I would like to introduce Australian western author, Susan Horsnell, and welcome her to Embrace Adventure. Just living in Australia conjures up all kinds of adventurous images in my mind, and I dream of going there someday. For now, let’s get to know Susan, and we can live our Australian dreams vicariously through her.
First, Susan, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been retired for almost 5 years which is wonderful. I now have the time to do the things I have always wanted. As a child I was a dancer, did TV work as well as Pantomimes at clubs during the holidays. We have a young granddaughter who is also fast becoming an accomplished dancer. We have a granddaughter who is a brilliant horsewoman and is very good at Marshall Arts, her sister is also very good at Marshall Arts. We have 2 gorgeous grandsons who are also into sports. We are very blessed.
What are your hobbies away from the computer?
We have 2 Jack Russell’s who I walk every day. I am an avid reader and my husband, of almost 40 years, and I love travel.
What did you do before you became an author?
I was a Nurse for almost 35 years. I nursed mainly the elderly and disabled. Very mentally taxing as well as physical, but I wouldn’t have done anything else.
What type of books do you write?
Western Romance with some murder, torture and damsel in distress scenes thrown in. I love the stories conjured up with cowboys, sheriff’s and the outlaws. Can make for some very juicy and romantic scenes.
What is your latest book about?
Haha. Believe it or not my latest book is in collaboration with my eldest daughter-in-law, Coralie. She is an artist and talked me into writing a children’s book. It’s called ‘The Mystery Under The House’ and we have literally just released it. There are all sorts of strange characters, goblins, fairies etc.
My other recent release is ‘Blind Achievement’. This is the sequel to my award winning – ‘Blind Acceptance.’ These books are about a 6 year old child who is blinded in a wagon accident and his fight to learn how to live on a ranch without sight. It also explores his father’s reaction to his son being suddenly blind. The first book has Phillip as a 6 year old while the second has him at college as an 18 year old.
What inspired you to write Blind Acceptance?
I worked with the blind for 4 years and witnessed the struggles, not only the victim went through but also their family. It is difficult for a family to have a ‘perfect’ child and then have to deal with a sudden disability.
What are you working on now?
I am actually working on a novel set around here in Canberra, Australia. It will be on a cattle station in the 1800’s. I am going to have a white, British, Aristocratic Lawyer (son of the property owners) become involved with an Aboriginal Dairymaid who works for them. White/Aboriginal affairs were not accepted back then so could be rather controversial.
What are the similarities and/or difference you’ve seen between the American and Australian Western?
Hugely different. We didn’t have Sheriff’s, one of the main reasons I wrote American based westerns. Nothing says westerns like a local, hunky, drool-worthy sheriff. We have cowboys but to me America says cowboy in the truest sense. We have a history of Bushrangers – Ned Kelly – for example, but nothing like the outlaws of America and one huge difference – we don’t have Indians!
I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney in the 50's and 60's. My parents are originally from the Newcastle-Under-Lyme area of England and came to Australia in 1952 as £10 poms. My father was a Painter and Decorator and I was the eldest of five children. We lived comfortably and we wanted for nothing.
I met my husband, Robert, in 1973 and we married in March 1974; we were both 18 years old. I was a Nurse, a career that spanned more than 35 years. Robert is now a Commodore in the RAN having served more than 40 years. We have 2 adult sons, both married with family. I have always loved the country and have a fascination with Texas in the 19th century - I think I must have lived my previous life there!!
Susan has generously offered to give away an ecopy, through Amazon, of Blind Acceptance and Blind Achievement to one person randomly selected from all comments received on this blog post through midnight (Central Time-U.S.) on December 21, 2013 (an email address must be included in order to contact the winner). Thank you, Susan for visiting.