Café Cala welcomes Lily Malone

Hi Lily, Welcome to Café Cala.

LilyM_lowres

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.

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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

Café Cala welcomes Helene Young

Hi Helene, Welcome to Café Cala.

Helene Young

It’s great to have you visit Café Cala. I’ve loved all your books including Safe Harbour. This morning I’ve been making some banana bread. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?

Coffee would be fabulous, Maggie. I’m a ‘two cups in the morning’ kind of writer.

1 Where did you get the idea for Safe Harbour?

Safe Harbour bubbled around for quite a while in my imagination. I wanted to explore how sport provides the opportunity for teenagers in remote communities to choose a different career path. I’ve watched so many sports teams boarding my aircraft in places like Horn Island and Weipa and I always wonder how many of them actually make it to the big league. The issue of drugs in sport has also been on my hit list for a long while…
On the romance front I’d been dying to explore the allure of the bad boy versus the safety of the boy next door. Could there be another ending for the story? Safe Harbour’s love triangle kept me guessing right to the end!

2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?

Meeting readers has been an unexpected joy. I hadn’t really thought about who would read my stories and it’s wonderful to do a library talk and find that some of them have read my books and then taken the time to come along to meet me. It’s very humbling and uplifting. I also love receiving emails from readers who’ve connected to the characters and then take the time to write to me.

3 How did you start writing

I’ve always been a bit of a dabbler. I loved English as a subject at school and always assumed I’d write a book – and that sounds a little crazy but there you have it!
It wasn’t until we moved to Cairns for my job with Qantaslink that I finally had time to write. I completed my first manuscript without telling a soul what I was doing. It languished in a dusty drawer for over a year before my husband found it and convinced me to submit it. After a very polite rejection it was returned to the drawer but by then I’d turned on the tap and the words wouldn’t stop.

4 What would you say has helped you most?

RWA as an organisation provided a contest circuit where I could get unbiased feedback. And then it provided me with the most wonderful network of fellow writers who’ve supported and cheered for me every step of the way. A wonderful organisation, run entirely by volunteers – amazing!

5 What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a redemption story. A character in Safe Harbour just had to tell his story and he made a very compelling case for why he deserves to find happiness. It’s set in Cooktown and there’s a whole lot of criminal activity happening in the upper reaches of the Endeavour River!

6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Write what you love to read, write what you know and write. That old saying ‘you can’t edit a blank page’ is soooo true.

7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?

Love reading books by Bronwyn Parry, Anna Campbell, Katherine Howell, Kathryn Fox, all of the wonderful Australian rural writers, Tony Parks, Kate Forsyth, Fiona McIntosh, Hannah Kent – the list is rather extensive!!
Thanks so much for inviting me in for a coffee!

Safe Harbour1

SAFE HARBOUR
“When Darcy Fletcher drags a handsome sailor from a stricken yacht, she finds herself drawn into his mysterious world. Having saved his life can she now rescue him from his dark past? Or will that endanger all she holds most dear?
Noah, keeper of the peace and guardian of the Banskia Cove secrets, can’t tell Darcy the real reason this man has washed up on their shores. If she knew the links between the stranger and her own dysfunctional family, she’d flee the Cove and he’d lose her love for good.
As they take refuge in an old whaling station, only one thing is certain – by morning, no one will be the same again. Lies will surface, hearts will break, and not all will find safe harbour.”

Visit me at : http://www.heleneyoung.com
Follow me at twitter https://twitter.com/HeleneYoung
Watch the trailer at : http://youtu.be/JdFV1d9zxek
Read an excerpt at : http://www.heleneyoung.com/books/excerpt-safe-harbour/
Buy Safe Harbour at : Booktopia
http://www.booktopia.com.au/safe-harbour-helene-young/prod9781921901836.html
http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Harbour-Helene-Young-ebook/dp/B00HWN55KS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1394838907&sr=8-4&keywords=Safe+Harbour
Also available at all good bookstores, iTunes, Kobo and all e-retailers.