      Thanks for coming by to chat with Helene!

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  2. Thanks, Carol. It's a rather busy life, but I think my characters are much more interesting!!

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    1. Welcome to Romance Book Paradise, Helene! I do hope you will enjoy chatting with all my friends here! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    2. Thanks for the lovely warm, welcome, Nas!

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  3. Helene lives on a catamaran and flies planes?! My goodness, her real life is so exciting she doesn't need to look far for inspiration for her novels.
    I love the cover! Wishing Helene huge success! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Lexa, life's very busy at the moment! But I do love hearing readers stories as they always have something interesting to share!

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  4. Helene lives aboard a catamaran moored near the Great Barrier Reef? How fantastic!

    Half Moon Bay sounds a good read. All the best :)

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    1. Thanks, Wendy, it's a very small 'house' with a gorgeous view :) I'm sitting on the back deck typing away now thinking it's pretty special!

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  5. Hi Helene

    Thanks for sharing with us a little about you, and your book tour. Glad it went well :)

    Sounds like you must travel a lot with work. What a wonderful inspiration your life must be for writing your stories.

    Best of luck with Half Moon Bay!

    Michelle

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    1. Thanks, Michelle, I think all the travel I do with work did make the book tour a little less stressful. I'm used to early starts, checking in at airports and being on the move. This time it was lovely to let someone else do the flying :-) Thanks for stopping by for a chat.

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  6. Love that pic of the library!!! Librarians are such awesome people to make their worlds so enticing!

    I haven't been to an author event yet (small city pretty far away from big cities) but they sure sound like fun!

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    1. Jemi, I met so many inspiring librarians on the trip. It's reassuring that the future of stories is in same hands! And how cool is the reef wonderland for kids! There were reading nooks tucked away behind rocks and all sorts of lovely quiet places. Just gorgeous :) I hope an author event comes to your town soon then and that you can attend!

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  7. I love this program that Australia is holding. What a great thing! Literacy in the US is downright pathetic, and I wish there were more done to help that. Sounds like a wonderful tour!

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    1. Meradeth, it is a wonderful programme and it's been so much fun to be a part of it. I know the funding is only assured until 2014 so fingers crossed the government recognises the value in it and continues supporting it for many more years. I was involved in last year's National Year of Reading and did a lot of school visits promoting literacy. Children are so inventive and it was wonderful to be able to encourage their imaginations. Thanks for dropping by :)

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  8. I've followed Helene's career since first reading an article about her pilot's career in an Aussie magazine years ago. I've been so happy to see the way her writing career has taken off, pun intended. Great to see a new title out.

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  9. Denise, thanks for your support! It certainly feels as though we've had a vertical takeoff with Half Moon Bay and that's been a lot of fun!

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  10. An author tour sounds so exciting-- we hardly have many in Singapore (I know it is a dot of a place, but still), and I feel the literary scene here needs authors reading more and more.

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    1. I'd love to come and chat in Singapore, Damyanti, as I'm sure would many other authors! Maybe next year ?

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  11. Helene - the author tour sounds wonderful. As it happens I'm off to speak at one of our Auckland libraries in a couple of days. I've been pondering what to speak about and I hope there are questions!

    As for talks, it's always nice putting a face to an author and learning a little about their process.

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    1. There are always questions, Shelley, so you'll have a wonderful time! I wish I was making it to your RWNZ conference this year... I know you ladies will have fun :)

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  12. As a former teacher, I think I may always prefer talking to students. I do love author talks in general though.

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    1. Lol, Kelly, talking to younger readers is a lot of fun. I had some magic visits to schools last year and was blown away by the kids wonderful unforced writing. More than one of them moved me to tears...

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  13. I went to an author luncheon for Harlan Coban and loved his talk about his writing process and q & a at the end!

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    1. HI Jennifer, I think the Q&As are often the most fascinating part of a talk. Harlan Coban would have been good to listen to. Love his books.

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  14. Wow, I'm not sure which is more intriguing: Helene's life aboard a catamaran moored near the Great Barrier Reef, (I hope you scuba dive, Helene!) her adventures as a pilot, or the books she writes. All three!

    Mt. Gambier Library sounds like one of the best libraries in the world! I've never seen anything that special for children in any of the libraries I've ever visited. Australia's literacy program sounds top-notch, too.

    Best wishes to you, Helene, for continued success. And thank you, Nas, for introducing us to Helene and her work.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Susan. We do scuba dive but I prefer to snorkel to be honest as so much of the colour is most visible in the top six feet. Always something to look at :)

      The literacy programme is great and yep, The Mt Gambier Library is very unique. The librarians were a perfect fit - all so enthusiastic and vibrant! It was a fabulous evening.

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  15. A writer and a bee keeper! That's a super combination. I loved reading about her real life adventures.

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    1. Thanks, C. Lee :) Bees are endlessly fascinating! Thanks for dropping by :)

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  16. Helene is living the adventures that some people only get to write about! How cool is that?
    I've never been to an author event/luncheon... the high tea sounds wonderful!
    We need a solid literacy programme in our country... *sighs*
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Hi Michelle, it took a lot of years scheming to finally be where we are and I'm planning on enjoying every minute of it. Today is a glorious winter's day, clear blue skies, light breeze and about 22 deg c or 72 deg f so very pleasant temperatures. Of course I should be writing rather than blog surfing!

      The high tea was awesome and I hope I have the opportunity to talk at one like that again :)

      It is great to see literacy being taken seriously again in Australia. I think it was something slipped under the radar a little but is now back on centre stage - where it should be!! Thanks for dropping by for a chat.

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  17. Congratulations on all of your awards! Your book sounds great!

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    1. Thanks, Sherry, it's been very humbling to have so many readers connect with my characters :)

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  19. Gorgeous cover.

    This author sure is interesting and I love the event pics.

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  20. Helene, when I lived in Ireland, I participated in an adult literacy programme. It was a second chance education initiative for adults who'd missed out on education first time around. I think that it's such a deprivation not to be able to read.

    Helene,your book looks wonderful and I hope to get a chance to read it.

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  21. Thanks, Medeia! Glad you like the cover :) It stands out so well on a shelf and I"m very grateful that my publishers did such an amazing job!

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  22. Maria, what wonderful initiative. Adult literacy is so important. I've met quite a few adults who are either dyslexic or dyspraxic and have only learnt to read later in life. I'm grateful for wonderful parents who believed literacy was the greatest educational gift they could give us! Thanks for stopping by for a chat :-)

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  23. Congratulations to Shelley Munro! You are Helene Young's winner! Thanks to all my lovely friends for coming by to chat with Helene!

    Thanks Helene, for taking time out to chat with us all here and for the giveaway!

    Nas

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    1. Wow! Thank you to both you and Helene :)

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  24. Helene, great to make your acquaintance! I'm surprised with everything else, you have any time to write!

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