Saturday, 6 October 2012

Interview: Loretta Hill

This week, I have the lovely and incredibily talented Loretta Hill joining me on the blog. Loretta is a Random House author and her debut novel 'The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots' is a fantastic read which I loved!

I'm very happy to have her here, so lets get to the questions:

As always, can you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and your writing?

Well, my name is Loretta Hill. I am a mother of four, educated and employed as a structural engineer but currently on maternity leave and writing books.

How did your writing journey begin?

My writing journey began when I was 8 or 9 years old. I wrote this story in an exercise book about a two orphans who are searching for their parents. Their parents turn out to be a fairy and a dragon. Don’t ask me how that works!
Haha, the wonders of a child's imagination. :

So tell us, how do you come up with such fantastic ideas and storylines? 
I don’t have one specific place or a thing that gives me ideas. I get ideas from everywhere.  Sometimes, the news, sometimes a song, sometimes a friend will say something that triggers something. I guess, I get ideas from life- my own experiences mixed with other peoples.

Now, I’m a fan of the male POV. I love writing scenes from my Hero’s perspective as I find it refreshing. Are you a fan of the male POV too?

I do love the male point of view but you will notice in “The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots” there is none. This was for two reasons. The first was that the first draft of that book was in 1st person. So when I converted it to 3rd person everything was still in Lena’s POV. The other reason was I didn’t want readers to be in Dan’s head. I wanted him to be as mysterious as possible.  So I relied heavily on his body language to convey his attraction to Lena. That was tough given I was always in Lena’s POV and she’s not supposed to know Dan’s attracted to her.

However, “The Girl in the Hard Hat” has whole chapters of hero POV. I guess I really wanted to make up for the absence in my first book J
Thank God! Having just finished your book (at 1 am Wednesday morning to be exact), I found it so frustrating not knowing what was going on in Dan's head. All I can say is, you know you craft. :)

Now, what was the hardest lesson you had to learn during the publishing process?

I was strongly recommended not to use a particular name as my writing name.  It was a bit of blow because I had always wanted to use that name.  And when the writing dream came true, it kind of took the gloss off it a bit not being able to use my first choice of name.  But I got over that! 

Now to talk about the book. Tell us a little about your current release?

“The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots” has been on the shelves since Jan this year and is now part of Australia’s September Get Reading Campaign ( )  It’s basically about a young girl who is thrown in the deep end and expected to sink. But she swims! Boy does she swim. And against the odds too, which happens to be 350 men on a construction site in the Pilbara. My second book, “The Girl in the Hard Hat” is due out Jan next year and basically follows the first book except there’s a new girl in town.  Her name is Wendy and she’s also up to the challenge of working in a male dominated field. Both my books have a lot of romance and Aussie comedy in them.

You can find both these books and their blurbs at the following address:
They certainly do. I can't wait to read Wendy's story.

What is your favorite part of the novel? Beginning, middle, end? Some place in between?

That’s hard to pick! Generally if I don't like what I’m writing, that’s the first sign to me that I have to cut or edit it. It’s my own personal rule that I have to enjoy every part of the book or it needs fixing in the area that’s “boring me.”
Having said that I did particularly enjoy writing the last third of “The Girl in the Hard Hat” not just because I was getting close to the end but because it was the most action packed part of the book. I had three subplots coming to a head.

Now, don’t shoot me for mentioning ‘50 Shades of Grey’ but how do you feel about the idea of submissive female characters and possessive male protagonists? Does it get up your nose?

YES!  I’m not into submissive female characters at all. In fact, if I had one I’d probably use her for comic relief.  As for the male protagonists being possessive, I think that he should have a good reason to be that way and his possessiveness should not lead to aggression. That’s a big turn off for me.  I prefer my heroes protective rather than possessive.
Well said. :)

Now an interesting question about your own experience working in a male dominated environment on the Pilbara, did you learn some lessons?  
I certainly did. It was a very character building experience.

And are those lessons passed on to your heroines?
I have drawn on my own experiences to make my characters come alive.  The engineering projects in my novels are real and also I’ve tried to make the descriptions of camp life and the landscape as true to life as possible.
However,  both my heroines are definitely fictional characters with fictional problems and fantasy love lives.
But that's the fun in it, isn't it? :)

Now last but not least, do you have any advice for aspiring writers like myself?

Keep writing. Write as much as you can and never give up on the dream because the secret to getting published is simply persistence.

Thank you so much Loretta for joining me on the blog. It was a pleasure to get to know the author behind the book and I wish you all the best with your up and coming release.


  1. Ooh, fun interview, ladies.

    Feeling a bit slack-jawed in admiration at your achievements, Loretta. Four littlies, a best-seller, more books to write and edit, and an engineering career. You must be one super busy mum!

  2. Hi Cathryn, the engineering career is kind of on the back burner for the moment but yes I am super busy! And super tired! :):)
    Thanks for having me on the blog Whitney!

    1. My pleasure Loretta. Loved having you here. :)