Christmas Book List

Are you in a mad scramble to finish your Christmas shopping? Let me take some of the sting out of it for you. For your book-lover friends, here are ten book ideas from interviews I've done with female authors I've met through various writing activities. The books vary in style, length and genre, so there should be something for everyone: contemporary or historical, memoir or fiction, romantic or gritty.

Kelli Virtanen, Mansfield Mother, Wellness Coach, Author

New Zealander Kelli Virtanen, or Kelli Vee as she is known professionally, moved to Mansfield 20 years ago and has been here ever since. In that time, besides riding the highs and lows of parenting, she has studied extensively in the wellness field and established an international business. If you have ever wondered what a healer does and how she spends her days, read on …

Five Reasons to Sign With a Literary Agent

I am thrilled to announce that I am now represented by NAC, New Authors Collective, an Australian literary agency with an international focus. When, eyes aglow, I tell non-writers that I’ve landed an agent, many of them ask when my novel is coming out. I reply that having an agent is no guarantee the book will … Continue reading Five Reasons to Sign With a Literary Agent

Real Versus Fictional Blogs

One of the reasons I started a blog was that the protagonist in my novel was a blogger, so I needed first-hand experience. Eight months in, what have I learnt? Did I describe her experience accurately? What will I change as a result? Followers. I made my fictional blogger an overnight sensation, but in real … Continue reading Real Versus Fictional Blogs

Engineering the Story—How to Write a Novel in 80 Days

I’m a writer. I love words. But before I was a writer, I was an engineer, so I also love numbers. The typical word count for a novel is around 80,000. Non-novelists often baulk at the idea of writing that many words, and no question, it’s a mammoth task. To make it more manageable, I … Continue reading Engineering the Story—How to Write a Novel in 80 Days

Alone at Mansfield

I’m a city girl, born and bred, but this year, Barto and I bought a country retreat near Mansfield, the township gateway to the Victorian high country. Our house is two and a half hours from Melbourne and a fifteen-minute drive from Mansfield—secluded, but not isolated. Perched on a hill, it overlooks Lake Eildon and … Continue reading Alone at Mansfield

Lisa Eskinazi, From High School Dropout to Author

It is my pleasure to introduce Lisa Eskinazi, author, adult phone actress and social advocate. Lisa has been writing since she could pick up a pen. Sharing her experience of bullying and mental health issues to bring comfort to others and advocate for justice is her dream come true. She lives in a cosy apartment … Continue reading Lisa Eskinazi, From High School Dropout to Author

Gail Cleare, From Ad Executive to Novelist

I’m taking a break from the Lagos story to bring you the next in my interview series. Today’s winding narrative comes from Gail Cleare, whose love of writing has taken her from advertising to literature. We are excited to announce that her book, the USA Today bestseller The Taste of Air, has been just chosen for a … Continue reading Gail Cleare, From Ad Executive to Novelist

Blame It On The Tango

(Part two of four in the Music & Dance on the Lagoon story.) In my last blog, I wrote about the myriad of problems we encountered setting up Music & Dance on the Lagoon. Many of those difficulties were beyond our control, but some were self-imposed. A more sensible person might have decided that writing, co-directing and … Continue reading Blame It On The Tango

Music & Dance on the Lagoon

Part one of four in the Music & Dance on the Lagoon story. They say it never rains but it pours. Using this adage, Music & Dance on the Lagoon was a veritable tempest. After the buzz of Nigerian Gems, I combined my new love of salsa with my passion for storytelling and wrote a … Continue reading Music & Dance on the Lagoon