The Lovely Bog oops, Blog Award

Historical romance author, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, thinks my blog is worthy of a nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you Elizabeth!

Now, some time last year, there was a blog going around called The Next Big Thing, which I was part of with three other writing friends, Kerrie Paterson, Cate Ellink and Allison Tait, and we were invited by Jenn J McLeod. I had a great time with The Next Big Thing, but one of the main reasons I loved doing The Next Big Thing, is that for one swift moment in time, I was almost part of The Next Bog Thing. (You can read about it here – a lot of us had heaps of very dirty fun that day and this remains my most popular post in terms of hits on my blog. I’m not sure what that tells me about the motley crew of people who follow and visit my blog!).

So I couldn’t help but have a little chuckle to myself when I saw Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s invitation to the One Lovely Blog Award, because it could so very easily become, One Lovely BOG Award.

But first, a little bit about Elizabeth Ellen Carter. She has just had her debut historical romance, Moonstone Obsession, picked up by Etopia Press. Every Friday night, EEC blogs about movies, particularly, old movies, and this segment of her blog is called Friday Night Flicks. If you like your movies, I’d encourage you to visit. It’s amazing what a fount of knowledge EEC is. Quite frankly, she staggers me!

So, as part of this One Lovely Blog Award, Elizabeth has asked me to nominate 7 other outstanding bloggers and share 7 facts about myself. Because our writing community overlaps, I am sure many of the writers I might nominate will have been previously asked. So all I’d say is, if you want to pick up this invitation to become part of One Lovely Blog, please be my guest.

And for 7 interesting facts about myself? Well… here we go. These might be a bit ‘BOGanish’.

  1. I have always been a Shane Warne fan. I remember where I was the day he bowled the Ball Of The Century. I love Warnie. But I like the ‘old’ Warnie more than the new 2013 version. 
  2. My favourite line in a movie comes from Gladiator: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius… Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
  3. We named our dog Jarman, in honour of Darren Jarman. (Adelaide Crows footballer going back a few years). 
  4. I once cooked trout at a dinner party for four (including a man I was trying to impress). I had no idea what I was doing and all the trouts’ heads’ fell off. I served the headless fish with lightly steamed beans and a nice Chianti. (I made that last bit up).
  5. I named my bikes as a kid. They were called R1, and Gar2. R1 was fastest. I was actually quite reasonable at BMX at one stage of my life.
  6. My first car was a Datsun 200B. (The colour of… bog)
  7. The most memorable piece of writing I’ve read recently, was Cate Ellink’s ‘fish sex’ post, The Virgin Whiting at her blog.

LilyM_lowres

I hope you enjoyed my 7 facts.

On my Facebook page, I plan to share more ‘little known facts’ about Lily Malone in the weeks ahead. You’re welcome to like my page if you’d like more crazy bits such as these above! (Dear reader, you have been warned).

I also recently entered the Twittersphere… there’s a link at the side of the page if you’d like to see what I do there. 

Look for the author in the Boganish Pink Beanie!

The Next Big Thing (the real one)

Next Big Thing-1

I was one of four writers tagged by Susanne Bellamy and Jenn J Mcleod in the Next Big Thing blog tour. Jenn dubbed her motley crew, the DIGRITS, which (if you’re wondering and I’m sure you are) stands for Dang. I Got Roped Into This S***. Susanne invited me too, a little later, and I hope she will forgive me for linking back to this earlier story!

I know Cate Ellink has done her TNBG (Cate was also in my The Next Bog Thing and her BOG answers were as good as her BIG ones). You can read Jenn’s here too and Kerrie Paterson. And keep an eye on Alison Tait for her contribution.

Here are my responses to the questions.

What is the working title of your current/next book?

My current book, which will be published in the next few months (March is earmarked), is called His Brand Of Beautiful. Right now, I am struggling mightily with my next WIP, loosely called Fringe Benefits. I am procrastinating my arse off, rather than knuckling down to write it. I’m blogging. Reading other blogs. Facebooking. Watching way too much cricket (C’mon Aussie, c’mon) and I even wrote a short story a while ago, just so I didn’t have to get back to Fringe Benefits. And I liked writing the short story so much (I will enter it for RWA Little Gems) that I then threw my effort at a Novella for a Carina Press competition called Harleys & Holidays… So right now, that’s the one getting the BS&T (hmmm… written like that it looks like I mean, getting the bulls***… I meant, getting the blood, sweat & tears).

Where did the idea come from?

I’m not sure where His Brand Of Beautiful ‘came from’ exactly. I think you’d throw me in the ‘pantster’ classification. Pantsters never know where their books come from, right? I know I didn’t want an angst-filled romance where the characters dithered and faffed about and were too stupid to live. I wanted it to relate to the wine industry (most of my ideas are loosely connected there – that probably tells you more about me and my love of all things red, white and rose than you need to know)… and I had this rough idea that I wanted the beginning to involve a case of ‘mistaken identity.’ (Before I knew that was called a Trope, thanks Rachel Johns). Beyond that, I really had no idea.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary romance for pantsters.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hugh Jackman would get the nod for Tate. There’s a lot of ‘Drover’ from Australia in Tate. Christina? Possibly Cameron Diaz (shorter though) in a hat and with a few extra pounds. Even Melissa George in a hat and a few extra pounds. Any woman in a hat with a few extra pounds. (Hey FOX, Universal – I could play her myself!)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A man haunted by his past falls in love with a woman afraid of the future.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am thrilled to say a publisher will represent His Brand Of Beautiful, but all the paperwork isn’t finalized as yet, so I can’t say which one!

How long did it take you to write the first draft?

May 2011 I began writing it. I finished it fast and sent it out in about September of that year. The first rejections came fast too. They were a huge wake-up call and told me how much I didn’t know about creative writing. I grew much older and wiser in the next 14 months of rewrites and revisions and I will never forget the Saturday morning when I clicked open my emails and read one from a US publisher that said: “I really enjoyed your book and I would love it for our line.”

I was incredibly lucky that an Aussie publisher then told me they liked my book too. Deciding which publisher to go with has been my big dilemma. There are pros and cons to both. The legal side of things has been making my head spin. That’s something I think we could all use more of (by the way), there are so many great writing craft posts and tips, but it has been much harder to find contract and legal information. Once I’m more organized, I will try to shape up a post about what I’ve discovered on the ‘business’ route.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m sorry. I don’t know. I know that there are an awful lot of talented Australian writers writing ‘rural romance’. I don’t write that, as such, but it just happens that His Brand Of Beautiful includes an outback camping trip. I was lucky enough to completely freak out Jenn J McLeod & Rachael Johns the other day on Author Harvest and I won a copy of Rachael’s new book, Man Drought. So that will be my first Aussie read, and of course, I am saving myself to read House Of All Seasons.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Ruebens. (Yes, the painter) and probably, Jennifer Crusie, though she would never know it. I think her writing is just amazing.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

I’d like to think it has a modern feel to it. My heroine knows what she wants in the world and she goes after it. The only problem is, she wants many things all at once and all of them, she tends to want… er… NOW. (No she’s not at all like me. I’m very gentle and patient!) People who like graphic design, branding and marketing may enjoy the subplots in the book. People who like wine might enjoy it too. That’s a pretty wide net, I’d reckon.

Thank you for getting through The Next Big Thing with me. If you are interested in what The Next Bog Thing was all about – check it out here! This Bog post was by far the most popular one I’ve ever done on this site, and that might say something about the people who post and visit here!

So not, The Next Big Thing

Many writers will already know of the ‘blog interview tour’ going the rounds called The Next Big Thing. I’ve read some great Q&As, one of which you’ll find right now at Come Home To The Country. It’s like an online literary chain letter. I don’t know where it started and I don’t know where it will end, and at some stage soon thanks to Jenn J McLeod, I, and three other lady writers, will become part of The Next Big Thing. (Yes – there is even a badge). If I find it, I’ll post it.

But what I want to write about today, is how VERY close I came to being something else entirely. Yes, although Allison Tait, Cate Ellink and Kerrie Patterson (tagged by Jenn) may never know it… Ladies, last night, we nearly became part of THE NEXT BOG THING.

All evidence is now removed. Jenn J’s typo (if typo it was – I’m tempted to think she was being sneaky to see if anyone was really listening!) is now removed. At midnight last night on Jenn’s blog, we were about to be part of The Next Bog Thing. Two minutes after midnight, we were back to being in The Next Big Thing… but I have spent some time in the small hours thinking about what might have been…

Let’s be honest. Have you seen the Q&A for The Next Big Thing? It’s not very exciting. It’s (dare I say) a bit boring. Like, child’s toy-left-out-in-the-sun-all-summer kind of dull. Jenn J’s Author Harvest questions have far more scope!

The Questions in The Next Bog Thing would be far more exciting! Just think of how you might answer this!

  1. At what point did you decide your first draft was complete and utter crap?
  2. Assuming you send your protagonist rowing up Shit Creek, how did you take away his/her paddle?
  3. How many times did you rewrite Chapter 4, before realising that you simply cannot polish a turd?
  4. Tell the truth. Have you ever taken your laptop into the toilet to work on your WIP?
  5. If you ever manage to outsell the Bible… will you think your shit doesn’t stink?

You get the point? Much more interesting!

Alas. Thanks to the wonders of blogs and their edit and ‘update’ buttons… I am not in The Next Bog Thing anymore, (how I wanted to see that badge), I am in only, The Next Big Thing and so, I shall start honing my answers!

But I do invite anyone out there who is interested in The Next Bog Thing, to leave any new questions they might think of in the comments below (I might even have to come up with a prize!)… or by all means, please join The Next Bog Thing and write your answers if you like and tag someone else… Maybe we can start a whole new BIG BOGGY THING (which one day, someone might make a scary movie about.)

In the meantime Jenn J, I love your work! Thanks for tagging me! And I look forward to reading about Kerrie, Allison and Cate! 🙂

Blogs, Books and DANG BIG THINGS…

I’ve had some big days in recent weeks, but today just takes the cake. I can only imagine how I might feel the day my book actually hits the shelves, err… cyberspace.

Jenn J Mcleod, who is about to release her debut book House For All Seasons in March, and is also now an official radio and television megastar in the mould of Dame Edna, who by the way I am going to see in Adelaide on her farewell tour in January – but I digress. (I do that). Where was I?

Yes! Jenn J Mcleod has invited me to be part of a blog hop tour called The Next Big Thing. Jenn plus four author friends Allison Tait, Kerrie Patterson and Cate Ellink and yours truly have ten questions each to answer about our book(s). And we also have an official group called the DIGRITS (as to how we got our name, my lips are sealed.)

Plus: Jenn has invited me to be on her Author Harvest blog, which is a series I love reading, and I’ve found out so much about chickens and gnomes from all the talented people who’ve been on her site this year, I am thrilled to be part of it. I had to share just a taste, this was one of my favorite responses to Jenn’s big: “Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road” question, by Kylie Ladd:

JJM: Now for the big question… Why did the chicken cross the road?

KL: Our chickens are so very stupid I have no idea why they do anything. Yesterday a dragonfly buzzed near them while they were sitting together on the lawn. They jumped up in a panic and ran straight into each other. Crossing an entire road would be well beyond them.  

Where was I? (Laughing again at the idea of Kylie’s crazy chickens).

Yes! Thrilled to be part of Author Harvest. Thanks for asking me Jenn!

And so, I went off to my email inbox hunting all these blog questionnaires and also looking for notice from OzSales about my Christmas outfit that has YET to arrive and I bought it online WEEKS ago!! (Yep, digressing again…) And there I found this one:

Ping!

“I have just assigned an editor to work with you on His Brand of Beautiful. Her name is [blanked out – oh this confidentiality until the contract is signed is killing me], and she is really enthusiastic about getting your work ready for publication. She will be working with you directly, which will allow you both more freedom to work to your own schedule.

[Blanked out] has been informed of the final and only due date of February 1 2013, which is when she will need to send us the final edited copy so we can release your title in March 2013. [SQQUUUUEEEEEE] I will be sending [blanked out] your manuscript today, so you should hear from her in the near future.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries along the way, and in the meantime I hope you find the editing process rewarding!”

SQUEEEEEEEEE! Now I think I’m gonna go do twenty cartwheels on the lawn. (ahem-in my dreams).

So excited! Thank you world.