May I introduce: Sarah Belle "Hindsight"

I have the pleasure to introduce you all to another wonderful and talented Australian author:
Sarah Belle

Today Sarah's not only telling us about her latest release "Hindsight" published by Harlequin Escape, but despite being busy with four young boys, she also took found some time answer a few of my questions ... one of them how to find time with four young kids !

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before! 

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead...  

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in
the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

1 – What gave you the idea for the story?

It came to me one morning when I found a wedding ring on the bedside table. It wasn’t mine or my hubby's, and I thought ‘imagine if I put this on my finger and take on the life of that person’. Then it grew from there – what if I walked into my family room and everything was different – like 1961 different, but my family were the same and were unaware of the change. How would I cope as a housewife in 1961 when I am so used to all the conveniences, and modern values now? Somewhere between plotting and going with the flow the story came to life over a 2 year period.

2 - What made the 60s so special to you to choose that decade?

My older brothers were born in 1960 and 61 so between my Mum and Aunty, I had first hand accounts of what life was like for women during that period. Much of the 1961 element of Hindsight is modelled on my Mum and Dad- the vegetable garden, the home brewing of beer and mead, the dance at the Savoy Plaza, the simplicity of life and closeness of family. My mum would always tell me stories about her childhood and the 60’s and it absolutely fascinated me – it always seemed so glamorous. I loved her stories of how much of a community the neighbourhood was and that everyone would help each other out. They all celebrated and commiserated together, which is a far cry from what happens today. I don’t even know the majority of my neighbours! The 60’s was also an amazing time in history because the older generations had lived through both wars and the depression – which is my favourite time in modern history. The strength of those people was inspirational – we think we have it tough now, but imagine sending your brothers and father off to the First World War, surviving the Depression and then sending your sons off to the Second World War. It’s just unthinkable, and yet those women lived it. The character of Gran Leticia is actually based on my own Great Grandmother.

3 – You have four beautiful sons. Please tell us the secret of the perfect balance between motherhood and being writer?

Lol! I wish I could strike the perfect balance – I’m not sure there is such a thing because each day brings different challenges for both me and my boys. They are aged 4, 6, 8, and 10 so they aren’t independent yet, which adds to the workload. I just divide my time between things I can do when my kids are around, and things I can’t do when my kids are around. For example, I don’t spend my kid-free time doing laundry or housework – that’s for writing activities only. I’ve learnt to work with them fighting and arguing and wanting something every three minutes, and all that chaos probably forms part of my voice and writing style. But it’s important to stop writing (at the computer because like most writers, I am always writing or plotting in my head!), and spend time with them. They will only want to spend time with me for a few more years, before they turn into teenagers! I turn off from about 4.30 each afternoon and devote my time to being a mum – when I make the nutritious dinner that no one wants to eat, pick up discarded clothes off the floor and tell them seven times to brush their teeth!

Sarah Belle author links:

Excerpt from Hindsight.
In this scene Juliette has been in 1961 for two weeks. For the first week her kindly neighbours provided meals as she recovered from her head injury, which caused memory loss. In reality, Juliette has no memory of her 1961 life because she has time travelled backwards from modern day, where she is a career woman/mum, who has no idea of how to cook.

Sadly, for my family, the neighbours’ hospitality ran out last Saturday. We had enough leftovers to cover us for Sunday dinner, the Last Supper as it was termed in my mind. Each night dinner has been put on the table, with varying degrees of success. There was the meatloaf, which has been renamed ‘meat brick’ due to its crunchy texture and brick-like exterior, the tuna casserole that looked and tasted like ‘fish Playdoh’, the lamb chops that could double as hammers, the egg and bacon pie that had cracks akin to the San Andreas fault line, curried sausages that exploded in their skins and ended up looking like circumcised penises bobbing around in luminous yellow goo and of course, tonight’s disaster, spaghetti bolognaise.

 “Smells…. nice, Jules, new recipe?” Chris asks as he dry retches his way through the kitchen to the bathroom with Ethan and Cal.

 “Ummm, yes.”

“Mmmm, can’t wait!” But the look on his face tells a different story.

From behind the bathroom door I can hear Ethan ask, “Dad, has something died in the kitchen?”

“No mate, why?”

 “Then what’s that awful smell?”

“Shhhh, Eth,” Chris answers him quietly. “I think it’s meant to be dinner.”

“Does that mean we have to eat it?”

There is a pause before Chris says, “Yes mate. Your Mum’s working hard to make dinner and we have to remember that she has lost her memory. We need to be really understanding and patient with her, OK?”

 “Maybe she forgot how to cook? She keeps burning my toast.”

Chris sniggers. “Mine too.”

“Hey Dad, maybe she’ll forget to serve it to us?”

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