Christmas Awards 2011

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Interview with Bruce Cooke



Tell us a little about yourself
I’m an ex TAFE teacher who took up writing when I had to take an early retirement due to a loss of hearing. Unfortunately I now live alone since I lost my wife last year. I’m soon to become the proud parent of a Golden Labrador who is four years old. Looks like I’ll be giving the orders for a change but I miss her every minute of the day. I took up writing after I retired as I didn’t want to sit and vegetate. Once I started I couldn’t stop and have now written over fifteen books.

What do you write?
I write mainly adventure romance. I suppose most of them can be called historical romance but maybe some might call them hysterical romances. I have a passion for Colonial Australian stories and have written a few in that genre. My latest The Pursuit of Mary McBride a rollicking tale where a mother is in pursuit of her daughter who has been sold to a passing settler for fifty pounds. This will soon be out through Swimming Kangaroo Books. This is my favourite story. They also have another waiting to release titled The Irish Retribution, a story of two foreign correspondents, a father and daughter who are estranged. The daughter discovers her father killed her mother and is hell bent on revenge in a tale that takes us through Ireland, Vietnam and Bosnia before all of the father’s secret are revealed. I also have three books published with Eternal Press titled, Jungle Heat, a story of an Australian soldier who has to escort a nurse over the Owen Stanley ranges to escape the pursuing Japanese. Friendly Enemies a story of two soldiers of opposite sides who meet on the battlefield where one saves the other’s life. And Meeting at Princes Bridge. The story of three girls in war time Melbourne who meet regularly to throw a coin into the river to remember their dead fathers-until one makes a terrible mistake that threatens their friendship forever. All have an Australian flavour. Eternal Press has also published two short stories, Top Secret and Vietnam Holiday with another to come. Later in the year they will publish a novella titled Trace Elements, a tale of a man who can save the Great Barrier Reef, but someone wants him dead. I sometimes delve in mystery and crime and am yet to offer them to publishers.


Why do you write?
Ideas keep popping into my head and getting them down keeps me busy, especially now that I am alone. I love to play what if and see where it goes. I try to control the characters but in most cases they have a mind of their own and I see where they take me. Most are average people who get themselves into all sorts of trouble and getting them out of it is great fun. No story is complete without a romance so I guess I’m a softy at heart.


What are you writing now?
At the moment I’m trying to edit a few of my stories but I do have a story in progress which could be termed a crime and mystery. Only just started it but the editing is taking up most of my time.


What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Mostly casual. The climate I live in is pretty good. The summer gets hot, around 100 degrees F. Or 37 C. And the winter drops down to about 32F or 0C.
I’m too old to worry about fashion so I wear whatever is comfortable


Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I’ve been in love twice. Once when I was only 21 but that didn’t work out. I call it fate because the second time was when I was 23 and I married the most beautiful girl in the world. We were soul mates until she succumbed to leukaemia. We had 48 wonderful years and three gorgeous children so I consider myself luckier than most. She left me with wonderful memories that I will hold forever. She was the inspiration that kept me writing.


Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
Certainly not a male but I do like some of our Australian talented actresses. One of my favourites is Sigrid Thornton who has the most fascinating eyes to go with her talent. Dark hair, wonderful voice and figure-hell I think I’m in love again.


What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Chinese or a roast lamb dinner.


What makes you laugh? Cry?
I have a good sense of humour so anything I consider funny, mostly English humour. They do it so well. I sometimes cry when I'm writing about a lost love or a tragedy. At least I can do something about them to brighten me up again.


What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
Try to play golf- the emphasis is try as I was stupid enough to fall off a ladder two years ago and broke my neck. Fortunately I can still get around but I am restricted in what I do. My handicap has shot out but the important thing is I can still walk around the golf course. I know all the trees.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!

In a woman, a great sense of humour and compassion for other people. Someone with a sparkling personality who can laugh at themselves and not take things too seriously.
Of course if they think I’m terrific then that’s good for the ego but that’s not likely to happen now. At least not for a while yet.

What do you hate about life?
Not much, but maybe the unfairness where kids die or people are assaulted. Car accidents are tragic and most can be avoided. We should all be trying to understand each other and be aware of our own weaknesses. Wars and starvation are big turnoffs. I guess life is never fair.


What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I hope I already have succeeded with my 48 years of marriage and three wonderful children. It gladdens my heart to see them all reach adulthood and be honest law biding citizens. My grandchildren are heading in the same direction. Any writing success is a bonus

What are you going to write next?
After I have cleaned up my unpublished novels, I might start another Australian Colonial historical book. Can’t help myself.

Buy Links: Love in the Afternoon. http://www.whiskeycreek/ press.com
Jungle Heat, Friendly Enemies, Meeting at Princes Bridge, Vietnam Holiday, Top Secret. http://www.eternalpress.com.ca/

The Pursuit of Mary McBride, The Irish Retribution, (out soon) http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/




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