Tag Archives: MIRA

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 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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