Monday 20 February 2017

Author Spotlight - Alison Stuart

By Cassandra Samuels

Firstly, I must confess I love Alison's books, but beyond being a brilliant author she is also an amazing person who often puts herself out to help others and is a major contributor to Romance Writers Australia.

Alison has published seven full-length historical romances and a collection of short stories. Her disposition to write about soldier heroes may come from her varied career as a lawyer in the military and fire services. These days when she is not writing she is travelling, and routinely drags her long-suffering husband around battlefields and castles.

We are very happy to have Alison as our very first Author Spotlight guest. Enjoy!

Hi, girls! Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today.

Name one thing you’re scared of.
Just one? Really, really scared? I’m not fond of spiders or snakes or heights, but I think I am really scared of vast tracts of water. I have this terror of what is underneath me (sharks, monsters…you know the usual things!) ! I am OK in large boats but in small yachty type boats, I am generally clinging onto something for dear life and hoping we don’t capsize. I blame my husband…and an unfortunate incident with a catamaran on our honeymoon.

Like to share an embarrassing moment?
My most truly embarrassing moment was the day I unwisely followed my husband down a ski slope and dislocated my shoulder. Despite the fact I was quite capable of walking, the ski patrol insisted on strapping me into a gurney and skiing me out along a track, strapping me on to a ski lift and then ski-doing to the medical centre right through the centre of the village. I was scarlet by the time I was eventually unstrapped! Oh yes… did I mention my husband routinely tries to kill me on holiday (see answer above)

What is the premise of your latest book?
My latest book (AND THEN MINE ENEMY) is the first in a two book series spanning the years 1642-45 (a somewhat ambitious project!). I wanted to explore the English Civil War from the perspective of, firstly, a family divided and secondly, with a hero on the parliamentary side (instead of the more romantic royalists!).

Buy this book here

What unique challenges did the book pose?
This story was originally intended as a single book and had been lingering in the cyber sock drawer for some years. I would get it out and tinker but I just couldn’t get it to work. I guess with maturity in my craft, it hit me the last time I re read it, that the reason it didn’t work was because it had two quite distinct story arcs, in other words it was two stories, which is how it became the Feathers in the Wind series.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on Book 2, NOW MY SWORN FRIEND, but for the reasons I cited above, it’s not coming easily! I have had to effectively scrap everything I had in mind for Book 2 and start from scratch!

Love to love...

My greatest joy is my family. Nothing gives me more pleasure or fills my heart as much as having all my family together around my table, particularly as we have recently expanded by one with the addition of our first grandchild.

Love to laugh... 

At really great British humour. Blackadder, Yes Minister… they have been around for a long time and they still reduce me to tears (in the good way!). I love clever humour (and loathe slapstick!).

Love to learn about...

New aspects of history. Travelling around Europe I can link the bits and pieces I have gleaned, the intricate family and political relationships. It doesn’t matter where I go I always learn something new. 

More About Alison
Award winning Australian author Alison Stuart learned her passion for history from her father. She has been writing stories since her teenage years but it was not until 2007 that her first full-length novel was published. Connect with Alison at her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or subscribe to her newsletter for exclusive free reads, contests and more…

BUY AND THEN MINE ENEMY at these places.


  1. Alison, how fabulous to hear about your work. I love the way you've chosen slightly more unusual times for your historicals - doesn't the saying go that 'everything I've learnt, I've learnt from a romance novel'? Bonus points for history gleaned along the way! Your holidays certainly sound adventurous - and I'm a bit similar about being on boats, with all the monsters of the deep underneath me. {{{shudder}}} Thanks for a great post.

    1. Hi Malvina... thanks for stopping by. I do think historical romance authors are under a moral obligation to get their history right! Sadly not all do.
      And as for small boats... there was that other time DH capsized the yachty thing we were on in what felt like the middle of St. Vincents Gulf. Now I KNOW there are sharks there...

  2. Hi Alison! Firstly, let me say How much I LOVE that cover - so evocative and romantic. Like you, I am terrified of small boats (light planes, too!) and I also have an absolute fascination for castles (we spent a lot of time in Wales last year visiting many of them). Can't wait to read the Feathers in the Wind series when it's completed.

    1. Hi Marilyn. Thanks for dropping in.
      I adore this cover and book 2 is even better if that is possible. Trouble is I just have to write the book to go with the cover!
      When I dragged my boys around the castles in Wales they called them 'holey castles'. Mind you I nearly lost them in Conwy when a harrassed school teacher hustled them into her school party.

    2. Ooh! Look forward to a sighting of the cover for the 2nd book (and to it getting written :) ).
      Hahaha! Being an ex-schoolie, I can easily picture how that could have happened to your boys.

  3. Thank you lovely BIB girls for having me as your guest today :-)

  4. Hi Ladies

    What a great post I love your stories Alison they have always bought me such joy your stories are compelling reading I savour every word thank you I remember meeting you back in 2009 in Melbourne and will be back there this weekend :)

    Have Fun

    1. Looking forward to seeing you too! Thank you for being one of my favourite readers :-)

  5. Hi Alison, "And Then Mine Enemy" sounds fascinating. Like you, I love British comedy. "Yes Minister" was a fantastic series. The books were good too. I enjoy sailing. We had our honeymoon on Dunk Island and took the catamarans out daily. The winds were particularly strong on the last day, and I tipped the boat by jibing too quickly. Thirty years of marriage and my husband still teases me about it.

    1. That was how I came to be in the catamaran... a howling gale and nobody else wanted to sail. We didn't capsize but I can still see the rocks looming up at us!
      I've just been watching the Yes Minister series again... nothing changes!

  6. Hi Alison. Lucky you to have such gorgeous covers for your equally gorgeous stories. I love learning the history as I read the romances. Like you, I'm not fond of boats. Whether big or small they are enemies to my stomach which revolts in the most embarrassing ways in front of horrified passengers. So boat travel is not a favourite.

    1. Mercifully I don't suffer from mal de mer. I remember doing a rough cross channel ferry crossing and being rather surprised to see people actually did go green!

  7. Oh Alison I've fallen into the two story thing. In the process of extracting the two stories at the moment. Not an easy task. My fear is cockroaches. I know they don't bite but they like to run at you and are just icky.


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