Today it's the turn of Australian author Hayley Walsh to be featured in the debut spotlight.
I have always loved to write. I live in Sydney Australia with my wonderful man and his two young boys. I work as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Aged Care, in my day job. Telling a fun story women can relate to is great therapy for me. Australians have a great sense of humour, and I enjoy showcasing this in my books. I started to write my first full novel 4 years ago, and have just published my first work titled Crayons and Chaos, my little novella.
Where did the inspiration for your novella Crayons and Chaos come from?
It is a fun story inspired by my real life experience of becoming an instant step mum to two young boys, at the age of forty one, having no children of my own.
I wanted children of my own, but life had other plans for me. Following a marriage breakup, I fell in love with a wonderful man, who had two young boys from a previous relationship.
A few months into our relationship, I was introduced to his offspring. We discussed having his kids week on and week off, meaning I would be taking on a lot, as my partner works shift work. I thought, what the hell am I getting myself into? I dived in head first, despite my fears.
Suddenly I was a step mum to two boisterous boys, and my life has never been the same since. My life as I knew it, had changed forever.
Real life is often the best inspiration for a story. This book is a light-hearted romp through the ups and downs of step parent-hood. A large chunk of the plot is based on true events, with a bit of poetic justice thrown in.
It was a fun story to write, as I reflected on both challenging moments, and some great laughs with the kids. I hope my readers enjoy the story of Natalie, and her experience of wrangling two miniature terrorists.
Describe Natalie in three words.
Which comes first for you, characters or the plot?
My protagonist always comes first. Once I have developed the character and what it is they are facing / trying to achieve, the rest of the characters, and the plot falls tends to fall into place.
What is the first book that you read that made you think 'I would like to write something like that one day'?
This is an easy question to answer. Without a doubt, it would have to be ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, written by Helen Fielding. It is my favourite book of all time, and still makes me laugh when I read it. I love the first person point of view, and it inspired me to write a book from this perspective.
What advice would you give to any other aspiring authors?
Believe in your work and never give up on your dreams.
If you could write in a collaboration with another author, who would you like to write with and why?
This is another easy question to answer. I am a huge fan of both Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. These ladies are, in my opinion, the undisputed queens of the genre. Having the opportunity to learn from them would be amazing.
And finally what can we expect from you next?
I am planning to publish my first full length novel titled making ‘Making March’ in May this year.
‘Midlife crisis versus the month from hell’
The idea for ‘Making March’ came to me many years ago, and 4 years ago I started to write it. I look forward to bringing my baby into the world very soon.(looks like Hayley has published this earlier than expected as Making March is out now on Amazon).
To find out more about Hayley and her books, check her out via the links below:
Facebook: Author Hayley Walsh
All book titles in bold are Amazon UK Affiliate links which will earn me a few pence if anyone clicks through and makes a purchase - any money earned will go towards buying books or gifts for giveaways.