Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Today, we're on the beach with Téa Cooper

I'm really excited to have the talented Téa Cooper here at my somewhat chilly, (-2 degrees at the moment) UK blogspot!

Hi Téa! Great to have you here today. Huge congratulations on your latest book, Tree Change. Now I don’t want to get myself a reputation for making all of my guests tipsy on alcoholic beverages, but can I offer you a small virtual tipple or two? It is the festive season and all.

Thank you – I wouldn’t say no to a glass of champagne especially as it’s so hot in Australia this summer!

Let's start off with an introduction to your book...
Why not – it makes a change…Tree Change?

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 a recovering addict, straight back into his arms, and out again equally quickly. Not only has he his taken up with his brother's wife but it seems they have a child.

Truth is Jake is living a lie, sworn to secrecy and hamstrung by a promise. Cassia’s 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?

Enjoy that teaser? Stay tuned as there will be a chance to win an electronic copy of Tree Change.

I love to learn a bit more about the author when I do an interview, so can you tell us a little about yourself, if you’d be so kind.

Where to start…born in UK, lived and worked in India, travelled South East Asia and ended up in Australia and never went ‘home’. The sunshine and high Australian sky sucked me in. I always wanted to write fiction – I’ve been a journalist, editorial assistant, teacher, alpaca and protea farmer and finally I’m doing what I always wanted to do. 

How did the first ideas for Tree Change come about and how long did it take to write the first draft?

The beach where Cassia and Jake lived is one of my favourite beaches. It’s called Pearl Beach, on the NSW Central Coast. I wrote the opening chapters there and submitted them to New Voices 2011. I hadn’t finished the story and had no idea where it would go but Cassia and Jake took over and Breathless Press offered me a contract in June 2012.

Cassia, your heroine and Jake, your hero…can you tell us a little more about them?

Cassia and Jake are a match made in heaven before the beginning of the story but circumstances get in their way. Cassia is a successful artist – sculptor, and Jake is an environmentalist, a greenie. Cassia has to move to the city to make a name for herself and she doesn’t expect Jake to take off with his brother’s wife, Madeleine and father her child….

I adore your cover art. Did you have much say with it?

I had to describe the characters but the wonderfully talented Victoria Miller at Breathless Press is responsible for the artwork. I am in awe of her ability to read my mind – the couple are Cassia and Jake before, after and always.

Did you decide on the title, Tree Change or did you have some input from elsewhere?

It was originally called The Shack – the name of Cassia and Jake’s beach house but somewhere along the line it became Tree Change. Something to do with the panster thing I think.

What’s the meaning behind the title?

Tree Change - it’s an Australian expression and is explained in the story. Sea Change is when you toss in your city life and move to the beach and Tree Change when you toss in your city life and move to the bush (countryside) Cassia and Jake did it a bit differently but you’ll have to read the book to find out!!

What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about being a writer?

Favourite is meeting the characters and having their story spring to life. Least favourite would have to be the business side. I’m a garret kind of person – I’d rather just write the stories not deal with the real world!

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I started out a panster and have become more of a plotter as time has gone on but my characters tend to take over and change the ending.

I plotted everything into oblivion for NaNoWriMo and Entangled Smackdown in November and still Matilda took over – she didn’t tell me the whole story until nearly the end! (Matilda’s Madness is the sequel to Lily’s Leap. They are both Australian historical romances. Lily’s Leap will be released in May 2013.)

Print or E-reader?

Print really I have hundreds of books, in fact I’ve just turned the garage into a library but the convenience of an e-reader….

I like to throw a random question out there once in a while....If you could have a BBQ on Pearl Beach with three guests (absolutely anyone - alive/deceased/human/you name it!) who would they be? 

My grandfather, Poppy (the dog) and my best friend, Caro.

Lastly, what is the best piece of ‘writing’ advice that has been given to you…

Start the story where your character’s life changes – a rather bad paraphrase from Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance.



She dismissed his words with a wave of her hand, but her eyes betrayed her. He knew her too well. The burn of hurt behind their velvety depths had nothing to do with the here and now, but everything to do with the past. His fault? Lyle's fault? No one's fault? Just circumstance.

"I need answers, and I need them now. I can't go on like this. Either we are together or we are not. You have to make a choice: Madeleine or me. I can't be a convenience you can pick up and put down as the mood takes you."

"My feelings for you, Cass, are a million things but convenience isn't one of them." He shook his head in sorrowful disbelief. How could she not recognize the bond they had?
"Madeleine?" Her raised eyebrows challenged him.
"Right now I can't explain what happened with Madeleine, but her safety is paramount."

Her body shuddered as if she was trying to lift a great weight. What was he doing to her? Madeleine, Madeleine, always Madeleine. "I can't do this again, Jake. I need to go home." Jake slipped her cardigan over her frail shoulders and then stepped back to allow her to lead the way past the bar and up the narrow stairs to street level.

He unlocked the car door and held it open. Her skirt caught on the ribbons of her espadrille and, as he leaned down to untangle them, she flinched. Closing her door with exaggerated care he walked around to the driver's door and let himself in. He clicked his seat belt into its clasp before he twisted the key in the ignition. The engine sprang to life, and he pulled out into the darkened street.

"You have to trust me, Cass. I know it is difficult, but you just have to trust me and wait. Everything will be sorted out soon."
Her sigh filled the car. "Jake, I can't. How can I? I've tried and look where we've ended up. Me in Sydney, and you living with your brother's girlfriend."
"Wife," he corrected, regretting the word the moment it left his lips.

Ok, peeps, Téa has kindly agreed to give away an electronic copy of 'Tree Change' to one of you lucky folk! All you have to do is comment on this post.... Téa will then pick a winner by random in 5 days time. 

You can find Téa here, here and here...





Email: teacooperauthor@gmail.com

And you can purchase Tree Change from:

Amazon UK

Amazon Com

Breathless Press

Lovely to have you over here, Téa! All the very best with 'Tree Change'. I'm sure it will be a huge hit. Now, I need to get saving so I can visit Pearl Beach and maybe join you for a BBQ one day! :-) 

'Til next time! 




  1. It is a fabulous story, Tea! Congratulations. I look froward to seeing more contemporary romance from you as well as the historicals!

  2. I second what Annie just said! And can I join you and Sam on Pearl Beach for that BBQ - with a glass of champagne?!

    1. We are going to get a reputation for these 'pre noon, alcoholic tipples', Susie/Tea! x

  3. Thanks for having me Sam and you guys will be pleased to know the sky is blue, the sun is up and the ice bucket is prepared! Hope it's not too cold in your neck of the woods.

    1. Well according to my iPhone weather thingy-me-bob, it's -6 degreaser!!!! Though we've had the heating on for last hour so we're toasty. The beach couldn't sound any more inviting! X

  4. Dear Tea, what an exciting life! UK, India, Australia, Southeast Asia... am really jealous! :)

    I already have Tree Change and can't wait to start reading it! Good luck and congrats! Happy sales. ;)

  5. Great interview - and great book! What's out next and when?

  6. My next appearance is with my historical hat on! May 2012 - Lily's Leap with Lyrical Press. An Australian love story set amongst the gum trees in Wollombi and Sydney in 1850 with a rather dishy bushranger!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...