A visit from Iris Blobel, with a new release

Wildlife Park Jan 2013
Iris Blobel has a new release out this week, New Beginnings.

Can you imagine how hard it must be to write in a language that isn’t your native tongue? I mean, it’s hard enough to write in the first place, didn’t Hemmingway say: “Writing is easy, you just sit at your typewriter and bleed…” or something along those lines. But writing in English when your native language is German? Man, the thought of that just blows my mind.

So I’m thrilled to host Iris Blobel on my blog today. Iris and I are kindred spirits, in that I have a special affinity for ‘flower’ names. Iris. Lily. Rose. Petunia. Azalea. (Okay, now I’m being silly).

When Iris read my novella, The Goodbye Ride, earlier this year she commented that: “Google was a good friend over these few days. It amazed me how many new words I learnt … I should’ve written them down.” Then I saw her star on Susanne Bellamy’s fabulous Sunday blog, “All The World’s A Page”, and she mentioned then her German heritage and the challenge she faces at times, writing romance in English.

So I’ve asked her to elaborate, and here’s what she had to say:

“After more than 15 years here in Australia, I’d consider my English good. Sometimes too good according to my girls. They get really annoyed when I correct their grammar – during a casual conversation that is, not in their homework (yes, I do that, too, the poor little souls). I still have little slip ups. Or big ones! I recently used the word “suffice” in a business email. I had heard it a few days earlier and liked it. I obviously didn’t use it in the right context 😉 Embarrassing to say the least!”

“My grammar is usually okay, the sentence structure can be funny if not hilarious. Writing the stories in a different language is not that hard at all. After all, it makes sense to me. And you have to admit I love you does sound better than Ich liebe Dich, right? The struggles I have, though, is finding the right words to convey what I want to say … and then I ask my husband whether whatever I come up with makes sense. The usual answer is a shrug and a “S’pose so”. Not really all that helpful.

“Bottom line, IMHO, I don’t think the language makes the difference, but the way you use the words … I still have a lot to learn here and am very grateful for my wonderful and patient editors.”

Iris has her new book out, New Beginnings. I downloaded it this week but I haven’t read it yet. So why not see for yourself whether Iris’s ‘non-English’ background shines through in her stories.

New Beginnings is now available at most online stores or at the links below.

To believe in new beginnings is to trust in tomorrow

1167923_657765660900187_827019903_nTwenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is though, they don’t know of, and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.

As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life – Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.

Ooh! Sounds like fun, Iris, who doesn’t love it when there’s a hunk across the road, and what a great location in beautiful Hobart?

You can find New Beginnings here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/New-Beginings-ebook/dp/B00ENU02BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377251351&sr=1-1

Astraea Press: http://astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/category=662245&id=27261175

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/349320

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/new-beginnings-6

About Iris:

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she  met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as two dogs. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Avon Summer Reads – Lily Pad hop!

LilyM_lowres
Lily Malone – author of two books that came together SO much easier than my not-playing-ball WIP!

If you’re reading this, I’m still alive, and you’ve fallen into the Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop!

This one started with Avon Romance, and the sport-loving (and wonderful) Iris Blobel invited me to be part of it.

A little bit about my WIP (Work In Progress)

My current WIP is very much a babe in the woods. It doesn’t even have its name yet, because the original name I’ve now decided I don’t like. It was called Fringe Benefits (it’s been that for 2 years). Now I’m leaning to Taking Me Slow or Taking It Slow… It is a reunion romance (contemporary romance) set between the two places of Australia that have been ‘home’ for me: Margaret River, and the Adelaide Hills. Once again, it has a loose wine industry background tying my characters’ lives together. My hero is Seth (he’s based on Timothy Oliphant’s character of Seth Bullock in Deadwood) and my heroine is Quin (don’t ask me why/how she got her name, I just like it).

This book is being DANG difficult to write, and isn’t playing ball. It started out in third person, and currently I’m rewriting a new draft in first person. It is just giving me all sorts of trouble and if it doesn’t pull its act together, I will NEVER write it! (Please, may my threat work, you bloody book, you!). *mutters & glares darkly at keyboard*…

The blog hop questions:

1) When writing are you a snacker? If so, sweet or salty?

Salty. Kettle sea salt chips are my vice (along with champagne). But that said, I don’t snack when I write. It’s impossible to type and snack and I can’t stand a greasy keyboard. (See this post here for more about greasy keyboards and food in my writing!)

2) Are you an outliner or someone who flies by the seat of their pants? Are they real pants or jammies?

Absolute seat of the pants, and they’re not jammies. I’m a nightie kind of girl and my nighties have patterns of icecream cones; champagne glasses clinking; and multicoloured hearts.

3) When cooking or baking, do you follow the recipe exactly or wing it?

I cook like I write. One of the reasons I make muffins that my husband says “are like hockey pucks” is that I refuse to follow a recipe. I like cooking but I don’t like getting so pedantic about following a recipe that if I don’t have an ingredient I won’t try the recipe. I think like ‘good writing,’ ‘good cooking’ comes with experience. Years ago I’d be more inclined to follow a recipe to the letter. Now I’m more confident in my kitchen and I can wing it. Luckily I have more success than failure (except with muffins).

4) What is next for you after this book?

Gad. This book is such a pup. Right now I don’t know what’s next. ‘Next’ is years away… but I think it may not be romance, and it may not be wine (like my two current releases His Brand Of Beautiful and The Goodbye Ride). And it may not have a HEA. We shall have to see!

5) Last Question…on a level of one being slightly naughty to ten being whoo whoo steamy, where does your book land?

It won’t be erotica, but it will be steamy. It involves a lot of fantasy sex. So I’d say 8-9.

What is the recipe you’ll be cooking this summer!?

Last year great friends of mine introduced me to a new potato salad, and I made this heaps in summer 2012-13. I love it because it uses heaps of parsley. So it’s a potato salad with steamed potatoes, 2 or 3 hard-boiled eggs, sour-cream/mayo/natural yoghurt (I use whatever dressing base I have); olive oil, a wisp of balsamic vinegar, maybe some shallots if I have them, and lots (like a really big bunch) of parsley from the garden.

I’d serve this with steaks that hubby would do on the barbecue; or freshly caught fish.

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I have invited Jennie Jones, Juanita Kees, Alissa Callen, Cate Ellink and Elizabeth Ellen Carter to join in the hop, and once they get their recipes up, you’ll be able to click on their names to see what they’ve got cooking!

Thanks Iris Blobel for the invitation!

When ‘Casual’ Cuts Close To The Bone

A few weeks ago in Australia there was an outcry over an alleged comment made by a 13-year-old girl to one of our country’s star Australian Rules’ football players, Adam Goodes, during a game between Sydney Swans and Colllingwood. The girl was in the crowd. The news stories I’ve seen reported that she called Goodes an ‘Ape’…
Adam Goodes is an Indigenous (Aboriginal) player, and one of the most decorated footballers in the history of the game, winning two Brownlow medals. (For any international readers, it is the equivalent of being named MVP in the National Basketball League…)
This incident has been on my mind in recent weeks because of the term that arose out of it: ‘Casual Racism’, and because of a scene in my new novella, The Goodbye Ride.
My fellow RWA author, Iris Blobel, invited me to write about this issue on her blog. If you haven’t seen the post, please click over and pay us a visit.