Escape Artists are rocking the R*BY nominations. The finalists in the Romantic Elements category are: Under The Hood by Juanita Kees and Lost In Kakadu by Kendall Talbot, and in the Short Sweet category A Father At Last by Julie Mac. I caught up with Kendall Talbot to find about the Who, When, Where and Why of Lost in Kakadu – which, in case you haven’t read it yet, is a fantastic Aussie suspense.
In your wildest dreams WHO would play your characters when it’s made into a movie?
My story is Australian, so I’d love Australian actors to play my characters. Abigail, my leading lady has an incredible character arc. She begins as a rich pretentious bitch who is completely useless in the harsh wilderness she’s literally crashed into. But not only does she learn to live there she develops into a strong passionate resourceful woman who can wield an axe and eat all manner of things in order to survive. She discovers who she is and develops a wicked sense of humour along the way. This simply has to be the gorgeous, talented, Cate Blanchett.
My hero, Mackenzie, is sexy, dark haired, with eyes the colour of molten honey and has an Adonis body. Even before the crash his life was a roller coaster of tragedy and triumph. But he’s a man who truly believes in love and isn’t afraid to show it. Eric Bana is the hunky man for this role.
Tell me WHEN you came up with the idea for your R*BY nominated book.
I love hiking in our great Australian bush. There’s nothing like the solitude, the earthy smells, the melodious birds and our abundance of beautiful and sometimes not so beautiful flora and fauna. I wrote this story during the Year of the Novel course at the Qld Writer Centre. But it wasn’t until I was hiking for 4 days in New Zealand’s Milford Track that the story truly came alive. During the hike we carried our own food, water, clothes, bedding etc. We walked in the sun and the rain. We tramped through crystal clear streams and climbed a mountain so high I was on top of the world.
During these 4 days I imagined being lost in the wild without any luxuries. Abigail is a woman who was so horrified about being in the bush, her heart would race just at the thought of it. But when the sun went down and complete blackness consumed her and the bugs came out, just the sound of rustling in the bushes would send her over the edge. Then to give her even more misery, I trapped her with a complete stranger, a man she would never even associate with back at home. Abigail hits breaking point, and then, only then does she truly discover who she really is.
Tell my WHERE your story is set.
The title that says it all: Lost in Kakadu. My characters really do get lost in Australia’s fabulous heritage listed Kakadu National Park. It’s 20 000 kilometers of virgin Australian bush and it offers some of the most amazing scenery including cascading waterfalls, ancient caves complete with Aboriginal paintings, great stone plateaus, crocodile infested wetlands and even a deserted mining town. Perfect. Simply perfect for a survival story.
Tell my WHY you think your story is a R*BY finalist?
My life motto is: I’m grateful that I’m mortal, it motivates me. This story isn’t just a survival story, it’s about living every day as if it were your last. I think Australian readers love my action adventure style of writing, my hidden messages about accepting who we are, and if they love my characters as much as I do, then they too truly believe in love. Sometimes crashing down to earth is exactly what we need. I personally want to thank each and every one of my readers for believing in my story as much as I do.
You can find more about Kendall Talbot and Lost In Kakadu at www.kendalltalbot.com.au
Tea Cooper writes timeless romance from the ocean to the outback. http://www.teacooperauthor.com. LILY’S LEAP is now available for pre-order on amazon, itunes & kobo and for reviewers on NetGalley. Release date July 1st, 2014 Escape Publishing