A chat with the brilliant Australian story-teller, Rhonda Forrest


Rhonda Forrest 

A successful Australian author, a teacher, a reader, a traveler, and above all a wonderful human being. I had been enamored by the scenic beauties weaved by Rhonda in The Shack by the bay. When a few weeks ago I found her handle on Instagram, thought I could ask her for an Interview. So I did, which she generously agreed and answered all my questions. Author to four brilliant novels, her latest being 'Kick the Dust'. Here is a little glimpse into the essence of her creation.



Kick the dust


Two souls sharing the same pain come across as their path intertwine. Liam Andrews a soldier who has had seen the ravages of war during his service in Afganisthan and Belourine seeking a place she can call hers since abandoning her Afgan home. 

A story about two people devasted by pain blooming from the same roots who come closer in an effort to move on and claim their place in life. Is it possible to see blissful living after seeing the gory side of humanity? 


Stress is a foe that clings to your soul like the pincer of the crab when threatened. Will the two people hold their connection and overcome their PTSD?


Coined in the breathtaking backdrop of Australia this is an immensely heartfelt story written by the author of 'The shack by the bay'


Interested yet? I dare say you must be that is if you haven't already read it and I know you will be more interested to read about my electronic tête-à-tête with the author.

Abhigyan:

There comes a time when everyone has to select a path for themselves, Tell me did you already know that you will be penning such wonderful novels? When did you stumble upon the author within yourself and what sparked the flames of writing within you?

Rhonda says:

I started writing about 10 years ago. I had always been an avid reader and stories started to form in my own mind. Once I decided to begin, I just started typing and really I haven't stopped since.

Abhigyan:

Your last novel 'Kick the Dust' has this brilliant character called Liam, a soldier suffering from the psychological aftermath of a war, have you known any person like this to base your character on? If not what inspired you to paint such a picture as Liam Andrews?

Rhonda says:

Being a history teacher for many years, I had often taught about the war in Afghanistan and it had always interested me. A friend of mine had a partner who had served in the war and who suffered from PTSD, so some of the ideas were taken from the stories that she had told me. 

Abhigyan:

I am a massive bibliophile and I remember my love being instilled in me through the countless nights my father spent storytelling to me as a kid, do you remember what made you take up reading before holding the pen?  

Rhonda says:

My mother bought books for me from a very young age and many of them I still have today. She also is an avid reader so our house was always full of books - every different type from fiction to non-fiction. As a child, I would read until the early hours of the morning before going to school. I was obsessed and even when life became busier with family and work, I still read everything I could find time for. Now although I still love to read, I don't have as much time as writing has become my new obsession.

Abhigyan:

How is it that you manage your work, your travels, brainstorming ideas for your book, and writing it finally, what is your strategy to not let the dullness seep in?  

Rhonda says:

I have never had a moment when the ideas haven't flowed. I think they were always there over the years, I just never had a time when raising a family to actually write them down and then go through the process of publishing. Life keeps me busy and there is never a dull moment.

Abhigyan:

I am enamored by the backdrop of your novels, those vivid descriptions don't need a VR lens to transport me to those spots, what is your favorite holiday destination? 

Rhonda says:

North Queensland is amazing - the colours, the weather, and the people who live there. Although it is extremely humid and hot in summer, the cool evenings are the best and the colours of the water and sky in summer are amazing. The Australian outback is also unique and once again it is the colours of the landscape, so vast and remote that draw you in. We are a large country, however sparsely populated, except for our coastal edges, so when you travel there are often not many people around, which is special.

Abhigyan:

Coming to Luke [because I cannot wait anymore ], how do you imbue such raw emotions to a character who is fictional that it exudes feelings like a human being? Personally, this book is a deary to me, exploring the family past, learning about one's roots, and finding someone to relate to. It is incredulous to think but at the same time so real. Do your characters evolve as you write, or are they already thought out before you begin?  

Rhonda says:

I usually have the main characters planned however I am not a terribly organised person, so with these first four books, there was never a written plan. So yes, you are correct, the characters do evolve as I write. Often they have traits or their personalities are similar to people who I have met throughout my life.

Abhigyan:

What future endeavors have you planned on? Are there any books on your mind or something you are currently working on?

Rhonda says:

I have a historical fiction book nearly completed; I am just in the process of editing a bit more. There is also a sequel, so the complete work is a family saga that takes place during World War II. I'm excited to have these two books in the pipeline and I look forward to sharing them with you and your readers once they are published.

Abhigyan:

If you had to make a choice which book would you choose among all of your works? I would personally select "The Shack by the bay" and keep it in my bag permanently.

Rhonda says:

My favourite book is 'Silkworm Secrets' which is out in paperback and Kindle under my pen name Lea Davey but also a new edition out in Kindle, under my name Rhonda Forrest. This book is close to my heart and my favourite out of all of my books.

Abhigyan:

Is there any message you want to convey to your readers throughout the globe?

Rhonda says:

I hope that readers firstly discover my books and then gain enjoyment from the characters and stories within their pages. I receive emails from readers all over the world, so I feel that the books, that are very Australian, can be enjoyed by readers no matter where they come from. I hope that they love the eclectic characters, are drawn in by the plots, and travel through the landscape of Australia as they follow the twists and turns of relationships between family, friends and lovers who make up the essence of my books. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me and I look forward to readers, discovering and loving my books. Many thanks - Rhonda


It was an absolute pleasure to be talking to you and I know that your books will garner enough love for you and your books to last a lifetime. The historical fiction you working on being almost ready excites me to the moon and back. P.S. who doesn't like a well prosed historical novel? 

I thank you again for taking the time to fill me in with the little details. 

Follow the author on Instagram at her handle @rhondaforrestauthor

or

Look her up on her website

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