October 22 is release day for my new contemporary rural romance So Far Into You.
I’ve done release day a few times now and it is always special. It’s nice to see the culmination of so many months of writing, revising, submitting, editing, plus all the work that Escape Publishing do to prepare the book for the world.
I’d like to thank the people who helped me get Seth and Remy’s story to the page. They know who they are, but for the record, I’m blessed to have Jennie Jones, Juanita Kees and Kylie Kaden in my corner. Kate Cuthbert, managing editor of Escape Publishing had a lot to do with making this book better, as did its editor Belinda Holmes.
Four books down the track, it gets a bit tricky to think of new people to dedicate one’s book to… so this time, I didn’t choose any people. I chose these dogs.
Jarman and Breeze… this book is for you.
‘More than enough dog for anyone, and too much for most.’
Finally, to the people who read and enjoy my books: you keep me and so many other authors writing when we’re convinced we should chuck the whole messy industry in … Thank you for your encouragement, your comments, your Facebook ‘likes’ and smiles; your reviews and your wishes. We write for you.
A shout out to my wonderful Beta reading and writing friends, Jennie Jones and Juanita Kees, both of whom have had wonderful book-related news this week.
Jennie, Juanita and I met on Facebook last year, and then in person at the RWA Conference in Fremantle. We are all Escape Artists (published by Escape Publishing), and we’re living in West Australia, although I’m a fair way south of these two. This, by the way, is a good thing. I’m sure if we lived closer, we’d talk books and drink wine and very little writing would get done! After Fremantle we chatted loosely about joining forces with joint promotions or other bookish things… and this eventuated in the gem of an idea, that we form a Beta reading team.
So far, I’m proud to say, our record is exemplary! We started with Under The Cover Of Dark, Juanita’s follow-up story to Under The Hood in her Tag Raider series, staring the hunky Detective Mark and the lovely (but scarred) widow, Lily Bennetti. How could I not fall in love with Detective Mark when every line I’m reading has ‘Lily’ swooning over his cop charms? (And cop arms, and those big guns, – please, somebody stop me.) We had a giggle on Facebook mid-way through last year when Juanita posted a line about the sexy things Lily had been doing with Detective Mark, and someone (I think it was Susanne Bellamy from memory – thought it was ME!) So I wrote a little story about me, Lily & Mark which I hope to post here one day when Juanita says it’s okay.
Anyhoo… while we waved goodbye to Under Cover Of Dark and wished it well on its journey through the submission straits, I think next cab off the rank was my book, Fairway To Heaven, closely followed by Jennie Jones’ next book in her Swallow’s Fall series. This is ‘The House At The Bottom Of The Hill’ (the follow-up to Jennie’s blockbuster, ball-busting Escape’s biggest-selling wonder-book: The House On Burra Burra Lane). Yes, I am trying VERY hard to get Jennie to cull her book titles… but she does love telling a story on her front cover! Me, Jennie & Juanita call it THATBOTH… it’s much easier!
I like to think of Jennie as writing ‘Chardonnay Country’. You don’t find wheat fields, red dusty outback roads, sheep or cattle stations in Swallow’s Fall, instead it’s in the Snowy Mountains, all green and wildflower-filled, and the community and characters Jennie Jones has developed there never fail to make me giggle. I love visiting Swallow’s Fall, pet pigs and all.
Juanita’s writing is different. Her Tag Raiders series is romantic suspense… tackling all the tough issues like teenage gang culture, drugs, street kids, homelessness and the wonderful people who assist in the rehabilitation of these teens.
Is it any surprise that after the emotion she spent on the page writing Tag Raiders, she threw us a curve ball? Juanita needed a holiday. So off to a Greek beach she went, while we all chewed our nails waiting on news about Under The Cover Of Dark… and phwoar, have we enjoyed watching her Greek Gods in their speedos on Mykonos… my little heart be still.
Then Jennie, in the space of a few months, wrote my favourite story of everything she’s done so far: 12 Days At Silver Bells House. This is a Christmas novella set in Swallow’s Fall, and it is absolutely delightful. Talking about ‘Chardonnay Country’ I loved how her heroine crashes her car in a paddock near Swallow’s Fall and awaits her rescue more worried about how she’s going to get the box of wine out of the boot (trunk), than how she is going to get out of the aforesaid mud patch in her designer heels. This novella is magic!
And the huge news that’s had us all dancing: Under The Cover Of Dark has been accepted for publication by Escape Publishing this week! And Jennie Jones has news too… although I’ll let her tell it!
So huge congratulations to Jennie and Juanita. They are two of the most generous people you could meet in the Australian writing fraternity.
And while I’m dishing out the love: It’s also been a big week (month) for two other buddies, Jenn J McLeod and Kylie Kaden, both of whom have new books (Simmering Season for Jenn, and Losing Kate for Kylie) in print and e-book that have captured readers’ attention in Australia and beyond.
It sure has been a good news week! #girlwritersrock #australianwritersrock
This little meme has been doing the rounds for a while now, it’s a ‘pass it on’ kind of post about how a gal (or boy) author, writes. I was asked by Jennie Jones and Susanne Bellamy to be part of the blog, but I was a bit busy back then because I’d just *ahem* released my new book,Fairway To Heaven.
So when Sandra Antonelli tagged me last week and said such lovely things about my work (she did, true, she said my books were “witty and enchanting and made her want to drink wine”) I said I’d love to!
First, a teensy bit about Miss Sandra (also known as Sandra CookieFace Antonelli who is one-sixth of the naughty ninjas). Sandra will not mind one teensy bit if it’s just teensy, because Sandra is kind of, teensy herself. Lucky she has a great big heart! She’s got two books that I know about, and probably many more that I don’t know about. This is a gal with a helluva lot of aliases!
And so to the Burning Questions Sandra asked.
What am I working on? *shuffles shoes* *takes beanie off* *puts beanie back on* and admits… I am not working on anything right now, at all. I have the biggest, most severe case of Writer’s Block you’ve ever seen. I’m more blocked than Elvis ever was. If I have to pick something, then it’s a book I’m calling “His Brand Of Business” which as anyone who visits here often will know, is a follow-up, though not with related characters, to my Escape Title His Brand Of Beautiful. But I am so struggling to get any words on the page… woe, woe, woe.
How does my work differ from others of its genre? My characters drink a lot. In Fairway To Heaven,my heroine has a dodgy vagina (her words, not mine). Her goal throughout the book is to have ‘normal, every day sex’ rather than multiple orgasms – because she has a physical problem that makes sex damn hard work most of the time. So yeah, I guess that’s different for a romance!
Why do I write what I do? I love sport and I love wine, so it makes sense that I’m writing about golf and wine.
How does my writing process work? See question 1. Right now, it doesn’t work at all. Particularly when I’m starting off, I need a lot of peace and quiet and just time to ruminate and write. I have two small boys and a husband and we’re currently building a house, plus I work four hours a day, each weekday. Time. Time. Time. I don’t seem to have it. Once I’m into something I can be very disciplined (which helped me release 3 books in 2013); but getting started is the hard part for me. I am Lily ‘The Beanie Queen’ of procrastination.
Okay! That’s the end of my part in the process.
Now I get to pass this mystical baton to the wonderful Kylie Kaden, she who is about to be a newly published Random House author in April with her mysterious and haunting book, Losing Kate. I am so looking forward to Kylie’s story. We are critique partners, and when I first read Losing Kate, it was under an entirely different name. There was a line in Kylie’s story in the early pages which was about the character Meg, a neighbour of the heroine, and it said something like: “Meg comes to my place with her sticky brood of boys…” I will never forget how the ‘sticky brood of boys’ grabbed me and some little lightglobe in my head went off and I thought *this* is a writer I will love!
Congratulations Kylie. I cannot wait to cyber-celebrate Losing Kate with you in April, and I look forward to the next time we catch up in person!