Author Harvest ‘bales up’ Juanita Kees

Author Harvest

Don’t you just love a person whose very energy and cheeky grin makes you want to smile right along with them? I had the pleasure of meeting this pocket rocket of fun at a writers’ conference in 2012. So I am chuffed she has invited me home.

Juanita KeesJuanita, start by telling me if it’s scones and tea or some other homemade delight you have whipped up for me today.

Hi Jenn, come on in! No scones and tea for you today because I have a special cocktail to share with you instead. I’ll let you all in on a little secret…I’m a little vertically challenged, so my friends call me ‘Duckie’. They reckon I suffer Duck’s Disease i.e. my bottom hits the pavement every time I step off the curb. So my cocktail of choice is a Fluffy Duck. I’ll mix one up for you now:


– 1 nip of white rum eg. bacardi
– 1 nip advocaat
– 1 nip cream
– lemonade
– ice cubes


Put some ice cubes into the bottom of a very large cocktail glass. Top with the rum, advocaat and cream. Fill up the glass with lemonade. When you add the lemonade the drink with froth up; thus the name fluffy duck! Decorate the side of the glass with slices of pineapple, cherry, strawberries, etc. Cheers!

(Well quack me happy, Juanita. Cheers! I figured we’d be celebrating, given your latest news – Congrats on Taming the Tiger being picked up Harlequin Escape – for release in March.)

Now, where were we? Oh, yeah… At home …

My mum says garden gnomes make a house a home! Are you loud and proud Juanita gnomein your love of garden gnomes at home, a closet gnomer or with a strict ‘no gnomes’ policy at your place?

I have gnomes hiding everywhere in my garden, although they’re only little ones. So do watch where you step because you never know when one will pop up and say hi. My favourite is the little guy on his throne reading a book under the (almost) guava tree.

What vegetable (or fruit) have you always wanted to grow at home?

Well, we have enough fruits in the family, so I don’t think I’ll grow any more of those 🙂 I’ve tried growing herbs but they don’t thrive on neglect like pumpkins do. So pumpkins it is! Pumpkin fritters, pumpkin stew, roast pumpkin in the wood-fired oven…yum.

(Cinderella, golden carriage, Prince Charming… Keep trying!)

If I came to your home and looked in the refrigerator, what would I find?

The three essentials for a writer: chocolate, wine and chilled Gaviscon liquid

If you sorted your wardrobe by colour, what colour would stand out? (Ahh, do you sort your wardrobe by colour?!)

Yes, I did that once! And realized there was only one colour in my wardrobe…black! Over the years I’ve been adding a bit of colour and now I have mostly blue and cerise.

What are you wearing now? (Be honest!)

My PJ’s – the ones that say: UR driving me crazy! There, happy now? I’m crazy

Whose home would you like to housesit and why?

Hugh Jackman (preferably with him in it) Why? Omigosh…do I need a reason? It’s Hugh *sigh*

Country curiosities…

We love a sunburnt country (slip, slop, slap and all that). What’s your ideal hat? Or are you a boots person?

Mmm…I’m not much of a hat girl, I’m afraid. I lurve boots though. I have a pair of Harley Davidson boots which are my favourites. They’re ‘kickass boots’, I’m told.

If you were a tree (or animal) what kind of tree (animal) would you be?

A Kangaroo of course! Did you know that Kangaroos can’t move backwards? So I’m taking a leaf out of their book and marching forward, armed with keyboard and dreams.

(Oh my gosh, that is the cutest analogy. But, did you also know the kangaroo can survive without drinking for months. That does not sound at all like you! And while I was searching…. Did you know when European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native Australian (Aborigine) what they were called.
He replied “kangaroo” meaning “I don’t understand” your question.
The explorers thought this was the animal’s name, and that’s how the kangaroo got its name. Well, according to Wiki!)

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

I’m going to answer that one with a question of my own:

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road halfway?

A: She wanted to lay it on the line.

(Told you she was cheeky.)Fly Away Peta_200x300_dpi72

About you …

Your turning point: when was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a reality and a career?

When I got the email from Eternal Press to say Fly Away Peta had been accepted for publishing. I remember thinking wow! I CAN write and someone actually wants to publish it! It was like opening the floodgates…

(And Harlequin Escape has just opened another gate in the dam wall!)

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Juggling work, family and writing time. I’ll get on a roll with a story and won’t want to stop. Lucky I have a hubby who loves to cook otherwise we’d eat Vegemite sandwiches every night.

If someone was to write your biography, what do you think the title should be?

I had to ask hubby for the answer to this question. His answer was: Don’t Burn the Dinner, Honey!

(Your hubby is a gorgeous man in so many ways.)

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Q: Who will be playing Jamie Caruso in the movie?

A: Hugh Jackman…and I’ll be directing 🙂

(Saw a rather lovely casting couch on eBay the other day!)

Fun stuff …

What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author, his/her creator.

Oh, I think we could have a lot of fun together. We often share the same sense of humour or likes and dislikes. We definitely share the same attitude! She doesn’t have a choice really…I’m in her head 🙂

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

I’m happy with where I’m at right now having fun, making my dreams come true.

(And with a dinner-cooking hubby who wouldn’t be!)

If I said to you, “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk,” what would you do?

I’d drag out the Singstar from under the bed and karaoke for you. Did you bring your earplugs?

(Ha! Read my ‘About’ page and hand me that hairbrush!)

What food would you be?

Now there’s a tough one! Well, I was going to say Tipsy Tart but I’m really more of a crispy roast potato – crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside.

(A Tipsy Tart reminds me of that conference, Juanita 😉

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

My aunt’s farm coffee: freshly ground, brewed in an old-fashioned coffee pot on the stove and strained through a cloth filter. It put hair on your teeth and warmed your belly after a cold swim in the dam.

Name 5 uses for a stapler that has no staple pins.

Oooohh! Um…(counting off on fingers)

  1. A hammer to knock pins into my cork board?
  2. Use it like a meat mallet to tenderize steaks?
  3. A cockroach squisher! Eww…that awful crunchy noise they make when you flatten them.
  4. Ah! A missile to launch up at the pantry shelf where I’ve hidden my chocolates to knock them off. Not if I’ve been squishing cockroaches with it, though.
  5. Maybe I should go over to Big W and buy some staples for it… 🙂

How weird are you? Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (not) to 10 (very).


Blurb and Giveaway for Fly Away Peta

The time has come to face her worst fear and the clock is ticking…

Peta Johnson will go to extreme lengths to protect her daughter Bella. When Bella is kidnapped, the search for her takes Peta back to the small Australian country town of Williams, a place she’d vowed never to return to. The town where her dreams were shattered and her nightmare began. Back to the place she’d been destined to meet two very powerful, yet very different men. One would break her heart, the other would destroy her soul. Both would change her life forever.

The search for Bella brings them together. Secrets and lies keep them apart. Can Jamie and Peta renew their love in the face of danger or will he let her fly away again?

For more on Juanita and her very busy writing life.


Eternal Press:

Buy Link:

Facebook Author Page:


I asked Juanita if she wanted to do a giveaway…

Yes! I love giving things away…anyone want a husband and two kids? They’re house-trained. No…no takers? Darn!

Okay, one lucky commenter will go into the draw to win a signed copy of Fly Away Peta. All you have to do is tell me what you’d use a stapleless stapler for, or simply leave a comment.

Thank you for a wonderful interview. What fun questions. Another Fluffy Duck, Jenn?

(I thought you’d never ask! You husband doubles beautifully as a cabana boy too. Cheers!)

The winning comment will be announced here next Wednesday 16 January 2013 and by email.

WINNER: Whoops! A bit late – sorry. the winner is Tina Marie Clarke. Thank you coming home to the country and meeting Juanita on Author Harvest.

25 thoughts on “Author Harvest ‘bales up’ Juanita Kees

  1. Lily Malone

    Hello Juanita and Jenn
    I am still going ‘woo hoo’ over winning Man Drought last week and I’m sure Jenn’s houseguest won’t pick a comment from me again! What I most wanted to say is congratulations on the Escape news. Hugh Jackman is going to be a busy, busy man. You’re the third writer I’ve seen with Hugh as leading man. Cameron Raynes nominated Hugh in his Next Big Thing blog. (So did I). Hugh is just too good. He makes a great Aussie hero.
    Now I am going to start complaining to my husband that he is slack and there’s a perfect West Aussie role-model he can start channeling… Nah bugger it. Can I win your husband if I think of something to do with a stapler? Is that how this works…
    xx Lily M.

  2. Juanita Kees

    Hiya, Lily! Mmmm…(thinking about giving away hubby)…maybe that’s one for when Hugh accepts the leading role in the movie 😉

    Thanks for popping in. It’s always lovely to see you xx


    I’d staple your choccies at intervals along the path to guide you home and to bed after all those Fluffy Ducks! (And I could staple Hugh to your bed if you like) 🙂

    Love the title of your soon to be released book, Juanita. And you host fun gatherings, Jenn. Can’t wait for both of your release parties!

    Best wishes, Juanita.

  4. Efthalia Pegios (@EfthaliaP)

    Lol. I’d say buy one get one free for the giveaway Juanita.

    Great thing about the stapler is that it doubles as a paper weight.

    On other things…I’m with you…I’d be a potato too. Lurv spuds.


  5. Imelda Evans

    A fluffy duck! That takes me back to the 80s with a whoosh, Juanita! I’m not sure you’re so much a duck though as a sparrow, or a hummingbird. Something chirpy and full of energy. I’m so pleased about your joining the ‘Escape artists’. I now count among my mates the Random Romantics, the Escape artists and of course, the Destineers. We sound like bands of pirates! Avast, let’s plunder the high seas together and may the spoils be great for all! 🙂

  6. fitzroylou

    Hi Juanita,
    Congratulations on all your recent successes. My heart just missed six beats at the description of that coffee 🙂

  7. Jennifer St George

    Great interview Jenn and Juanita.

    Ah Sing Star!! We spent all of New Year’s Eve playing with Sing Star. Not being competitive at all (*cough, cough*), I wouldn’t leave the party until I reached the top level. It was ABBA for hours?!?!??!

    1. Juanita Kees

      oooh! I love ABBA! It sounds like we’ll have to arrange a karaoke night when you’re all over here in the West. I’m fairly sure Freo will have a Karaoke bar somewhere 😉

  8. alissa callen

    Hi Juanita and Jenn,

    still smiling and have just read through your post twice!! Congratulations again on becoming an Escape artist!!

    Alissa x

    1. Juanita Kees

      Waving hi Alissa! Thank you 🙂 I’m in very good company I think. So nice to see so many familiar names amongst the Escape artists.

  9. Ann B Harrison

    Congratulations Juanita. Great post ladies. I’m afraid when the karaoke comes out I hide. Terrible voice. And yes, I’m also a potato girl, love them any way I can get them.

  10. tinamarieclark

    Hey Jen

    Thanks for ‘baling up’ Juanita!! Waves madly….

    Juanita you are just petite….when you look up the thesaurus for Petite – you do get all these… small, dainty, diminutive, slight, little, tiny, elfin, delicate, small-boned ; Scottish wee ; pint-sized ; Brit. dinky

    But no Duck’s Disease… you will have to contact the dictionary publishers and have them update that one in your honour! LOL…

    A stapleless stapler is best used as a door stop, to keep it from banging shut. This also allows the furry friends (like the Fluffy Ducks) to enter the office at will as they are too ‘elfin’ to reach the handle on most doors! (Hiding under my desk now as you throw a stapleless stapler at me!)

    Congrats on becoming an Escape Artist!

    Bye 4 now

    1. Juanita Kees

      LOL Tina! You should see me at the shopping centre trying to get things off the top shelf. Even with high heels on, I’m still too short! Looking forward to seeing you here in Perth again soon 😀

  11. Jenn J McLeod Post author

    AND THE WINNER: Whoops! A bit late – sorry. The winner is Tina Marie Clarke. Thank you coming home to the country and meeting Juanita on Author Harvest.

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