Blog Archives

At Home With… Annie Seaton [Plus Giveaway!]

To celebrate the January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small coastal town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to bestselling author from Entangled Publishing, Annie Seaton!

Annie_Seaton (2)1. Hi Annie where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I live in a small town on the mid north coast of New South Wales and have lived here for over twenty years.

 

2. What do you love about the place you call home?

Family around me makes it home. As well as that, the proximity to the ocean is very special to me. The water inspires my writing.

 

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

LOL… the coffee machine in my kitchen.  I have been so busy with deadlines, I lead a fairly cloistered life….I even grocery shop online!

 

bob4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? (Feel free to share a photo)

I think most readers are familiar with Bob Dog and Boy Cat and Girl Cat… but here is a photo too!

 

chair5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?

The living room where my writing chair overlooks the ocean and my garden

 

6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

Laptop, iPad and my gold jewellery (All my important documents and photos are stored electronically!)

 

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

I would beautify the public areas that the local council cannot afford to look after.

 

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

Love Actually or Billy Elliott.

 

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

Creme Brulee! Forget the main course.. . straight to the dessert for me.

[Juliet ~ why not? ;)]

garden10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

~ Books 3-10 in the Sullivans series by Bella Andre (Can we count that as one?)

~ Jackie Underdown-Beautiful Illusion

~ M J Stedman –Light Between Oceans

[Juliet ~ I have a couple of those on my list too]

 

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:

Home made pickles… I think that is a rarity these days!

 

12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?

New Zealand… I love it and would love to spend a year exploring the country.

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

None of the above. Chill the wine!

[Juliet ~ it’s all about priorities, right? ;)]

 

Thanks Annie!

Even though Annie would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website: http://annieseatonromance.com

Blog: http://annieseaton.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieSeatonAuthor

Twitter: @annieseaton26

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5779458.Annie_Seaton

 

And help her pay for that in-house chef by buying a copy of her book, Outback Affair, here:

Amazon / B&N / iTunes

OutbackAffairSeatonOUTBACK AFFAIR:

Jessica Trent wants to be a full-time writer for Cuisine magazine, but in order to land the gig she has to snare a one-on-one with the reclusive Alessandro Ricardo, a man hell-bent on staying out of the limelight. The last thing she expects as she heads to Crocodile Springs resort in northern Australia is to end up traveling across the Outback with a rugged and far too sexy barramundi fisherman.

Ex-lawyer Alex Richards protects his privacy and his heart in equal measure. So when a Yankee bombshell in need of a ride turns up and threatens both, he decides to teach her a lesson. As they make their way through the wild country together, the attraction between them ignites. Alex must choose between his heart or letting go of his past … and will Jessica understand why he lied once she finds out who he really is?

HA-500>>WIN! Annie’s giving away a copy of the first book in her affair series, Holiday Affair. Comment below to enter (bonus entry if you tell us where you would like to go for your ideal holiday!).  Open worldwide and winner will be drawn on 15th Nov and notified by email.

Good luck!

At Home With… Kate Belle

To celebrate the upcoming January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small coastal town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’m starting a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, for the first interview in this new segment, we’re paying a visit to author Kate Belle…

Let’s knock on her door… knock! knock!

 

1. Hi Kate, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I feel like a gypsy when asked this question. I’d moved house five times by the time I was seven. My family settled in Benalla, a small town in Northern Victoria, where we lived until I was 13 and I kind of consider it ‘home’, although I’ve lived longest in various parts of Melbourne, so really the city is my home now.

2. What do you love about the place you call home?

I loved growing up in Benalla in the 1970’s. We had so much freedom to explore the Broken River, parks and train station at the end of my street. Now, in the city, I love the sense of community in my small suburb in the North East. I also love the cultural diversity the city has to offer – Melbourne has a strong Aboriginal community and people from over 150 countries. It makes for a fascinating place in terms of food, entertainment and literature.

Were St Food Store 13. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

We have an old fashioned shopping strip in Were St, Montmorency. The Were St Food Store makes THE BEST COFFEE ANYWHERE (because if it weren’t for the PASSION, we’d all be drinking instant). There are mosaics inlaid on the footpaths depicting some fascinating local history, like the dog with a cart that used to show up to buy his masters milk, bread and newspaper every day. Or the line of gumboots left at the railway station waiting for their owners to return from their city jobs and walk home through the mud. I know I’m bound to bump into someone I know there so I never feel lonely.

Bear & Miss 94. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? (Feel free to share a photo)

Like everything else in our home, our pets are second hand. Marmalade, our neurotic ginger (girl) cat arrived first, after our last adopted Greyhound died. But the cat wasn’t enough for Miss 9, and waiting for a cat friendly Greyhound was taking too long, so we went to Save a Dog Scheme and adopted Bear.

I walked past him because he’s long haired, but the volunteer there kept saying ‘THAT is a great dog. You can’t go past that dog.’ Turned out she was right. He is an amazing animal, so aware, clever, loving and gentle – even if a bit dependent and needy.

At first Bear was a nightmare. We couldn’t leave him alone without him destroying everything he could get his teeth into. He filled the lounge with towels from the bathrooms, half chewed toys from Miss 9’s toybox, and ripped up cushions and carpet. He became extremely anxious when we were away, even for 10 minutes.

Marmelade & BelleSo when we got a call from the Greyhound Adoption Program we thought maybe a companion was what he needed. Coincidentally her name was Belle – a sign it was meant to be.

She joined our family and we learned she is more Princess than dog, so not the ideal companion for Bear we hoped for. It’s taken Belle and Bear a good six months to work out their differences and they seem to be very good friends now. Although Belle will still turn over the dog beds in the middle of the night and settle herself on the couch, leaving Bear to sleep on the unforgiving floor.

[Juliet– too cute!]

5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?

My bedroom. Especially when my husband’s not in it. It’s the one place I can thoroughly escape from the world and be an introvert. No phone, no tv, it’s a haven of books and soft lighting and way too many second hand clothes.

Pic 16. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

Gosh, I struggle with these questions. My laptop, my diaries and my daughter’s baby photos probably. But then there are all my wonderful and rare books. And the cd’s. And the irreplaceable 1960’s coat of midnight velvet. Too hard!

[Juliet– I hope to see you wear that at a future RWA conference, Kate!]

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

I’d definitely make Melbourne smaller. It was a perfect size in the mid-nineties I think. That or magically create the BEST public transport system in the world so it would be easier to get around. I’d also give all our homeless folk somewhere decent to live so they weren’t stuck with the indignity of living on the streets.

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

Well that is a huge argument waiting to happen, right there. Miss 9 will want to watch Harry Potter or Grease AGAIN! Hubby will want to watch a cheesy comedy or chick flick (yes, sometimes I wonder). I’ll want to watch something arty, perhaps even foreign with subtitles. You’ll have to choose, Juliet, or we will end up reading books instead.

[Juliet– Okay, I vote for…Dirty Dancing!]

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

Don’t you find with food, like movies and books, it depends on your mood? Is it winter or summer? Are the guests all adults or families? I’d have to do some research, come up with something incredibly complicated I’d never attempt myself. Something rare, delicate, Asian perhaps. Or a fragrant Indian feast.

Kate's Bookshelf10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

Only 3 Juliet? But I have literally hundreds! Okay, okay.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

I Take You by Nikki Gemmel

The Swan Book by Alexis Wright

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:

Wait, let me go look.

[Juliet– I’m guessing you didn’t find anything unique in there, Kate? ;)]

12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?

By the coast somewhere warm, but not the tropics. Maybe Northern New South Wales, up around Coff’s Harbour somewhere. I’m open to suggestions if someone’s offering.

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

Do people do A, B or C?

[Juliet– I certainly don’t]

 

bloomandbreakingtherulesEven though Kate Belle would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website: http://ecstasyfiles.com

Blog: http://ecstasyfiles.com/blog

Facebook: http://facebook.com/katebelle.x

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ecstasyfiles

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6572571.Kate_Belle

And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of her book, The Yearning, here:

Ebook: Amazon or iTunes or Kobo

Print book: Target, Kmart, Myer, Collins, Dymocks, Big W, Eltham Bookshop and other independent bookshops and major airports. If not in stock just ask.

Read an extract here.

Yearning lo resThe Yearning

It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.

Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class. He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes begin to arrive.

Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. And what happens next will torment them forever – in ways neither can imagine.

 

Thanks Kate!

Next week we visit the home of bestselling romance author with Entangled Publishing, Annie Seaton, so be sure to come back next week for another installment!

Elise K. Ackers answers my Ten Awkward 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’! 

Please welcome Elise K. Ackers! Elise is a finalist in this year’s RUBY award for the romantic elements category, with her Destiny Romance title, Small Town Storm. The winners will be announced at the RWA conference in Fremantle this August. Good luck, Elise!

 

Elise K. Ackers1. 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!)

My romantic suspense title, Small Town Storm. As hard as it is to choose one over others, it feels like this book has always been in me. It’s a big, complex plot full of characters I adore, issues I’ve wondered about for a long time, and a love I would want for myself. I wrote it over a few years – there were many iterations of it, and it was my debut title with Penguin’s Destiny Romance.

It was published as an ebook last year, and is available as a print book from certain Australia Post shops. I still feel a swell of pride and comfort each time I look at it, and I still think about the characters often – the way one might recall old friends.

 

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.

I’m very generous with my heart, my time and my forgiveness. Probably too generous with forgiveness, but most days I’m zen about that.

 

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.

Complete klutz. It’s inevitable considering the crazy things which happen around me. A window once fell out of its frame, on top of me, for example. And I bruise like a peach, so I keep finding new bruises almost every morning.

 

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

Absolutely. All of the guys. If I don’t fall for them, how can I expect a reader to? They each have qualities I esteem in a partner, values I share or respect and they fight for what they want and who they love. None of them are perfect – they’re flawed, but that’s what makes them real to me, and hopefully real and wonderful to a reader.

 

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

I’ll sometimes mimic an expression I’m writing about, or gesticulate similarly to a character, just to check I’m getting it right. This probably makes for interesting viewing for those sitting around me on the morning commute.

 

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

No, but I do talk to other people. My parents and I often talk about my characters like they’re real people and we’ll brainstorm for hours. I’ll start to talk faster, my words will squash together and then I’ll completely space out, because I’ll start writing a scene in my mind.

 

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

Emma Watson. Seriously, does anyone in the world have anything against that woman? She’s gorgeous, talented and full of substance. I would cheerfully be represented by her. Cheerfully, of course, being an enormous understatement.

 

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

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series (preferably not a day she’s fighting for her life), because I’d get to be a witch for a day and wander around Hogwarts! Magic!

 

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

I’m going to pick D, despite the concerning lack of all-important supplies. I’d have to make sure the conversation kept me amused for as long as possible…

All I can think is that two would surely become three over the course of the year, which would complicate an already – there I go, adding drama to the story again!

 

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

Be kind to one another. I could expand, but that’s my core message.

 

Thanks for taking part, Elise, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

Ultra-BraveAuthor

Visit Elise at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

Ask Me For More cover>>Buy her new release, Ask Me for More, here.

When Olivia Law returns home for her best friend’s wedding, it stirs up a lot of unexpected memories – not all of them good ones. Liv has a history here she’d prefer to forget, and a life in the city she wants to get back to. She certainly doesn’t expect to find herself attracted to the bride’s elder brother, Cal O’Hara.

Cal remembers Liv as the trouble making friend of his little sister. He doesn’t expect to be faced with an incredibly sexy grown-up version. But Cal has been hurt in the past and is not prepared to risk his heart again. Certainly not for someone who is leaving town in a few days.

Nothing is certain in this delicious tale about escaping the past. Ask Me for More is a poignant story about finding love where you least expect it. 

Ten Awkward Questions with Sarah Belle [Plus Giveaway!]

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’! 

Sarah BellePlease welcome my fellow Escape Artist author, who also writes romantic comedy with a dash of magic, Sarah Belle!

 

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!)

HINDSIGHT  is my first, so I’ll go with that!

 

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.

Hmmmm…judging my bruises and scars, it’s not graceful! I’d like to say generous – I like to help out.

 

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.

Oooh, these are hard, but refer to Q2 and I’ll have to go with a complete klutz. I can trip over thin air (or thick air).

 

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

Not yet. In the next book there are some pretty gorgeous, sexy men, so I’ll save my crush for them!

 

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

It plays in my head like a movie, complete with varying camera shots and angles.  My writing process is very cinematic.

 

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

Yes, and there are many arguments! I also write them down on a whiteboard, complete with arrows all over the place, pointing to alternate outcomes. My brain works better when it’s less cluttered.

 

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

Oh my god! These are really hard, Juliet! Ooooh…ummmm…I’d go with Asher Keddie. She does confused and foot in mouth really well.

 

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

I’d be Lisbeth Salander from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and others), because she’s incredibly intelligent, resourceful, kick ass and usually brings down the bad guy by herself as well as outsmarting every other character in the book. Oh, and she gets to shag Daniel Craig too.

 

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

Wow, that’s really hard!  I could go without c) and d), ( I can hear my husband crying in the background!),  but a year without reading or writing? I think I would choose an unlimited supply of books because I can always write in my head, but I can’t go without reading other people’s words.

 

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

I’d tell the corporate fat cats and many governments not to be so greedy. It is greed and a desire to make money that has resulted in devastation of formerly pristine environments, the extinction of many beautiful animal species, the ruination of native cultures and the starvation of millions of people. Greedy people either exploit the natural resources and people of certain countries, because they are of monetary value (gold, oil, diamonds), or turn their backs on them because they lack monetary value (East Africa, Senegal). It’s just not right.

 

Thanks for taking part, Sarah, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

Ultra-BraveAuthor

Visit Sarah online at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

>>WIN an ebook copy of her debut novel, HINDSIGHT, by commenting below and answering the following question: If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? (Open Worldwide, winner announced Wed 17th July)

Or, don’t want to wait? Buy it now here! 

9780857990587_Hindsight

HINDSIGHT blurb: 

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before.

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead…

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

Book Club LIVE CHAT about Fast Forward

Later this month I’ll be participating in a live online chat with the Harlequin Junkie HEA Book Club! I’d love for you to join in the fun 🙂 Do you have a burning question you’d like to ask me or would you like to discuss Fast Forward with myself and the book club members? I hope to see you there!

It’s on Thursday July 25th at 6pm PST/9pm EST, which if my calculations are correct should be around 11am Fri 26th in Sydney, Australia time.

You can see all the details here, where you can also read 5 Fun Facts About Fast Forward, and you can join the book club here.

See you soon … I can’t wait!

P.S – If you haven’t read Fast Forward yet and would like to before the book club chat, it is available from all online e-tailers. Here is a link to the publisher’s page which has all the buy links. 🙂

 

HEAbookclub

 

Ten Awkward Author Questions with Pamela Cook

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’!

Please welcome Australian rural fiction author, Pamela Cook!

PC1. 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!)

As I’ve only had one book published so far that’s a tricky question but … in an ideal world I would have chosen the first book I wrote. It’s Literary rather than Genre fiction and closer to my heart, probably because it’s the first one and I spent so long on it. The same reasons why it hasn’t been published to date – it’s easier to be ruthless with writing you’re not so attached to. Having said all that I am over the moon about having Blackwattle Lake out there on the bookstore shelves. And to be working on my next book.

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.

You certainly make it hard Juliet! I’m rarely punctual (just ask my friends), I’m certainly not neat. I’d like to think I’m graceful, generous and cheerful (at least most of the time) but if I have to pick one it would be that I’m a good listener.

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.

Definitely the first – I’m always late. For pretty much everything!

BLACKWATTLE_LAKE_Cover4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

Absolutely. I adore Jack from Blackwattle Lake. He’s handsome, down to earth, has a great body and a killer smile. But he’s also scarred by his past which makes him vulnerable and in need of a hug. Although I have to say that Vincent, a character from my current wip could soon take Jack’s place in my heart.

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

I definitely act it out in my head but I often sit at my computer making crazy arm gestures and pulling bizarre faces to try to get the movements and expressions of the characters right.

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

I certainly do! Thankfully my study, where I write most of the time, is tucked away in a corner away from the main living areas of the house. My family already think I’m a nut case – they don’t need any more ammunition.

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

The toughest question yet. I have to say a movie about my life would be very dull so whoever played me would have to be expert at making the mundane seem extraordinary. Based on that criteria I’d go with Nicole Kidman. Not that we look alike (I wish) but she’s an amazing actor, I know she can ride horses and is a city girl who loves the country. Like me!

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

I would be Elizabeth Bennet, after her marriage to Mr Darcy. Do I really need to explain why?

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

As much as c and d are appealing it’s definitely between the first two. And although I’d love a whole year to read as many books as possible without being disturbed the thought of having total solitude and an exotic location to write in is irresistible.

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

I know I’d be tongue tied so I’d read one of my favourite poems, something by Robert Frost or Mary Oliver. Perhaps even Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese. You can hear Mary Oliver reading it herself right here:

 

Thanks for having me Juliet. The questions were a lot of fun. 🙂

You’re welcome, Pamela… and you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

Ultra-BraveAuthor

You can visit Pamela on the web:

website  blog  facebook  twitter

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Annie Seaton’s Promotional Tips For Authors [Marketing Mondays]

Welcome to the first of my Marketing Mondays posts, where I’ll be sharing marketing tips, interviews, and guest posts on the occasional Monday. My first post is a guest interview with romance author Annie Seaton, who has just released a helpful book for authors: Promotional Tips & Tricks for Aspiring Writers in a Digital Landscape.

 

Annie_Seaton (2)Welcome, Annie!

1. Did you read any books or do any research or courses to help you learn about marketing, or did you learn things as you went along?

The same as I write, I am a seat of the pants marketer. Everything I have implemented, I learned as I went along. Self research and self taught.

2. Do you think it’s possible for time-poor authors to still market their books effectively? What would you consider they focus on most to make the best use of their time?

You’ve hit the nail on the head there, Juliet. Finding a balance between promotion and writing is hard enough, without the complication of career or other commitments. That being said, I think a structured schedule that allocates even a small portion of promo time…regularly or daily will allow time-poor authors to market effectively.

3. How can authors strike a balance between promoting their books and writing their books?

That’s the $64 dollar question. No matter how much time we allocate to promotion, we must always keep in mind, the very best advertising strategy is always your next book. Therefore it is essential that the balance leans in favour of writing.

4. Do you think it’s important for authors to be on twitter and/or Facebook every day?

I am an avid FB user, and I am yet to be convinced that twitter has the exposure of Facebook. But yes, whichever one you commit to as part of your promo strategy, you must be on there every day.

5. In your experience, what do you think has had the greatest impact on your book sales?

Establishing my brand in the lead up to publication. I blogged and Facebooked and saturated the market with Holiday Affair in the three months led in before publication.

6. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back and do anything differently when you first started writing seriously, what would it be?

No, I am happy with the way my promotional activities have succeeded. I wouldn’t change anything. If there was anything, perhaps I would have started an author page on Facebook a little earlier.

7. Is it normal for most book sales to die down after a few months, or do you think with consistent and effective marketing strategies authors can keep their sales at successful levels?

Holiday Affair stayed on the best seller Amazon lists for one year and I believe it was the constant promotion and saturation that allowed it to stay there.

promo28. Can you tell us about your new marketing book, and how writers can benefit from it?

As I experienced success with sales over the past year, many friends and colleagues asked me for the secret of my success. A couple told me I should write a book…and finally convinced me to write it down. It was intended for aspiring authors to show them my simple journey on a budget which still resulted in spectacular sales (I have sold over 25,000 copies of Holiday Affair in less than one year.) I have had many emails and reviews from established authors who have said they, too, got ideas from my outline.

 

Thanks for sharing your tips with us today, Annie.

>>To check out Annie’s book, Promotional Tips & Tricks for Aspiring Writers in a Digital Landscape, visit the Amazon book page.

You can also visit Annie online at her website, twitter, and facebook.

…Stay tuned for more ‘Marketing Monday’ posts coming soon. To be notified of new posts, remember to subscribe to the blog via email in the top right corner. 🙂

Past, Present, & Future with Kamy Chetty (Plus a Giveaway)

Kamy-babyIn celebration of the release of my debut novel, Fast Forward, I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome… Kamy Chetty!

PAST:

1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was five years old. Not sure why or how but I know that if I didn’t follow that path I wouldn’t be a writer today. Weird I know, but life worked out like that.

2. What did you do before you became a writer?

I was a clinical nurse and then a nurse manager. I was pretty good at it too but now I work part time as an education manager so that I can write part time. I would like to think that I would one day hit the bestseller list and never have to work a normal job again but writing full time is a hard life.

3. What is one of your most treasured memories from the past?

Having no responsibilities and being in school. I know I hated it while I was there and couldn’t wait to be grown up but ain’t hindsight a wonderful thing.

PRESENT:

FIP4. What’s your latest/upcoming release about and/or what are you currently working on?

Falling into Paradise is an emotionally charged off the charts heat level romance about two people who are scared to love. Damon is the playboy who had his heart broken and he falls in love with Sophie who can’t trust him or anyone else. Together they break through their walls and find that special thing we all desire.

5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)

Well I work part time so I go to work in the morning like everyone else and then I work my five hours and come home and work my real job, the one I’m passionate about. Sometimes I forget to feed my kids and they’re knocking on my door saying, ‘what’s for dinner?’

I tend to get lost in my character world, the scary thing is my children know my characters names and what they look like.  I am forever having discussions with my teenage daughter about why Henry Cavill shouldn’t be the hero in my next book because it seems I am stealing all her heroes.LOL.

6. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now:

That’s easy.

My family, because they encourage and love me and don’t get too mad when I don’t feed them.

The power out there that’s made this happen and has guided me through this journey. I’m really blessed by what I have and what I’ve accomplished.

The family and friends and people in my life that have been so amazing. I am always grateful to them for making my life richer.

 

FUTURE:

??????????????????????7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?

That’s a hard one. It might have to be on both the days my children graduate from college. I think it would be a proud moment because as parents we try so hard to do right by them but in the end, they make their own choices. I’d like to know I’ve taken them that far.

8. If you could have any new technology or invention in the future that would make your life a whole lot easier (or more fun), what would it be?

I’ll take the fun one on this. I think life would be a lot more fun if we could teleport. Then I wouldn’t have to travel anywhere and if I wanted to sit on the beach in Fiji, I could think about it and snap- I’m there. Hot cabana boy optional of course 😉

9. What are your hopes & dreams for the future?

I am going to be a New York Times Best Seller. I am going to set the world alight with my talent and be someone to look out for. That’s my dream and that’s what I will work towards. It takes hard work but I know I can do it.

Thank you so much for having me here, it has been an absolute pleasure.

[Juliet: Thanks Kamy, I enjoyed reading about your past, present, and future, and here’s hoping we’ll see you on that bestseller list!]

 

Visit Kamy online at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter. You can buy Falling Into Paradise here.

>>GIVEAWAY: Kamy is giving away an ebook copy of Falling Into Paradise. To enter, please leave a comment below. Winner will be drawn on March 28th (Sydney time) and is open worldwide.

Past, Present, & Future with Lisa Heidke

In celebration of the release of my debut novel, Fast Forward, I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome…Lisa Heidke!

 

0_Heidke%20Lisa%20smallPAST:

1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian – before I realised I would have to deal with blood and operate on sick animals!

2. What did you do before you became a writer?

I was an Acquisitions Editor for a publisher, then moved to ACP where I wrote for several magazines including Bride To Be and Practical Parenting.

3. What is one of your most treasured memories from the past?

The toga parties at university were quite memorable…But as a kid, probably growing up with a menagerie of animals. We had dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish and birds. I loved them all. (Maybe not the fish. They were difficult to get to know.)

stellaPRESENT:

4. What’s your latest release about and/or what are you currently working on?

I am currently writing a manuscript with the working title of Lily’s Little Flower Shoppe about a corporate woman whose career and love life have fallen flat so she embarks on a tree change. It’s not turning out like she (or I) expected.

5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)

I drag the kids out of bed, kicking and screaming, then shoo them off to school. I then faff around answering emails, checking out Facebook status updates and spying on who’s tweeting what in Twitter world. Then, and only then do I finally settle down to write. At the moment, my anxiety peaks around 5pm when my oldest son wanders through the door and suggests we ‘go for a drive’. He has his Leaner’s permit. Life on the road is a little scary. #Youhavebeenwarned

Claudia 26. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now:

* Healthy children, loving family and friends.

* Maximum airbags in my car…should anything untoward happen when driving with son.

* At the moment, we are doing a huge pool/outdoor renovation and I am grateful I will only be living with mud, filth and excruciating noise for another six months.

 

FUTURE:

what kate did next7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?

January 2014…so I could see if the new pool the kids promised they would swim in – and clean – becomes a reality.

8. If you could have any new technology or invention in the future that would make your life a whole lot easier (or more fun), what would it be?

A sure fire cure for hangovers that doesn’t involve eating my body weight in sugary calories.

9. What are your hopes & dreams for the future?

Personally: Well–adjusted and healthy kids. That’s not ever going to change.

Professionally: To write the best stories I can and continue to get published. I won’t fall apart if I never get published again, but I am passionate about writing and reading. I won’t stop. #determined

 

Thanks for visiting the blog, Lisa!

You can visit Lisa at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter. And check out her funny, relatable women’s fiction/chick lit books at Amazon – they’re great! 🙂

Past, Present, & Future with Jenn J McLeod

In celebration of the release of my debut novel, Fast Forward, I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome another debut author, the fabulous Jenn J McLeod!

PAST:

Jenn%20-%20the%20young%20author[3]1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I was supposed to be a multi-disciplined musician (like my Dad), study at The Conservatorium (like my Aunt), be a famous opera singer like my cousin (whose sons – Ben and Alexander Lewis – (think Phantom!) are now making their own musical mark internationally). Instead I wrote, my keyboard of choice a computer, leaving the old upright piano to languish in the living room as I followed my labyrinthine road and wrote my own story. (Excuse me while I sing my theme song…“I did it myyyyyyy way!”)

So as the daddy longlegs weave their webs around the piano’s soundboard and strings, I weave stories that give my characters a life and a voice. My stage is country NSW, my tree change many years ago like coming home. I guess it must have been all those hours I spent in my room as a child, riding my bed-end rather than practicing piano! Yep, that’s right: a pillow for a saddle, a dressing gown tie as a bridle and voila! I was National Velvet.

 

2. What did you do before you became a writer?

You mean besides being National Velvet? That answer is a novel in itself. Let’s see (in order): Hairdressing, cosmetic sales, retail security (nabbing shoplifters), hotel security at Sydney’s Intercontinental Hotel (where I met celebrities and heard stories I can never tell), Event Management, Road Safety Education, Corporate PR & Communications, Intranet Producer, Cafe owner, B&B Operator and finally… Author.

[Juliet – what a wealth of experience to add to your stories!]

 

pam%20and%20me%20001[2]3. What is one of your most treasured memories from the past?

Besides pretending to be National Velvet, you mean? 🙂 Hmm, that would be winning a national road safety award for a young driver education initiative. Here I am accepting the award with my colleague, Pam Leicester. As friends and colleagues we were a formidable team; Pam inspiring me then and more recently. (My House For All Seasons character, Sara, was inspired by Pam who is sadly no longer with us. Creating Sara allowed me to give Pam her happy ever after.)

[ Juliet – Congrats on the award! And what a nice gesture for Pam]

 

PRESENT:

4. What’s your latest release about and/or what are you currently working on?

HFAS front cover workingHouse For All Seasons is now available. It is the story of four estranged school friends forced to return the NSW country town of their youth to claim an unexpected inheritance – the century-old Dandelion House.

As restless teenagers, desperate to forget a tragic end-of-school muck-up day accident, they escape the confines of small town life and never speak to each other again.

Twenty years on, coming home to the country triggers mixed emotions and the women must face their shame and self-doubt if they are to reconcile their past with their present.

Only after spending a season each in the old place – a condition of the will – do they discover the reason for the inheritance and how they are forever tied to the house and to each other.

[Juliet – what are you waiting for readers? Dash to the bookstore now! Well, after you read this interview of course ;)]

 

5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)

A mess! I have no fixed agenda and I need to change that. I need to fit in the networking side of this business without losing entire days! I must write – not Facebook. I must write – not tweet. I must write – not blog. Oops!

[Juliet – sorry about that!]

 

Jenn%20J%20McLeod_fence_web[3]6. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now:

Right now? As in today?  As in 8 March 2013? Forgive my preoccupation, but as my debut novel has just released (with a couple five-star ratings already) I am a little dizzy (and I feel a Gwyneth Paltrow Oscars acceptance speech coming on, so we’d best move on.)

 

FUTURE:

7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?

Fast forward! Crikey, I so wish I could go back. I would love to be doing what I am doing now as a 40 year old!

But, okay, to fast forward it would have to be to the day a book is an interactive hologram. Remember those pop-up storybooks? I loved them. I used to walk my fingers through the pages. Imagine the future: holograms that let you wander through scenes—touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing, feeling… ooh la la!

[Juliet – You’re in luck, there just might be a hologram or two in Fast Forward! Great minds huh?]

 

8. If you could have any new technology or invention in the future that would make your life a whole lot easier (or more fun), what would it be?

A George Jetson Winnebago (ie it folds into a briefcase for easy parking).

[Juliet – Patent it NOW!]

 

9. What are your hopes & dreams for the future?

That people love my books and want more (so I can keep writing while travelling in that Winnebago.)

 

Thanks for visiting, Jenn, and all the best for HOUSE FOR ALL SEASONS!

>>You can visit Jenn at her website/blog, facebook, and twitter. You can buy her book from all good bookstores in Australia or you can order online here at Dymocks, or as an ebook at Amazon.