Posted by Christina Brooke Aug 11 2010, 5:20 am in Christine Wells, conferences, Jo Beverley, Romance Writers of Australia, travel
by Christine Wells
I’m packing. Again. Just returned on a 27 hour flight from Orlando a week and a half ago and now I’m off again, this time on a mere one and a half hour flight to Sydney, where I’ll attend my second romance writers’ conference for the month.
Romance Writers of Australia are congregating at Coogee Beach for four days of hugs, laughs and learning.
And I have nothing to wear.
OK, I do have clothes, but I’d been focusing so much on coping with summer in Orlando, I forgot to shop for winter in Sydney.
Do you ever gaze at all the clothes in your closet, willing something new and fabulous to simply appear? Sadly, this well-formulated technique doesn’t work–at least, not for me. Soon, I’ll give up and toss the old favourites into my suitcase.
No matter what I wear, there are some things I never get on a plane without–my laptop, a novel and some butter menthol lollies (candy?) in case I get painful sinuses on takeoff or landing.
But it’s always that split-second before I put my purse through the security x-ray that I wonder what on earth I have in there, what I’ve forgotten and what I might have to dash to the nearest 7/11 to buy.
So here are my questions for you all:
1. What do you never, ever travel without? My answer: A book
2. What do you often take but seldom use? My answer: Running shoes. I mean, really!
3. What do you always forget to take and always need? My answer: nail scrubbing brush (especially for beach holidays)
4. What have you left behind in a hotel room? By accident? On purpose?
My Answer…By accident: Shoes; On purpose? Hair products. I’m paranoid about them exploding all over my suitcase and I usually take only a little more than I’m likely to use.
5. What’s the niftiest travel gadget/product you’ve found? My answer: portable DVD player–it’s absolute gold on family holidays.
Posted by Anna Campbell Jun 10 2009, 4:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Christine Wells, Jo Robertson, RITAs, Romance Writers of Australia, Romantic Book of the Year Award, The Dangerous Duke, untouched, Woman's Day magazine
by Anna Campbell
I don’t think it’s any secret to our regular buddies that we LURVE awards and contests here in the lair. After all, it was a contest, the 2006 Golden Heart Award, that brought us together and mayhem has ensued every since.
Most of us are still bona fide contest sl*ts (sorry, girls, but I need to call a spade a spade) and our impressive list of continuing successes are listed in the Bandits Wanted column on the right of the blog.
The big daddy of published romance contests, of course, is the RITA Award.
I’m so excited that one of my favorite reads from last year, Christine Wells’s wonderful THE DANGEROUS DUKE is up for best Regency romance. Go, Christine. I’ll be cheering.
Well, I’ll have to or else you’ll hit me, seeing you’ve asked me to be your date for the awards night! You pack a seriously scary right hook, my elegant friend!
I too have some seriously exciting award news to report!
Romance Writers of Australia and our most popular women’s mag, Woman’s Day, unite every year to sponsor the Australian and New Zealand Romance Novel of the Year Award, the R*BY.
Last year, CLAIMING THE COURTESAN finalled which was incredibly exciting for me. This year, I’m delighted to let you know that my second book, UNTOUCHED, has finalled in the Long Romance Section. Go, you green monster!
This is a huge thrill for me, particularly as regarding contests in the U.S., I didn’t have a horse in the running in 2008 (the Australian publication date for Untouched was January, 2008). I had a real crush on Lord Sheene, the hero of this book, and it’s wonderful to know that other people have responded so positively to the story too.
Another nice effect locally is there’s publicity via Woman’s Day, including the announcement of the finalists on 1st June, the announcement of the winners and a chance to write another short story for WD. The mag has a huge circulation so this is a seriously big deal!
Anyway, huge congratulations to all the other finalists. It’s a stellar line-up and I’m proud just to be listed among you. It will be an exciting Saturday night at the awards dinner for the local conference in Brisbane on 15th August when they announce the winners.
So what’s your feeling about awards? Would they influence you to buy a book? I know I’ve checked out books that have won RITAs before and found authors new to me that I’ve ended up loving. Actually that’s one of the great things about awards – they focus your attention on books you may have missed along the way.
I must say it’s fun being in the audience for an awards night. It’s a great excuse to get all glammed up and cheer on your friends! It’s so exciting, whether you’ve been nominated or not!
So this got me thinking. If you could attend any awards – the Booker announcements, the Academy Awards, the Nobel Prizes, the Golden Globes (now, that’s one that always looks like fun), the MTV Awards (I’m too old and square for that one!), the Emmys, the Grammys, the Logies, the BAFTAS, the SAG Awards (hmm, think I could win one of those. Oh, they’re not for how gravity’s attacked your body?), whatever, which one would you choose. And who would be your date?
And to celebrate my R*BY nomination for UNTOUCHED, one lucky commenter wins a signed copy of my green monster. Please let me know in your answer if you want to be in the draw! Good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Dec 12 2008, 5:30 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Harlequin Presents, Kelly Hunter, Live-In Mistress, Playboy Boss, Romance Writers of Australia
by Anna Campbell
It is with huge pleasure that I introduce my dear friend and fellow Aussie, 2008 RITA Finalist Kelly Hunter.
Kelly is not only the author of sparkling, idiosyncratic, romantic books for Harlequin Presents Extra/Modern Heat/Sexy Sensation, she’s also the President of Romance Writers of Australia. She’s great fun to be around as you’ll all discover when you read her answers to my interview questions.
If you’d like more information about Kelly and her books, check out her website.
Kelly, your current release is PLAYBOY BOSS, LIVE-IN MISTRESS which is out in the U.K. in December (you can order it here and not pay postage and packing). Can you tell us about this story?
Ah, yes. The pirate story. May as well be upfront with you from the start and confess a fascination with a certain Captain Jack Sparrow around the time I wrote this story. Boats appeared. Sydney Harbour. My hero became a corporate raider and developed something of a swagger. My heroine developed wiles worthy of Mae West. And yet buried beneath the romp is a wounded heroine, a patient hero, and a friends to lovers story that’s really kind of sweet.
They’re walking past an airport terminal soap shop:
‘What say we forgo your PA training for the next couple of hours and I meet you back on the plane?’
But the ancient Asian saleswoman had already made her move. ‘Come. Come,’ she said waving them into the shop proper. ‘It is good for the man to choose the soap for the woman. Choose now, benefit later, no?’
‘No,’ said Sienna, but the saleswoman ignored her.
‘This one,’ she said, and handed Lex a block of soap. Ylang ylang and lemongrass. Smell good, no?’
Lex sniffed. Considered. Decided. And all without giving Sienna a second glance. ‘No,’ he said as he handed the soap back to the woman. ‘She’s more of a rosehip kind of girl.’
‘I am not.’ said Sienna.
‘Rosehip and vanilla?’ said the saleswoman, picking up another block of soap and offering it to him. ‘This one you like?’
‘Hello,’ said Sienna. ‘Over here.’
‘Got anything with ginger in it?’ said Lex.
‘Sandalwood and ginger,’ said the woman and passed that one to him as well. ‘Also matching body lotion, hand cream, and shampoo.’
‘Sold,’ said Lex and produced a wallet from his trouser pocket. ‘Don’t bother wrapping it.’
‘How sweet,’ murmured Sienna. ‘You think we’re done here.’
‘We are done here. You wanted soap. You got soap, moisturiser, and shampoo. What more could you possibly need?’
This wasn’t about need. It was about shopping. Possibly about revenge. ‘There’s a men’s range.’
‘No,’ he said hastily.
‘Oh yes.’ Sienna studied him serenely.
The saleswoman studied him too. ‘So much hurry,’ she said. ‘Does he have airplane to catch?’
‘He just got off one.’ Lex opened his mouth to speak. ‘He’s about to tell you he already has soap,’ Sienna murmured. ‘Anyone would think he’s not a patient man.’
‘A man with no patience is like an ocean without fish,’ said the woman, and continued to study Lex. ‘Why even cast the net?’
‘I have fish,’ said Lex indignantly. ‘I have plenty of fish.’
Sounds like another winner coming up, Kelly. You are brilliant at dialogue, as I’m sure you’ve been told before! Your next release in America is May’s THE MAVERICK’S GREEK ISLAND MISTRESS, that U.K. and Australian readers already know as TAKEN BY THE BAD BOY. Can you give our U.S. Bandita Buddies a sneak peek at this story?
This is the third story in my Bennett Family series. This one features pilot Pete Bennett, little Greek islands, a goddess divine, a first kiss as it ought to be remembered, anticipation, frustration, seduction, expectations, and an unstoppable tumble into love. We’re not talking anguish and heartache here. This one’s purely for fun, and you can find an excerpt here.
What’s next for Kelly Hunter?
Another Modern Heat story, set for release in July 09 in the U.K. This one’s set in a chateau in Champagne in France. It’s called MAVERICK MILLIONAIRE, HOUSEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER and beneath all the glamour and wealth it’s a simple coming home story.
Can you tell us about your writing journey?
I was first published in 2006 as a launch author for Mills and Boon’s Modern Extra subseries so I’m a relative newcomer to the writing business. I write two books a year and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the line I write for grow and expand into all the regular Harlequin world markets. At the moment the writing journey gets squeezed in between the day job and the demands of teenage sons, a husband, three dogs, four cows, chooks, a pig called Bella Mary, and a garden I can’t seem to leave alone. You can never have too many roses, I say. Bella Mary agrees.
You write for the Harlequin Modern Heat/Sexy Sensation/Presents Extra line. Can you tell us what differentiates this line? Any hints for aspiring writers targeting this line which seems very open to new authors?
There are excellent guidelines for the line, as well as an editor podcast that points out the similarities and differences between Modern Heat and Modern Romance, over at http://www.eharlequin.com My advice to myself whenever I sit down to write one is that even though these are lightweight feel good stories – easy on the tragedy and darkness – they still need a compelling emotional heart. Find it. Work it.
Can you take us through a day in the life of the fabulous Kelly Hunter?
Oh, that Kelly Hunter. She rises at ten to seven, gets everyone up, waits for teenage boys to ready themselves for school (that’s like watching grass grow), then drops them at school on the way to the day job. She dons lab coat, teaches eager university students about the joys of soil chemistry and physics (these are fantasy eager university students as opposed to the hungover and supremely uninterested ones who have been known to grace my lab) and finishes work at three. She then turns into after school Taxi mum, and arrives home two hours later with children in tow and also more mss words owing to fabulous mobile office (ie a laptop and a car). What’s for dinner? Erm… Teenage son takes pity on his mother and cooks… something. Family time happens. If I’m on deadline I’ll head up to bed around 9pm and write for a couple of hours. Occasionally I need incentive in order for this to happen. Chocolate. The promise of a new book to read after a certain amount of words have been writ. Wine. Sometimes I light a candle – one of those hideously expensive aromatherapy ones that smell divine but that you wouldn’t dare light for any old reason on account of it’s like watching money burn.
Kelly has very kindly offered one lucky commenter a copy of her latest witty, wonderful romance, PLAYBOY BOSS, LIVE-IN MISTRESS. Her question to the Banditas and Buddies is:
I’m always on the hunt for new incentives that’ll get me up those stairs and into the story. What are some of yours?
THE 12 DAYS OF BANDITA CHRISTMAS START TODAY! ONE LUCKY COMMENTER WILL WIN A BANDITS PRIZE EVERY DAY UNTIL CHRISTMAS DAY. THEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY, THERE’S A SUPER HAMPER OF BANDITA GOODIES GOING TO SOMEONE WHO TEARS THEMSELVES AWAY FROM THEIR PRESENTS LONG ENOUGH TO COMMENT ON OUR BLOG! SO GET COMMENTING, PEOPLE, AND MAY THE BEST ROOSTER WIN! HO, HO, HO!!!