Thursday, February 23, 2012


Why does Margaret Tanner write Australian historical romance? Many people have asked me this question over the years. I have always liked history, particularly Australian history. I am also very interested in geneology, in particular, tracing my family tree.

Like the heroines in my novels, my forebears left their native shores in sailing ships to forge a new life in the untamed frontiers of colonial Australia. They battled bushfires, hardship and the tyranny of distance in an inhospitable and savage land, where only the tough and resilient would survive. They not only survived but prospered in ways that would not have been possible for them had they stayed in Europe.
I would like to think I display the same tenacity. My goals are a little different from those of my forbears. I want to succeed in the publishing world.

I received my baptism of fire on the literary field of battle at an early age. I have known the highs (winning awards and having my books published), but also known the lows of the volatile publishing world. Publishing company closures, an opportunity for one of my novels to be turned into a film, only to be thwarted at the last minute by government funding cuts, and writing friends dropping off because they couldn’t get published and gave up the struggle.

I am a fourth generation Australian. We are a tough, resilient people, and we have fought hard to find our place in the world.   We have beautiful scenery, unique wild life, and a bloodied convict history.

I admire heroines who are resourceful, not afraid to fight for her family and the man she loves. I want my readers to be cheering for her, willing her to obtain her goals, to overcome the obstacles put in her way by rugged frontier men who think they only want a wife to beget sons.  A chance for revenge.  To consolidate their fortunes. That love is for fools.  Oh, the victory for the reader when these tough, ruthless men succumb to the heroine’s bravery and beauty, and are prepared to risk all, even their lives to claim her.
Then there are the brave young men who sailed thousands of miles across the sea in World War 1 to fight for mother England, the birth country of their parents and grandparents. I also wanted to write about the wives and sweethearts who often waited in vain for their loved ones to return. Who were there to nurture the returning heroes, heal their broken bodies and tormented souls.
This is why I write historical romance, even if it means trawling through dusty books in the library, haunting every historical site on the internet, badgering elderly relatives, and risking snake-bite by clambering around overgrown cemeteries.

Wild Oats from The Wild Rose Press is an EPICON 2010 Finalist.

 English aristocrat, Phillip Ashfield, comes to Australia to sow some “Wild Oats”.  After seducing Allison Waverley, he decides to marry an heiress to consolidate the family fortunes.  Phillip has made a fatal choice, that will not only ruin his own life, but the repercussions will be felt by the next generation.

To save Allison from the disgrace of having Phillip’s baby out of wedlock, Tommy Calvert, who has always loved Allison, marries her. Mortally wounded on the French battlefields, Tommy is found by Phillip who learns that Allison has borne him a son. He vows to claim the boy when the war is over, because his wife cannot give him an heir.


Barbara Edwards said...

I'm adding your new relase to my tbr pile. I love history and romance, a winning combination.

Jannine Gallant said...

I adore history, was a history major, have spent way too much time on geneology research. What is it about the past that draws us?

Colleen Connally said...

I loved that you shared what has inspired you. Your spirit reflects in your writing. I'm so happy you decided to write and give us enjoyment through your books.

Alison Henderson said...

I have always loved history, too. In fact, I found romance fiction through historical fiction as a young teenager. Without history, we have no context for the present. Thanks for the post, Margaret!

Laura Breck said...

Very inspirational, Margaret. I like that you're sharing a history that's near to your soul.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Laura, Jannine, Barbara, Allison and Jerri.
Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. My take on history is that why shouldn't our forebears receive the accolades that they so richly deserve. They are the ones who gave us our way of life.



Unknown said...

I think your reasons have a very personal touch. I’m certain that many can relate to you. It reflects what we see everyday – challenges, failures, and victories. This is the reason why I love historical romance (and romance novels overall). Its ability to move its readers, no matter what the setting, is something you won’t find in other literary genres.

Julio Sporer