Tag Archives: Lily Malone

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


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


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.


Author, Lily Malone, Writes To Her 19 y.o Self

Dear Lily,

Here you are, about to board the plane to London today.

You already know that you’re running away from a small country town and a cute country boy, and running towards bright lights and adventure. Good on you! Every girl should travel while they’re young. Travel while you’re bold enough to do all those risky things because when you’re a middle-aged mum you’ll have other responsibilities and you won’t be so fearless (or flexible).

So go white water rafting (hold on tight when you get to the second rapids in the Zambezi, the lady beside is gonna fall in and try to take you with her); go hot air ballooning across the Serengeti (it will be a bumpy landing but don’t worry about that, you’ll pull through). Remember to pack some kind of roll-up mattress. Africa is very bumpy if all you have between you and the earth is the tent floor.

Mostly, I want you to consider this . . .

Your friends will move on while you’re overseas travelling. Some will go to university, some will get married, others move away and some will have babies by the time you get back. Life moves on… don’t expect that you can leave now and come back and step into your old life. You’re doing your life in a different order. You’re having the fun now and you’ll come back and get stuck into career, study, the wrong boyfriends and much later, the right boyfriend who will become your husband, and then your family. The downside of that is, your body is older, and you won’t roll with the 2am, 4am and 5am punches of needy babies. But you’ll deal with it. Take heart in the knowledge that the never-ending nappies do actually end, and you won’t be the milk truck forever.

If there’s one thing I’d say to you, it’s this: “Stop worrying so much about what other people think of you. Other people are not talking about you or watching you every second of every day. You are not that interesting! Don’t be so self-absorbed. It is not all about you!”

A word to the wise: Don’t take every rejection personally. (This will help you deal with 1-star book reviews when you’re 45).


Your 45 year old self.

p.s. That Queensland cane-cutter who is sweet on you in Crete? Don’t dance the Lambada with him. It only leads to trouble…

p.p.s Buy shares in a company called Google.

 lilym_lowresTheGoodbyeRide_ Lily Malone

Lily Malone writes Australian Contemporary Romance with Escape
Publishing. You can BUY The Goodbye Ride from Amazon AUS . Lily’s writing style blends romance with her delightful (sometimes cheeky) sense of humour and fresh, whimsical turn of phrase. Also by Lily Malone: So Far Into You, His Brand of Beautiful, and Fairway to Heaven.
[Tweet “What advice does @lily_lilymalone give her 16 y.o self? #LetterToMyself https://www.jennjmcleod.com/blog/a-letter-to-myself-author-list”]

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.

CLICK for more or leave a comment below for Lily.

Dear Reader: The truth about all that book release buzz.

You might have expected this blog post to be a really long and thoughtful discussion about the book business, when it’s actually about the way authors pop up on social media, crying virtual tears of joy, and gushing over reviews! I mean, it’s just a bloody book after all—not a Powerball win.

But in a way being published is like winning the lottery. There is luck involved and with so many books out there, Australian fiction in particular, when a reader looks to spend their hard-earned dollar and chooses your book over others, it’s better than a lottery win. (Okay, that’s a lie. A Powerball win would be pretty darn good right now. For a start, I wouldn’t have to write this blog post. I could just go out and buy all my books myself — although that kinda defeats the purpose of why I write stories!)

This post is about all those annoying authors like me: “woo-hooing” and “squeeing”, almost peeing their pants with excitement, and posting to social media when most of their social media connections already know the book is coming out. I mean, you’ve been following our journeys all this time, right?

 I’ll tell you the truth about authors and book buzz . . .

Launch time for an author brings with it a sudden urgency—one that is a stark contrast to the leisurely year it took to write, edit, perfect, cover and print the paperback—and it kinda flips an author’s world upside down. (They go from quiet achievers in their lounge room to awkward promoters of their finished product.)

The buzz about the launch is important because in the paperback world, there is a finite time for that book to hit the magic sales mark, which makes the publisher happy and the booksellers.

Booksellers . . . Now here is something readers might not realise. 

Just like your local newsagent orders in the daily paper and what doesn’t sell that day gets bundled up and returned to the publisher – no cost to the agency operator, booksellers can do the same with books. They might order in sixty copies of a new book and in six weeks, what hasn’t sold, can be (not always) returned to the warehouse. (A small bookshop won’t have the shelf space to stock multiple copies of every book and while you can always ask the bookshop to order a novel in, if it’s not there, on the shelf, it’s out of sight, out of mind.)

So, say 5,000 books left the warehouse (yay!) and 3,000 came back – unsold in six weeks (boo!)*

That, dear readers, is why authors make a big noise, often preaching to the converted. They are urging those of you who are thinking of buying their book to not delay.

Make a bee-line to your bookstore because those early sales figures can have many ramifications, including keeping their books on the shelves longer. And because every author understands a reader can’t buy every book, the simple act of sharing a buzz post, or mentioning an author’s name at a dinner party, can help enormously. Sometimes it’s the smallest of things that can have the greatest impact, like the bee — the hardest working creatures on the planet (apart from authors), with their contribution to the bigger picture often unappreciated (like women writers!) *wink*

Okay, so, how and when a reader buys a book is none of my beeswax, but can I just say…

Whether it’s my book or another favourite author (and there are an awful lot out for Mothers Day in May including many of my friends: Natasha Lester, Nicki EdwardsFleur McDonald, Kerrie Paterson, Tricia Stringer,  Mandy Magro, Lily Malone, Kayte Nunn) I urge you, on their behalf, to not delay that all-important purchase if you don’t have to, and to think about sharing a post/tweet or two, as many of my readers already do. (And there, my lovelies, is a rhyme… Just. For. You.)

So, there you have it . . .

The truth about the book buzz and all those annoying social media posts.

On behalf of busy authors everywhere,

Happy Mothers Day and happy reading,

Jenn J

*not actual figures. 🙂

[Tweet “Dear readers: The truth about all that book release buzz. #buzzbuzz https://www.jennjmcleod.com/dear-reader-the-truth-about-all-that-book-release-buzz”]


#WriteRoundOz w/ Lily Malone

Image Image 1Ooops! What do you mean I can’t park my rig on the fairway, Lily? Looks like heaven to me: very green, recently mown? Perfect for pitching an annex. But, if you insist, I’ll move the rig. Best get out of the way, though. I am a bit new to all this. Toot! Toot!

Here I am in Lily Malone heaven — a heavenly part of WA — and talking books and wine and wine and books…

Hmm, and what’s that I see written on her welcome mat?
“Come on in, the wine is fine.”

(See what I mean, folks? I’m already at home in Lily country)

Now, Lily, I miss my HUGE refrigerator. If I looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?

You are lucky. I’ve just been shopping. I have smoked salmon (because it was on special); mango and strawberry yoghurt (yep, on special); lots of apples, carrots and corn; truckloads of milk and leftover chicken lasagne.

Downsizing my life into a 24 ft caravan meant leaving lots of things behind in boxes. What (or who!!) would you have trouble leaving behind if you took off in a caravan?

I’d miss my garden – for although the landscaping is lacking, I do like my native plants. I tried tubestock for the first time and I’ve been battling rabbits, and winning. I love my garden, so I’d miss it if I was away. Actually, I love my house too, I really don’t want to go anywhere.

(I’m not sure what tubestock is but if it’s anything to do with the garden bed I kind ran a wheel or two over while getting off the fairway then… Ooops!)

Whose home would you like to visit in your van and why? 
Sigh. I’m getting so boring: Warney’s pad in Melbourne, or Sydney, or wherever he sets himself up these days.

Do you REALLY have room at your house to park a fifth wheeler caravan and do you mind visitors? Oh, sorry, you don’t have to answer that one!! ☺

You have an open invitation you and ‘J’ – I would love to be your hostess with the mostest. I am already planning what we will eat and certainly what we will drink, and lots of other stuff we can do depending on (of course) the season you visit.

(Thanks for the nice segue!)

Country curiosities…

My latest novel, Season of Shadow and Light, has a strong horse theme. (I love what horses can teach us). If you were an animal what would you be?

An otter.

You’re cooking and your food is going up against the best cooks from the CWA (Country Women’s Association). What would be your winning dish?
Portuguese chicken.

About you…

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Just doing it.

If someone was to write your biography, what do you think the title should be?
Pink Beanies In The Time Of Wine

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Q: Is Warney one of your Twitter followers?
A: Unfortunately No. If he EVER does follow me, you will hear the squeeeeee from wherever you’ve parked your van.

Favourite four

(Okay, Lil, that was a heading but since you listed four – sort of…) Warne, McGrath, Lillee and Warne.
Favourite place in Australia: Mataranka (in the Northern Territory – hot springs – the clearest green waters of the Roper River – stunning)
Favourite holiday destination (anywhere): Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Favourite movie: Bridget Jones Diary and anything with Matt Damon
Favourite quote: Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

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

(and that, lovely readers, is why Lily and I are firm friends. Now, if only we can actually meet!)

Tagline time:

It’s going to take more than summer loving to heal old wounds, but a remote beach, old friendships, and a bit of sunshine might just spark a second chance at love.

Fairway To Heaven – released with Escape Publishing – April 8, 2015

When Jennifer Gates drives to Sea Breeze Golf Club to kick off date-night with her boyfriend, the last thing she expects is to find Golf-Pro Jack giving one of his lady students a private—and very personal—lesson in bunker-play.

Luckily for Jenn, her best friend gives her the keys to the Culhane family’s beach shack on the white-pepper shores of Western Australia’s Geographe Bay. Jenn hopes a weekend on the coast with her young son will give her the space she needs to rebuild her confidence after Jack’s betrayal.

But she’s not the only person seeking sanctuary by the sea. Brayden Culhane is there too, and Jenn can’t look at Brayden without remembering the tequila-flavoured kiss they shared on the shack steps years ago.

As long-buried feelings are rekindled, and a friendship is renewed, Jenn knows it is more than lazy summer days bringing her mojo back. Romantic sunsets, ice-cold beers and the odd round of golf can only go so far, because this time, trusting Brayden with her heart won’t be enough. Can Jenn learn to trust her body, too?


I loved this book. Lily is a ‘bold’ writer. She may raise an eyebrow or two at the start, but this story develops into one that is very easy to read, very real and with a writing style that is delightfully fresh. (The fact that her character is named Jenn ‘with two ‘n’s has no bearing on this opinion. 🙂 )


LILY, GOLF – and other four-letter words!


Let’s get one thing clear… I LOVE the name ‘Lily’. Add the word ‘Malone’ and for some reason I start to conjure up all sorts of wonderfully romantic images of Marlene Dietrich and Vera Lynn singing: “Auf Wiedersehen Lili Marlene” (Don’t ask me why! I just do.)

Let me further clarify…

Lily Malone is an author. I can’t remember where or how I found this author. My first memory is reading a blog post she had written about being an aspiring writer. Her writing style made me laugh (in a good way) and that is always a good thing in a blog post.

Since then, Lily Malone has gone on to publish (both through Escape Publishing and independently) three novel.  She does have a wonderful way with words and she can be a bit cheeky. Her stories are contemporary romances – a mix of love, lies and a little lust. (Oh and wine! There is usually lots of wine. And OH GOSH! All those wonderful four-letter words: LOVE, LIES, LUST … WINE!)

So if that is your genre, Lily tells a great yarn. Not only that, she has THE best cover on her latest release – Fairway to Heaven. Yes, it’s about golf – but not as we know it apparently (which may be a good thing because GOLF is definitely a bad four-letter word to me.)

Check out Lily’s blog here.  Or buy Fairway to Heaven on Smashwords.

I wanted to give a shout out on my blog because apart from being good fun and a fabulous storyteller, Lily is a generous and supportive person to lots of other authors – me included. (And I have been slack and totally missed the big [insert bad four-letter word here] blog hop thingy. But you can still join in the fun.


You can find links to all the blogs taking part (and the clever enter to win thing) of them at the bottom of Rhyll Biest’s blog. Authors like Jennie Jones, Wine, Women and Wordplay (with Imelda Evans), Cate EllinkSusanne Bellamy. Check one or two or as many as you like for your chance to win a great prize pack from Lily filled with yummy delights (and a copy of Kate Belle’s book, The Yearning).

And finally…

Here is Lily (funny, funny lady) taking part in my Author Harvest last year and it has a little taste of the song: Lili Marlene –  CLICK

Author Harvest ‘bales up’ Jenn J McLeod

Author HarvestJenn J McLeod - Rural AuthorWell Jenn, here you are. It’s all happening now. Who knew! So let’s start as we always do here on Harvest … with food.

Can I offer you scones and tea or some other homemade delight?

Definitely not! I think I’ve had a little too much harvest love from my guests. Did no one see that butt-to-camera angle when NBN News filmed me launching the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival a few months back. No food! No butts!

At home…

Mum says garden gnomes make a house a home! Am I loud and proud in my loveIMG_0540 of garden gnomes at home, a closet gnomer or with a strict ‘no gnomes’ policy at my place?

I’m afraid I did inherit a love of the cheeky gnome. This one at my dad’s place is by far my favourite. (And clearly I have a butt obsession at the moment!)

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

I have a nice collection of both fruit and vegie: avocado, orange, ruby grapefruit, mandarins, oranges, custard apple, lychee, mango, lime, lemon, pecans. The vegie garden will have seasonal vegies: I love strawberries and cooking with fresh herbs.

If someone looked in the refrigerator, what would they find?

Grotesque, alien-like vegetables that I somehow managed to grow/create. (eg. my carrots are orange in colour, but that’s where the similarities end.)

If someone was to sort my wardrobe by colour, what colour would stand out? (Is anyone volunteering?)

You will mostly find the colour of ‘Opp Shop’. I do love finding a hidden pre-loved treasure. Opp shops are a kind of story starter. I find myself wondering about the person/history behind the treasure.

What am I wearing now?

Opp Shop favourites – shorts and a tank top. I love supporting the volunteers who run the shop.

Whose home would I like to housesit and why?

I was going to pick a few places. Then I thought previous Harvestees might get all precious and say: “Ooohh… Jenn J never said we could do that ….” To which my response would be: Hey folks, it’s my party and I’ll give answers in triplicate if I want to …

So, (with that out o the way) I’d do a progressive thing with some of my author pals so I can soak up some inspiration during my stay: Fiona Palmer’s (I’ve heard about that Pingaring pub!), Fleur McDonald (her photographs of home are gorgeous. Must go there.), my publisher’s house Larissa Edwards (so I can nose around in her book collection), Helene Young’s (in tropical north Queensland – say no more!), Christine Stinson’s (because she said I could stay there anytime I wanted to “come home to the city“!), Rachael Johns’ (she owns a supermarket for goodness sake. Imagine that!), Bronwyn Parry (she has kangaroos watching her work through the window), and speaking of rooms with a view – Annie Seaton’s place (have you seen that writing chair of hers?) 😉 I could go on…. In fact I could go to New Zealand and visit Rae Roadley (becasue she has found ‘Love At The End Of The Road’.)

Country curiosities…

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

Love my leather hat. Hate hat hair. Love my comfy Redbacks. Hate spiders!

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

A meerkat: stands tall, inquisitive, cautious, highly excitable, aggressive only when provoked! (Best of all, cute as all get out and no butt to speak of.)

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

It went to the shops to by House for all Seasons by this lovely new author called Jenn J McLeod. They heard there was a rather elaborate chook house described in the book as well as a competition with a great prize when you buy the book.

About you…

My turning point: when was that point in my life that I realised being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a reality and a career?

A year before my 50th birthday I said: “It’s now or never.”  I’d written two novels already (contemporary fiction set in glamorous locations) but coud not interest a publisher or an agent. With a growing interest in Australian rural fiction I decided if I couldn’t sell an Australian small town story then I couldn’t sell anything and I would give up.

Two days before my 50th birthday I signed with Clare Forster (Curtis Brown Literary Agency). The rest, as they say, is history!

What is the hardest part of writing for me?

Picking up where I left off the previous day. I have to get into the flow (it’s a voice thing) which means reading a few previous chapters. I’m afraid I can’t read without editing so I get bogged down with the detail, which then ends up limiting my word count at the end of each day.

If someone was to write my biography, what do I think the title should be?

She did a good job, butt …!

Fun stuff…

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

My contemporary fiction tends to have a cast of characters rather than the protagonist/antagonist structure. Not sure any of them would want to hang out with me but, boy, would I LOVE hanging out with them. Especially a couple of my secondary boys. Will, the local cafe owner who makes great soy lattes, and Alex, the country vet and all-round nice guy. Both have the wonderful, witty (verging on wicked) sense of humour. I reckon we’d get on, don’t you?

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

I’d show you the NBN News clip and ask you: “Does my butt look big in that?”

What food would I be?

Ummm … something nutty perhaps!

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

I have no idea. I only included this question to see what others would say. But check this. Will we all be asking in a few decades, “What’s the best things since the super-duper toasting bread knife thingy?”

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

With an obsessive partner there is NEVER a stapler without staple pins (nor a toilet roll holder without paper, a fridge without a cold beer, or a car without petrol).

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

I’ve just interviewed myself. What do you think?

Don’t forget to lock March 1 into your diary (or subscribe to receive a reminder). On online launch will be … colourful and loud 😉

Now … follow that chook and go buy my book. No butts about it! Check out the links in my book room.

(My thanks to Lily Malone for suggesting I interview myself. BTW – check out her Author Harvest and the other fabulous writing folk who have come home to the country so far – Author harvest line-up.

Author Harvest ‘bales up’ Lily Malone

Author Harvest

LilyMI believe I may have met my match.

Lily Malone is one witty, wine-loving, lady. I am so glad I found her lurking on her blog (a blog that is littered with gold, BTW.)

Trouble is, every time I see her name I start singing Lili Marlène* over and over in my head. (For Gen X and Y – it’s an old Vera Lynn, WWII… oh, just forget it and watch the clip – or not.)

Okay, Lily, now I have that out of the way, start by telling me if it’s scones and tea or some other homemade delight you have whipped up for me today.

Hubby has previously described my attempt at muffins as “like ice-hockey pucks” and I dread to think what I might do to a scone… but I am a QUEEN of chocolate brownies. And in particular I make a white chocolate and cherry brownie (sometimes with crushed hazelnuts) that is kind of gooey and almost tea-cakey-chewy (very un-brownie like) but dang, it’s DIVINE!

(After so many Author Harvest posts I’ve learned not to be fussy, so… Plate ’em up, Lil!)

At home …

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

No gnomes here. I do have an African lady that was a wedding present. (Here’s a photo). The idea is to put your keys in the basket on her head so if you forget your keys, you can always get in the house. Oops. Do any potential burglars read Author Harvest?

(Nah. You’re safe here. Anything about the family jewels you’d like to add, though?!)

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

Good tomatoes. I have struggled to grow tomatoes. They generally come out looking all Bonsai. But dare I say, this year I have thrown everything into the soil and so far, they are looking fab. One is VERY close to being picked.

(Is that it? The one behind you in the profile pic above? Well, I hope you enjoy it. I hate to tell you but I have tomato bushes just pop up every season on their own so I have to make chutney!)

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

Yikes! Right now there is a bottle of Jansz bubbles. Coopers Pale Ale. Coopers Stout. There are vegetables in the crisper which are probably the floppy side of crisp. Lots of condiments and a homemade muesli slice which, incidentally, I probably could also have shared for you with the white choc-cherry brownie I mentioned above. But the brownie is more glam, and for you Jenn, glam is the go!

(Lily, as I mentioned to Jaye Ford the other day on Facebook. As one ages, one needs to avoid making reference to anything being ‘floppy’.)

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

Definitely not a wardrobe sorter. Black would probably dominate. I’m also a bit of a purple/burgundy kind of girl. I own nothing orange and nothing green.

(Hmm? What was that you said? Burgundy? Why, yes, pour me a glass!)

What are you wearing now? (Be honest!)

It’s about 37 degrees in Adelaide today, so it’s a little blue sundress that my sister (who loves shopping and buys brilliant presents) gave me for Christmas last year (2012).

Whose home would you like to housesit and why?

Someone like Gai Waterhouse or Bart Cummings or Peter Moody. Actually, make that Peter Moody. I am a Black Caviar freak and I’d love to see memorabilia of all these amazing horses. If Peter Moody’s house looked over the paddocks and Black Caviar was out there… that would be pretty amazing. But any rural/horsey/paddocky type thing would do.

Country curiosities…

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

I love hats. The widest brim straw hat I have always blows off in the wind, which may mean my head is not big enough. (Some would argue this fact). But I really love wearing beanies in winter and I have quite a few.

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

I don’t know about tree. But I was asked what animal I’d be many, many moons ago at a Nutrimetics party of all places, and I said if I was an animal, I’d like to be an Otter. Go figure.

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

She saw Timothy Olyphant on the other side.

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?

This is very very recent for me. In fact I still don’t think I can call it a “career”. But my biggest turning point was when a scene from His Brand Of Beautiful finaled in the RWA First Kiss competition in 2012. When Kasey from RWA rang me up to tell me, I was just blown away. It was the first time anyone who I felt “knew” the romance genre and so, made a good judge, gave me an indication that what I was doing was actually any good. (Or even potentially good – it still had a heck of a long way to go at that point). But I think this was a moment where I thought, okay, if I work and work and work… maybe I can just do this.

(And you did! It’s all official today, I believe. Fantastic.)

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Finding the time. I have two young kids and I work part-time. It isn’t exactly the ‘time’ itself that is the hard part, but it’s quality time. I have struggled a lot with feeling that my writing is selfish time, and that I should be putting those hours to cutting out and colouring in and painting pictures with the kids… I really am not that type of crafty mum. And I’m a bit of a procrastinator. But once I get stuck in, I’m fairly disciplined.

(Not “THAT type of crafty mum”! So what sort of ‘crafty’ mum are you exactly?)

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

Lily Malone: Glass Half Full

(Ha! Love it! I’m definitely more full bottle. What? Why are you laughing?)

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

I can’t think of one! I have actually been the answer to a Hockey Club quiz night question once. Does that count?

(Was the question something to do with you puck-like muffins?)

Fun stuff …

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

Christina Clay would find my fashion sense very boring, but she would love my hats and we would drink beautiful champagne together.

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?

Do you know? I think it might be Lady Di, or possibly if it was now, Kate Middleton. Just to see what it was like being a princess. That lifestyle is so far from mine…

If I said to you, “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk,” what would you do?IMG_0220

Pop the cork on a bottle of Moet. I have two in the pantry right now, waiting for the day my book is released! But if you twist my arm, I’ll make an exception for you! (Ouch! That was a hard twist, Jenn!)

(I BYO’d Lily. Here you go. Today is the champagne occasion. Cheers to Escape Publishing for having the good sense to see your talent.)

What food would you be?

I love making icecream cakes… I’m not much of a baker otherwise, (outside of the Brownies in Q1 above). I think I’d be something vanilla-ish, with a chocolate swirl of crushed-up Flake and Tim Tams and with a couple of fresh cherries artfully plonked on top. I like artfully plonking.

(Yes, plonking much more acceptable than flopping!)

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

Mel Gibson in Braveheart, or perhaps Brad Pitt in Troy. Or no! Definitely Russell Crowe in Gladiator.

(So, men in skirts do it for you, huh?)

Name 5 uses for a stapler that has not staple pins.

My stapler rarely has pins. The kids are forever emptying them.

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

I don’t think I’m weird, not really. So I’d go with a 2.

Thank you Lily, and congratulations on your contract.

Folks, if you aren’t already subscribed to Lil’s blog, do. She brightens a day and makes for fun procrastination moments. www.lilymalone.wordpress.com

Here is the blurb about her debut novel – for release March 2013

His Brand Of Beautiful – Lily Malone
When marketing strategist Tate Newell first meets wine executive Christina Clay he has one goal in mind: tell Christina he won’t design the new brand for Clay Wines. Tell her: Thanks but no thanks. So long, good night.

But Tate is a sucker for a damsel in distress and when a diary mix-up leaves Christina in his debt, he gets more than he bargained for.

What does a resourceful girl do when the best marketing brain in the business won’t play ball? She bluffs. She cheats. And she ups the ante. But when the stakes get too high, does anybody win?

Falling in love was never part of this branding brief.
His Brand Of Beautiful will be published by Harlequin Escape in March
For more information or to contact Lily, visit www.lilymalone.wordpress.com