Meet the Lovely Cape Town Author, Therese Beharrie!

cindi page author interview

I met Therese for the first time at a romance writer’s retreat earlier this year and was instantly taken with a sassy, confident nature. She kindly allowed me to interview her. Meet Therese!

“Well, one of the most romantic things my husband’s ever done for me was to take a short story I wrote and have it bound into a book to show me he supported my writing dreams. This was before we were even dating…” – Therese Beharrie

What is the name of your latest novel?

A Marriage Worth Saving (June 2017)

Why do you choose to write?

Writing has always been a comfort to me, especially during a tough childhood at school. I write now hoping my writing will give someone else comfort.

What is your favourite part of writing a novel?

Since I got my publishing contract, I’ve realised how much joy writing diverse characters from my country brings me. I also love creating the emotion and angst of falling in love!

What are you currently reading?

His Baby Agenda by Katherine Garbera

What was the first book / author you fell in love with?

I can’t remember the first book (though very likely something written by Roald Dahl when I was about seven), but the first author I remember loving is Stephenie Meyer after Twilight came out.

Where do you write?

Anywhere at home, really: my desk, the kitchen counter, the dining-room table, our couches, in bed…

If you were whisked away to a remote island for some RnR – what book would you take (just one!), what drink would you order?

Anything Nora Roberts has written in the past two years and probably a passion fruit and lemonade

After you write a book, who gets to read it first?

My editor. No-one reads my work before it’s published besides her.

Best place you’ve traveled to?

The Maldives for my honeymoon

Where do you get character inspiration from in your latest book?

I usually get them from Pinterest for their appearances, and then for their personalities, I’ll focus on one key characteristic or event in their past and build the character around that.

What can your readers look forward to?

My new book! The Millionaire’s Redemption (August 2017).

Connect with Therese

Website: www.theresebeharrie.com

Facebook: Therese Beharrie, Author (https://www.facebook.com/theresebeharrie/)

Twitter: @ThereseBeharrie (https://twitter.com/ThereseBeharrie)

Inspiration and Insights: Places and Wine in A Piece of My Heart

A Piece of My Heart may very well be the love story of Victoria, a South African born farm girl and Alkan, a Turkish businessman, but to me, the places and settings of the story are as much part of the romance as the relationship between these two seemingly mis-matched characters.

The story starts in Chiba, Japan…

In 2002 I spent 4 weeks doing sight seeing in Japan and in 2003 I packed my suitcase for an even longer adventure: teaching English as a foreign language. Where my first trip was like a no strings attached fling, perfect because I wasn’t there long enough to experience anything bad, my second stint felt a lot like marriage. The honeymoon was over just few weeks in and I soon found myself battling the icy Japanese winter and living an apartment smaller than my father’s garage.  A life severely different to the one I was used to back home, in South Africa. But I’d be lying if I said that I did not fall in love with Japan, despite how hard it was to be there alone, not speaking the language and knowing no-one. I made friends. I loved my job and culture and I learned to read menus – that saved me!

Japan
Japan 2003 (photos taken with a “mik en druk” camera, so excuse the poor quality).

Istanbul, Turkey

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Image credit: Bosphorus Tours

A three day layover in Istanbul in 2002 turned into a 7 day holiday in one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been in. I loved how ancient it was. Call me crazy, but walking along those cobbled roads, visiting Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia, it’s almost like you can feel history. All the energy that’s been expended there, the then and the now, feels meshed into one. It’s an Old world with New people. During my visit I went to numerous kilim shops, tasted more flavours of Turkish Delight that I knew existed and drank apple tea at least six times a day.

 

 

Stellenbosch, South Africa

I spent five years studying at the University in Stellenbosch, but it was only after my return to SA after a year in Japan, that I really starting exploring the winelands. In 2010 I joined a wine club and soon I was not just drinking wine for leisure, but spending many happy hours developing my palate for wine, researching and learning. I’ve had countless tutored tastings since then and been fortunate enough to meet and interview various winemakers for my tourism blog. My keen interest in wine has developed into a kind of work-hobby which has been an amazing career journey too.

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Image credit: Boschkloof wines on Twitter

Tafelsig, the farm Victoria is from in A Piece of My Heart is a fictional place, but Chateau Beau Belle, as well as Boschkloof, which are mentioned by name, are very real. (And if you ever find yourself in the Stellenbosch wine region, I highly recommend that you visit these places for their extraordinary wines). I chose to mention these specific wineries for one reason only: I love their Shiraz, and that’s saying a lot because Shiraz is not my favourite wine varietal. At Beau Belle, my favourite wine is their Reserve Shiraz (and more recently I’ve taken a liking to their easy drinking chenin blanc called the Cooper), while at Boschkloof the Epilogue is one of those award winning reds which are always sold out. In which case, the Conclusion is another great choice from their premium range. I mention all of this very much by the way as no-one has paid me to mention these places, they are simply places I like and wines I have REALLY liked.

I hope that has given you some insights into the inspiration for the setting for A Piece of My Heart.

Happy reading,

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Cover Reveal!

Say hello to the final cover of A Piece of My Heart!

Thank you for all your input, I’m absolutely thrilled at how the final product has evolved – and all thanks to you!

A Piece of My Heart paperback is now available for pre-order for a limited time: 1-10 April 2016 exclusively in South Africa. Click here to get added to the pre-order list.

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