By TONY FLOOD

Jevington resident and best-selling author Tamara McKinley will launch the 20th in her Cliffehaven series about war-time romances, written under the name Ellie Dean, at the Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne, on Tuesday, March 26th.

Love Will Find a Way is officially released two days later, but signed copies can be obtained at the launch at a special meeting of Anderida Writers of which Tamara is patron. Members and guests will be welcome to attend on March 26th from 7.30 pm, and, to show her appreciation to her supporters, she will be offering signed copies of Love Will Find a Way at the greatly reduced price of £5 – a saving of more than £3 on the Amazon price.

The Cliffehaven series, about trials and tribulations during World War Two and based in an English south coast boarding house, is now on the best-selling lists in the UK, France, Denmark and Holland. All the books in the series have been in the top ten Sunday Times Best-selling list.

Tamara said: “I can’t wait for my readers to see what is next for the Cliffehaven community.

Asked about the secret of her success in selling 25 million copies of her books, she revealed: “Three key factors have been dedication, persistence and sheer hard work. It’s not enough to be a talented writer – you have to persevere no matter what obstacles are put in your way.“I had dozens of rejections and five of the first six books I wrote never made it into print.”

The 76-year-old Australian-Brit has overcome two major traumas in her life. The first was having to battle back from the verge of bankruptcy. She recalled: 

“I was facing bankruptcy in the mid-1990s and had bailiffs banging at the front door of my home in Seaford. But I carried on writing and ignored rejection letters from publishers until I got a two-book deal with Hodder and Stoughton for my thrillers Reap the Whirlwind and Queen’s Flight, under the pen name of Tamara Lee.

“After three more rejections and a complete change in genre, my first Australian multi-generational saga, Matilda’s Last Waltz, was published in 1999 under the name of Tamara McKinley. It changed my life, with the book being translated into 16 languages and selling worldwide – it’s since sold over eight million copies.”

Tamara’s second trauma came with the death of her beloved husband Ollie Cater on December 6th, 2020 after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019 and complications followed an operation.

The talented Sunday Times best-selling author was so upset she announced her retirement in 2021, telling her loyal readers: “The time has come to say goodbye. I’m retiring from writing. The past 18 months have taken their toll and I just don’t have the fire or the energy any more.”But tributes poured in from around the world, and she eventually succumbed to requests to carry on writing by coming out of retirement a year later!She has also been an 

inspiration to fellow authors and given great encouragement to members of Anderida Writers, where she was once chairman. Her advice was so helpful to me when I wrote my crime thrillers Stitch Up! – Killer or Victim? and Fall Guy – Who really killed his wife?”

Tamara commented: “I work closely with Anderida Writers Chairman Tony Flood. Both Tony and I give the group a great deal of time and effort, but it’s worth it to see the improvement in members’ writing – as well as publishing successes.

“It was as a member of Anderida many years ago that I learnt how to prepare my work for publication, and became club Chairman. I like to give something back to an industry which has served me so well. I have provided individual help to budding authors by advising on editing, plotting and general lay-out.”

Meanwhile ongoing sales of her books will ensure that Tamara leaves a legacy for future generations to enjoy.

More details are available from Tony Flood at: tflood04@yahoo.co.uk