Saturday, January 18, 2014

In The Hot Seat With H.C.Brown: Author Rosie Vanyon

Welcome Rosie , tell my readers a little about who you are and what you do,              

Rosie Vanyon shares her renovator’s ‘delight’ with a gorgeous Italian (and sometimes his son), a teenage daughter, a high-maintenance dog, a giant tabby cat and a satanic sable one.

She has a Creative Arts degree and a grown-up job in financial services. Rosie has been a writer and editor in fields as diverse as motoring, travel and tax. She is relieved and elated to finally ‘come out’ as a romance author. At last, she is following her heart.

Q:  Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?
I spent years snatching spare evenings or cramming my annual leave full of words and chapters. I have recently put my money where my mouth is and dropped back to a nine-day fortnight in my day job, so I have at least one dedicated writing day every two weeks. This is a small step in the right direction!

Without a dedicated day, writing tends to slide down the priority list behind everything from homework help to cleaning the bathroom.

Now the trick is to keep my writing day safe and sacred!

Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?

I find the Snowflake method a great way to get started but I am way too impatient to take too much time over planning or to see this method right through to the end.

Having said that, the ‘snowflake’ helps me see if the ideas whizzing and exploding around my brain are likely to pan out into an actual story (or if I should maybe just forget it, have a wine and play Candy Crush, instead).

A plan means I’m not blindsided by an ‘oh, crap’ moment halfway through chapter six when I realise my plot is imploding. It also helps me back to the path when I accidentally wander off on an enchanting detour.

H.C: I've never heard of the Snowflake method before sounds interesting. Me I'm a pantser, no outline on paper, no carefully and boring worked out plot, I write without a net but I think the Snowflake method would work well for me too. :-)

Q. Coffee or tea?
Mainly coffee (but no instant, decaf or drip filter coffee – it has to be the real deal). I drink tea when the caffeine jangles kick in. I take both drinks black – my theory is: why ruin a perfectly good cuppa by adding stuff?

Q. Beach or countryside?
Sand, swimmers and sunburn versus cow pats, critters and commutes…


I’m a city girl. I like clothes shops, culture and convenience. I’m happiest in a world of stilettos, espresso, edgy art and wifi.

 H.C. The Gold Coast has all that and a beach LOL. It's shop till you drop paradise.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
On the bus, folding laundry, chatting to friends, reading the news, working out, day dreaming, washing the dog, partying, in a meeting.... The ideas are everywhere – I only have to wonder ‘what if…?’ and a story takes off.

Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.
Yes! As much as I enjoy my day job, I can’t wait to wind my hours right back so I can follow my soul path as a writer.

Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?
For a long time, I took rejection personally and it was a real struggle to peddle my wares. In the end, I realised no one was ever going to ring me up and say, ‘Hey, Rosie, I hear you have a manuscript in your Google drive we may want to publish.’

The trick is to start seeing rejections as good things.

Every rejection is a badge of honour; a battle scar that means you have actually written something and been brave enough to send your work out into the world. Every time you get your work out there, you learn stuff, you grow your confidence and you increase your odds of getting published.

Woody Allen captured it in a nutshell when he said ‘80% of success is showing up.’

If I could start over, I would be more persistent and resilient about submitting my work. I’d stop worrying about whether my writing was ‘right’, tell my ego to take a hike and focus on getting my work out into the public sphere at every opportunity – paid, unpaid, electronic, print, commercial, artistic, lauded, bashed, whatever.

Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?

I love to read Lee Child. I wish he would write faster! His hero, Jack Reacher, is so amazing that I am never sure whether I would rather sleep with him or be him!

Other fiction favourites include:
  • anything by Harlan Coben (I’ll bet even his shopping list would be worth a read)
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (this is the Arthurian legend told from the women’s point of view)
  • John Marsden’s Tomorrow when the war began series
  • Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass books.

Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?

I force myself to work on one book at a time. There are always plenty of stories clamouring in the wings. If a second story becomes too persistent and clogs up my brain, I may write some notes to appease it. But, given my time constraints, even finishing one story is a challenge, so I have to be ruthless.

Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?

Freelance journalism and copywriting have been very valuable experiences for me as they have taught me discipline which carries over into my novel-ing. Not in the mood to write that love scene? Write it anyway. Really can’t do it? Tweak dialogue or heighten mood, tighten description or correct spelling instead. Absolutely, totally can’t do it? It’s writing or ironing. (Amazingly, ironing rarely wins.)

My writing time is so precious that I can’t afford for the muse to kick back for a Pina Colada and a pedicure. My muse is on call 24/7. She has a fire-fighter’s pole.

Q. What motivates you to write?
Writing is my default status. It’s what I do. I don’t need motivation. It happens by itself. Like breathing.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your current novel? What inspired you to write this story?
Free to love is my first real bash at writing romance. It combines my favourite romance elements – secrets, humour and steamy sex.

I liked the idea of a non-typical heroine – and sassy, sexy ex-con Calico Jones certainly fits that bill! Callie is a cute, smart hottie who burns up Nick Chàvez’s traditions, routines, rules – and libido – in their first second together.

Quirky supporting characters like Callie’s shifty brother, Jace; her wise and wily Granny Mango; and the flouncy and flamboyant Oliver really heighten the tension and accentuate the laughs.

This is a classic romance story with some fresh, funny and spicy elements to add a zing of something special.

Sizzling business tycoon, Nick Chàvez, springs sassy Calico Jones from jail where she’s spent two years cooling her heels after a million-dollar embezzlement conviction.

With his family’s multi-billion dollar empire at risk of a hostile takeover, Nick has enough on his mind without battling his searing – and totally inappropriate – attraction to the sultry ex-con. So why the hell has he offered her a job? Meanwhile Callie must fight her deadbeat brother to make a fresh start as a Chàvez Enterprises employee.

With circumstances so precarious, neither Nick nor Callie can afford to surrender to the scorching attraction between them. But the desire is impossible to withstand. In the eye of the high-stakes tornado of lies, thefts, greed and lust, Nick and Callie inevitably yield to one another.

Their brief rapture is destroyed when Callie receives an ultimatum that puts the future of Chàvez Enterprises firmly in her hands – and leaves her with no choice but to walk away from Nick forever.


AT THE far edge of the square was a narrow path that had been worn into the rough grass of the field between the city buildings and the distant river bank. Nick led her along it and she followed willingly, acutely aware of his palm against hers, his large, firm fingers enfolding hers.

She knew she shouldn’t be letting him hold her hand. It was dangerous and inappropriate and probably just plain stupid but with the sun dappling them through the willow, wisteria and cherry trees and the breeze drifting in over the sparkling river, there was a rightness about his touch that would stand no denying.

Callie shrugged off her concerns. It had been so long since she’d been really touched by a man that just this simple clasp sent her heart racing wildly and her breath skittering unevenly. It wasn’t as though she was having sex with him, for heaven’s sake, she was just holding his hand in a platonic way. Although there was nothing remotely platonic about the ache that had started somewhere deep in her belly the moment their fingers had connected, nothing even close to friendly in the thrumming of her nerves as he stroked his thumb over her index finger.

No, she was not thinking friendly thoughts at all. She was thinking hot, horny, ravenous thoughts. Voracious thoughts. Desperate, wild and uninhibited thoughts that involved a whole lot more than pressing their naked palms together. Thoughts that whirled through her with a ferocity that made her wonder if she was losing her mind.

He was a safe bet, she reminded herself. He was her boss. Unattainable. But if that was the case, why was he holding her hand? And why did his jaw have that set look that told her he was forcing himself to keep things light just as much as she was? Why did his eyes darken when he looked at her? Why was his tongue moistening his lips as though he was parched for something much more enticing than fruit juice – something a bit more like her?

She wanted him. Badly. And she couldn’t have him.

They had begun to climb as the path followed the slope of the hill. It was the incline making her breath so erratic, she told herself. She must not be in as good shape as the thought. But she knew she was lying to herself. She’d worked out in the prison gym for at least an hour a day, seven days a week for the past two years, determined not to accumulate pounds or lethargy like so many others did in prison. She’d started with a handful of girl push ups and a ride on the exercise bike on the easiest setting and, as she’d gained more privileges through her study, she’d graduated to weights, laps, the treadmill, aerobics and even chin ups. Who was she kidding? She was in great shape.

And he looked like he was, too. He must work out, she thought, admiring the strength of his calves against the straining fabric of his trousers as he made the steepening climb beside her. His arms were solid muscle highlighted by sprinkles of dark hair over his golden forearms where he’d rolled up his shirtsleeves. He really was a big man – tall and broad. His sheer size made her feel delicate and fragile beside him – crazy, really, when she’d just been thinking how fit and strong she was. But feeling delicate wasn’t an altogether unpleasant sensation. Delicate didn’t have to mean weak. She knew of plenty of fragile looking plants that would survive a desert sandstorm better than a human being. Although, right now, she didn’t feel that hardy. She felt pretty much like mush.

Pausing for a moment beside a white weeping wisteria in full bloom, he turned to her and studied her so intently she would have sworn he could see her soul.

Her nipples hardened, her breasts ached for his touch. Her body felt scorched and open and greedy. There wasn’t enough air. She felt light-headed. She couldn’t take her eyes off his handsome chiselled face and her fingers hankered to test the broad muscular chest before her. There was no way to hide her want. In this moment, her desire was too blatant, too powerful to veil.

She read the war within him, the severe line of his mouth emphasising his struggle to keep things on an even keel, the heat in his eyes, fighting to be unleashed. Callie sensed it would take almost nothing to tip the scales either way.

She licked her lips.

She saw the decision flash in his eyes like sunlight off glass.

She didn’t move, couldn’t breathe. Lust overpowered her ability to even think. She was desperate. If he didn’t kiss her, she realized, she might faint.

“I need to taste you, Calico,” he told her, stepping towards her, resting his hands gently on either side of her forearms. His voice was a raw demand but his body was all restraint and his eyes sought permission.

She should deny him. She should push him away. But his words sent blistering need searing through her through her, unwavering in its intensity. She didn’t so much as nod, merely let her eyes drift shut and her body sway towards him. He didn’t hesitate, but eased her close, gentling his mouth over hers in the sweetest, most tantalising kiss she had ever experienced.

All her senses zeroed in on the exquisite male animal worshipping her mouth and the divine feel and scent and taste of him. She gave herself up to him, utterly helpless, surrendering completely to the perfect moment when their lips met.

She sighed into his mouth, drowning in the taste of him, greedily drinking in the feel of his knit shirt beneath her fingers and the iron hardness of the muscles beneath. She breathed in the spicy scent of him, moving her mouth over his, encouraging him, enticing him. She wanted more of him and she wanted him to know it.

He pressed his lips harder against hers. She could feel him tense further with self-control, and it excited her. She knew he wanted to ravish her, to make her body thrum, her mind corkscrew, her heart rocket. But he held back. His repressed longing speared her centre with an arrow of heat. Her skin burned, every cell jangled and clamoured for more. She was a slave to her body – from her erect nipples to her stiff and sensitive clit and the pulsing in her throbbing core, clenched tight and slick with her juices.

Some dim part of her mind registered that this was a mistake, that kissing her boss was completely off the scale where dumb decisions were concerned but she hushed her inner voice, gave herself up to the feel and taste and smell of him, ceded to the demands of her body.

His hands were in her hair, then skimming down her spine to cup her behind. He eased her against him where she could feel the enormous bulge of his shaft. She whimpered and he captured the sound with his lips, gently teasing them apart as he sought access for his tongue. Then he took her, slowly, softly but completely, making her mindless with the bliss of his loving, boneless with the restrained force of his desire.

Too soon, Nick pulled away, as flushed and breathless as she.

“God, I want you,” he rasped.

“I want you, too.” There was no room for anything but the naked truth. But sanity was returning, an unwelcome dampening, a mist of regret.

Callie struggled to ease her breathing into a normal pattern, strove to quell her trembling. If this was the aftermath of a simple kiss, how would she survive anything more with this man? While one half of her cowered from what she knew could only end in pain, the other half carelessly craved everything Nick could offer.

She could see in his eyes that he, too, was torn between pursuing this attraction further and clamping down on his passion with that fierce control that at once awed and frustrated her. She was fascinated by the display of battling emotions like a fireworks show in his green eyes.

He dragged in a rough breath. “We should walk. Clear our heads. Think about how best to proceed.”

This time, he didn’t take her hand and she didn’t reach for his, either. To touch would be too volatile, too explosive. They were heading for a dangerous precipice. Would they step back from the deep unknown or would they plunge into the chasm with eyes open? In that moment, Callie honestly didn’t know. Oh, she wanted him, but they were worlds apart. She was an ex‑convict who could do nothing but sour his reputation. He was a moneyed businessman who was also her boss. When she looked at the situation rationally, she could see nothing in the future but damage and destruction for both of them.

She tried to force logic over her sadness. Just as she had never believed in love at first sight, she also didn’t believe in “once in a lifetime”, at least not in the traditional sense. The idea of one soul mate per person had never sat easily with her. Being together was a choice people made, something sensible, reasonable, based on mutual compatibility, shared goals, love and respect. It was not based on some cosmic plan where two people were destined for each other and bound together for all eternity. There would be other men, she told herself, men more suitable than Nick Chàvez.

As they approached the crest of the hill, Callie could just make out the glimmer of water over the cliff top. The view promised to be amazing as she plotted their geography in her head. The vista would encompass the wild southern end of the river and the small harbour with its colorful bobbing fishing boats and sleek white cruisers to the north. The far bank would reveal swathes of sandy tree-lined beaches and unspoilt sloping dunes giving way to acres of fields and forests. She had no trouble at all imagining why a powerful man like Nick would find comfort in a rugged spot like the ancient cliff they were climbing. There was a timelessness about the place, an energy that was all elemental magic – sun and water, rock and sky. She imagined Nick silhouetted against the blue heavens, proud and aristocratic and all-powerful against the stunning scenery, like a mythical king or a demigod.

They had almost reached the top when it happened. A loud electronic beep pierced the moment. At first she thought it must be his cell phone. She didn’t possess one, although it was on her shopping list. But then the beep sounded again and she slowed her pace, pulling Nick to a stop beside her. Even that simple brush of her fingers against the cloth of his shirt, the feel of his muscular bicep beneath her fingers, made her whole body ignite anew. But the insistent beeping sound was a timely if bitter reminder of why she must ignore her feelings for Nick, why she must back off and quash whatever was between them while there was still time to do so. If he was a mythical king, she was the lowest of serfs and this was real life, not some fairytale.

She glanced longingly at the top of the cliff where a tantalising expanse of glittering gilt-edged blue enticed her forward, only hinting at the stunning panorama beyond.

“What is wrong?” he asked her taking her hand in his. “Afraid of heights?”

She shook her head, gazing sadly once again at their goal only two or three hundred metres to the east.

“Is there a call you have to take?”

Once again, she shook her head.

His gaze searched hers, at once concerned and simmering with barely suppressed yearning.

She knew her next words would ruin the mood completely but there was no avoiding them. In fact, they were words that had to be said. If she didn’t put a stop to this right now, they would both end up regretting it. Still, the words were like drops of vinegar in her mouth. “I can’t go any further. I’m sorry Nick. It’s the anklet. That’s my one hundred metre warning. I’ve gone as far as I can.”

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

NEW RELEASE!!!! His Purr-fect Dom by H.C. Brown

His Purr-fect Dom by H.C. Brown

Pride Brothers #6

Published by : Hawt Books Publishing

Genre: M/M, M/M/M, BDSM,Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Shifters.

About the book

H.C Brown’s bestselling Pride Brother’s Series continues with a very erotic coming out story with a BDSM twist. Chase Drake’s desire to bend before a strong handsome Dom and change his life forever has become an obsession. He decides to take a vacation in the UK and use the celebrations at Stonehenge as his day to come out to the world he is gay. Unfortunately, in the middle of the night his hire car breaks down in an isolated area. He catches sight of lights in the distance and leaves the car to explore only to find himself lured in another dimension where Prides rule. His wildest dreams come true. In this wonderful dimension, gay sex is welcomed and better still the place he has stumbled into is crammed with Doms looking for a virgin.

An excerpt from the book
Chase Drake curled his fingers tighter around the steering wheel. The sleek Mercedes’ headlights picked up the white line down the center of the road but little else. His ears still rang from the insipidly happy voice from the G.P.S. Damn stupid woman had sent him into a field and told him he was at his destination. He had little choice but to keep heading north.
An hour later, the busy motorway and streams of traffic were a distant memory. The narrow road, flanked on each side by the odd, stark, trees was as quiet as a cemetery. Chase swore colorfully and pulled off the road.
I’m fucking lost—great.
Leaving the engine running, he turned on the interior light, and then searched the glove box until he found the map. He spread it across the steering wheel. After turning it around several times, he traced a finger along the line that marked the highway. The directions from the helpful guy at the last gas station ran through his head.

“It’s easy; take the M3 to Salisbury and just follow the signs for Stonehenge. There’s accommodation available about two miles away in the town of Amesbury.”

Chase switched off the light and peered into the darkness. “What damn signs? I’ve been on this road for over an hour.”

He folded up the map, stuffed it back into the glove box and sat back, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel. He glanced at the clock in the dashboard; hell, it was only 6:30 p.m. and already pitch black. What happened to the twilight? Isn’t England world renowned for twilight . . . or was that Scotland? Beats me. He squared his shoulders.
Make a decision man; go back, or stay on this road.

This All Hallows was important to him; he had decided to come out. The decision to travel from his home in California and begin his new life on Samhain had been an easy one. He had made his wish to Samhain at nightfall. Tomorrow morning, he would stand at Stonehenge with fellow Pagans. To watch the sun break over the horizon would finally free his mind of any lingering doubts. He would leave with a new resolve to follow his heart. Carrying the embarrassment of being a virgin at twenty-four would soon become a distant memory.

A flicker of light far in the distance caught his attention. Chase put the car into drive and with a crunch of gravel, headed slowly toward the light. The road wound through hills and valleys, diminishing until only a cart track remained. He drove on, confidant the remote light was a beacon to guide his way.

Without warning, the Mercedes groaned to a standstill, and then hissed like a giant reptile. In the headlights, steam rose and billowed out from under the hood, curling and twisting before the wind carried it way. Chase turned the key in the ignition—nothing. Damn rental cars they’re all the fucking same. What else can go wrong?

He reached in his shirt pocket for his cell phone and flipped it open. Chase stared at the message on the display in disbelief. “No signal—what do you mean, no signal?” He pushed the cell phone back into his pocket and grunted with disgust.

Chase shivered; the temperature inside the car had dropped considerably without the benefit of the heater. He reached into the back seat for his overcoat and turned back in time to see the headlights slowly fade and then blink out completely. Shit, shit, shit.

Darkness suffocated him in a cloak of black velvet. Wind buffeted the car, showering it with dry grass and leaves, the noise like sharp talons clawing over metal. Immediately, his mind tormented him with images of ghouls and demons, dragging him from the car to steal his soul. A loud bump sounded on the roof, and his heart missed a beat. He swallowed with visions of an axe murderer on the roof, swinging a bloody, dismembered head. He gave himself a mental shake. Stop acting like a girl.

Chase searched the darkness for the comfort of that elusive, single light—a torch, he’d imagined, as he’d driven toward it. There, at the top of the hill, the light paused as if waiting for him to follow. He had to make it to Stonehenge. Even if he had to walk. Taking a deep breath, Chase dragged on his coat, then grabbed his backpack and climbed out of the car. He glanced furtively at the roof and chuckled as he saw the low-hanging branch above it, no doubt the cause of the earlier noise. “I gotta stop watching horror movies.”

Under the full moon, the countryside, dressed in every shade of gray, appeared surreal. A line of trees in the distance snaked along a wide, black river dancing with a flotilla of ghostly boats formed by moonbeams. Above him, the ink-blue sky sparkled with a thousand diamond-like stars, not one cloud masking its beauty.

Chase pulled his coat around his body to fasten the buttons. Shivering, he reached into his pockets for his gloves. The wind buffeted him, sending icy fingers through every gap in his clothing. He took the flashlight from the backpack and surveyed the area. The river ran adjacent to the road to Stonehenge. He remembered reading somewhere how the builders of Stonehenge used it to carry pillars to the ancient site. If he walked toward the light and kept the river on his right, he should run into the monument eventually. He slung his backpack over one shoulder and followed the path.
I wish I brought my iPod.
The cart track diminished with every step and finally disappeared beneath the thick tussocks of grass. Chase hugged his body. The icy chill had permeated every stitch of clothing. His teeth chattered like some bad castanet player. If I don’t find shelter soon, I’ll die of exposure.

He scanned the area. The moon sat high in the sky like an old-fashioned gas light, changing everything it touched to silver. Ahead of him loomed a group of trees, their late-autumn leaves rustling eerily in the wind. In the moonlight, the blackened trunks stood like sentries, dressed in shadow cloaks, guarding the entrance to a dark glade. They used to put crypts in the woods, or bury murderers in unconsecrated ground. This would be the perfect place for a vampire’s lair.
Chase shuddered, tentative of his next step. Coward. He stared at a dark gap in the trees and turned his head from side to side, certain he could hear muttering. Before he could blink an eye, a colony of bats flew out from the trees and swirled around him. The flap of a hundred, featherless wings broke the silence of the night. He fell to the ground and covered his face, his heart pounding against his ribs.
“Are you injured?”
Chase raised his head and stared into the face of the cloaked man kneeling beside him. He reared back in shock. “Where the fuck did you come from?”

“I came from the woods. I’m sorry to startle you.” The stranger helped Chase to his feet and stared at him in silence.

Growing uncomfortable beneath the man’s steady gaze, Chase brushed the leaves off his clothes. He turned to face the man and offered his hand in greeting. “Chase Drake.”
“I’m called Si.” He clasped Chase’s arm. “I must say I’m happy that you’ve answered Dracu’s summons this eve.”
Chase shrugged to re-position his backpack. It was good to meet someone else in this God forbidden place, even if he spoke a load of nonsense. “Dracu? I’m not familiar with that name.”

“Dracu is our Master. Tonight, we celebrate All Hallows.” He inclined his head. “If you aren’t here for the celebration, why are you here?”

Did his eyes glow red just then? Somewhere in the distance, a dog or perhaps a wolf, howled repeatedly, drawing Chase’s attention. Ice-cold shivers slithered down Chase’s spine. Bloody scenes from the Texas Chain Saw Massacre mixed with Alien’s man-eating extraterrestrials played in his head. Facing Si, he stared into his eyes; his dark pools reflected only the moonlight. You’re imagining things again.

He swallowed the instinct to run and forced a smile. “I’m here to celebrate All Hallows too. I came from California. Tomorrow will be a new beginning for me.”

“How so?” Si began to walk toward the clump of trees.
Chase fell in step beside him. “I’m gay, and after I see the sunrise at Stonehenge, I’m shouting it to the world. I’m sick of living a lie. After tonight, I’ll never be ashamed again. In fact, just thinking
about coming out, here at Stonehenge, makes me damn proud to be gay.”

“I’m happy too.” Si chuckled. “Tonight, my Master may include me in his final selection.”

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In the Hot Seat with H.C. Brown is Author Robert Fanshaw

Tell my readers a little about you Robert.

 Robert liked the idea of being a writer from the moment he saw his poems in print in the school magazine. For years he combined his employment in healthcare businesses with writing columns, articles and non-fiction. Then the writing bug took over completely, and he turned to memoir and fiction. The result has been the Shameless novels, describing the crazy romantic adventures of ‘his wife’ Caroline; and now The Catch, inspired by a sports-mad mad Englishman who met his Australian future wife at a cricket match. Robert lives in England with a wife who insists she isn’t called Caroline and wasn’t born in Australia.

Q:  Can you tell our readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing?
My aim as a writer it to entertain and I don’t think too much about genre. My books are full of action, and contain humour, good and bad sexual behaviour, a hint of crime, and a certain amount of mystery. But at the core of the stories are relationships, loves won and lost. So I can happily say I write Contemporary Romance. The plots, characters and settings are central, and I don’t usually go into the detail found in full blown erotica. But the characters go to some hot places by accident or design.

Q:  Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?
For me, writing is like running. When you start, you can only manage a few minutes before you’re out of breath and everything hurts. Writing can be really painful too. But if you keep at it, your stamina increases and it becomes a good habit. I write every day I can (like most writers I have to juggle responsibilities) and aim to get a thousand new words added to the current work-in-progress. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes less. Even now that I’ve increased my writing speed and mileage, it can still be really tough at times. And then, boom, it all comes together and the words spill out without any real effort.

Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?
For me, the process starts with a contemporary subject I am interested in. It may be triggered by a newspaper article or a conversation. I start asking ‘what ifs’ and a fictional story sometimes forms around the idea. I make longhand notes and put them in a clear plastic folder which I add over a few weeks to if the idea has grabbed me. The characters start to fill out as I think about what they did before the story starts. If after a month or so the project is still exciting to me, I might write a synopsis. Then it’s just the small matter of writing the first draft which takes me about five months for a novel.
Q:  What qualities do you instill in your heroes?
My heroes and heroines have flaws like the rest of us do. They are larger than life, behaving more extremely than most people do, so their flaws are bigger too. I try to make them attractive enough to retain the sympathy of the reader, and that’s not just physically attractive. Of course they are faced with unusual temptations and challenges. Kurt Vonnegut said you have to be cruel to your characters to show readers what they are made of. I admit I find that difficult; it feels like being horrible to people I know. I want to soften the blows.

Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?
My books have a variety of locations because the main characters travel around a lot. On the face of it, Caroline, the central character, lives a high-powered, glamorous life. The second in the series, Shameless Exposure, takes place in Scotland, London, and Rio de Janeiro. In the third, which I’m writing at the moment, Caroline goes back to Rio because of the football World Cup finals. Her business trip starts at a fashion show in Italy and moves to a finance directors’ conference in Singapore. There’s always beaches and water, hotel pools, luxurious bathrooms.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
I can tell you when I get my inspiration. It arrives when I’m walking the dog, a golden retriever called Jerry (after Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead). I don’t deliberately try to think about the next scene in the story, but half way through the walk ideas pop into my mind. When I get back home I scribble notes down quickly. I rarely get ideas sitting at a desk or at a computer. Plot lines often come from contemporary events, and the characters are composites of people I met while working in business.

Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.
I would turn back the clock on Windows 8.

Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?
I learnt about rejections a long time ago, and I’m grateful I did. I wrote lots of articles for magazines in the days before computers and began to realise you win some, you lose some, and most things can be re-shaped and re-targeted. Persistence is the key. I’m in an informal group of writers and can see what a huge hurdle sending stuff out can be. If you get any kind of feedback, even if it’s a ‘no’ with an explanation, that’s useful. I suggest walking the fine line between believing in your work and listening to suggestions. Other people have good ideas too. Rejection is a sign you have taken a risk, and it’s good to take a risk with your writing.

Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
I’m one of those people who have ‘the readies’. I read anything; labels on jars, newspapers, paperbacks, ebooks, and 800 page biographies. My favourite author is often the one I happen to be reading at the time. I am a big fan of Doris Lessing who died recently. I like deep stuff too. Does anyone remember Herman Hesse? Alan Watts?

Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?
I try to finish a complete draft  of the work-in-progress before I start writing the first chapter of a new project because the most important thing for a writer to do is to finish a piece, which might mean several drafts and rewrites, however long or short it is. Even being strict there is a bunch of different things going on at any one time; final edits or promoting the last book; improving the first draft of the current project; starting out on the next novel; keeping up the My Wife Caroline blog and visiting other fine blog establishments, like this one; and reviewing other people’s books. All writing counts.

Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?
The muse went away on extended leave when I was pre-occupied with earning a living. At present, I have more ideas in the queue than I have time to turn them into books.

Q. What motivates you to write?
I like writing better than I like talking. A good story is its own motivation. I get enthusiastic about it and want to keep going to the end. Fortunately, money and fame are not my motivation (though I love having people read my books). I try to make each book better than the last one. There is always so much to learn in writing fiction, new ways of structuring a story.

Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?
My advice would be to take a risk and write what you want to write, even if it doesn’t obviously fit into one genre. The ebook global audience is big enough for all kinds of work, as long as it’s well written and finished.
Q: Is there anything you would like to share with us about upcoming releases?
Next year will be the year of the World Cup and the year of Shameless Corruption, which tells the story of how Caroline infiltrates a match-fixing gambling syndicate and loses everything (not just her clothes).
Q: Can you tell us a little about your current novel? What inspired you to write this story?
 My current book is a shorter work called ‘The Catch.’ It’s quite different from the books in the Shameless series, though still has the fast-paced style. Steamy at the edges, it’s a proper romantic tale of love and cricket. It was inspired by people I know, and is in many respects a true story; apart from how the England team play.

Blurb: The Catch is a sizzling romance which takes place during the five days of the Melbourne Ashes test. The rivalry between Aussies and Poms builds up on the pitch, in the crowd, and in the heart of Alana Carragher.
The rivalry on the pitch was mirrored by a raucous dialogue in the crowd between representatives of the opposing nations. The English, a mixture of tourists, ex-pats, and fanatical barmies, had turned up in sufficient numbers to make it a real contest. Daniel and Merv, Alana’s older brothers, rose to the bait dangled by the lone Pom in the row behind. Louis confidently announced that the Aussies would be out by lunch. Alana scoffed and Louis had to pay for his bravado throughout the afternoon and evening sessions as Australia piled on the runs. But the Carraghers’ jibes were water off a duck’s back. A grin remained fixed on Louis’s face. He was having the time of his life. A year in Australia doing post-grad research was, he explained to Alana, his idea of having died and gone to heaven.
“I admit your captain knows how to hold a bat,” conceded Louis soon after tea. “But we’re only letting you get a few runs to make it more interesting.” The Australian batsman illustrated Louis’s comment, confirming he knew how to hold a bat by hitting a powerful six, which soared towards them. The crowd roared, but Alana could still hear a low whistle as the ball cut through the air. Her brothers leapt up and stretched to catch the ball but it was over their heads. Louis stuck up a hand and the ball smashed into his palm. He couldn’t hold it, but he knocked it skywards.
Alana jumped from her seat, fixing her eyes on the bright red cherry. She stretched out an arm and completed the catch just before the ball was grounded. The plastic seats, vacated by her brothers, cushioned her fall. She stood up and cradled the warm hard ball in her hands for a second, running her fingers over the rough seam. It felt like a message from her hero. She threw the ball strongly to the fielder on the boundary. The action was captured by one of the many cameras positioned around the ground, and replayed on the big screen. The crowd cheered. Alana took a bow, and that was replayed too. She high-fived with her brothers and turned to Louis.
“You English guys need more fielding practice.”
“I’m seriously impressed,” said Louis. “That was some catch.”

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