Another beautiful Saturday with another great author. This week we have Amalie Coles. She writes contemporary romance and chick lit. Let’s find out more…
Welcome to Love Indie Romance, Amalie! Tell us about yourself.
Hi! Thank you so much for having me here! I’m a stay-at-home mom/freelancer/indie writer with a geeky side. I love all things related to archaeology and learning, and my favorite form of therapy is a trip to a museum or a bookstore. On a good day, you’ll find me inside Starbucks or Second Cup penning ideas for my next novel, or the one meant to come after. When I’m not writing, I like spending time with my family and friends.
Part of your book, My Journey, is set in Israel. Have you ever been to Israel? If so, describe your experience there. If not, what kind of research involved depicting the scenery?
Yes, I travelled to Israel twice, both as part of an archaeology dig and as a tourist. Many places I’d visited, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and sites in the Galilee, serve as part of the setting of my novel. Although I haven’t visited Ashkelon yet, I was able to get a good sense of what this place may look or feel like thanks to Google Earth. When researching about Becky’s excavation project, I used a lot of scholarly articles and field reports to discover more about the dig. For the most part, however, my novel is based on my past travels and personal experience with Israeli culture.
You’re an archaeology enthusiast. Have you ever been on an archaeology dig? If so, describe in detail what it was like. What would be your favorite archaeology dig to go on?
I was part of Bethsaida Excavations Project back in 2013. This site is mentioned briefly at the end of My Journey, when Becky recounts the last road trip she and Jason took before returning home. Becky’s daughter, Julia, gets named after this site that was also known as Julias (after a Roman empress Julia).
For me, the digging experience at Bethsaida was phenomenal. I got to meet lots of fellow archaeology geeks from around the world, practice Hebrew with the locals, and even give a small presentation. The people at the cozy village of Ginosar, where our group stayed, were hospitable and charming.
Regardless of all its amazing aspects, digging wasn’t always easy. We would get up at five in the morning, have a bus take us to the site, and work on the ground until noon. Lots of times, I’d spend hours and hours filling up buckets with earth and hauling them to the sifter just to discover one tiny shard or even nothing. I often wondered where all the coins and ancient amulets were hiding, lol. In the afternoons we had a bit of downtime, during which I usually tried catching up with homework (I was taking a distance education course at that time), but normally I would just cave in and hit the beach. The last activity we would have before dinner was pottery reading, which involved sorting through shards and trying to figure out where they belonged in terms of the archaeological timeline. Overall, the excavation season was pretty busy, but also fun and inspiring. I think without my experience at Bethsaida, I wouldn’t be able to write this novel.
Phillipa Nefri Clark lives in country Victoria with her husband, two sons, and a gorgeous black Labrador. Working a dual role in marketing and retail in the family’s pet supplies business, Phillipa uses her skills to write engaging copy whilst loving every minute spent with customers and their owners.
Her published work includes many non-fiction expert pieces about dogs, three international specialist dog yearbooks, newspaper articles, science fiction fanzine stories, and a series of short film scripts used by a NZ Film school.
When not working or writing, Phillipa loves reading everything from romance to thrillers and speculative fiction, enjoys growing vegetables and roses, and being with her much loved family.
The inspiration for The Stationmaster’s Cottage came from the real life cottage nearby, a childhood spent in coastal towns, and the poignant reunion with her sister after a lifetime apart. It was registered initially as a screenplay in 2005 with WGA and conceived in 2002. Phillipa is a member of Romance Writers of Australia.
Slinging her handbag over a shoulder, she collected her wet clothes and damp shoes. The house was deserted, so she wandered outside to a dramatic sunset of gold and red.
Martin stood at the railing staring out over the sea, wearing dry jeans and a dark blue T-shirt. Randall ate dinner from a stainless steel bowl, briefly lifting his head as Christie stepped out. She paused to take in the view and Martin turned around.
Christie appeared fragile, smaller in the oversized T-shirt. Still-damp hair curled around her face. The colours from the sunset created an ethereal aura that turned her into something out of an artist’s imagination. She was breathtakingly natural and beautiful and was unaware of it. Martin could not take his eyes off her.
“Funny how things work out.” she said.
“I’m supposed to be on Lizard Island enjoying sunsets, the ocean and cocktails.”
“Would you settle for a sunset, the ocean and a local chardonnay?” Martin picked up two glasses of white wine from the small table near the deckchairs and held one out to Christie.
Surprised, she hesitated. Was this a truce of kinds? Should she even be here, with a man who was little more than a stranger? Martin watched the brief battle in her eyes, curious about what she was thinking.
“Thanks.” Something deep inside her wanted this to continue so she proposed a toast. “To sunsets, the ocean, and chardonnay.”
“To things working out the way they’re meant to.” Martin counter-proposed and they touched their glasses together with a clink.
Christie put her clothes, shoes and handbag on one of the deckchairs and joined Martin at the railing. She sipped on the wine, relaxing for the first time in oh so long. The sun dropped below the horizon, leaving a trail of fading pink and a soft golden glow across the sea. A light breeze carried the salty tang of the ocean, complementing the heady scent of jasmine along the railing.