Hi Lily, Welcome to Café Cala.
I’ve been making some raspberry and apple bread this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?
Coffee please! Latte, no sugar. Yum!
1 Where did you get the idea for Fairway to Heaven?
Fairway started as a 3000-word entry to the 2013 Little Gems competition with Romance Writers of Australia, using the gemstone – Sapphire. I was thinking on and off about what I might write for the competition and at the same time, hubby and I were in discussions about me starting to play golf again. (Our first date was on the golf course – though before anyone who has read Fairway asks: it didn’t end in a sand bunker). Anyway, that night hubby started researching golf clubs and called me in to look at the Net. He’d found a set of Ladies’ Cobra Sapphires… I had what I like to call a ‘light bulb’ moment, and the story grew from there.
2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?
It’s most rewarding when people like the book. Not everyone leaves reviews, but it’s still nice to hear if a friend enjoyed it, or if a stranger got something out of it. Definitely the thought that someone is reading your work and enjoys it, is pretty magic.
3 How did you start writing?
We had just moved into our new house (which we built from scratch) in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. I had been feeling creative (very unlike me) and I’d been trying my hand at what’s known as Colour-Field Painting. Trying very badly, I might add. Anyway, my youngest son who was just one year old at the time put a golf club through my canvas and so I switched to writing romance instead. And just started.
4 What would you say has helped you most?
Being named as a finalist in the 2012 First Kiss competition for RWA. That spurred me on that maybe what I was doing didn’t completely suck. I finished on top of the local judging that year, but ended up 4th overall. It didn’t matter. It was feedback I valued by people who read the genre.
5 What are you working on at the moment?
A book called something like: His Brand Of Business, or maybe Her Brand Of Bargain. My first book, published with Escape Publishing is called His Brand Of Beautiful, so it’s related to that, although not with linked characters.
6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Read a lot, and make sure writing stays fun. It’s too hard if it isn’t fun and the chances of bobbing up on the bestseller lists when you’ve finished are kind of err, slim.
7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?
In romance/women’s fiction: Georgina Penney. Sarah Belle. Jennie Jones. Juanita Kees. Jenn J McLeod. Jenny Schwartz (gee there’s a lot of Jenny’s); Rhyll Biest. Cate Ellink. Kylie Kaden. Su Dharmapala for something different. There are so many incredible Australian authors around right now that I’ve stopped looking overseas so much. For a change of pace, I’ve loved Greg Barron’s thrillers, and my all-time favourite author is crime writer John Sandford. For romance, it’s very hard to top Jennifer Crusie. She is my go-to author when I can’t work out what’s going wrong with my own writing. There is something about Jennie Jones’ voice that reminds of Crusie.
I call Fairway To Heaven my ‘golf story’ but there really isn’t that much golf played in it. I have been lucky to get some fabulous reviews (including from a bloke!) I was worried it might be too realistic for some readers, but it looks like people who have read the book enjoy that side to it. It’s written in first person and it’s a very personal and intimate story about the crap women have to deal with and how they get through it. I was also thinking hard at the time of morphing my 3000-word Little Gems story into an 80,000-word novel, about the heroine and I wanted to give her a physical affliction, rather than just ‘emotional hurt’. There had been some discussion in a mother’s group I was involved with about libido issues and sexual health after childbirth, and how that impacted their sex lives and I was just getting so sick and tired of reading romance where stars imploded and the merest touch of the hero’s hand brought the leading lady multiple orgasms. Who has the time (or inclination) to swing from the chandeliers in their lacy French knickers when they have a new baby bound to wake up for a feed…oh…anytime now??!!
So I guess all these issues come into Fairway To Heaven. Some reviewers have called it ‘brave’… I’ll go with that!
Fairway is self-published. You can find it on Amazon, iTunes, Nook & Kobo. And the first chapter can be read on my website under ‘My Books’ – visit: www.lilymalone.wordpress.com