9 June 2011

Getting to Know you Thursdays with Carol Preston

Please welcome to my blog today Carol Preston another Australian Author. Carol's latest book Mary's Guardian is in my top 5 reads for the year so far. 

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in New South Wales, Australia. I am a wife, mother, grandmother and psychologist, so my greatest interests are in people. I am also very involved in my local church, and my faith in God is a central part of who I am. I feel I have a very blessed and interesting life.    

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
I don't think I was an avid reader as a child. I have no memory of particular books or stories that have stayed with me, apart from the Bible, which I started to read at about the age of ten. 

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?
I have come to love reading in my adult life, and my favourites are historical novels and stories about real people in real places. I love autobiographies. I write historical novels now, based on my family history in Australia. 

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
My favourite authors growing up were authors of the books of the Bible

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
   After researching my family history in the 80s and 90s, I felt a strong urge to write the stories of my ancestors and the early Australians. I believed they were stories that ought to be told and learned from. I wanted my own children and grandchildren to know about their ancestors and what it has taken to build the country where we have such a wonderful life. I didn't want to write these stories as a social history because I wanted reflect on what kind of people the early Australians were; how they survived their every day lives, how they related to each other and how they experienced the events of their lives. So I decided to write the stories as historical novels, which meant joining a lot of the dots and creating personalities and a lot of fiction between the facts. That was about ten years ago so I suppose that's when I decided I wanted to be an author. 

6. How did you go about becoming an author?
I wrote and wrote and wrote. I went to writing groups and found a mentor to help me edit and edit and edit. I think being an author is something that comes from the desire and the discipline and lots of practice. 

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
    I think I've done most of the other things I'd like to do in my life already. Writing is a late-in- life adventure for me. Writing, like the other things I do, is a way of making a contribution to the lives of other people and leaving a legacy in the world. 
 8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
I love my garden and also love going on bushwalks or trekking in other parts of the world looking at beautiful scenery and meeting interesting people. I love being part of my church community and giving time to those less fortunate than myself. I love live theatre and good movies. And I love chocolate!  

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
    I love visiting New Zealand because the scenery is fabulous. I've been blessed to visit lots of places overseas; Europe, Britain, Greenland and North Pole, South America, Canada; all with wonderful scenery. I will be in The Lake District of England and some of the Scottish Islands this year and am really looking forward to that. 

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
I'd love to have a meal with Cliff Richard, my favourite singer of all time, and ask him about his life and the choices he has made. 
Nelson Mandela would also be fascinating to sit down and talk with. I can't think of a particular third. I think just about any living person is interesting to listen to  because we are all different, with different stories to tell. We can all learn from each other. 

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.
My latest novel is Mary's Guardian, which is a story of people coming to Australia on the First Fleet. It is based on my mother's family history. It tells the story of the first generation of white Australians and how some of them survived. The sequel, Charlotte's Angel, will be out later this year and continues the story into the second generation. I think these are stories of courage, faith and determination. I have four other novels which I self published before these last two. They are stories about my ancestors on my father's side of the family; originally brought to Australia as convicts. The first three are a trilogy which goes up to the First World War. These are all stories about ordinary people who survived extraordinary circumstances and I believe they can inspire us today to recognise what a great heritage we have in Australia, and to think about the way we live out lives and the choices we make. 

My web site is www.carolpreston.com.au and there is more about me and my novels there.


Michelle said...

Great interview - thank you.
I saw 'Mary's Guardian' in the Light the Dark catalogue... it looks fantastic.

Carol said...

Thanks Michelle. I hope you'll get to read Mary's Guardian

Paula Vince said...

"Mary's Guardian" is a rare, authentic treat; a story about the convict/early settlement era actually written by an Aussie.
Great, poignant writing too.

paula said...

Thanks AusJenny for introducing another historical author, Hi Carol your books look like my type of reading and I will look for them, you sound like a busy woman. thanks for sharing your talent with us..
Paula O (kyflo130@yahoo.com)

Carol said...

Thanks Paula. I hope you get to read some of my books and enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.

Anne Payne said...

Sounds like a fascinating family history and what a wonderful way to share with others. If I could visit anywhere Australia would definitely be on thelist :0)

Connie Walsh Brown said...

Your family's history and the development of your area sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Connie Walsh Brown

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