Let the touring begin…
Release date: February 2, 2017
Hello, I’m Pene. I’m Australian, extroverted and hard to ruffle. Also I’m pretty tall, mostly lacking in sporting prowess, and way less funny than I’d like to be. I live with my wife and our two divinely awesome kids in Sydney, along with a ferociously loving cat.
I grew up dreaming of being an astronaut or an experimental physicist. I love sciences and mechanics but I’d do a dreadful job of either of those things so fortunately surprised myself by developing a career in law and writing. I’ve always written poetry and short fiction. I never really dreamed of a novel until I was writing one. It was delightful to build a whole world, the first in Hawaii and on the ocean, and fall in love with my own characters.
Storm Season is my second novel. It’s set on the Australian East Coast, in land and in cities that I know well. Like my previous novel, it’s essentially a happy queer story. It’s a romance between a bubbly and adorable fashion blogger and a capable park ranger living alone in a remote cabin. As you’d imagine, these women have vastly different experiences. They think they have vastly different priorities. Trapped together by a storm, however, they uncover not just a deep attraction to one another but also all the ways they fit together. And then, of course, the storm breaks and they have to work out what will happen when they return to their ordinary lives.
What kind of book would you like to write that people would see as a huge departure for you?
I grew up loving fantasy stories and apocalypse stories. Something where there’s a real battle going on, whether magic or the end of the world, and you see the heart of people through their response. I love stories where people save the world and save one another and have hard decisions and hidden powers. I would be surprised to find myself writing that kind of universe, and my readers would be surprised too. They’ve read my angst free contemporary romance where the only things that happen are ordinary things and no one gets to say, “I can’t live if we’re on different sides” or “my magic isn’t strong enough” or “please come back”.
Have you ever killed a character? Was it traumatic for you? If you haven’t killed one, would you ever consider it?
I have not. I would consider anything that was right for the story. But I love to write romance and I would be certain to make sure that in writing a romance with a death I was not being heartless about the death.
Favorite location you’ve ever written about?
All my books are location books so I seem to end up in a lot of gorgeous places. Hawaii, Australia, South Africa. I think my favourite setting was when Ollie and Tai went to Teahupoo in my first novel, Into the Blue. Teahupoo is an extraordinary wave in Tahiti, so full of water and heavy that it looks like the whole ocean is being lifted away from the sea bed. It was only in the 80s that anyone realized they could actually ride it. It’s beautiful to describe but more importantly, the place changed the characters. The boys had so much fear and so much space there as they took a boat out to that huge wave, and came back to the quiet tropical shore and private cabin.
What’s your favorite season and favorite activity for that season?
I love Summer. The long days and bright skies, the warm air that keeps me company in early mornings and late nights. I could swim all day, in the ocean or the pool. And then come home to watch Australia’s summer sports.
The great outdoors isn’t so great for Sydney It-Girl Lien Hong. It’s too dark, too quiet, and there are spiders in the toilet of the cabin she is sharing with friends on the way to a New South Wales music festival. To make matters worse, she’s been separated from her companions and taken a bad fall. With a storm approaching, her rescue comes in the form of a striking wilderness ranger named Claudia Sokolov, whose isolated cabin, soulful voice and collection of guitars bely a complicated history. While they wait out the weather, the women find an undeniable connection—one that puts them both on new trajectories that last long after the storm has cleared.
Categories: Australian Lesbian Romance
Publisher: Interlude Press
“Come out here,” calls Claudie from the deck.
Claudie’s leaning on the railing looking over the vast expanse of nothing. “Come and stand at the edge here,” she says. “It’s like the edge of the universe.”
It’s dark; there’s nothing out there. The world smells rich and wet. Lien holds herself still and looks out with the cabin lights behind her.
“Wait a sec,” says Claudie.
She steps back toward the house and reaches inside the cabin door. Everything goes dark.
“Hey—” Lien can’t see a thing. They haven’t had lights in days, and now Claudie’s turning them off. The blackness seems complete.
“You’re okay,” says Claudie. “It’ll take a moment for your eyes to adjust. I figured—It’s been raining so much. You haven’t had a clear night up here. I wanted to show you.” She moves beside Lien against the railing.
And as Lien’s eyes accustom themselves to the dark, the sky opens up above them. The Milky Way sweeps a path of light across the great black bowl. Around that the night extends from one clear horizon to the other, lit by a thousand layers of stars on stars, dazzling bright in the dark.
The universe goes on forever. It’s huge, and Lien’s tiny and breathless in front of it.
In that moment nothing is worth thinking about beyond that sky, nothing but the huge universe and Claudie’s hand, steady and close beside Lien’s on the railing, Claudie’s warm body so near. Lien twines her pinkie around Claudie’s. They stand under the stars, still and silent.
When Lien turns, Claudie’s cheekbones are traced in blue-white and her eyes reflect a thousand pinprick lights. She’s beautiful. She’s from a whole other world.
Buy the book
It’s all about the author…
Pene Henson has gone from British boarding schools to New York City law firms. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, where she is an intellectual property lawyer and published poet who is deeply immersed in the city’s LGBTQIA community. She spends her spare time enjoying the outdoors and gazing at the ocean with her gorgeous wife and two unexpectedly exceptional sons. Into the Blue, her first novel, was published by Interlude Press in 2016 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
…and stalking them :)
And here comes the Rafflecopter…a Rafflecopter giveaway
This tour & must read brought to you by Interlude Press