Nov 18, 2014 - Guest post    4 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.

 

 

driving_final3-12-45-14-pm

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.

http://www.amazon.com/Driving-In-Neutral-Sandra-Antonelli-ebook/dp/B00M19AWJW/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0TM2PC59N4A1JZSCV0WH

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 :)

 

Oct 28, 2014 - General    7 Comments

Life is but a stage…

Tonight I was Rapunzel’s nanny, a construction worker and a make-up artist at an opera company. How the heck did that happen?!

Rewind a couple of months…

I look after the website for the after-school drama school my son attends and a couple of months ago the director (who has become a friend over the years) sent me a notice to put on it.

“Adult Improv Drama Class next term”

After updating the website and emailing her to say it was done, she emailed back saying “Are you interested?”

I sent back immediately with my reply. “Are you kidding???!! The idea terrifies me!”

Her response – “That’s exactly why you should do it.”

And the worst thing was, I knew she was right. Trapped! The noose tightened even more when I remembered a commitment I’d made to myself earlier in the year. I’d gathered online with a group of friends who were interested in working through Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” book together. From several of the exercises and the fact that I work behind the scenes at productions for the drama school, one of the group commented that Julia Cameron would probably say I was a frustrated actor. I didn’t think that was the case, more that I longed to be outgoing and self-confident like an actor. But I promised myself, and the group, that next time the opportunity arose, I’d do an adult drama class.

Uh-oh! I certainly wasn’t expecting an improv class when I said that!

So there I was. I could have “forgotten” the promise – no-one would have known. Except me. But instead I bravely took the plunge and said I’d do it.

Tonight was week 3. The 1st week I felt like I’d pass out from nerves at the start. But I’ve slowly brought the nerves under control and am having a blast! It’s scary, exhilarating and so much fun! And it’s teaching me to think outside the box, go with the flow, say yes to whatever is offered, not to mention giving me a great dose of laughter each week. Hopefully it will deepen my writing and improve my confidence for when I eventually get to do author talks.

But mostly I’m proud of myself for giving it a go.

What was the last thing you did that terrified you?

Oct 21, 2014 - Uncategorized    7 Comments

What’s Eva Scott’s passion? Guest post

Today’s special guest, Eva Scott, has a passion that will be hard to top!

EvaScott_smlEva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.

Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.

She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.

Eva is a member of Romance Writers of Australia; North Lakes Writers Group; Queensland Writers Centre and Australian Romance Readers Association. She is published by Musa Publishing and Harlequin Escape.

Welcome to my blog Eva and we’re waiting with bated breath – would you please tell us all about your passion?!

I really love hiking volcanoes – they can be living, dormant or extinct. Don’t really care. For some reason I just love ‘em.

I told you it would be hard to top! How long have you been a volcano hiker? Is there a group you can join of other volcano hikers?

Gosh! Let’s see… I think this obsession dates back probably 25 years? Give or take. There’s a lack of dormant or live volcanoes in my neck of the woods – although I’ve got a few extinct ones – so travel plays a major part in this hobby. Takes a long time to get around to them all.

As someone who has never hiked a volcano, what is it about it that brings a sparkle to your eye?

The climb can be intense so there’s the sense of achievement, especially when you hit altitude and the oxygen disappears. Its like someone throws a switch and its gone. It happens that fast. Then there is the sheer beauty of a volcano. My absolute favourite is Kilauea. I’ve hiked her many times while she’s been erupting. Nothing like a live lava field under a full moon. Just glorious.

Wow, I can’t even imagine! Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while hiking a volcano?

I was on the Big Island of Hawaii preparing for a hike out on Kilauea for an article I was writing for Great Walks Magazine. I always stay at Arnott’s Lodge which is a youth hostel run by a member of the Arnott’s Biscuit family – yep, another volcano obsessed Aussie! I was chatting over breakfast with some kids who were backpacking around the islands and as I took my coffee and walked away I heard one say to the other: “She’s so cool!” I have never ever been cool in my life, especially when my hair looks like a bird’s nest, I”m in my jammies and haven’t had my coffee yet. One of the highlights of my life.

http://www.arnottslodge.com/

http://www.greatwalks.com.au/

Kilauea by Toshi SasakiHa, I’ve never been called cool either – maybe I need to take up hiking up volcanos!

Now I’m curious – Can you share a photo of you indulging in your passion?

I don’t have any photos handy – half were destroyed in the flood of 2011 here in Queensland and I’m at a loss as to where the rest are. Somewhere in storage I hope! Instead I’m sharing with you a photo of Kilauea by Toshi Sasaki.

How devastating about losing your photos, Eva :(

Thanks so much for being my guest today. You really are cool :)

If Eva’s stories have sparked your interest, why not check out her books. I’m not sure if any involve volcanos though!

Bibliography

‘Reluctant Wedding Planner’ by Eva Scott (Musa Publishing)

‘T’was the Night Before Christmas’ by Eva Scott (Musa Publishing)

‘The Marriage Makeover’ by Eva Scott (Musa Publishing)

‘The Last Gladiatrix’ by Eva Scott (Harlequin Escape)

‘Barbarian Bride’ by Eva Scott (Harlequin Escape)

Coming Soon:

‘Red Dust Dreaming’ – out April 2015 (Harlequin Escape)

 

You can contact Eva Scott at the following places:

 http://www.evascottromance.com/

https://www.facebook.com/eva.scottromancewriter

https://twitter.com/EvaScottWriter

http://www.amazon.com/Eva-Scott/e/B00AGLKWZ6 

Oct 7, 2014 - Guest post    22 Comments

What’s Lily Malone’s passion? Guest post

We’re in for a fun post today. I’m delighted to welcome a “Naughty Ninja” to my blog, author Lily Malone, talking about her passion. 

LilyM_lowresWelcome Lily! Do you have a passion other than writing? 

Before I had children, and before writing became my hobby, I was passionate about gardening. I used to spend every hour of most weekends head down, bum up, in the garden at our place in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. My particular joy was to visit what I call the TLC (requires Tender Love & Care) shelf at most of the nurseries near me. I became the nursery shopper equivalent of an ‘op shopper’ or secondhand store bargain hunter. I have been known to visit some nursery ‘TLC’ shelves 2 or 3 times in one day, just in case something rare and brilliant and half-dead that I could rescue, might have landed in the hour since I last checked. At the time, we had a half-acre garden to fill (the backyard was pretty much just weeds and old fruit trees) and we didn’t have a lot of money…

Anyway, then I had kids, and my time for gardening (including cheap-gardening and visiting nurseries) went out the window.

So! That’s not what I’m passionate about now, Kerrie!

My new passion, is cooking. (Now how is that for a lot of stuff that would get cut out, if this was a book?)

Hehe, it depends if that backstory is relevant :)  How long have you been involved in your passion for cooking?

It had a hiatus. (Did I mention children and writing?) But since we moved into our new house and I have a lovely new kitchen to cook in, I’ve had a resurgence. That’s about 3 months now. 

What is it about it that brings a sparkle to your eye?

I love food. I love wine. I really enjoy hosting people – I always have. Not just in my new kitchen. I feel like when I was a kid, being invited to people’s places for dinner happened all the time, but now it seems to be somewhat of an old-fashioned past-time. Now people seem more inclined to go to a restaurant for a shared meal. I love the whole preparation of doing a ‘dinner party’. I like thinking about what to eat and going through my recipe books. I like shopping for, and buying the stuff. I like to see how much I can get together from my own garden (the gardener is still alive and kicking inside me) and thinking about how much I can get done in advance so that on the evening in question, I get to enjoy myself with a glass of wine and relax almost as much as the next person. I even like thinking about what music we might listen to, while I cook, and while we all eat. When I think back (as your interview is making me do) hosting dinner parties is something I’ve enjoyed for a very long time… see the next question!

You sound like a wonderful host! Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while involved in your passion for cooking and dinner party hosting?

Why yes, Kerrie, I do! Many moons ago, in fact, possibly the first dinner party I officially tried to host at the tender age of perhaps, say, 24. I decided I’d cook whole trout. Yes. Never cooked trout before and I was really a very fledgling dinner party host at this point. It wasn’t even in my own house. I had to borrow a girlfriend’s house to host my party. Invited were myself, a friend Deb (owner of the house), her partner Preston, and my partner, Mark. We were all having a wonderful time, and then I decided to cook these trout. Well, all their heads fell off. I had to dish everyone headless whole trout, with green beans.

And more recently – have you heard the story of the White Chocolate Tart, delicious (if misshapen dessert) of #WeekendAtLilys

Ha, yes, I have heard that story – it looked delicious though! Can you share a photo of you indulging in your passion?

Err… that would be a no. Unless you can rustle something up from your mate and mine, Juanita Kees. Juanita and Jennie Jones were my last dinner party guests, during our wonderful #WeekendAtLilys

hbobAnd had a wonderful time by all accounts :) Finally, please tell us a little about yourself. 

Oh, well, shucks. I think most people who might visit your blog will know a little bit about me. I have a novel with Escape Publishing called His Brand Of Beautiful; and I have two self-published stories, Fairway To Heaven (the most recent) about dodgy fannies and golf; and The Goodbye Ride, a novella about Ducatti motorbikes and vineyards.

I’m a member of the wonderful www.naughtyninjas.net.au – where I’m Lily ‘Beanie Queen’ Malone; and I’m also part of HeartsnWined, our Western Australian-based writing and reading group for people who love West Australian authors and their stories.

Thanks so much for having me come and share my passions (old and new) with you!

Thanks for being my guest today, Lily!

You can find more of Lily at http://lilymalone.wordpress.com/ (and read all about #WeekendatLilys). You can also find her hanging around on Goodreads, and on Facebook, and on Twitter: @lily_lilymalone

Sep 30, 2014 - Uncategorized    6 Comments

What about me?!

It’s been a while since I did an update of where my writing is up to. Back in June, I posted that I had finished writing a novella. Well, I gave it a lick and a promise, and impatiently sent it off to an ePublisher before conference, despite suggestions from my CPs that it could be further expanded.

But no, filled with the love of my novella, I sent it off and waited for the magic words of acceptance.

It was rejected…

I’m sure all other writers know the drill. Heartbreak, stomp around the house, muttering things about not appreciating my talent :)

And it was rejected because it was too short, too condensed for the story. The types of things my CPs had tried to tell me. So…valuable lesson there. Listen to your CPs! Sorry, ladies!!!

I couldn’t bear to look at it until after conference and was drifting in a sea of ‘it’s all too hard’ when my local CP sat me down, gave me a virtual kick up the bum and got me back on track with a plan.

Have I mentioned how much I love my fabulous, knowledgeable, patient CPs, SE Gilchrist and Juanita Kees?

So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Revising my novella – it’s on track to expand from about 26K to closer to 40K. I’ve increased the suspense element to it and am digging deeper into the emotions.

When my CPs think its ready, I’ll send it off to the ePubs again, and get started on the next book.

And I’ll leave you with an ear-worm…

 

 

Sep 23, 2014 - Guest post    16 Comments

What’s Alli Sinclair’s passion? Guest post

Today I’m delighted to welcome the lovely Alli Sinclair to my blog.

GEEAlliSinclairAlli Sinclair is Australian born and spent her early adult years travelling the world: scaling mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru, rafting the Ganges, and riding a camel in the Sahara. She lived in Argentina and Peru and it was there her love of dance bloomed. When she wasn’t working as a tour guide, Alli could be found in the dance halls learning tango, salsa, merengue, and samba. All of these adventures made for fun storytelling and this is when she discovered her love of writing. Alli’s stories combine her passion for exotic destinations, the quirks of human nature, and the belief that everyone can dance, even if it’s to their own beat.

Welcome Alli – you’re such a fascinating person so I know we’re in for a treat! Do you have a passion other than writing? 

I also adore musicals from the 1930s-50s and will find any excuse to watch one (I make no apologies if I sing along and it’s out of tune!)

How long have you been a fan of musicals?

Since I was a kid! My Nan was always singing songs from musicals and I have wonderful memories of being a kid and watching the greats like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I so wanted to dance like Gene Kelly but alas, my feet were never coordinated or fast enough.

I’ll bet they bring back great memories!  What is it about old musicals that brings a sparkle to your eye?

What I love about musicals from that era is their innocence. Sure, there was a whole lot of behind the scenes angst back then with fear of Communism and McCarthyism (of which I will be exploring in a news series!) but the onscreen vitality of the actors and the sweet stories and the belief that all would be right with the world if you broke into song and dance (oh, if only that could really happen!).

Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while involved in your pursuit of musical nirvana?

 My Nan and I were super excited to see the stage version of Singing in the Rain (one of our favourites) and we had seats in the second row, in the middle. What we didn’t realise is when the actor sang the main song, water would pour down and onto the stage and the actor would kick the puddles, saturating everyone in the first few rows. I don’t think my Nan and I have ever laughed so hard in our lives.

I’ll bet that was a shock!! Can you share a photo of you indulging in your musical passion?

Uh … you really want a photo of me watching a musical? I certainly hope you don’t want a recording of me singing! But here’s a clip of Gene Kelly from Singing in the Rain – enjoy!

I’d forgotten how much fun that clip was!

Could you tell us about your latest release, Luna Tango? Which, it has to be said, is a ripper of a read :)

high resLUNA TANGO – #1 Dance Card Series

Tango, like love, is complicated

Desperate to understand the reason her mother abandoned her twenty years ago to become a world-class tango dancer, journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango in the hope of exposing decades of lies and deception that have threatened three generations of her family.

When Dani meets the enigmatic Carlos Escudero—a revered tango dancer and man of intense passion—they work together to understand why her grandmother lives in fear of all things tango, and how the brutal murder of a tango music legend in 1950s Buenos Aires now affects her family.

Despite her lack of rhythm, Dani and Carlos create their own dance of the souls, until the differences in their cultures causes a deep rift. As she seeks to reconnect with Carlos and rebuild her family, Dani finds tango—the dance of passion—becomes a complicated dance of betrayal.

And to really get you in the mood, check out the trailer!

 

Available now in print and eBook – Harlequin MIRA (Australia)

Buy link: http://www.harlequinbooks.com.au/product/9781488742736

 

You can follow Alli here:

Website: www.allisinclair.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/allisinclair

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7791056.Alli_Sinclair

Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/alli2401/

Blogs: http://allisinclairauthor.wordpress.com/blog/

 

Thanks so much for being my guest today, Alli, and all the best with Luna Tango!

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