Widower Sam Costello has no time for love. When he's not working on his farm, he's trying to figure out how to connect with his teenage son Levi.
But Levi is about to finish high school, and he has big plans to move to Sydney for university with his best friend Maddie. If only he didn't feel so guilty about abandoning his dad. Maddie has her own reasons for wanting to go to Sydney and she's not going to let Levi's dad ruin her future happiness. Mr Costello needs a girlfriend and, with her talent for matchmaking, Maddie is the girl to make it happen. By the time Mr C figures out what she's done, surely he'll be too in love to be angry.
Journalist Sarah Lewis has a good job, a nice boyfriend and a safe life in Sydney. Though sometimes she wonders if life has more to offer than nice and safe. When she starts working on an article about finding love in the outback she finds herself asking whether journalists should become this invested in their research. But there's just something about Lonely in Longreach. Could it be that the man behind the dating profile is the key to the passion she has been looking for?
About the author:
Eva comes from a family of storytellers and has been writing her own stories since she could hold a pencil. Growing up in a multicultural neighbourhood in Melbourne, Eva developed her wanderlust and a passion for culture and language. She travelled the world, living in Britain before coming home to Australia to study Anthropology. Wanderlust got the better of her again, so Eva packed up and headed to Papua New Guinea to live and work where she was completely in her element. Eva's passion for the Australian country is born of her large extended family, which is spread out across the land. She volunteers at the local primary schools, teaching writing and working with children to incite a love of books and reading. Eva's books explore relationships, culture, our roles in changing society, love and loss. She loves finding connections with readers over shared experiences.
Lonely in Longreach
Author: Eva Scott
RRP: $ 29.99
Question: What originally inspired the idea of Lonely in Longreach?
Eva Scott: The book was inspired by two things. The first was a conversation with a cousin who lives in country Queensland and was lamenting how hard it is to find love. The second was my desire to disappear from the craziness of the world via 90s Romcoms. I was watching Sleepless in Seattle and wondering how that kind of scenario would work in the modern 21st century. Out of this pondering, Lonely in Longreach was born.
Question: Are the characters based on anyone you know, in real life?
Eva Scott: Not the main characters but many of Sarah's family are drawn from people I know. I have a very, very large family full of fabulous personalities. Luckily for me, most of them are not readers. Greg was based on a Swedish bodybuilder I once knew. Lovely chap. Played classical guitar. Wonder whatever happened to him?
Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?
Eva Scott: Surprisingly, not much. I collect little stories that I weave into my character's lives. I give them quirks belonging to people I know and I do borrow the names of my friends and family to give to my characters. Having said that, I'm working on something semi-autobiographical so that's switching things up, and it's certainly challenging on a different level.
Question: Was it difficult reliving certain aspects/times of your life, whilst writing Lonely in Longreach?
Eva Scott: This was a very joyful book for me. I had a lot of fun writing it. The storyline was playful and the characters were often hilarious. The next book, Where the Wildflowers Grow, has already made me cry as it deals with losing someone close to you. Reliving that brought a tsunami of emotion I wasn't expecting.
Question: What is the best thing about creating characters like Levi and Maddie?
Eva Scott: I love those kids. I went back to my own teenage years and listened to conversations my son had with his friends to get that perspective you have when you haven't been out into the world yet, when you think all you know is everything there is to know. Maddie's absolute surety that she's right about everything reminds me of myself and my nieces at that age. Life soon puts your right.
Question: What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?
Eva Scott: Learn your craft, whatever that is. Find courses and mentors who can teach you the finer techniques of what you do. Never stop learning. In the case of writers, watch well-crafted movies and read as much as you can. Learn the art of storytelling from any source you can.
Question: What or who inspired your love of reading/writing?
Eva Scott: My mother inspired my love of reading. I can remember clearly sitting with her after school and getting one Smartie for every page I read right in my reader. Chocolate and books. What's not to love? My love of writing and storytelling comes from my Dad's side of the family. Generations of yarn-spinners, all trying to out do each other, provide a legacy for me. I'm the only one who writes their stories down but that doesn't make me the best of them. Not by a long shot.
Question: What book are you reading, right now?
Eva Scott: I am reading Love Letters from Montmartre by Nicolas Barreau. A dying wife persuades her husband to write her 30 letters, one for each year of her life, after she dies. The letters lead him back to life and to love.
Question: What's next, for you?
Eva Scott: I'm nearly finished my next novel, Where the Wildflowers Grow, which is set in the Victorian countryside. It deals with how small towns survive in the threat of corporatisation and a post-COVID-19 world. It also addresses virtual relationships, when most of your interactions are via Messenger and not face to face. The Bachelor are about to launch into the Zoom-erverse and it will be interesting to see how that impacts relationships. This is part of the new world we live in now and I wanted to address that. With lashings of humour and romance of course.
Interview by Gwen van Montfort