21 July 2011

Getting to know you Thursdays with Laura O'Connell

Please welcome Laura O'Connell to my blog today. Laura is another Australian Author who I have recently come to hear about. Her book looks really good and I love the cover.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I used to be in the numbers world, now I’m hooked on words and how we can weave them to create a world so my reader can escape from everyday life. My husband and I are usually based on the Gold Coast, but we’re currently travelling around Australia in a caravan promoting  my books and speaking, and enjoying the sites of this vast country of ours. The travel has been a dream of ours since we married 33 years ago. We have an adult son who is a computer programmer.
2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
I had no particular favourites. I read because I enjoyed being taken into the world the authors created. I even read the encyclopaedia so that I could feel I was in another world.
3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?
I love Contemporary Women’s Fiction. I live for, and in the moment, because I find life today so varied and interesting. When I see people living lives so very different to my own I feel inspired. It broadens my knowledge and how I might be able to change my life in a positive way.
4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
My early reading were the Grimm’s fairy tales then I graduated to Enid Blyton, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Montgomery, Pearl S Buck, and Ray Bradbury. All of these authors’ works influenced me at various stages of my growing up, so much so I took inspiration from the way the characters behaved in the stories.
5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Twenty years ago when I was holidaying on Tryon Island, a remote island off the coast of Queensland, I had an epiphany. I was bored with the accounting world and wanted a challenge. I think I’ve always wanted to be an author ever since I read my first words in year one.
6. How did you go about becoming an author?
Firstly, I read a lot of books on how to write; both nonfiction and fiction. My first published book was a nonfiction how to book on bookkeeping. The message I got when I started was to write about what I knew. I have five unpublished novels tucked away in a drawer never to see the light of day. The most important lesson I learned was to write, write and write some more; and to edit, edit and edit some more. I can’t be an author unless I write.
7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
An astronaut.
8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
Bush walking, body surfing, cooking and travelling.
9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
I have many places I would love to visit on this planet and the universe. However, financial constraints keep me grounded to enjoy where I am in the moment.
10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
Bill Gates, because he has changed the world with technology, and he is now a philanthropist. They are amazing achievements. I would like to know more about his personal journey.
Joyce Meyer, because she has changed millions of lives through grasping hold of God’s calling on her life. I’d like to know how she achieves so much in her day.
John Anderson, Australian ex-politician, because he had to juggle politics with his Christian walk. I would like to know what conversations he had with God to achieve this fine balance.
These three people are an inspiration to me.
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.
African Hearts is my debut novel and is currently available in Koorong, Word and CLC Bookstores. African Hearts is about business woman, Gina Messina, who goes to Africa to visit with her dying brother. Marco has already died by the time she arrives. Gina is guardian for her eight year old nephew, Justin, whom she didn’t know existed, but she’s reluctant to take on that responsibility because a little girl died in her care a couple of years earlier. It isn’t until Justin’s life is threatened that Gina realises he is her only living relative. God takes Gina on a journey of faith and love to a place she never thought she’d belong, and has found a purpose for her life she couldn’t have imagined.
Reading African Hearts will challenge you about God’s purpose for your life and where you belong.
My current work, The Tangled Web (working title), is an adoption story with a difference. This work is due for release in April 2012.
You can find me on the web at http://laura-oconnell.com


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jenny for supporting Australian authors. Much appreciated.

Michelle said...

Great interview girls!
I could imagine you as an astronaut Laura ;)

PurlingPenny said...

I'd like to come to dinner too please, that would be a most inspiring conversation I'm sure. I will be looking for your current book Laura as well as the upcoming! I've discovered Australian lit through Jenny's blog and I'm so enjoying the "freshness" of the read. Blessings!

Narelle Atkins said...

Jenny and Laura, great interview! Laura, congrats on your upcoming release :)

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