Jan 28, 2015 - General, Writing    6 Comments

This year’s for writing!

348 - happynewyear

I got sidetracked last year. By quite a few other things, but possibly especially by my photography and the 365 challenge I undertook. I certainly don’t regret it but this year I have one goal – to focus on my writing.

Last year had its good points. I wrote a Little Gems entry that missed out by *this much* on being in the anthology. My women’s fiction novel, Elsie’s Place, came 2nd in the Ripping Start and 6th in the 2nd round of the Emerald. I subbed to agents and got a request for a full, but that, unfortunately, was the last I heard from said agent. I then subbed it to all the major traditional publishers with no response.

I started another women’s fiction, then got side-tracked by a shiny new idea which turned into a romantic suspense novella. I subbed it too early, but got a useful rejection back, and was able to expand and deepen the story quite significantly. It came equal 7th in the Ripping Start this year and is currently in the Emerald Rd 1. (Fingers crossed!)

So yeah, when I write it all out, it was still a reasonably productive year. As you probably remember, I had a lot going on at the end of last year and pretty much fell in a heap saying ‘No more!’. I took a break from writing for 6 weeks – which was the best thing I could have done. I’ve come back to it refreshed and brimming over with ideas and plans. While on holidays, I wrote a Little Gems story, formulated my goals and even wrote a business plan and schedule.

I’ve decided to dip my toe into the self-publishing waters this year, while also attempting to get a publishing contract with my romantic suspense novella and Elsie’s Place. I’ve signed up for Cathleen Ross’s online course through RWA about self-publishing and have a plan to publish my ‘missed-it-by-that-much’ 2014 Little Gems short story, as well as two (still to be written) rural / small-town contemporary romance novellas during the year. My hope is that self-publishing will give me a new challenge, deadlines and – eeek – people to actually read my words! (And if I make a couple of dollars, that would be nice too!)

In an attempt to stay on track, I’m going to use this blog to stay accountable. There’s nothing like putting my goals out in public to make me reach them! I’m using both Rescue Time and Freedom on my computer to limit & monitor my internet usage. I have weekly word counts that are doable given all my other commitments (if I put bum on seat!), and importantly for me, I’ve built a few breaks in through the year.

So here goes.

The novella I’m working on is actually a revamped version of the women’s fiction I started and didn’t finish last year, tentatively titled “Letting Go”. My goal this week is to write 3000 words. I’ve only done 770 of them so far, so had best pull my finger out!

Thanks for reading and for your support :)



Dec 30, 2014 - General    4 Comments

What’s my passion?

Firstly, I’d like to give a special thanks to all my special guests this year who shared their deepest passions with us. To recap in case you missed any…

11/03/2014 Ann B Harrison
25/03/2014 Demelza Carlton
8/04/2014 EE Carter
22/04/2014 Delwyn Jenkins
6/05/2014 Monique McDonell
20/05/2014 Helene Young
3/06/2014 Leisl Leighton
17/06/2014 Kate Belle
1/07/2014 Tea Cooper
15/07/2014 Suzi Love
29/07/2014 Susanne Bellamy
26/08/2014 Bernadette Rowley
9/09/2014 Heather Garside
23/09/2014 Alli Sinclair
7/10/2014 Lily Malone
21/10/2014 Eva Scott
4/11/2014 Phillipa Fioretti
18/11/2014 Sandra Antonelli
2/12/2014 Jenn J McLeod
16/12/2014 Mary Costello

Thank you all once again.

And now to finish the year I thought I’d put myself under the spotlight too.

Do I have a passion other than writing? 

325-oldandnewIt won’t come as a surprise to any of my Facebook friends under my real persona, but I’m a keen photographer.

How long have I been involved in my passion?

I’ve always loved photography but haven’t taken it seriously until this year. One of my New Year’s goals was to improve my photography, and me being me, I jumped into the deep end by signing up to a 365 photo challenge. 1 photo for each day of the day. And not just any 365 challenge, this one requires some part of me to be in the photo. Either a full-on portrait, or part of my body, or shadow, reflection etc. So not only was I attempting to take photos every day for a year, I had to overcome my dislike of having my photo taken. I think I now have more photos of me than I had in the 40-odd years prior :) I’m into the home stretch now, and I’ve found it’s actually changed me. It’s made me more outgoing and more willing to let my quirkiness show to other people :)

What is it about photography that brings a sparkle to my eye?

There’s something pleasing about taking a nicely composed photo. It forces me to see the world differently – I’m more aware of light, shadows and small details. It’s fun to lose myself in wandering and taking photos, especially in nature.

Do I have a funny story about something that’s happened to me while involved in my passion?

Since I’ve spent the last 11 months taking selfies – often in public – I’ve had a few strange look along the way. I’ve had people stop and ask if they can help, or if I’ve lost something, as I’m walking (or running) back and forth between my camera and my position. When I started the challenge, I tried to be very surreptitious about taking photos of myself – it took me ages to work up the courage to take one in public. Now I’m more blase. A few weeks ago, I was on the river walk in my home town. I had the camera set up to take a shot of the bridge and river in the background, with just my legs walking in front. I was intent on my shot – had set it up and taken a few test shots, posing in front of the camera until the timer went off, checking the shot, rinse and repeat. I happened to look up to the top walkway and there was a guy standing there laughing at me. I gave him a smile, a wave and continued taking my shot :)

Can I share a photo of me indulging in my passion?

Actually, I can share over 300 :) This is the link to the photos I’ve taken for my challenge. http://365.mavenforums.com/365-calendar/?user_id=234.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my special guest posts this year. I’ve certainly enjoyed sharing my blog with so many talented authors. See you all in 2015!

Dec 16, 2014 - Guest post    5 Comments

What’s Mary Costello’s passion? Guest post

Today I’m delighted to welcome Mary Costello to my blog – writer, reader, talker, poetry enthusiast. Enamoured of dark heroes and enlightened heroines. Plundering the foul rag and bone shop of the heart. And a gorgeous Irish accent to boot!

9781743485514Welcome Mary! Please tell us, do you have a passion other than writing? 

Ah Kerrie! I have many passions – from books, poetry and history to chickens, gardening and earrings. But the most relevant to romance is probably Australian Rules football, because it’s footy that got me into writing romance in the first place.

Okay I’m intrigued – was it the hunky guys, the tight shorts…? How long have you been a footy tragic?

I came to footy late, via my interest in architecture. I’d never been to a single sporting event in my life until, in 2005, a friend invited me to a game at the MCG. I’ve always loved round buildings and here was this magnificent arena that was a theatre, battlefield and a bowl of sound all at the same time. I went along to a second game and became interested in the on-field drama, the stories of the individual players and of the Collingwood – a club that somehow incites passion in the breasts of both its supporters an it enemies. I’ve been a passionate Collingwood barracker ever since.

It is a very impressive stadium, I will agree. Having known many Melbournians, supporting an AFL team a religion down there.  What is it about AFL that brings a sparkle to your eye?

It the combination of the physical excitement of a very thrilling sport with the constant intrigue and drama of the stories surrounding the game, the clubs and the players. As a woman past the first and even the second flush of youth, I’ve been very lucky to find a new passion that absorbs me so completely. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of game day. My heart starts thumping at the first siren and just keeps racing for the next three hours. I get so wound up that I find it hard to sleep after a game, whatever the result.

I started writing romances because I was bored in the off-season and wanted to keep mentally involved with footy. It struck me that the game was full of heroes with fascinating stories of struggle, persistence, brilliance, failure, success and – just as interesting – failure.

Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while at the footy?

My friend Helen and I watched the 2010 drawn grand final between Collingwood and St Kilda from very prominent seats at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl. The game ended in a draw and the TV cameras panned around the crowd. While everyone else was sitting there utterly stunned or devastated, there I was in the middle of the screen, bouncing up and down like an idiot. I couldn’t contain my delight at the prospect of another week of footy.

Oddly, when Collingwood won the following week, Helen and I were so emotionally wrung out after the game that we sobbed through most of the celebratory concert, even while we sang along with Lionel Richie – All night long…

Can you share a photo of you indulging in your AFL passion?

Here I am with a couple of old Collingwood flogs. I’m the one who isn’t a ditzy blonde.

At game

Finally, please tell us a little about yourself. 

I’m an Irish-Australian freelance writer, and despite living most of my life in Australia, I haven’t lost my accent, or the sense of being somewhere exotic. I lives in Melbourne’s bushburbs with my husband of many years, who, oddly, bears no resemblance whatsoever to a romantic hero. The other members of the household are a flock of recovering battery hens and our two daughters, for whom I aspire to arrange advantageous matches to men of large property; but that project isn’t going too well.

My first novel, Titanic Town, Memoirs of a Belfast Girlhood, was published twenty years ago, but I only recently turned my pen to Romance, inspired by the heroics of the men of Aussie Rules football. The result was The Reluctant Wag the first book in the Yarraside Wolves and WAGs series. My second release, Irresistible Enemy, was a very different book. Set in the bushy fringes of Melbourne, it brings into collision a dedicated wildlife warrior and a high-powered property developer for whom ‘habitat’ means luxury houses.

Cassie Bowtell is a plain, no-nonsense girl, and Hart Huntingdon is a man surrounded by glamorous women, but Cassie attracts Hart with her courage, honesty and her dedication to the injured animals in her care. Hart stands for everything Cassie despises, and having been badly hurt in love, she’s determined to repress any emotional impulses that go against her better judgement.

I’m currently working on a second Yarraside romance.

Visit Mary’s blog here: http://marycostelloauthor.wordpress.com/ or visit her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/marybrigidcostello

Thank you so much for being my final special guest this year, Mary. Good luck with your Yarraside Wolves and WAGs books! 


Dec 10, 2014 - Cover Reveal, Giveaway    1 Comment

Cover Reveal + Giveaway – Lauren K. McKellar – Eleven Weeks (NA)

Fellow Hunter Romance Writer, Lauren K. McKellar, is doing a happy dance today – she can finally reveal her gorgeous cover for her new New Adult (NA) novel, Eleven Weeks, book 2 in the Crazy in Love series. Designed by Kila Designs, it makes me want to grab it off the virtual shelves when it’s available in Jan, 2015!

But first a teaser:

About Eleven Weeks

Seven shots

Five siblings

Two boys

One heartbeat …


Stacey is good at pretending.

She pretends that the boy she’s in love with doesn’t exist.

She pretends that she’s happy to live and die in this small town.

She pretends that her life is carefree while her best friend’s world crumbles before her very eyes.

But Stacey’s got a secret …

And it’s going to ruin everything.


And here it is:


Isn’t it gorgeous??!

Now to whet your appetite even more, here’s an excerpt.


I wake to the sound of a drill-saw attempting to channel through a concrete pylon right next to my head.

“Why?” I grunt. Only it sounds more like “uggghhh”, even to my ears. Apparently being woken by drill-saw seriously impedes my ability to form words. I reach my hand out and slam something in front of me, presumably the drill-saw, most likely a clock radio. Regardless, the action makes the noise stop, thank hell.

Ugh. While the blast of noise has stopped, there’s still a ringing in my head of dizzy-making proportions. Not to mention that my tongue tastes like I’ve been eating road-kill. Yuck.

I squint one eye open and then scrunch my lid shut immediately as protection from the harsh yellow light coming in through the window framed by black-flowered curtains. What fresh hell is this? Who has opened my—


I don’t have black-flowered curtains.

I inch open my lid at snail’s pace, this time preparing myself for the assault of light from the left of the room. Yep. Black floral curtains still there.

I open my eyes wider and take in more of the room in front of me. Aside from the window, there’s a black bedside table with a digital clock on the top of it, right next to a red lamp. The floor is covered in a shaggy-looking cream carpet, a black skirt and red lacy bra lying on top of it.

Oh, no. Please, please no …

I slowly raise the white sheet from my body. Yep, exactly as I’d suspected.

My black skirt and red bra.

This, of course, leaves only one question. But do I really want to look? Can I?

I rack my brain, trying to put together the pieces of the night before. There was the party at Joe’s. I’d gone there with Kate, because Dave and the band were playing. Michael. I saw Michael. Tequila. Lots of tequila.

I glanced down at my hand. Seven little lipstick lines mar its surface. One for each shot. At least I can remember that.

But how the hell did I get here? And, more importantly, where is here?


Add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21797067-eleven-weeks


About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALauren K. McKellar is an author and editor. Her debut novel, Finding Home, was released through Escape Publishing on October 1, 2013, and her second release, NA Contemporary Romance The Problem With Crazy, is self-published, and is available now. She loves books that evoke emotion, and hope hers make you feel.

Lauren lives by the beach in Australia with her husband and their two dogs. Most of the time, all three of them are well behaved.

You can find Lauren around the Social Media traps:

Website: http://www.laurenkmckellar.com

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

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LaurenKMcKellar


About the Crazy in Love series

The Crazy in Love series consists of three titles: The Problem With Crazy, Eleven Weeks and The Problem With Heartache.

The problem with crazy is that crazy, by itself, has no context. It can be good crazy, bad crazy … or crazy crazy—like it was when my ex-boyfriend sung about me on the radio.

Eighteen-year-old Kate couldn’t be more excited about finishing high school and spending the summer on tour with her boyfriend’s band. Her dad showing up drunk at graduation, however, is not exactly kicking things off on the right foot—and that’s before she finds out about his mystery illness, certain to end in death.

A mystery illness she is likely to inherit.

When your whole life goes from adventure and ecstasy to sad and suicidal, what’s the point? Not knowing who to love, and who to trust . . . where does it end?


The Problem With Crazy is a story about love and life; about overcoming obstacles, choosing to trust, and learning how to make the choices that will change your life forever.


Praise for The Problem With Crazy

“Heartbreaking, life-affirming—one of my all-time favourites.” Glass Paper Ink Book Blog

“This story is beautiful, heartbreaking and will leave you thinking about it for days to follow.” A.K.A. The Book Harlots Review


The Problem With Heartache will be released in February, 2015, and is the conclusion to Kate’s story.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23471242-the-problem-with-heartache?from_search=true



To celebrate the cover for Eleven Weeks, enter the competition today to win one of three $10AUD Amazon gift cards.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dec 4, 2014 - Release Day    2 Comments

Release Post – Outback Heritage – Grady by Ann B. Harrison

Grady_CVR_LRGCheck out the new release by Ann B. Harrison, the first in the new Outback Heritage series.

Grady Ryan is happy doing the job he loves in the rural town of Deepwater Valley. His mother is more determined than ever to marry him off, but he has neither the time nor the inclination to look for wedded bliss. When Lara Williams moves into town with her daughter, to take up the veterinary practice, Beth sees her chance to hone her matchmaking skills. Fate keeps throwing Lara and Grady together when her wayward daughter needs the heavy hand of the law and more than ramps up the heat between them. But Grady knows Lara is hiding something and he intends to find out what it is before he gets in too deep.

Buy it now from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Grady-Outback-Heritage-Ann-Harrison-ebook/dp/B00Q50D5JW

You can also follow along with Ann or the Ryans from Deepwater Valley on Facebook.



Dec 2, 2014 - Guest post    12 Comments

What’s Jenn J McLeod’s passion? Guest post

When my next guest and I meet, we’re definitely the long and short of it! I’m pleased to welcome Jenn J. McLeod, contemporary Australian fiction author, to my blog today.

jennjmcleod-IMG_0364Welcome Jenn. Do you have a passion other than writing and could you please tell us about it.

I sing with a passion. Is that what you mean? ;)

I am also passionate about dogs. All dogs. Dogs are my muse, my constant companion, my therapy, my way to a long life (hopefully still writing). Dogs (my rescue babies) make me a better person. And I love creating canine characters for my stories. Writing allows me to have so many fictional friends—furry ones included.

But in order to answer the next question, I’d best sick with my passionate singing!

How long have you been involved in your passion?

I grew up surrounded by music and musical people. (My dad was a nightclub muso, and The Don Lewis Jazz Trio was the toast of Sydney’s Trocadero Lounge. Also, my cousins are well known in opera and Broadway circles for their stage work.) In fact, my first writing attempts were poems, which I would turn into songs and sing into my hairbrush and bedroom mirror. My passion for music is the reason I cannot write with songs playing, like some authors can. I would get no writing done at all. I’d be too busy singing or humming along.

Wow, a very musical family! What is it about your singing that brings a sparkle to your eye?

That’s easy: a lonely country road, a great driving song with the volume cranked up and the car windows right down, and my dog singing along, beside me. Bliss.

I do love the ‘angsty’ country ballad that can tell an entire story of heartbreak and betrayal in a single song. (Have you heard the joke: if you play a country song backwards, the guy gets his girl and his job back, finds whatever he’s lost, quits crying and leaves the bar sober!)

Great lyrics are like a great novel. They tell a story and share strong messages: forgiveness, trust, tolerance, etc. Writers are given the opportunity to make a difference. While sometimes my characters might raise a few eyebrows, fiction can be a powerful way to start conversations. Acceptance comes from understanding and it is often through stories that authors can provide readers with a safe place to explore and appreciate social differences. I’m hoping Alice’s story in Season of Shadow and Light achieves that in some small way.

So very true. And I can’t wait to read Season of Shadows and Light! Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while singing?

Ha! Yes. There I was driving into Sawtell (I once owned a café in the small NSW seaside town) and warbling a great song (Six Ribbons from that fabulous 1978 Aussie mini-series that starred Jon English, Against The Wind,) when who should pull up in the lane next to me? Yep! Jon English. Weird? Yes. Embarrassing? It was when he popped into the café and ordered a coffee. I caught up with Jon at a Michael Robothom book launch in Sawtell a while back. I still laugh about that.

*sigh* I love Jon English! Can you share a photo of you indulging in your passion?

LOL No! A windows-down, windswept, warbling Jenn is not a good look (ask Jon!) But I can share a song with you. I am not singing, although I did write the melody and the words.

Why did I write a song? My novel, Simmering Season has an older, wannabe country singer. I wanted to work a song into the story; a kind of ‘tick it off the bucket list’ achievement, I guess. You can listen to it here. (The ‘listen link’ is under my snazzy book trailer.) http://www.jennjmcleod.com/the-simmering-season

jennjmcleod-covers 1 and 2Great song! A real tear-jerker :( Finally, please tell us a little about yourself. 

About me? Well, I get to warble windswept a lot more since I hit the road in a fifth wheeler caravan. Having run out of friends and family to use in my stories I needed to go in search of more small towns and characters to inspire me. So I sold up and started my travels on August 21 this year. Already there is a new story germinating—set in a secluded seaside town. In the caravan park to be precise! I’m loving it.

But first I have books 3 and 4 my ‘The Seasons Collection’ novels to get out. Releasing April 1, 2015 is Season of Shadow and Light and I am super sparkly about this story and its Mother’s Day catalogue release!


My books and buy links: http://authors.simonandschuster.com.au/Jenn-J-McLeod/404929874


Come home to the country . . .

Website:        www.jennjmcleod.com

Come say hello . . .

Facebook:      /JennJMcLeod.Books

Twitter:          @jennjmcleod


Thanks so much for being my guest today, Jenn. I can’t wait for your next books!

Nov 25, 2014 - General    21 Comments

Time for a break


I think I’ve spent so long concentrating on being published that I’ve lost the joy of writing. For the last 4 years, that’s been my goal and it still is. But its become harder and harder to sit down and write. I think I need a new goal.

For the first couple of years it was okay – I could tell myself I’m still learning the craft, I still have a long way to go. I loved playing with words, learning how to make a story work. But as I get closer to the goal of being published, and I’m still not there, it’s taking its toll. The rational side of me knows it will happen. I’ve finalled in competitions, I’ve had requests for fulls. I’m close but not quite there. Part of it is now down to luck. But with every word I write, its hard to get that out of my head. I feel like I analyse every word, every sentence, every scene. Will this be the one? 

For the insecure child inside me, it almost seems futile to write. Why bother? It’ll just lead to another rejection – or worse, that dreaded silence where you submit and never get any feedback. I see friends get published – and while I’m genuinely happy for them, I will admit to a part of me having a little tantrum, stamping my foot and saying “When is it my turn?” And every time well-meaning friends and family ask how my writing is going, it’s like another knife to the heart. (And yes, I do love that they care enough to ask!) I read how-to books, I watch other people’s success and I’ve become caught up in that rush to succeed.

This last few months, I’ve been incredibly busy as well as under a lot of stress in my personal life, and writing has become another dreaded thing to stare at on my to-do list and wish it would disappear. So a week or so ago, I said enough. I’ve made the decision that I’m not worrying about writing until the New Year. 6 weeks of not having to write. I’m pretty sure I will write something in that time. I’m still journalling. The words are still there. They want to come out. But who knows what words they will be? I’m taking off the pressure of having to write and hopefully I’ll get back to the point of wanting to write again.

And yes, maybe I need a new goal.

Please feel free to share any ideas, or even commiserations!


Nov 18, 2014 - Guest post    7 Comments

What’s Sandra Antonelli’s passion? Guest post

Today I welcome Sandra Antonelli to my blog – Sandra writes “Quirky Romance Novels for Grown Ups…and Smart Asses”. Welcome Sandra – it’s great to have you here.

antonelli-full-pink-sweaterSo tell us, please. Do you have a passion other than writing? 

Thank you so very much for having me here to talk about one of my greatest passions, Kerrie. I adore movies. I love, love LOVE going to the movies and I love watching movies at home. I can’t do algebra but I can tell you who was in a movie, when it was made, and other the films the actors have been in. It’s wonderfully useless trivia, but it does come in handy for winning trivia contests.

Another movie aficionado! It seems to be a common thread with writers! How long have you been a movie lover?

My love of cinema has been lifelong. The first movie I can recall watching was Ben Hur and then The Ten Commandments. This resulted in my thinking that Charlton Heston was in every movie ever made. The first film I remember seeing in a cinema was The Wizard of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West scared the living doody out of me, but the flying monkeys did my head in, so that when my dad took me to see Planet of the Apes, with Charlton Heston, I was totally confused because there were good and bad monkeys.

Hehe, I can see why you were confused! What is it about movies that bring a sparkle to your eye?

I’m a visual reader. As I read, I see things on a movie screen in my head. I write that way too. Maybe that is why I love the medium of film storytelling. The nature of a story on a big screen is mesmerizing and I am impressed when a director’s imagination is transferred to live moving images. It’s sort of like seeing inside someone else’s head.

Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while involved in your passion?

When I was 12 and moved to the USA, I would get dropped off at the shopping centre or the multiplex cinema to see a movie. When that movie was over, I’d walk into the theatre next door, where another movie was just starting. I’d spend the entire day at the movies. Sometimes I’d see the same movie 3 times in a row, or 3 different movies. I saw great films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, and crapfests like Ice Pirates. There were times I’d be the only person in the theatre. It would be me and a 10 foot tall Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, which you know I’d act out along with Gibson & Glover. I bet you really want to know the dialogue from Lethal Weapon by heart, like I do, don’t you?

A 10 foot Mel Gibson!  I’ll ask you for a re-enactment at the next conference! 

BananaSan2Can you share a photo of you indulging in your passion?

Sadly, flash photography is frowned upon in the cinema. Here is a photo of me with Screen legends B1 and B2, The Bananas in Pyjamas.




Finally, please tell us a little about yourself.

I have deep abiding love for coffee, rat terriers, peanut butter, and cookies. I am a strong advocate for Eating Breakfast, the most important meal of the day. I come from the land Down Under, but I don’t eat Vegemite and I don’t drink beer. I drive a little Italian car, live in a little house with a little, peanut butter-loving dog who thinks I’m his wife. I am married to a big, bearded Sicilian, who is the moon and stars above my head and earth beneath my feet.

I write smart-assed romance fiction for grownups and smartasses.  My latest release is Driving in Neutral, a love story about a smartass with claustrophobia.  You can find it here.


Thanks so much for being my guest today, Sandra! You can find Sandra at her website – www.sandraantonelli.com

Nov 4, 2014 - Guest post    12 Comments

What’s Phillipa Fioretti’s passion? Guest post

Today I welcome contemporary romance author, Phillipa Fioretti to my blog. Welcome Phillipa – great to have you here!

newblogSo, we’re all dying to know. Do you have a passion other than writing?

I am a passionate consumer of films. I love the darkened cinema, the journey into the story, the emergence into the street, two hours later, blinking and still lost in the story. I watch films at home most days and have become overly good at decoding them and long to be surprised. I have favourite actors that I could watch in anything, and favourite films that I watch every few years. I think Hollywood films are in a trough at the moment but there are always good independent films coming out, and I like cinema from all around the world, even those French films where not much is said for hours on end.

That sounds fantastic! How long have you been a passionate film buff?

My parents were great film goers so I guess I picked it up from them. I can remember going to see Bambi and Fantasia with my mother as a little girl in a cinema in George St, Sydney. My parents took my sister and I to see all sorts of things, Barry Lyndon, Cabaret, Z, films I didn’t understand but sat through spell bound. Then as a teenager my friends and I were always at the cinema. When I was a university student in Sydney I worked as an usherette at the State Theatre in Market St for several years. The Sydney Film Festival was held there then so I got to see a huge selection. Fortunately my husband loves films too, I could not marry a man who didn’t. Truly.

Being an usherette would be a fun job, I reckon. What is it about watching films that brings a sparkle to your eye?

Being told a story is a wonderful experience. I love the total immersion that film brings, I love to be made to think and other times I want to be entertained, but mostly I think its escapism. It works like losing yourself in a book. I’m not interested in movie star gossip, but the business of movie making is very interesting and I regularly listen to podcasts on the how, why and where films are made.

Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while watching a movie?

Watching films is a very sedentary pastime. Your brain and emotions are working overtime, but your body is having time out and you are in darkness surrounded by strangers so not a lot of scope for funny stories.

One thing I cannot handle is crunching or slurping or talking in a cinema. Now, because I was an usherette for so long I know cinemas make most of their money from the candy bar, but I personally do not see why people have to eat when they watch a movie. It drives me insane.

My worst experience of it was in a tedious film called Love Streams with John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, not easy stuff by any means. The cinema was full and the woman next to me had brought a huge bag of Twisties with her and she chomped away until she realised the noise was upsetting me and somebody else, so she ate them one at a time, slowly rustling the bag, bringing one out and placing it surreptitiously in her mouth and half sucking, half crunching the wretched things. It took her two hours to eat the whole bag and I was a nervous wreck at the end of it. I wanted to beg her to just eat the damn things in one noisy splurge instead of tormenting me. I don’t eat in cinemas and I tried to discourage my children, but peer pressure is stronger than Mum’s lecture about being considerate.

The Twistie eater sounds like torture! Can you share a photo of you indulging in your passion?

State theatreNo! No cameras allowed in a cinema. But I’m sharing a photo of one of the fabulous entrance to the State Theatre, my old workplace. It’s one of the last palace of dreams left. Megaplexes are a dreary experience in comparison.

That is an amazing theatre. They certainly don’t make them like that anymore… Finally, please tell us a little about yourself. 

VistaI studied art, archaeology and museum studies and worked as an artist and lecturer for twenty years before starting to write fiction in 2006. In 2008 I was selected for participation in the Hachette Australia/Queensland Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program.

My first book, romantic adventure, The Book of Love, Hachette Australia, 2010, has also been published in Germany, Romania, Norway, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro and the sequel, The Fragment of Dreams was published in May 2011 and is to be published in Romania. (Romania – how cool is that?!)

My third book, For One Night Only, is published by Pan MacMillan’s digital press, Momentum, January 2014

I live at the bottom of the world – in the hills outside Adelaide, South Australia – with my husband and children and an assortment of animals domestic, wild and feral. I like cooking, reading in bed and travelling.

My books are available on Amazon, iTunes and all ebook platforms, my website is www.phillipafioretti.com.au    and on it you can find book reviews, interviews with me, links to social media and lots of other goodies.


Thanks so much for being my guest today, Phillipa. If I ever sit next to you in a movie theatre, I’ll remember not to crunch :)