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Persuade Me Author Interview and Giveaway

Persuade Me

About the Book

Book: Persuade Me

Author: Joanne Markey

Genre: Women’s Christian Fiction/Romance

Release date: April 5, 2022

Persuade-Me-Markey-smOne horrible misunderstanding. Two heartbroken people.

For seven long years, Anne Elliot of Kellynch Station quietly mourned the loss of her first love. Now that she’s finally over Fred for good, her sister offers the perfect escape: Uppercross.

This move, from one cattle station to another, offers new friends, new responsibilities, and now that she’s out from under her father’s domineering thumb, a whole new world of possibilities.

The sky is the limit.

Or maybe the sky is the perfect place for helicopter mustering pilot Fred Wentworth to spend his days. It took a while for him to regroup after their breakup, but now he’s back, he’s successful, and he’s put the past so far behind him he doesn’t even think about Anne more than a couple dozen times a day.

Life is good.

Or it was until he quite literally runs into the one person he hoped to never see again. After that, what’s a bloke to do other than rethink every lie he’d convinced himself was the truth?

Although they both seem willing to admit they were wrong all those years ago, when things take a bad turn, Anne is left to wonder… Is it too late for a reconciliation?

Persuade Me: Austen’s Persuasion meets the rugged Australian bush—plus dingoes.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

DSC_1287-571x800Originally from Australia, Joanne Markey now lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her wandering the property with her kids in search of whatever seasonal treasure they’re trying to find.


More from Joanne

Can a book be partially autobiographical without actually being an autobiography?
Probably not. Persuade Me comes close though. Not in it’s entirety, but I did draw heavily on my own life when I wrote this book. Many of the situations that occur in the book were things that happened to me back in the late ‘90s when I worked on a cattle station as station cook. I also set the book in places where we lived—stations we lived or worked on. The autobiographical part ends there though.
As a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the family situation in Persuade Me is patterned on the Elliot family, not my own. I was easily able to imagine a family like this living in Australia though. The family pride, boasting of being descended from free settlers, knowing how long the family has been in the country to the exact generation—were all things I ran into as a kid.
Not every Australian knows how many generations of the family have lived over there (or cares to know), but in high school there was this one girl… She knew exactly how long her family had been there, and anyone who couldn’t count as many generations of Australians as she could wasn’t as Australian as her. Other people have quite plainly offered the information that their family descended from free settlers, without a single convict in the lineage. Still others can tell the exact year their first ancestor moved to Australia. All I needed was to package all of those things into one prideful being—Mr. Elliot. He doesn’t play a huge role in the story, but his influence can be felt throughout the pages.
From there it was easy to imagine him as a grazier—a station owner—who’d run into hard times. His daughter, Anne, is the heroine who has a hidden past, a broken relationship she’d rather not remember. The hero of the story can’t exactly be a ship’s captain, but there is one occupation in the bush that does bring in a lot of money—helicopter mustering—and having gotten into that line of work his personal finances have taken a drastic change for the better. I won’t spoil the story, but the rest followed in like manner.
And then came the writing… To craft a uniquely Australian book one has to use Australian terms, phrases, and spellings. And when the author has been living outside the country for 21 years, sometimes it’s hard to remember what words go with what country! We worked it all out in the end though, and if you come across a word that looks like it’s been spelled wrong—it’s the Aussie spelling, which is correct for the setting.
I hope you enjoy this contemporary retelling of Persuasion set in the Australian bush. Happy reading!

Author Interview with Joanne Markey

How do you select the names of your characters?

For Persuade Me the process was easy. I wanted to make the book recognisable as a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, so I kept the names of all her main characters and as many minor characters as I could without causing confusion. In one case I changed the name of a minor character as a nod to a real person, in another I changed the name to make reading a little less confusing. The other change I can remember was because his name was Charles. There’s a father, son, and grandson named Charles, so having another character named Charles just seemed a little too much Charles-y-ness for my liking!

For other characters in this and other books I either go searching through random name generators until I find something I like the sound of that fits the idea I have in my head of the character, or I go to my family tree and search for someone from the same generation that the character would fall into.

What was your hardest scene to write? 

Probably the accident and the aftermath. Both were based on real events, and were both hard to write because I wanted to change the details enough so that they were unique, but keep the details the same as much as possible so I could make both as real as possible.

The emotions behind revisiting the hardest week in our little family’s existence, coupled with the emotions behind my Dad revisiting a very difficult and painful event that he was witness to…

I can only say that I’m very glad the end result in both cases was a man able to walk out of the hospital. Both situations were so serious the two men involved were each hovering on the brink of death.

Something to note here… almost all of the events in this book are real. They happened to either myself, my family, or in one case my boss’s wife. Minor details have been changed, but it’s a fictional story built from real events. It’s hard to pick out something that is completely fictional because so much reality has been woven throughout the entire book.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I found it on a shelf in a thrift store when I was 14 and read it at least once every year over the course of the following nine years. Then I watched the BBC production so many times I can no longer read the book without hearing the movie character voices in my head. Following that, my next favorite book would have been Persuasion.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

If given only the choices put forth in this sentence, the characters always come first. In reality, I started with an idea: Persuasion in the Australian bush—how could that be possible? I need to be able to reconcile a wealthy family to a life and culture where wealth/class/status aren’t a consideration. You’re you and everyone around you either likes you for being you or doesn’t like you because your personality clashes with theirs.

That seemed impossible until I realised that Mr. Elliot could be a grazier (station owner). That would elevate him (in his eyes) above the simple working man.

That led to thinking about a situation I encountered in the 8th grade. A friend of mine would ask other kids how many generations of their family had lived in Australia. The way she asked, and the way she bragged about her family having been there longer than any one else’s made 12-year-old me feel “less” Australian because I only descended from 5 generations of Australians while she could claim 6. Oh, the shame!

Then as a kid I was told that our family were free settlers and there were no convicts in our family. My childish mind was impressed with the pride of having our family having escaped the tarnished reputation of being descended from convicts. So that added another layer to Mr. Elliot’s pompous sense of pride. He could claim to be descended from only free settlers, and as an Aussie of (however many) generations, he was more Australian that the typical Aussie.

The plot grew from those ideas and the book was born.

Side note: thanks to Ancestry I’ve discovered at least three convicts in our family tree, although some branches do go all the way back without any sign of “criminal” activity. The furthest back member of our family to live in Australia was transported in 1800. He married a convict girl who was transported in 1808. I was actually able to use this branch of the family tree to create first/middle names for all three of the Elliot girls. Their first names were Jane Austens creations, but all of those names also appeared in this branch of the family, so I added middle names from my family tree. So yeah, I do have an ancestor named Clementia.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Treasure hunt. That might sound a little crazy, but we live in an area of the country with hundreds of years of history. There are at least two “ruins” on our farm alone—old farmhouses that are so old there is nothing left standing other than a depression in the ground, a few rocks to mark the location, and part of a barn wall.

I don’t know if the thrill of the search is an inherited thing or not, but there is a branch of my family who do love a good fossick. In the Clermont area there are at least couple of gem fields open to the public, and it’s a known area for finding gold as well. I’ve always loved hunting for gemstones, so when we realised we had our own little treasure trove available… we spend as much time as possible, when the ground isn’t frozen, digging to see what we can find. It’s fun and… dirty.

Thank you, Joanne, for letting us get to know you and your writing better!

Blog Stops

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Artistic Nobody, May 7 (Author Interview)

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Locks, Hooks and Books, May 8

Daysong Reflections, May 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 10 (Author Interview)

Miriam Jacob, May 10

deb’s Book Review, May 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 13 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 16

Britt Reads Fiction, May 17


To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.