Monday 3 December 2012

Twenty Questions with... Téa Cooper

I am absolutely delighted to welcome Téa Cooper, author of Tree Change published by Breathless Press onto my blog today. I have been following Téa's progress for over a year now after meeting her 'virtually' during the New Voices competition in October 2011, and I can't wait to hear all about her debut novel.

We've all heard of twenty questions and seeing as I like to write following the three act structure, it seemed like a good idea to treat my interviews in the same manner. It will all become clear as you read on.

So, without further ado, let me formally introduce you to Téa Cooper...

Téa Cooper's website
Err... yeah... okay, that's enough with the formality; it doesn't suit me. Let's get started...

ACT ONE – all about you…

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve always been a writer. Apparently even before I went to school, when I had everyone’s name written on pieces of paper and stuck around my bedroom. I’ve got shelves of journals and diaries too. Some years they are full of busy, busy, busy and other years snippets of stories and poems. Being an author is something I always knew would happen one day – it just took me rather a while to get around to it!

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

Now I have the luxury of choosing I am definitely a morning writer – in winter I’ll stay in bed with a cup of tea, in summer I’m more likely to be outside watching the sun rise.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

No! Not one book especially and not one specific author. I read everything from Shakespeare to billboards and I’m a bit like a sponge. I soak it all up.

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I hate telephones – mobile or otherwise…scary! I lived in India for twelve months. I have a scar through my right eyebrow – I fell through a shop window!

5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

Does my Mac Book Pro count as a luxury item or a necessity? I couldn’t be without it. Kindle is getting close, coffee machine and probably not much else!

6) The festive season is looming large, do you have a particular Christmas tradition that you like to indulge in? And what about New Year’s resolutions, will you be joining in the madness for 2013?

My birthday is on Christmas Eve so Christmas is on hold until midnight then there’s always a mad rush. Christmas in Australia usually means seafood and beaches – it’s a tradition I have willingly adopted! Tough huh?!

ACT TWO – all about your new release…

Buy it Now
$3.49 / £2.49
(Amazon links below)
Forced to choose between the world she wants and the man she loves, Cassia opts for fame and fortune. But it's not enough—one taste and she's hooked again...
Despite her success in the Sydney art world, Cassia yearns for the idyllic life she once lead with Jake in their shack over looking the Pacific Ocean. Seeking closure she falls, like an addict, straight back into his arms, and out again equally quickly. Not only has he taken up with his brother's wife, but it seems they have a child.
Truth is, Jake's living a lie, sworn to secrecy, and hamstrung by the debt he owes his estranged family. But one glimpse of Cassia and he knows he cannot live without her. Her fey, artistic character and magical body possess his imagination and his heart. Can he convince her to trust him long enough to save the crumbling remains of their relationship?

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Tree Change, what was your inspiration for writing Cassia and Jake’s story?

Tree Change was originally called The Shack. The Shack actually existed many years ago. It overlooked one of my favourite NSW beaches – Pearl Beach (check out my Pinterest). Unfortunately the old houses have all been knocked down and the area has become a bit of a millionaire’s paradise but the view is still great. Cassia and Jake took over … I didn’t have much to do with the rest of the story!

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

The story flowed pretty easily – the sequence was more of a problem.

9) With Tree Change being your debut novel, how long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

It seems like forever but in actual fact not long. Tree Change was my 2011 New Voices entry and I wrote it specifically for that purpose in around October, sitting at Pearl Beach. After NV I decided to finish it. I sent it to M&B and got a R&R and truthfully I was disgustingly impatient so I sent it to a few e-publishers and signed with Breathless Press in April 2012.

(M&B = Mills & Boon and R&R = revise and resubmit)

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence that you would like to tantalise us with?

Her finger traced the text message. "2moro fwm. cu < 3"
Tomorrow. Fine with me or...fine with Madeleine? Good question.
Love you too.

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Tree Change, to make us rush out and buy it?

If you like a tear jerker, and who doesn’t – Cassia and Jake are the perfect torn asunder couple. And if you’ve ever fancied a trip Downunder it’s a lot cheaper than a plane ticket – there’s a bit of suspense thrown in as well. There are some great images on Pinterest to get you ‘in the mood’, and most of them are originals.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

I have just finished my second Australian historical romance called Matilda’s Madness (Thanks to NaNoWriMo). It is a sequel to Lily’s Leap which will be published by Lyrical Press in May 2013. Both are set in Wollombi, the time-warp village I call home. I also have a couple of contemporary rural romances – The Protea Boys and Passionfruit & Poetry which I’ll have some exciting news about very soon….And I am waiting, and waiting, to hear about a novella I wrote called A Winning Streak. It’s a romance set in Ancient Greece.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…

13) Plotter or pantser?

Panster turned plotter 

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)

Famous Five

15) Digital books or print books?

Print first – digital for the convenience

16) Tea or coffee?

Tea when I wake up – coffee after that

17) Cats or dogs?

Dogs – everyone knows Poppy!

18) Extrovert or introvert?

Depends on my mood!

19) Save or spend?

Depends on my mood!

20) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook – I talk too much to cram it into however many characters it is!

And there we have it!

Thank you ever so much, Téa, for answering my questions. It's been lovely getting to know both you, and Tree Change better.

I am SO with you on the hatred of telephones - can't stand them and avoid talking into them at all costs. Try to separate me from my smartphone, however, and the scenes wouldn't be pretty - just because I don't "talk" into it, doesn't mean I don't use it for everything else. And you know I'm going to have to ask you about the shop window incident some day, right?

Hey – thanks for having me over! Hope Christmas is Cancelled is a raging success!

Oh yes, not long now! EEK! I'm looking forward to coming over to your blog and telling you all about it on December 15th. In fact, this seems like a good time to share the ways to keep in touch with you:

Website     Blog     Facebook
Twitter     Pinterest     Goodreads

And, of course, the buy links for Tree Change I promised...

Breathless Press

Thanks again for stopping by, Téa, and I wish you every success with Tree Change. Maybe you like to come again soon to tell us more about Lily's Leap?


  1. Hi Aurelia and Tea. Tea, I congratulate you on your book Tea and wish you every success with it. I shall be putting it on my wish list.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Maria.

      I have Tree Change on my kindle already and cannot wait to get stuck in.

  2. A fabulous book and I DO love the cover. ANd Tea... I agree there is nothing like an Aussie Christmas. I am so glad you have adjusted!

    1. I'm not sure I could be convinced with a hot and sunny Christmas, Annie, no matter how cold it is doing the school runs at the moment.

    2. And thank you for stopping by, of course, Annie. (Oops!)

  3. Hi Tea and Aurelia! Wishing you lots and lots of Christmas sales Tea - love your new photo too! I think I could cope with an Australian Christmas, wouldn't take much to persuade me to try it :-)

    1. I agree, Téa's new photo is fab!

      Thank you for stopping by Susie.

  4. Such a great interview. Yep, there's nothing like an Aussie Christmas!! :)
    Congrats again on the release! :)


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