Take it away, Emmeline...!
Thanks for having me here today in the SARA lounge. Very plush. Love these big recliners with the drink holders in the arms--functional and comfortable! And such an interesting colour! What is that, fuchsia? Magenta? Regardless, I heart it. Classy!
Tell us about your work background.
While I would dearly love to tell you that I'm an astrophysicist, a lion-tamer and Hugh Jackman's personal masseuse, I'm guessing you're talking about outside my head, huh?
I've done admin work in a real estate company, and have worked twice in different fruit shops, while I studied. I also have had a long, relentless stint as mother and wife in the fruit shop called my house. As far as real jobs go, I've been a teacher for over ten years. Ten years!? Ye gods!
How long have you been a member of the South Australian Romance Authors, and what made you join?
That is a mighty fine question, Carla, and one I had to look up the answer to, because my mind is a steel trap, but only for the things that have happened in the last four to six hours. I first went to SARA for their June meeting in 2010.
I guess I went because writing is a very solitary pursuit, and I wanted to touch base with other like-minded people. Not only to clarify that I wasn't the only crazy, there're-people-living-in-my-head, person out there, but because Eleni Konstantine had a very cool blog, and I wanted to hang with her. I also had a lot of drive and enthusiasm for writing, and wasn't sure if I was pushing my apple-cart up the right tree, so to speak. I'm totally allowed to make up stuff like that. It's called artistic license. SARA taught me that*.
What is EverTrue, which came second in Romance Writers of Australia’s Little Gems contest nationally, about and where can people get the anthology?
EverTrue is a short story about a cupid who falls in love with the man she's got in her bow-sight to make fall in love with someone else. It's messy. Well, as messy as something can get in 3,000 words.
I was completely gobsmacked to final in that one, let alone come second. Talk about freak me out! I did a lot of embarrassing happy weeping when I got that message. Got really drippy. That'll teach me to open emails on my phone whilst at the checkout...
You can get get your awesome copy of the Little Gems 2013 Anthology - Sapphire from the RWA website. These little stories are perfect for a bus ride, or to fill a few minutes if your doctor is actually running on time, or while you're waiting for your bubbles to chill and can't bring yourself to walk away from the freezer in case you forget about it and it explodes.
Hey, we've all been there.
You write funny paranormal and futuristic romance. Very specific hehe! What attracts you to this kind of scribbling?
I do! I think I like it because I've always been delighted to read speculative fiction, because of the pure escape it provides (my early love being fantasy), but I'm also looking for a bit of a laugh, because, let's face it, I'm a clown.
Even if I'm trying my hand at coastal romance, or contemporary romance, some kind of joke-cracking ghost, or sexy angel with a very big ... halo seems to pop up.
Ha! Pops up.
Your fave form of procrastination to avoid doing writing?
Totally, reading! Though, in my head it doesn't count, because they go hand-in-hand. Like a kitten and that fan of newspaper on a string, like coke and icecream, like Sunday mornings and hangovers. Same goes for movies, especially rom-coms and action films.
Same goes for trolling online for images to use for story boards. Not a time-suck at all! Nuh-huh.
I am also an enormous fan of sleeping. So, if I've got the don't-want-to's I usually feel like I'm going to die if I can't get intimate with my pillow asap, and just hit the hay.
And, just between us, I have been known to play a game or two on my tablet. That scrabble game with friends and that hideous fabrication from the pits of hell, Candy Crush Saga.
What are you working on now, and how many manuscripts have you notched up?
I'm currently working on cleaning out my wine cellar, because I found some great specials online and... Oh. You mean writing-wise, don't you?
When the cellar doesn't need my attention, I'm working on a novella set in the EverTrue world, plus having a go at a coastal, small-town ghost story. I'm also scribbling illegible notes for a few more short stories, and playing with Scrivener and calling it work.
You are often a “lady in red”, if I’m not mistaken! How many red things do you reckon you own and why do you like the hue?
Ha! Sing it to me, Carla! Mr DeBurgh, stand aside! ;)
Being a blue-eyed blonde, my mum always dressed me in blues, and now that my hair has gone from Scandinavian ash to arse-o-housemouse brown, I've, quite unconsciously, been reaching for the red. It's kinda odd.
Possibly, the birth of my children caused my life to spiral out of control, and I was looking to reestablish my self-identity, so was drawn to the power colour. Or possibly, there was some long-forgotten childhood trauma involving toffee apples or fire trucks.
I vote for my vast love of Christmas leaking out into other months.
My wardrobe would probably hold ten or fifteen items that are red. Then there are the phone and tablet covers, and my kitchen kitsch.
I also really like red wine, but that may just be a coincidence, because I also like turquoise, and don't drink (much) blue curacao.
You’re also a real technology/social media guru. When did this obsession start and what are your fave communication devices and sites?
You know, since the birth of the interwebs (I remember meeting a web browser for the first time at uni. Does that date me?), I've loved getting online and meeting people. One of the first things I did when we got dial-up at home was join the eHarlequin Community. Blow my mind!
While I don't hang there any more, I met my awesome CPs [critique partners] there, and we still CP to this day. You can't tell me that isn't Fifty Shades of Awesome.
I do have a (possibly unnatural) great love for my iPad. A love which was only five inches smaller on two edges when I just had the iPhone. What marvellous technology! There are eight iDevices in this house now, and I don't think we're at saturation point yet.
That said, we also have a few hours a day when we turn off the devices and do crazy shizz like talk to each other, and catch a few rays that aren't generated by an completely fabulous back-lit Kindle app.
The great thing about technology is that everyone can be a guru. You just have to give it a crack.
I think sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are ground-breaking. I also love how you can get any information you need on the internet (so long as you're not overly concerned about it's authenticity and factuality). So much fun!
When you’re not writing, what occupies your time?
Is this the part where I get to mention Hugh again?
No, sadly, or quite joyously, my family is it for me. I coach a bit of netball (badly, but with great enthusiasm), teach singing to kids (see previous), and work at the school where the offspring go. I also do a lot of dancing around the house in my socks rockin' out with a hairbrush, and love to catch up with friends and family for a quiet (or often quite noisy) drink and a card game.
I like shopping, cooking and buying wine online... If you're seeing a pattern regarding wine here, please ignore it.
Thanks ever so much for having me here today, Carla. You're the perfect hostess. Sorry about the popcorn crumbs on the recliners. Luckily, that red wine ring on the arm there blends with the hot-pink leather. Or is that cerise? ;)
* SARA taught me no such thing. I made that up!