If you know me at all, you know I love to read. It not only keeps me sane, but it also helps me be a better writer, myself, at least in my opinion. I stumbled across Autumn Macarthur a couple of years ago when she was giving away one of her stories for free. Free is my favorite price, so I snatched it up. I've since snatched up almost all of her other stories, too. I loved her writing that much. She has a way of telling a story that gets you involved heart and mind, from the very beginning. So, when I reached out to her to see if she'd be interested in doing an interview, and she said yes, I was thrilled. I just finished reading her latest release, Together for Christmas, which is a re-release of four of her stories as a boxed set for Christmas. Read all the way to the end to find out how you can be entered to win your own copy of these sweet stories.
Without further ado, let's chat with Autumn.
Autumn, you're an Australian living in England, but a lot of your characters are American. How does that work? Is it harder or easier to write about people not from your home country?
Great question! After living away from my home country for twenty-two years now (eep, how can it be so long?!) it’s easier not to write Australian characters! I’ve lost touch with how Aussies talk now. My trips back haven’t been long enough or frequent enough to get to know the current language. So I kinda feel I only how Aussies used to talk. Not good for writing contemporary romance!
Though I would love to write stories set in the country I love, I’ve decided to move a part-drafted romance series set in Australia to the US, instead. The stories will need some significant changes, but the small-town coastal setting should transfer okay. I have a bunch of ideas for historical novels set in Australia, and God willing, I’ll get to write those someday.
Of course, I don’t always get my American characters right. I’m constantly discovering US/UK English differences I wasn’t aware of. But reading loads of American books with American grammar and spelling in a lifetime as a voracious reader, working for an American company for several years, plus having an American editor and a critique partner who has lived in America for twenty years do help!
I don't even want to try to write a character from somewhere else for fear I'll mess up the colloquialisms, so I'm impressed at how well you pull it off.
Speaking of things more typical to places other than here, when I was in college, I ran around with several friends who got me hooked on drinking hot tea. I know I probably don't drink it properly, but I usually have at least one cup a day ... or more. This is probably a silly question, but I'm curious. How do you take your tea? Do you have a favorite?
LOL, hot tea is downright un-American, isn’t it? A very English thing. Ask for tea in many parts of Europe and they’ll ask if you’re ill, as on the Continent, “tea” equals herbal tea, taken as medicine! I confess to not ever drinking regular tea. No coffee either. I react badly to caffeine, so it’s safer to give it a miss. I’ll occasionally drink green tea with lemon or a herbal tea. My husband is a huge tea drinker, though he’s recently switched to drinking a spiced chai. I love the smell, but haven’t been tempted to try it!
Chai is one of my favorites, but I understand avoiding caffeine, too.
It's always fun to find out how other authors got started writing. What led you to put fingers to keyboard?
I’m one of those people who started reading aged three, and started writing stories as soon as I could hold a pencil and form letters. I just loved books and stories so much! One of my biggest ambitions was to be a published author.
I started so many stories over the years. But though it’s embarrassing to admit it, I didn’t finish anything longer than a few thousand words until I was 48! I have a sad and shameful trail of abandoned first chapters behind me. Then as 50 approached, an inner switch seemed to flick over, I gave myself permission to write lousy first draft, and started finishing full stories at last.
I’ve learned a lot about writing and written a bunch of books since then, but some things never change. I still write lousy first draft! I just learned to love the revision process instead of judging what I’d written so harshly. There’s something so satisfying and exciting as with the help of my crit partner and editor the “real” story begins to emerge from the mess!
I've read quite a few of your stories, and loved every single one. Can you give us a hint of what you're working on now?
Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed my stories. Finally, finally, FINALLY, after keeping the poor guy waiting for years, I’m about to start Brodie’s story, book 4 in The Macleans, my Scottish series. He’s a difficult and challenging characters to write, disabled, angry, and prickly. He’s definitely met his match in the girl I have lined up for him, a feisty single mom. And God has some big lessons in store for them both!
Yay! I've loved that series, so I'm excited to read another.
You've released several books that belong to a series written with other authors. Do you prefer to create your own world when writing, or is it easier to have the other authors helping by adding in their own characters?
I’ve loved the experiences of working in shared worlds, both someone else’s world, like the now defunct Kindle Worlds project; or a world I’ve at least part created, like A Tuscan Legacy, a storyworld Marion Ueckermann and I created. Working on shared projects with other authors is great fun, and it’s amazing seeing how each author adds something unique and new to the setting and the characters.
But oy vey, the time needed in joint brainstorming, planning, discussion, making sure settings and characters stay consistent between books! Allow two or three times longer than it would take to write a book on one’s own. It’s soooooo much easier and quicker to just create my own world and my own characters.
Despite that, Marion, Alexa Verde and I have teamed up and brainstormed several new three-author projects we’re super excited about. Lack of ideas is never a problem. Time to write unfortunately is!
One last question, just for fun. Can you tell us something very few people know about you?
I’ve tandem skydived not once but twice. The first time I was scared silly, literally frozen with terror. It was a horrible experience. So much so, I had to do it again next time a skydiving team came to town, to prove to myself I could overcome the fear. The second time was great, I loved every bit of it. But I hope and pray I never, ever do it again!
Wow! I'm not sure I could even talk myself into getting on the plane. Whew. Thanks for chatting with us today, Autumn! We've enjoyed getting to know you better.
Autumn has agreed to giveaway an ecopy of her book, Together for Christmas, to a lucky winner. To be entered, just leave a comment below. Thanks!
Keep reading to find out more about Autumn, ways to keep in touch with her, and more about her stories. And if you don't win the giveaway on here, on December 8-12, check this link to snatch up her Christmas book, Believe in Me, for free.
I'm a USA Today bestselling author of clean Christian inspirational romances with a strong touch of faith. If you love happy-ever-afters, sweet romance, and Hallmark movies, chances are you’ll enjoy my stories!
Originally from Sydney, Australia, I now live in a small town not far from London, England, with my very English husband (aka The Cat Magnet), and way too many rescue cats for our tiny house! We’ve now also recently added two guinea pigs to our family. For such small creatures, they have amazingly huge personalities.
When I’m not feeding cats, I garden as much as I can, hand sew, read, and most of all
write my heartwarming stories of love and faith. With every story, God teaches me
the exact same lessons my hero and heroine need to learn to commit to their forever
My website is http://faithhomeandheartwarming.com, and I’m on Facebook as Autumn Macarthur. You’re very welcome to join my friendly Facebook reader group,
Three Authors and a Blogger!
Sign up for my no-more-than-weekly email newsletter here for all my book news! Or if you’d like to be updated about my new releases but get fewer emails, you can choose to follow me on Amazon or BookBub.
Four sweet and clean Christian romances to warm your heart this holiday season! Snuggle up with these faith-filled stories of hope and love, celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. Visit London for a series of Christmas dates, experience New Year's Eve in Edinburgh, fall in love all over again in lake-side Idaho, and discover home and healing in small-town Oregon, all within the pages of these complete and standalone romances. If you love Hallmark movies, Love Inspired Books, and happy-ever-afters, chances are the Together for Christmas collection will encourage, uplift, and inspire you!
Book 1: Believe in Me (Love in Store series)
When Nick Gallagher, the Hollywood actor playing the store's celebrity Santa challenges accountant Cara to a series of dates as a Christmas dare, can the Christmas-hating accountant overcome her painful past and rediscover love, joy and faith? A heartwarming reminder of the importance of believing in God's promises. Novel-length.
Previously in Home for Christmas, now also in London Loves.
Book 2: A Model Bride (The Macleans series)
Christmas in London, New Year's Eve in Edinburgh, where next? Nothing in her Europe trip goes as Tiffany Gallagher planned, but when she meets wounded Scottish photo-journalist Mac while volunteering at a homeless shelter, she discovers God's purpose for her life is far more than she imagined! Novel length.
Previously in Winter for Love, now also in London Loves.
Book 3: Calm & Bright (Huckleberry Lake series)
Will Brad and Maddie let God use a Christmas together for the sake of their son to help them rediscover the love that led to their whirlwind romance, and overcome the issues that caused their divorce? Even Maddie's matchmaking grandmother and their adorable four year old might not be enough to help them reunite! Longer novella length.
Previously in Candy Cane Kisses, and Frosting & Flurries; now also in Come to the Lake.
Book 4: His Healing Touch (Sweetapple Falls)
Are some wounds too deep for love to heal? When grieving nurse Lainie Sullivan encounters Adam, a wounded warrior and her ex-patient, in a small Oregon town at Christmas, only trusting in God's goodness can heal both their wounds and free them to love. Short novel length - a revised and significantly extended version of the story previously published as Love's Healing Touch in the First Street Church Kindle Worlds. The new edition is available for the first time in this set.
A revised and extended version of a Kindle Worlds story, Love's Healing Touch.
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)