Monthly Archives: February 2012

Helen Lacey answers Juliet’s Ten Awkward Author Questions!

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’!

Today I’d like to welcome Helen Lacey to the blog!

 

1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

I have to say my first book, Made For Marriage – because if these two people hadn’t met and fallen in love, then the next six books in my series might never have been written.

 

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):

Punctual. Good listener. Neat.  Graceful. Generous. Cheerful. 

Cheerful. (Or at least I like to think so)

 

3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

I am an absolute klutz. If there’s a ditch, I’ll fall in it, if there’s mud, I’ll slip over.

 

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

I just finished writing book five in my series and absolutely fell in love with the hero. He was a doctor with a painful past and I just loved him. Although, I thinks it’s important to fall a little in love with my hero every time a start a new book. If I want readers to love him, I need to love him first.

 

5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

Sometimes I do, especially to get the rhythm of the dialogue right.

 

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

Constantly! Coming up with ideas is one of my favourite things, so talking about it, even to myself, makes it all the more fun.

 

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Hmmm. Tough question. I’d like to have Charisma Carpenter, because I think she’d make a great cheerful klutz 🙂

 

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

I’d like to be Jo March from Little Women. She was spunky and spirited and had an amazing imagination. She longed to be a writer and  it would be great to experience being that driven by a dream in those long ago days.

 

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

A pen and notepad that never runs out.

 

10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

To be tolerant and not judge others. And to read more books, of course.

 

Thanks for taking part in my Ten Awkward Author Questions, Helen. You have achieved Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

 

 

 

Check out Helen’s book, MADE FOR MARRIAGE:

Equestrian Callie Jones was used to difficult parents at her riding school. But Noah Preston took the cake.

How dare he question her teaching abilities, after his headstrong daughter paid no heed to rules—her teacher’s or her father’s?

Single dad Noah was ready to apologize for overreacting. But he wasn’t sorry for the way the stunning American riding instructor made him feel. And he soon learned that there was more to Callie than her smarts, sass and fire: a shattered heart that threatened to splinter even further. Could he make her see that he—and his family—were for keeps?

Buy Links:

Harlequin   Amazon        Amazon UK      Book Depository

Helen Lacey on the web:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Blog           Helen’s Page at RomanceWiki

 

For full itinerary on Helen’s Celebration tour check out Helen Lacey- Author Page.

 

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Writing Tips from Hollywood

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Michael Hauge – story consultant, author and lecturer who works with screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers and executives. He has coached writers, producers, stars and directors on projects for Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon and Morgan Freeman, and is currently on retainer with Will Smith’s company, Overbrook Productions, where he was involved in the development of I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK and THE KARATE KID.

I asked him some meaty questions and got some fantastic and thorough answers, with practical tips for all writers to apply to their own writing, such as how to give your book ‘movie-potential’, which Hollywood films are good for writers to watch and analyse, and how his six stage plot structure creates a successful story.

 

Some gems I got from the interview:

– Give your protagonist a ‘visible’ goal to work towards and then put seemingly insurmountable obstacles in his/her way.

– Read screenplays to learn ways of ‘showing versus telling’.

– A great tool to add credibility to a story is to use a reflection character (see the interview for explanation).

 

Check out the complete interview here, it is a wealth of great information!

🙂

Sharing the LOVE… Win a Valentine’s Day Gift Bag!

Whether you celebrate this annual day of love or not, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some love and run a competition. My first ever blog competition! And there’ll be more to come, so if you want to hear about upcoming competitions (as well as fascinating blog posts and author interviews of course ;)), just enter your email address into the subscription form on the right >>

Most people associate Valentine’s Day with romantic love, but I thought I’d do a blog post about things I love, and I’d love you to share with me the things you love too. In fact, if you do, you’ll be entered into the draw to win a goodie bag! (*AUS only, more details on the competition at the end of this post).

So here’s a ‘List Of Things I Love’.

Maybe you love some of them too, or maybe you don’t. Don’t you just love how we are all so different!

Now these aren’t in order or anything, they are simply a few examples of things I love…

Movies:

The Sound of Music (I know some parts are cheesy, but it has everything – romance, suspense, humour, drama, music!)

The Wizard of Oz (For writers, one of the best examples of Goal, Motivation, & Conflict)

Titanic (nothing like a big budget Hollywood Blockbuster!)

The Holiday (I love the story and the characters)

The Bourne Trilogy (Matt Damon. Fast paced action. Great plot. Matt Damon.)

Harry Potter (I just love the world JK Rowling created, and all the little details)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (anyone…anyone…?)

Girls Just Want To Have Fun (for those young women who’ve never heard of this dance flick, check it out to see a young Sarah J Parker & Helen Hunt!)

 

Books:

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (I’m not usually one for ‘older’ books, but I couldn’t put this book down when I read it several years ago)

The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton (made me believe in the magic of books)

The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood (this is non-fiction, and it has quite literally changed my life)

29 by Adena Halpern (funny, charming, well written, fast paced – everything I love in a novel)

Heaven Can Wait by Cally Taylor (one of the most unique stories I’ve read in the last few years)

(I could mention so many other books but it would be a very long blog post!)

 

Places:

NSW South Coast where I live! (There is a bit of everything here – beach, farms, nice cafes, boutique shops, mild weather, relaxed lifestyle)

Melbourne (the culture, the food, the shopping, and so much more compact and easier to find your way around than Sydney!)

Rainforests (I love the feeling of being completely surrounded by nature)

Department Stores (I also love the feeling of being completely surrounded by no nature whatsoever)

Bookstores (I also love being surrounded by books)

 

Food:

Although I’m a very healthy eater (given my health industry background), who can resist a melt-in-your-mouth piece of chocolate once in a while?!

Smoked salmon

Nectarines (yummiest fruit ever)

Chicken soup (made by yours truly 😉

 

Words:

Bliss

Dream

Inspire

(Don’t you just feel wonderful reading those words?)

 

TV Shows (past & present):

Friends (best sitcom EVER)

3rd Rock From The Sun (2nd best sitcom EVER)

Bewitched (Oh, how we’d all like to be Samantha!)

Packed To The Rafters (Best Aussie show)

24 (Great plots, twists, and edge of your seat action)

Prison Break (slightly unrealistic concept but heaps of fun, and um… nice, er… scenery 😉

 

Activities:

Writing (duh!)

Reading (double duh!)

Dancing

Drawing/painting

Watching movies

Staring at the ocean (I swear some of my ideas get washed in with the waves, so any time spent staring is purely for productivity)

 

What about you, what things do you love in life?

*Here is how to enter my competition to win this Valentine’s Day Gift Bag (Australia only):

 

1. Firstly, make sure you’re Australian, or have an Australian postal address. If you’re not sure, ask your parents 😉 …For my international friends (who are probably slamming their fist on the table yelling ‘It’s not fair!’), don’t despair, I promise I’ll run some international competitions on the blog too!

2. Secondly, make sure you’re subscribed to this blog. If not, enter your email address in the subscription form on the top right of this page (Don’t worry, I’m not a daily blogger so you won’t get bombarded with blog updates, and I’m not one of those people who tries to sell Viagra!). Done? Okay, next step…

3. Leave a comment below and tell me at least three things you love and why (use the categories I’ve listed to inspire you).

4. The winner will be drawn randomly from valid entries around 5:00pm Sydney time on Friday 17th February 2012, and notified via email and on this blog.

5. The gift bag contains a copy of ‘The Trouble With Valentine’s Day’ by Rachel Gibson, a Lancome maharani jewels ‘Juicy Tubes’ lip gloss, a Sanctum organic cedarwood and olive leaf soap, and a Sanctum organic Body Essentials pack containing body buff exfoliator, body balm, and hand/nail repair cream. So the winner will be able to have an in-home pamper treatment, slick on some juicy lip gloss, and curl up with a fun book!

What are you waiting for? Leave a comment, it could be you!

Paula Roe answers Juliet’s Ten Awkward Author Questions!

In this new segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’!

Today I’d like to welcome Paula Roe, award-winning romantic fiction author!

 

1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

The first one, definitely. Needed to get that off my chest!

 

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!): Punctual. Good listener. Neat. Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

ONE??? I would say generous, but I’m pretty sure the general consensus from others is ‘cheerful’ 🙂

 

3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

The keyword here is ‘challenging’. I would say slob, but I completely own up to that one… which means it’s not really challenging, right…? The next one would probably be ‘blabbermouth’, then. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

 

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

I think Jake Vance from Boardrooms & A Billionaire Heir. Because I wrote him with Seeley Booth (from Bones) in my head and I just loooove David Boreanaz :-*)

 

5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

No, but I do read it aloud, especially the dialog scenes. I can edit out a lot of repetition that way.

 

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

Oh, yeah. But only in the car, where no-one can hear me. But of course, other drivers can *see* me, which can be quite disturbing… although probably not as disturbing as watching me belt out a song at high volume…

 

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Sandra Bullock 😀

 

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

Scrooge McDuck – for all the money, of course!

 

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

ARRRGGHH!! Toss up. The pen and notepad, which would be awesome? Or the man? Does he have to do my bidding? Because *that* would definitely tip the scales in his favor…

 

10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

Stop FIGHTING, people!! Don’t you know there’s a climate change crisis?!

 

Thanks Paula, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status!

Paula will be special guest speaker at the Australian Romance Readers Awards on 11th Feb. You can also check out Paula’s website here.