Shelf Unbound: How does the setting of the Australian Outback influence the story?
Victoria Capper: They say, “write what you know,” and I know the Australian Outback. It’s different, distinctive with its own special atmosphere. It is a fascinating way of life and my aim is to make it come alive for other people. I want my readers to feel that they are really there—close to the land with the birds and the animals and the sky and the seasons an integral part of daily life.
Shelf Unbound: How do you go about creating your characters, such as Jenna Mackenzie?
Capper: I develop my characters from an amalgamation of several different people I know, gathering the characteristics I need. I wanted a girl who was born and bred on the land who knew her way around quite comfortably so I thought of a few girls I knew like that. Then a city girl who was a ballet teacher was a template to make Jenna very different in style and build.
Shelf Unbound: Opal Ridge is your first novel.
What interested you in writing a romance?
Capper: Romance is such a deeply natural part of human life. Once our food, water and shelter needs are met, we crave and need relationships. Love stories abound wherever there are people, especially young people.
Shelf Unbound: Opal Ridge is the first in a series.
Can you give us a hint about what comes next for
Jenna and Charles?
Capper: My series is about life in the Australian Outback set in theOpal Ridgedistrict and covers numerous people. These people all know each other and interact naturally together but each story is about a different set of typical circumstances in the bush. The second book is about Thea, the girl who travels out with Jenna in the bus and how she finds the life and relationships. Coming out she finds the bush scary, spiders, men with guns, murky water, what will she find next? She finds Bruce, an attractive, protective man. But there are a lot of experiences, good and bad, before she can decide if this is a life for her or not. Can she tolerate these harsh conditions? What else will terrify her? Is there any point?