Category Archives: AUTHORS

Lily Malone – Portrait of an Author (w/ giveaway)

Welcome to my fun Q&A where you’ll discover new things about some of our favourite authors. I’m delighted to welcome my good friend (funny, very talented and multi-published), Lily Malone, to a blog series that celebrates another art form (as my new novel is a love story about a sitter and an artist!!)

 Let’s start, Lily …

Q: As pose and composition are important factors for a portrait, choose what kind of ‘look’ would you like for your portrait.

  • On a chaise lounge (Kate Winslet/Titanic style)
  • Fully clothed in a rocker (Whistler’s Mother style)
  • A close up of your face (Girl with the Pearl Earring style/Mona Lisa)
  • In all your formal finery befitting your ‘authorly’ status (Regal style)
  • Other

I’d like something a bit more glamorous thank you very much, because everyone thinks of glamour when they think of me, (they do, don’t they, Jenn?) thinking Reese Witherspoon/Nicole Kidman red carpet at Big Little Lies premier-style.

Q: *Snap* I just took your photo as a reference for my portrait of you. Tell us where you are and what you’re wearing. (Be honest.)

I’m at my computer desk. Wearing socks. Black leggings (I’ve just been for a walk) and a long sleeved pink sloppy shirt. Oh, and a wrist brace because I’m an author and I type too much! (I also have my hair in pigtails. Don’t tell anyone!)

Q: Given a choice, what precious item would you want to be included in a portrait of you?

A bottle of red wine. A pack of cards, Joker facing out.

Q: With acquired savant syndrome* featuring in my next novel, I’m curious . . . If you were to wake up from a coma one day to find yourself totally obsessed and a genius (in something other than writing, of course) what would you want it to be? (music, painting, languages, maths, touching your toes while typing, etc)

Is that what acquired savant is? I’d no idea. I’d like to be brilliant at poker. A genius/world champion at Texas Hold-em. If that’s not an option, then golf. A genius at golf would be good (not to mention lucrative).

Q: If you happened to wake up one day and be a genius with a paintbrush, whose portrait would you want to paint and why?

I think I’d like to paint Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo) together, now they’re old. They made me cry in the first of the newer Star Wars movies (Was it The Force Awakens?), and now, of course, the very lovely but so tortured, Carrie Fisher has passed, I wish even more that I’d had this skill and opportunity.

Q: Your preferred medium would be?

A: Oil on canvas

B: Watercolour

C: Pencil/Ink

D: Pastels

E: Kiddy crayons

Lily says: F: Patricia Arquette

(Oh, Lily, you always make me laugh.)

Picasso once asked the question: “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” In my next novel, the artists says to 58 y.o Ava, “A mature person has depth of character and it’s their layers, built from life’s lessons that interest me the most—when wisdom replaces curiosity and experience replaces youthful exuberance.”

 Q: What two traits would you hope an artist captures in a portrait of you?

Hopefully that my life is rich with wonderful family and friends, and that I’ve made some big mistakes but they didn’t kill me, and they’ve made me stronger.

Q: Because every fireplace deserves a portrait, in whose house would you hang a portrait of you as a surprise and what would they say?

My friend Carrie’s, where it would sit over our Thursday night girls card table… and (if we refer to 3 above, I would have my pack of cards with the Joker showing.) Carrie would say: “bloody Lil, and she reckoned she never gets dealt the Joker”)

Q: Keeping in mind that lucky recipient of your portrait, how would see yourself framed?

  1. Minimalist or no frame at all – just the canvas (take me as I am) This one!
  2. Modernist – chrome, nothing too fancy
  3. Sophisticated – warm, wood, old world
  4. Flamboyant – go all the way and gilt-edged!

A: Minimalist or no frame at all – just the canvas (take me as I am) This one!

Q: Finally, if someone was to add a plaque/title your portrait, how would it read?

Life is always about the next hand

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Lily Malone might have been a painter, except her year-old son put a golf club through her canvas. So she wrote her first book, His Brand of Beautiful instead. Lily has now written three full-length rural romance stories and a novella all published by Harlequin Escape. Her debut trade paperback, The Vineyard In The Hills was published by Harlequin MIRA in September 2016, and her new release with MIRA is Water Under The Bridge, Book 1 in the Chalk Hill series, out now. When she isn’t writing, Lily likes gardening, walking, wine, and walking in gardens (sometimes with wine). She loves to hear from readers and you can find her on Facebook, and on Twitter: @lily_lilymalone. To contact Lily, visit www.lilymalone.wordpress.com

GIVEAWAY: NOW CLOSED AND WINNER ADVISED

Lily is giving away a print copy of her book – Butterfly House Book 1: Who Killed The Bride? (a whole lot of fun and based in her hometown, featuring the very famous Cowaramup Cows. Oh, I do love cows!)

Just LIKE this post and tell us in the comments if you’d like to be in the draw. (Aust. only, sorry. Blame Aust Post for the exorbitant prices.)

Before you go, I have some more author portraits to celebrate the release of my 5th novel (March 19 in Australia/NZ and April 5 overseas) so you might want to subscribe to my blog (right) or check out my Book Room for info about A Place to Remember.

*Acquired savant syndrome, in which a person acquires prodigious capabilities or skills following dementia, a head injury or concussion, epilepsy or other disturbances.

 

Kali Napier – Portait of an author

Welcome to my fun Q&A where you’ll discover new things about some of our favourite authors. I’m delighted to welcome the very talented writer, Kali Napier, to a blog series that celebrates another art form (as my new novel is a love story about a sitter and an artist!!)

Let’s start, Kali…

Q: As pose and composition are important factors for a portrait, choose what kind of ‘look’ would you like for your portrait.

  1. On a chaise lounge (Kate Winslet/Titanic style)
  2. Fully clothed in a rocker (Whistler’s Mother style)
  3. A close up of your face (Girl with the Pearl Earring style/Mona Lisa)
  4. In all your formal finery befitting your ‘authorly’ status (Regal style)
  5. Other

A: Other! My first thought was to be painted like Millais’ Ophelia, immersed in nature. Though not too immersed that I catch pneumonia. Maybe a blend of A and C? I dislike my smile, so I’d probably have a closed-lipped, enigmatic smile like Mona Lisa’s, and turn my head away like the GwtPE. And I would need big hair, to hide behind Cousin It-style. It would have to be a casual pose if I’m to sit still for a long period of time, and an antique chaise longue suits my ideal aesthetic (when the kids leave home and I can get rid of the grotty Ikea furniture).

Q: *Snap* I just took your photo as a reference for my portrait of you. Tell us where you are and what you’re wearing. (Be honest.)

A: Right now? As always, I am sitting in front of my laptop, wearing pyjamas though it is nearly lunchtime. The beauty and the drudgery of working from home – in all my incarnations, as a full-time student of creative writing, a novelist, and a work-from-home grants writer for a disabilities service provider.

Q: Given a choice, what precious item would you want to be included in a portrait of you?

A: For my portrait, I would need to be surrounded by books and plants. I don’t really hold onto ‘things’ – a product of a peripatetic lifestyle when young, and a flood that took almost everything else. (Except books. I am definitely a book hoarder.)

Q: With acquired savant syndrome* featuring in my next novel, I’m curious . . . If you were to wake up from a coma one day to find yourself totally obsessed and a genius (in something other than writing, of course) what would you want it to be? (music, painting, languages, maths, touching your toes while typing, etc)

A: I have always wanted to be a singer. As a child, I was tone deaf and spent choir practice in primary school in detention as they couldn’t believe I wasn’t singing so badly on purpose. In high school, I wanted to be an actress but those dreams were thwarted during auditions for the school musical. The school even paid to bring in a singing teacher for me as I’d been earmarked for a major role, but he said I was ‘unteachable’. I ended up being a puppeteer in that production.

As a 39-year-old engaged in a process of self-reflection following a redundancy, I remembered those early dreams and started singing lessons. At first, only air escaped my throat, leading up to a quiet whisper of my first notes, until sound came out. The singing teacher said I was an “alto soprano”. Just like that. As if I could sing. And I burst into tears for the rest of the lesson. After a year of lessons, I could hold a note and sang a reasonable version of Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”.

I’d love a voice that sent shivers down people’s spines so that they couldn’t tear their gazes away from my face as I sung. Just as I was riveted by the voice of a young teenage girl at my kids’ music concert last month, when she sang “Flame Trees”, accompanying herself minimally on guitar. She had an extraordinary gift. Tears spilled down my face and I had to consciously hold my facial muscles taut so I wouldn’t break down.

Q: If you happened to wake up one day and be a genius with a paintbrush, whose portrait would you want to paint and why?

A: Another one of my fantasies is to be an artist of some kind, but I think only in temperament, rather than having to practise my craft painstakingly. Of course, if I was a sudden genius with a paintbrush, I would want to sit myself on a bridge in Paris and paint passers-by for a living. (Obviously another fantasy, as I’ve never been to Paris, and I imagine this sort of lifestyle is not as romantic as La Boheme would have me believe.)

Q: Your preferred medium would be?

  1. Oil on canvas
  2. Watercolour
  3. Pencil/Ink
  4. Pastels
  5. Kiddy crayons

A: Pencil and ink so I could travel lightly, and whip out my implements when the muse strikes!

Picasso once asked the question: “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” In my next novel, the artists says to 58 y.o Ava, “A mature person has depth of character and it’s their layers, built from life’s lessons that interest me the most—when wisdom replaces curiosity and experience replaces youthful exuberance.”

Q: What two traits would you hope an artist captures in a portrait of you?

A: I always think that I wear my heart on my sleeve and that I have no filter. But the person I feel I am on the inside is never what I see in photographs – I suppose everyone feels this way. I would love an artist to capture the better version of myself I yearn to be: happier, more content, laughing and living life to its fullest, and connecting with others. Certainly not someone stuck in front of a laptop most hours of the day.

I still feel like the me I was at seventeen, and I would want that person to also show through in my portrait – an idealist, who only saw open horizons.

Q: Because every fireplace deserves a portrait, in whose house would you hang a portrait of you as a surprise and what would they say?

A: I would want it hung in my children’s houses after I’m turned to ash, so that they come to know me as a person rather than as just a parent.

Q: Keeping in mind that lucky recipient of your portrait, how would see yourself framed?

  1. Minimalist or no frame at all – just the canvas (take me as I am)
  2. Modernist – chrome, nothing too fancy
  3. Sophisticated – warm, wood, old world
  4. Flamboyant – go all the way and gilt edged!

A: I would go with warm, wood, and old-world. I have nostalgic tendencies.

Q: Finally, if someone was to add a plague/title your portrait, how would it read?

A: I would leave it blank. The people who are important to me would have their own words for who I am and what I mean to them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kali Napier is the author of The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge, released by Hachette Australia in February 2018. Based in Brisbane, she is an MPhil candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Queensland, and lives with her two children in a house that is slowly being reclaimed by the bush surrounding it.  Fid her and her book:

Goodreads (where you’ll find my review of Kali’s wonderful debut) or, do what I do and connect with Kali on Facebook

Before you go, I have some more author portraits to celebrate the release of my 5th novel (March 19 in Australia/NZ and April 5 overseas) so you might want to subscribe to my blog (right) or check out my Book Room for info about A Place to Remember.

*Acquired savant syndrome, in which a person acquires prodigious capabilities or skills following dementia, a head injury or concussion, epilepsy or other disturbances.

Kim Kelly – Portrait of an Author

Yes, we are being creative with our author Q&A!

Kim, with pose and composition such important factors, what kind of ‘look’ would you want for your portrait.

A. On a chaise lounge (Kate Winslet/Titanic style)?

B. Fully clothed in a rocker (Whistler’s Mother style)?

c. A close up of your face (Girl with the Pearl Earring style/Mona Lisa)?

D. In all your formal finery befitting your ‘authorly’ status (Regal style)?

E. Other?

Jenn, a combination of A, D & E here, please. I write mostly lying down on my mad-yellow couch and I usually frock up for the day (today it’s a 60s reproduction A-line mini in blue daisy print) even though no-one but the cats and chooks see me, so if you’re going to paint me in my preferred habitat and costume, paint me like this – plus laptop on lap vying for space with one or two cats, and a cup of tea and a buttered weetbix on the side table.

If you were being painted RIGHT NOW, tell us what you are wearing. (Be honest!)

A: As above. Honestly. Don’t be fooled by the black skivvy in my author pic. To my shame, at present count I have ninety-two everyday frocks. Most of them are recycled and they all get recycled and reinvented eventually, but yes, I have a frock problem. If I really did have to choose a frock to wear for a portrait painting, I’d have a series of small breakdowns before deciding how history should remember me in print – fabric print, that is.

Given a choice, what precious item would you want included in a portrait of you?

A: Only one? I’d have to include a sideboard photo of my muse de bloke, Deano, and one of my boys as well. They are my everyday inspiration. And the cats. And the chooks. And my tea cup collection (seriously, almost as bad as the frocks). I’d want my books in there as well – the books I’ve worked on as editor, too, and all those that have opened doors in my mind.

With acquired savant syndrome featuring in my next novel, I’m curious . . . If you were to wake up from a coma one day to find yourself totally obsessed and a genius (in something other than writing, of course) what would you want it to be? (music, painting, languages, maths, touching your toes while typing, etc)

A: I’m so boring, I’m hopelessly devoted to the patch of dirt I already plough. I want to keep becoming a better writer. I’m already obsessed and I don’t believe in genius – just work, curiosity and generosity of spirit. I would like the ability to download books directly into my brain, though. I am a slow and careful reader – always worried I’m going to miss something important.

If you happened to wake up one day and be a genius with a paintbrush, whose portrait would you want to paint and why?

A: I am an accomplished painter already! Not. I paint on my mental health days – those days when I have to get up off the couch and get messy with my imagination – and my paintings are always bright splashes, cartoonish, mostly of flowers, sometimes abstract, and never much good. But if I was any good, I’d love to be able to paint my characters so that readers could see what I see when I’m with them. Responsible literary citizen that I am, though, I’d be sure to mark those pic files as potential spoilers – peek at your own risk.

Picasso once asked the question: “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” In my next novel, the artists says to 58 y.o Ava, “A mature person has depth of character and it’s their layers, built from life’s lessons that interest me the most—when wisdom replaces curiosity and experience replaces youthful exuberance.”

What two traits would you hope an artist captures in a portrait of you?

A: Love and curiosity. I can’t function without the giving and receiving of the first and I’m hard wired for the second. I don’t ever want to stop wondering and asking questions – especially of myself (most common one being, what the freak are you doing?).

Because every fireplace deserves a portrait, in whose house would you hang a Portrait of You as a surprise and what would they say?

I’d want my portrait hung over the hearth of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to remind him that immigrants and refugees have made Australia not only the colourful and beautiful place it is but they also made me. And when he is eventually ousted, I want my portrait to go to the National Library of Australia together with all other author portraits in the Jenn J McLeod collection to show this country what a wealth of storytelling heart we have, right here, right now, particularly among women writers.

Keeping in mind that lucky recipient of your portrait, how would see yourself framed?

  1. Minimalist or no frame at all – just the canvas (take me as I am)
  2. Modernist – chrome, nothing too fancy
  3. Sophisticated – warm, wood, old world
  4. Flamboyant – go all the way and gilt edged!

A: No borders – of course!

Finally, if someone was to add a plaque/title your portrait, how would it read?

A: The Authorlady

Acrylic on old fence-palings; 2000cm x 3000cm (that’s right, Mr Dutton, it’s HUGE).

On the surface all is romantic whimsy and yet the work is rich with literary allusion and classical symbolism. Most strikingly, the use yellow, predominantly on the couch, is suggestive of madness, while cats and chooks, well, we all know what they say about a woman in middle age. The masculine details apparent in the painting, in the form of portraits within the portrait, make no clever commentary whatsoever on the nature of portraiture itself but rather point to the author’s philosophy that one can smash the patriarchy and love all her blokes to bits at the same time. The underlying narrative of the image explores a powerful nexus of love and curiosity, and seeks to interrogate the national soul, at the same time drawing attention to its concretely central but ironically ethereal meta-theme, most simply described in the broad-brush statement: the lady rocks a frock.

About Kim…

Kim Kelly is the author of six novels, including the acclaimed Wild Chicory. 

Her stories shine a bright light on some forgotten corners of Australia’s past and tell the tales of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. The Sydney Morning Herald has described her style as ‘colourful, evocative and energetic’. The Daily Telegraph has noted her ‘impressive research’. And, to her enduring shock, the Melbourne Age has said: ‘Why can’t more people write like this?’

A widely respected book editor and literary consultant by trade, stories fill her everyday – most nights, too – and it’s love that fuels her intellectual engine. Love between lovers, friends, strangers; love of country; love of story. In fact, she takes love so seriously she once donated a kidney to her husband to prove it, and also to save his life.

Originally from Sydney, today Kim lives on a small rural property in central New South Wales just outside the tiny gold-rush village of Millthorpe, where the ghosts are mostly friendly and her grown sons regularly come home to graze.

Website https://kimkellyauthor.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KimKellyAuthor/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Before you go, I have some more author portraits to celebrate the release of my 5th novel (April – here in Australia/NZ and overseas) so you might want to subscribe to my blog (right) or check out my Book Room.

Bittersweet Bucket List

This #RovingWriter finally got to be Miss Philadelphia. (You know the one… Nancy Cato’s All The Rivers Run. Sigrid Thornton played the character in the 1980’s mini series of the same name.) It’s been a dream of mine to visit Echuca, to traverse that ancient wharf, to board the same wood-fired steamer, and to travel the Mighty Murray to the pulse of paddles and the huffing and puffing of pistons.

Two years ago, I heard about P.S. Pevensey (that it was the steamer used in the mini series) and if that was not exciting enough, I was told EVERY, yes EVERY, passenger gets a ticket – even the fur-kids. So, I made a promise to the one-eyed Dude dog at that time. I told her we’d take a boat trip together along the Murray.

Sadly, it’s taken two years to get to Echuca (on the NSW/Vic border) and as you may know, we lost the bravest dog in the world last year. So it was with sad hearts that we decided to go ahead and take a trip on the dog-friendly P.S. Pevensey anyway.

After telling our sad story to the lovely lady in the Discovery Centre, she gave us a canine ticket for our dearly departed ‘dog in a box’.

Canine Tickets for special passengers

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the lady took the time to write the date on the ticket, we realised the significance. While not planned, May 10 is one year – to the day – that we said goodbye to the Dude dog after 14 years with us. Suddenly, the much-anticipated trip turned bittersweet.

The one-eyed Dude dog, Daiquiri

Feeling miserable, what did we see? Bella.

What a joy. Here she is aboard and with Mum, Leanne. (I was itching for a puppy cuddle. I even had a sneaky cry.)

Once we disembarked, Bella’s family stopped with us at the Star Hotel for lunch – and some water from a wine goblet!

 

I’ve always believed some people come into our lives for a season and some for a reason. A  massive thank you to Keith and Leanne and Bella for sharing the trip and the pizza afterwards. I believe we were meant to meet today. Safe travels!

ABOUT THE BOOK: If you are interested in Nancy Cato’s novel – Booktopia has All The Rivers Run.

BEFORE YOU GO: It’s time we took back some control. Don’t leave it to Facebook (and the like) to decide what information you see and when you see it. I have book news coming soon and if, like me, you distrust social media’s filtering of information, join my New Release Reminder Service and I will email you my news direct to your inbox. (Just look top right on this page!) Leave your email (which I’ll protect with my life) and I’ll send you a reminder. This is NOT a monthly newsletter full of stuff you probably don’t want to know. I only send New Release Reminders when I have a new book out (or if my books go on sale online – and who doesn’t love a bargain book?)

Author V.K. Black and Campfire Tales

When I found out a fellow Aussie author was hitting the road for five months to travel the country in I remember saying, “Oh, the places you’ll see!”

That author is V.K. Black and she’s taken her experiences and turned them into a series of short stories called Campfire Tales. So, what’s VK have to say?

You were so right, Jenn. Incredible, wonderful places. Kakadu, Litchfield Park, Broome, Uluru, a helicopter flight over the Bungle Bungles, whales, off South Australia – spouts everywhere.

The office looks familiar, V.K. I have a similar one right now, but in Victoria.

The photo of me at our table is when we were camped next to a river in the Pilbara. Nice office, huh? That notepad on the table contains the first draft of Campfire Tales, which is the anthology of short stories I was writing as I travelled around Australia.

And now—drum roll please—they’re published!

Tell us about the book.

Campfire Tales follows the adventures of Ellie and Michael, a young honeymooning couple, as they travel around Australia. Most co-incidentally, Ellie and Michael follow exactly the same route around Australia that we took. All of the stories in this anthology were inspired by little things that happened, snatches of conversations we heard, and people we met.

About Campfire Tales

Hawaii? Paris? Goodness, no. On their honeymoon, Ellie and Michael travel around Australia in their battered old land cruiser, sleep in a tent, and don’t mind at all that their air mattress is always flat the next morning. They encounter a gunman at a remote campsite, help a woman dealing with emotional abuse, and meet the warring owners of an amazing caravan.

Our very-much-in-love couple make love, fight, make up, and meet people from all walks of life during their incredible adventure. So sit back with your thermos of coffee (or a glass of wine, if you’re more like Ellie and Michael) and follow our happy couple’s adventures around Australia.

Where to get the book

Available for 99 cents from Amazon and Kobo. More Buy Links can be found on V.K. Black’s Website.

Leave a reply below if you wish.

Author, Pamela Cook, gives her 21 y.o. self some advice

So, Pamela…

You’ve just turned 21 – happy birthday! Look at you in that cute little Shirley Temple outfit at your ‘S’ themed party. 🙂

I’m well over twice your age now and it makes me smile when I think back to how young and naïve you are – in a good way. Life has so much in store for you – travel, love, children and some harder things too – loss, grief, ageing. It has a few surprises lined up, which you won’t even be able to imagine right now. Knowing what I know, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learnt. It won’t change what happens to you of course but it might be useful to those three beautiful daughters you will raise.

So, here goes …

Stick to your plans to travel. The world is a huge, wonderful, awe-inspiring place. Meet people, learn from them, take as many photos as you can and store up the memories. They will last you a lifetime. Keeping a journal is probably a good idea too.

Cherish your friends. Take every opportunity you can to spend time with them, connect with them, love them. Some of them will come into your life for a while, then leave. Others will stay but only if you nurture the friendship. Nothing can replace the value of a good friend or the memories you make together.

Follow your passions. You may not be able to earn a living from them but that doesn’t make them any less important. Choose a job you love and can be of service in but don’t ever give up on your dreams. If there’s something you want to do, start now, keep at it and learn as much as you can along the way. Your time will come – but only if you make it happen. And believe.

Family is important. You’ll move house, travel to other places, fall in and out of love, have fantastic experiences and some horrible ones, but your family will always be there and have your back. Make sure you are always there for them in return – their love is unconditional and yours should be too. Some of your ‘family’ won’t be related by blood.

Be strong. Not just physically but in your principals, beliefs and love. Your body has to carry you into old age so take care of it. Stand up for ideals and people you believe in, speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves. Be there for the people you love – in whatever way they need. Muster the courage to do things that need to be done.

… I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you and you’re probably off to see a pub band or heading to a party with your friends. Enjoy that city life because (spoiler alert) one day you’ll be sitting on a verandah in the country taking in the fresh air, the gorgeous views, watching your horses (yes, horses!) graze while you work on your latest novel.

Be kind and take care,

Pamela x

Pamela Cook is a city girl with a country lifestyle and too many horses. Her rural fiction novels feature feisty women, tangled family relationships and a healthy dose of romance. Her latest book, The Crossroads, is out now. An eclectic reader, Pamela also enjoys writing poetry, memoir pieces, and literary fiction and is proud to be a Writer Ambassador for Room To Read, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in developing countries. She also teaches creative writing through her business www.justwrite.net.au. When she’s not writing she wastes as much time as possible riding her handsome quarter horses, Morocco and Rio.

Pamela loves to connect with readers both in person and online. You will often find her lurking in one of these places:

www.pamelacook.com.au
www.facebook.com/PamelaCookAuthor
@PamelaCookAU

[bctt tweet=” What advice does author @PamelaCookAU give her 21 y.o self? #LetterToMyself https://www.jennjmcleod.com/blog/a-letter-to-myself-author-list” username=”jennjmcleod”]

 

 This is the last letter of my 2016 blog series. Pamela tops off an awesome list of authors who each wrote a letter of advice to themselves. To see the list of contributing authors: CLICK Stand by for a fabulous new blog series in 2017.

Wanting to honour the lost art of letter writing through this blog series, I also opened my fourth novel with a character writing a letter. And not just any letter. It’s a story — perhaps the most important he’ll ever tell.

The Other Side of the SeasonReady for a sea change

Life is simple on top of the mountain for David, Matthew and Tilly until the winter of 1979 when tragedy strikes, starting a chain reaction that will ruin lives for years to come. Those who can, escape the Greenhill banana plantation on the outskirts of Coffs Harbour. One stays—trapped for the next thirty years on the mountain and haunted by memories and lost dreams. That is until the arrival of a curious young woman, named Sidney, whose love of family shows everyone the truth can heal, what’s wrong can be righted, the lost can be found, and . . . there’s another side to every story.

BUY now from Amazon, KoboiTunes, or

Booktopia

 

Author Rachael Johns – a letter to my 17 y.o self

Dear Rach

I know you’re heartbroken right now, but don’t waste your time or money (on tissues) crying over that boy you accidentally dumped. You’ve already spent four years lusting after him and that is far too long to be chasing a boy who to be blatantly honest… is just not that into you. More fool him! But don’t worry, one day you’ll appear on breakfast TV show, Sunrise, and thank him for breaking your heart. That heartbreak is the reason you start writing in a couple of months and although you don’t know it now, writing is your calling. It’s what you were born to do.

BUT, I recommend NOT transferring from a primary school teaching degree to a writing degree. If you don’t want to do teaching anymore, take some time out and get some life experience or do another degree that you’ll actually be able to use in the big bad world. I suggest library studies, women studies or criminology – basically anything but that writing degree because it is an absolute waste of time. You don’t learn anything except that you do not want to write poetry or literary fiction.

You know how you love Bridget Jones Diary? That’s the type of book you want to write. Don’t be ashamed of it. Read as much as you can get your hands on. Try an odd romance as well – I think you’ll find you love them. Oh and while you’re at it, join an organization called Romance Writers of Australia – it might save you a lot of time and you might end up taking less than fifteen years to get published.

But don’t obsess about writing – just enjoy it. You’ll put in the hard yards and you’ll get there eventually. In the meantime, read more and don’t be such a prude. Date more boys, have fun and don’t stress so much about your body. You are NOT fat and starving yourself isn’t cool!

Soon you’ll go to England and meet your dad and your half-siblings for the first time. It will be both wonderful and heart-wrenching. Try to spend a little more time with your older sister – life takes her much sooner than it should and you’ll regret not getting to know her better.

Oh and stop dreaming up lots of lovely girls’ names for future daughters – there are only boys to come!

See you in the future.

Love your older self! xox

rachael-photoartofsecretsfinalcoverABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons.  Jilted (her first rural romance) won Favourite Australian Contemporary Romance in 2012 and she was voted in the Top Ten of Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Author poll in 2013. The Patterson Girls won the 2016 Romance Writers of Australia RUBY Award and also the 2015 Australian Book Industry Award for General Fiction. She lives in the Perth Hills with her hyperactive husband, three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training, two fat cats, a cantankerous bird and a very badly behaved dog.

Rachael loves to hear from readers and can be contacted via her website – www.rachaeljohns.com You can find Rachael on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RachaelJohnsRomance/) and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/RachaelJohns)

Latest book – THE ART OF KEEPING SECRETS – Grab your copy now!

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 To see the list of authors taking part in this letter-writing blog series: CLICK

Wanting to honour the lost art of letter writing through this blog series, I also opened my fourth novel with a character writing a letter. And not just any letter. It’s a story — perhaps the most important he’ll ever tell.

The Other Side of the SeasonReady for a sea change

Life is simple on top of the mountain for David, Matthew and Tilly until the winter of 1979 when tragedy strikes, starting a chain reaction that will ruin lives for years to come. Those who can, escape the Greenhill banana plantation on the outskirts of Coffs Harbour. One stays—trapped for the next thirty years on the mountain and haunted by memories and lost dreams. That is until the arrival of a curious young woman, named Sidney, whose love of family shows everyone the truth can heal, what’s wrong can be righted, the lost can be found, and . . . there’s another side to every story.

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