Abra has also judged numerous literary competitions, including the 2021 Sex and Gender Prize (Stringybark Publishing) and the 2020 Valerie Parv Award (Romance Writers of Australia).
In her spare time, Abra enjoys reading, knitting, bushwalking, and good coffee. She’s a passionate Sydney Swans supporter. Her latest book, The Next Big Thing, is now available.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book, The Next Big Thing, comes out in late February and it’s inspired by Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen and particularly Ang Lee’s marvellous TV adaptation, and the time I spent living in Melbourne while studying. As stories tend to do, the plot deviates from the source material but the themes explored in the novel remain unchanged: love and relationships, independent women in society, and wealth and greed.
Q2: What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?
I enjoy reading really widely - there’s nothing I won’t read - but my ‘immediate buy’ authors are Talia Hibbert, Ariana Nash, Sarah J Maas, Rainbow Rowell and Jack Harbon.
Q4: What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book?
When I’m not on a deadline, I usually write for a few hours on a Sunday. Where I can, I’ll write most weeknights but as I work full-time, this isn’t always possible. I’ve become really attuned to my mental fatigue, so if all I want to do after getting home from work is watch YouTube videos and paint my nails, then that’s what I do.
Q5: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
Accept that this might be your first book but not your debut novel. I think I wrote seven or eight novels before More was published. That’s one of the hardest pills to swallow. As much as I love those other novels, I simply wasn’t a strong enough writer to pull them off - but through them, I became better at my craft.
Those ideas never die. You’ll find places to reinvent them. If it’s not working for you, lovingly move on to your next work.
Q6: What is the best writing advice you have ever heard?
Write what you love. For a long time, I struggled in a genre that didn’t work for me when all I wanted to do was write romance. I switched back to writing romance, and I haven’t stopped and I’m so much happier in my creative process.
Q7: How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
Usually, I go on a hike! When I finished More, I climbed Mt Ainslie - a beautiful mountain in the middle of Canberra, where the book is set. With The Next Big Thing, I climbed one of my favourite tracks just outside of Canberra: Square Rock.
Q8: What do you think is the best way to improve writing skills?
Read widely. Listen to audiobooks. Enjoy them and then dissect them; why do they work or why don’t they work?
Q9: What are you working on now?
At the moment, I’m working on a Christmas road trip novel set in Australia. It’s still early stages but I’m excited.
Q10: What are you currently reading?
I just finished The Wicked King by Holly Black and now I’m reading Accidental Honeymoon by Miranda Mcleod. It’s an LGBTQI+ fake marriage romance that feels like biting into a warm cinnamon donut.To find out more about Abra Pressler, check out the social media links below:
The Next Big Thing is now available in paperback and ebook.
Opposites attract in this Sense
and Sensibility adaptation about second chances, community, and
very, very good coffee.
As a single mother, Ana Woods knows what it’s like to lose everything. That’s why she started Grace House, a not-for-profit helping vulnerable people find security again. At Grace House, A person’s past is left at the door. There’s no judgement. But when her daughter’s father reappears after four long years, she appreciates just how hard it is to let go of the past.
In pursuit of his passion, aspiring musician Jordan Templeton gave up everything – including ties to his affluent family name. With his bank account now lower than his age, a part-time job at Spencer Lane Cafe is supposed to be a fresh start. Until it lands him in hospital and a referral to Grace House.
Ana knows she can help Jordan if he’ll let her in. Jordan knows the moment he does, he’ll cross a line. His boss has made it clear he’s not to mess with the café regulars, and he’s technically Ana’s client. What’s worse is that Ana’s gorgeous.
Successful, independent, and frightening in an incredibly attractive way. As Ana and Jordan grow closer, the lines between personal and professional begin to blur.
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