AWW Feature: Q&A with Kathryn Ledson

Kathryn Ledson Headshot

Welcome Kathryn Ledson!

I am happy to introduce Kathryn Ledson , the debut  author of Rough Diamond, to my readers today. Kathryn Ledson shares her time between Melbourne and Aireys Inlet on Victoria’s stunning west coast, where she lives with her husband and dog. In 2006, Kathryn abandoned her corporate career and returned to study with relief and a great sense of homecoming. This novel – her first – is the result.

Rough Diamond introduces Australia’s own Stephanie Plum – the unforgettable Erica Jewell, in a funny, romantic, and action-packed caper. The shock ending to Erica Jewell’s marriage left a huge hole in her bank balance and a bigger one in her heart. And now her life goals make a very short list: no surprises, no debt and, definitely, no men. That is, until she finds one bleeding to death in her Melbourne garden one stormy Friday night. Jack Jones is a man whose emotional wounds are more life-threatening than the bullet in his shoulder. Under orders, he recruits Erica to his secret team of vigilantes, and Erica suspects her safe, predictable world is about to be turned upside down. And she’s absolutely right!

You can read why I though Rough Diamond was such a great story HERE, but first learn a little more about Kathryn and her exciting debut…

Q&A  with Kathryn Ledson

Q: What five words best describe Rough Diamond?

Kathryn: “Kick-arse Aussie romance” (Only 4 words but I love this quote by author Favel Parrett. So perfect!)

Q. What was the first element of the novel to inspire you?

Kathryn: The romance between Jack and Erica, definitely.

Q. How would you describe your heroine, Erica Jewell?

Kathryn: Erica’s got guts but just doesn’t know it yet. And she’s a bit confused about what she wants. She’s so used to being bossed around by her mother, husband, boss, best friend, Jack of course and even her new cat! I think subconsciously she wants things in her life that will challenge her, toughen her up. That said, Erica still eludes me. I seem to know exactly what Jack will think and do in any situation, but she surprises me constantly.

Q. Which scene was the most fun to write?

Kathryn: That’s a definite toss up between the dinner with Jack at Erica’s parents, and the Australia Day barby at Jack’s. In both, I had no idea what would happen when I started writing them. I didn’t mean for Erica to be such a hussy (as her mother calls her) but she’s not good with champagne, you know. I did find myself laughing out loud at some spots, then clamping my hand over my mouth, looking around to see if anyone was watching me laugh at my own work. Is that allowed, do you think?

Q. As a debut author, what part of the process of being published has surprised you the most?

Kathryn: The fact that it’s still my work. I had no idea what to expect, but somehow I thought Penguin might just give my manuscript to a brilliant editor who would tell me exactly what needed to be done. But that’s not at all what happened – at the end it was up to me. There was a LOT of editing work needed (especially structural – my weakness), and I had to perform under the watchful eye and very clever guidance of my publisher, editor and coach, Belinda Byrne. Happy days! I adore editing. Anyway, I’m constantly surprised and impressed by the whole process. They’re so very professional at Penguin. And I love that because, if nothing else, I hope that I come across that way – professional. I did want to say also that although no-one’s holding any secrets about it – the publishing business – it does seem to be a bit of an enigma that unpublished writers want to understand.

Q: What’s next for Erica (and Jack?)

Kathryn: In the sequel, Emerald Island, Erica is testing herself in a very big way. Jack is missing-in-action in a dangerous, war-ravaged country called Saint Sebastian in the Timor Sea. No-one will do anything about it. No-one will even acknowledge his existence, let alone the fact that he’s disappeared. Before she knows it, Erica’s on a plane to go find him.

Q.  Name your three favourite novels by Australian Women writers?

A:            Ah! Shelleyrae, only three? What to choose? OK. Let me say this. I’m loving the rural genre right now; being immersed in the savage beauty of our landscape, learning about its inhabitants – human and otherwise. I’m in awe of the amazing women who have time to write these fabulous stories when I know what else they must do. For example, as I write this, I know that Margareta Osborn (Bella’s Run) is fighting to protect her home, family and livestock from bushfire. When she and other women like her aren’t dealing with the horrors the Aussie climate throws at our farmers, they’re delivering calves or getting children to school or volunteering as ambos or for the CFA. They’re riding motor bikes and driving trucks and fixing fences. They are awesome. Phew. I hope that somehow answers that question? By the way, I adored Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby series when I was a kid; anyone else who loved those novels should keep an eye on Jennifer Scoullar’s work.

Q. What is your preference?

  • Coffee/Tea or other?
    • TEA PLEASE – good old English breakfast.
  • Beach/Pool or River?
    • Umm. Beach to walk on, river to sit beside, pool to swim in.
  • Slacks/Jeans or Leggings?
    • Whatever’s comfiest.
  • Butterfly/Tiger or Giraffe?
    • TIGER! – from a distance.
  • Swing/Slide or Roundabout?
    • Slide – swings and roundabouts are vomit-inducing.

Rough Diamond is available from today in print and ebook at

@Penguin Australia I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko

Read an extract

You can find Kathryn at

Website I Facebook I Twitter


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Monique (@writenote1)
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 10:45:06

    Loved reading this – I’ll be popping up a Q&A with Kathryn on Write Note Reviews soon, so it’s good to see the different questions we’ve asked.



  2. Lakeshia Artis
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 13:22:59

    Great interview!!! I love hearing the thoughts from authors about their writing. Plus I loved the cute questions at the end. Very personable. Thanks for a great read.



  3. Trackback: Review: Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson « book'd out
  4. Trackback: January 2013 Roundup: Contemporary Fiction « Australian Women Writers Challenge
  5. The Australian Bookshelf
    Feb 01, 2013 @ 17:33:20

    Great interview. I completely agree with the 4 word description! It’s a really fun book and I absolutely love the Aussie setting. Interesting to hear that Erica will be jetting off overseas in the next one.



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