Meet Carole Brungar, An Interview

Kia Ora, I’m Carole, author of women’s fiction title ‘a tide too high’. I live in the Horowhenua town of Levin in the North Island of New Zealand. I’m really excited about being able to visit with you all via Cindy’s blog. Thanks Cindy, for the opportunity!

CaroleBrungar 1I’ve been writing for a long time, mostly for newspapers and magazines but my foray into the world of fiction is relatively new, although my desire to write and tell a story isn’t. I read so much romantic fiction that after a couple of years I decided I could tell a story just as well. But as you either know or have guessed, it’s not as easy as it sounds! The journey to writing my first book started about 20 years ago. My first attempt was 53,000 words and I loved it. However, life happens and it was bound and filed in a draw and then packed into a box as we shifted homes several times.

Eight years ago I found that manuscript, re-read it, and discovered the plot lines had credibility, the characters had potential and the settings were unique. I was pretty darned impressed with what I’d written, but it lacked a maturity that comes from professional growth. So I set about re-writing it, building more depth into the plot and finally settling at over 120,000 words. I messed with the characters minds, gave them new professions, I set them challenges, and I made them human like you and I. I made them laugh and cry and I made them realise each was made for the other. Then I made them realise that the seas of the Pacific aren’t always storm free.

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My story is set mostly in scenic New Zealand, with its beautiful isolated Northland beaches and it’s vibrant cities. It tells of two ex-pat kiwis, Alec Stanford a London businessman whose family owns considerable land in New Zealand’s winterless north including private beaches, and McKenna Morgan, the lead singer in one of New Zealand’s biggest exports, rock band Polar Blaze. Her home is now in Brentwood LA, but her parents still live in her childhood home in Auckland.

Mac Morgan doesn’t do relationships; she simply doesn’t have time, she’s too busy trying to prove to everyone, including her mother, that she can make a success of her life. Her life evolves around Polar Blaze. Alec on the other hand, wants what his twin brother has, a home with a wife and children, but his beautiful socialite wife is filing for divorce and although he’s one of the world’s most successful businessmen, he has to admit, he hasn’t learnt how to manage a marriage. Perhaps he should leave it to those who are good at it, like his brother.

Life of a rock musician is full on, work hard, play harder, but when Mac collapses on stage in front of a packed Auckland crowd, she gets the ultimatum: change your lifestyle, or take your chances. Mac disappears to recoup at a secluded beach in the far north where she faces her demons and meets Alec’s family. And Alec.

A tide too high is a novel about two people from different worlds who find a soul mate in each other and face a struggle to keep that love alive, and make the right decisions.


He kissed her ear lobe and then her sun-warmed cheek. Their lips met and for the briefest of seconds he felt her tense before relaxing and he allowed himself to kiss her gently at first and then with more passion.

She rolled her body again and folded her arms on the side of the pool, this time studying him.

“What are you thinking right now,” he whispered huskily.

“I was wondering if you were still married?” she asked playfully, her eyes fixed on the grin that was sliding across his mouth.

He lowered his lips to hers and kissed her hard in response. “Pretty much,” he replied, kissing her again.

“What a terrible waste of resources,” she answered, when at last he lifted his lips from hers.


Carole Brungar 3 (1)Tell us all about you Carole

My hubby and I own two acres in the country with loads of wonderful old trees. Some 40 ofthem are kowhai trees and during August and September the kowhai are a riot of yellow flowers. Their blossoms carpet the lawns in golden yellow and they attract the kereru, New Zealand’s native pigeon and hundreds of native tui that feed on the nectar. Gradually the birds become drunk and by end of day they fight and sing and the noise is incredible. We live about 15 minutes from the west coast and on weekends love to visit the different beaches and walk with the wind in our faces. The beach is my special place to think.

I have a Degree in Communication Management and Journalism and I work as a communications advisor in local body government, dealing with media issues, writing promotional articles and sometimes writing speeches for the city’s mayor or councillors. Previously I worked as a newspaper editor and photographer for the New Zealand Defence Force.

CaroleBrungar 5My hubby Dennis is a talented landscape watercolourist and we share studio space here at home in a purpose built studio. When I’m not working my day job, I write, but I also teach fabric art classes throughout New Zealand, online and at home from Tui Glen Studio.


Well I’ve had quite a lot of feedback from readers asking what happens to Mac and Alec, and what about the other characters, especially the drummer Jimi. So although I didn’t intend to, I’ve started a shorter story that will add another dimension to the characters in a tide too high.

I aim to write stand-alone novels, as I personally like to read the whole story in one book and I’m currently working on my next novel, which is set in New Zealand during the 1960’s. It’s been a huge challenge researching the social history of that time and I hope I do it justice. I’m going to set it locally and although it will be totally fictitious, it will feature my grandmother’s milkbar. I loved it, especially the jukebox. The novel will weave a story around a couple that have to deal with the scars of the Vietnam War.


Finally do you have any advice for others?

I do. Although I’m a “novice novelist” if you like, I have to say, for those who want to write, write. Write for you. Write as CaroleBrungar 4though you will be the reader. That way, you will write what’s true to your heart. The other thing is, write what you can, when you can. Not everyone can write for five hours a day, or stay awake until midnight writing every night, but even if you can spend an hour a day, every day, you will eventually get your story told.

And lastly, if you haven’t been to New Zealand, you need to make it your next holiday destination. Don’t forget to spend some time in the winterless north – it’s seriously beautiful country!

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6 thoughts on “Meet Carole Brungar, An Interview

    • Hi Melissa,
      Thanks for the lovely comment! I think I am very lucky that I live in such a beautiful country, but we are so far from everywhere!! x

  1. Your book sounds wonderful and set in gorgeous New Zealand sounds like a win, win to me. Congratulations.

  2. New Zealand sounds wonderful! I believe much of the movie series of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” was filmed there and wondered where such a rugged landscape could be. If it is “real” have you visited that area? I would think it would be a place for inspiration for writing various novels. Best wishes for your novel, “A Tide Too High.”

  3. Hi, and thanks for visiting, lovely to meet you! Yes, you’re right, much of the film, if not all of it was shot here in NZ, I think most of the Hobbit movies were filmed here too. They used a variety of places to film in and yes I have visited several of them. The scenery is stunning here, and some might argue much more dramatic in the South Island than the North Island. But the North Island has so many beautiful beaches. There is inspiration everywhere! I hope you enjoy the book if you read it!

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