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Thursday, April 25, 2013

AUTHOR GUEST POST - The story behind the story – Half Moon Bay by Helene Young

Ellie Wilding has been running from her past, but when the residents of Half Moon Bay call for help she knows it's finally time to return home.  As an international photojournalist, she's used to violence in war zones, but she's shocked when it erupts in the sleepy hamlet on the north coast of New South Wales, threatening all she holds dear.
Battle-weary Nicholas Lawson walked away from his military career leaving unfinished business. In a coastal backwater, that decision returns to haunt him. He remembers all too vividly his last lethal assignment in Afghanistan when Ellie's sister, Nina, was shot and killed. Ellie's been in his dreams ever since, even if she doesn't remember him…
As a storm rages and floodwaters rise, Ellie struggles to save her community. But who can she trust? Nick Lawson, the dangerously attractive stranger with secrets, or an old friend who's never let her down?
The story behind the story – Half Moon Bay.
Helene Young
Do you ever read the newspaper and think, ‘No way could that be true? How could something so horrible happen?’
I do that regularly. Often it’s a crime so horrific that I can’t comprehend a person being capable of such cruelty. Other times it’s a story that makes me cry with the scale of the tragedy. As a writer those moments frequently become the catalyst for a new story.
My Border Watch trilogy dealt with the threat of home grown terrorism, people trafficking, motorcycle gangs with their drugs, arms and violence, and the last book, Burning Lies, delved into the psyche of an arsonist. The research was fascinating and all three books are grounded in reality.
Half Moon Bay, my latest story, started life as a story about a corrupt council and a land grab. When I was twelve years old we lived in a small hamlet at Currumbin Beach on the southern Gold Coast.  At the time there was uproar over a proposed road development that cut a swathe through bush land and divided the community. It was the first time I really appreciated how people-power could be harnessed. I remember being very proud when my letter to the editor was published in the Courier Mail newspaper.
While I was busy writing the first draft of Half Moon Bay I read a news story about a journalist killed on assignment in Iraq. My sister was a journalist for many years so I had a small understanding of what drives people to put their lives on the line to report the news. I’m not talking ‘News of the World’ sensationalism here, but the sort of reporting that can change your opinion in an informed way, without favour or bias.
It started me thinking about a war correspondent’s motivation and how they coped with the traumas they see up close and personal. Of course my imagination didn’t stop there. Off it went on a tangent about a journalist who becomes complicit in a crime in order to prove her point.  From there it was a matter of interweaving the plots around a small community on the Northern New South Wales coast called Half Moon Bay.
My heroine, Ellie, is feisty but reserved. Life hasn’t always been kind to her so she’s happy to hide behind her camera and let the photos tell the story, but she’s weary of battle zones and wary of love.
Nick Lawson is the quintessential battle scarred soldier returning after a long and difficult tour of duty. He’s not looking for love any more than Ellie is, but when they find themselves on opposing sides the tension can’t help but ramp up.
Half Moon Bay is a fast paced action-filled story of corruption, betrayal and a community’s fighting spirit set in today’s world. It’s also a story of how love can blossom in the most unlikely of places.  

Multi-award winning author, Helene Young, lives aboard a catamaran moored near the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. She shares her sailing adventures with her husband and their dog, Zeus. Her work as a senior captain with a major regional airline takes her all over Australia and she draws inspiration for her stories from the communities she visits.
She won the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. She was also voted most popular romantic suspense author by the Romance Readers of Australia (ARRA) in 2010 and 2011, and shortlisted for the same award in 2012.
Helene is the custodian of several thousand bees and in what spare time she has left, loves to read and travel.

Find Helene at

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