The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
We would love to get to know you.
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm a contemporary romance writer, heavy on comedy and suspense (Leastways that's what I'm blaming for being heavy). I'm mother of two, wife of one, and an Australian hermit from Tasmania, though I have more friends in America than anywhere else. I have a medical, visual arts and literary background (meaning I couldn't decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I opted not to) I've also been known to write a few songs and stories, and have toured east coast Australia with my band. I'm a technophobe, intuitive cook (that is- I don't read the recipe- which is where both the comedy and suspense come in), reluctant housewife and avid reader. I'm more likely to have oil paint, cookie dough, or fertilizer on my nails than polish, but hopefully not all at the same time. Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Freya's Bower released Between the Gutter and the Sky in October. This was my first novel and I wrote it four years ago. Sam, my hunky, youth worker hero is NOT what the doctor ordered! His expensive new rescue program for street kids threatens the efficiency of Dr. Jaclyn's under-funded ER, so they're bound to butt heads. Commonsense says they can't save everyone, but their hearts say differently. They must find a compromise when one of the kids threatens Jaclyn, and the lives they're saving are their own. (Excerpt available on my website.)
Theft of the Golden Hooha is the adventure of Jane Blonde, a klutsy secretary at a kick ass P.I. agency who's always wanted a case of her own. Being assigned to protect the Golden Hooha, the major creation of Manhattan's foremost feminist artist, is a dream come true for her. Unfortunately, one that turns into a nightmare when she stumbles, knocks herself out, and the Hooha is stolen. Jane's determined to redeem her failed mission by finding the artwork and thief. But everyone seems to have secrets and no one is what they seem.
Between the mysterious, hunky guy who befriends her, gun-toting, macho goons from an all-male club, a disappearing artist and an odd bakery van with inedible wares that keeps turning up at each clue, Jane has her work cut out for her.
Can shee solve the case before she loses her job for getting things wrong, or loses her life for getting things right? Every girl knows that guarding a hooha is difficult, but when it's a diamond-studded, golden hooha it can be murder! (Coming soon)
I also have a short, Ashes to Ashes, coming out in Freya's Bower Dreams and Desires anthology next February. Ashes is about personal renewal after loss of a spouse. The anthology is a wonderful annual event with all money raised going to battered women's shelters. I'm really proud to be part of a fantastic team of writers donating their stories to this worthy cause and urge you all to get behind the project.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I'm currently plotting the next wacky adventure of Jane Blonde. I'm not sure if there'll be flying pigs and fork fights in this one, but there will be a lot of fun. And stay tuned for introduction of Noel, the depressed guppy.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Deadline: the sentence/line that kills me because it stops me from getting the manuscript finished in time. Alternatively, the line I have to cut, then replace, cut again, then replace during edits while my editor side and my artistic side stage World War Three.
It goes something like this: "The line has to go. It deadens the pace." Delete "But I love that line. It's witty and twisted." Undo "I need to tighten. It doesn't add anything." Delete "Don't be ridiculous. It adds color." Undo "Something has to go. I'm over word limit." Delete "Only by a few measly hundred words. Who's gonna quibble over that?" Undo "Me, given you're wearing out my finger pads. And it's overkill. You shouldn't use more than one simile every two paragraphs!" Delete!!! "Grrr. It's part of my voice! And we artistic types no nothing of counting! Sing it with me-- this simile, isn't similar, it's got to stay, it can't go far-ha-ha-ha, simile, how fine you are, I'll leave with my laptop on my back." Un-do!!!!!
And here is the breaking news: Babe King split herself right in two last night and died from unnatural clauses.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
Encouraged? Um, yeah. Those red wheals are from love pats. My CPs are all very professional and driven. They practice tough love. Mind you, they need to. Otherwise, I'd obsess over one story for years and never move on. I first submitted a couple of medicals to Mills and Boon about two-three years ago before I realized that I don't have a category voice. I nearly drove myself nuts toning down the humor, resisting the urge to complicate the plot or characters when I was writing them. Not surprisingly, those stories were rejected. They were then re-written/extended to be the way they wanted to be in the first place, and have since won several contests, but not yet sold. (Probably because I'm still obsessing over them. Lol) I have several people who keep asking me when they're coming out.
What would you like to tell your readers?
I'd like to tell my readers that all my books are free. Unfortunately, that's not true coz it wouldn't be economically viable, but wouldn't it be nice. :o)
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best: "Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep writing."
Wurst (since it came from a silly sausage): Don't EVER use adverbs or more than one adjective or ellipses or..yada, yada, yada. This is dumb. You should learn the rules of craft so you know when to break them, I say. :o)
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have two CP groups, one very experienced and one less so. I think it speaks volumes that last year we had two Golden Heart finalists and a double Rita in that first group of six writers (and two of us didn't enter) so yeah, they're a very talented bunch. Gemma Halliday's Spying in High Heels was recently picked up for a TV series. Kristen Painter, co-founder of Romance Divas, is the next big thing in Y.A., you mark my words. The girl is about to skyrocket. Gina Welborn is our craft Nazi, Maggie our voice of calm wisdom, and Sela our resident snark. They're a lot of fun and it's wonderful to have friends who share the journey and info on the biz.
My other group is also a bunch of great girls. They'll usually critique something in a hurry if it's due in yesterday, and it's nice to be able to give back as a thank you to all who helped me along the way. :o)
I also belong to Romance Divas who are invaluable, especially when I set work in America. Besides local knowledge, they are always so willing to help. I put up a request for a beta reader recently and got four offers overnight. How awesome is that? Their love and support is very humbling and uplifting.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first published work was a happy, light-hearted little piece called Pyruvate Kinase Disorder in the Newborn. Lol. When? Um, that would be telling, but I believe Adam was still in short pants.
My first work of published fiction was a satire called The Glass Ceiling in Gifted magazine, then I wrote a series of true stories in a variety of magazines and newspapers. When I decided to write romance, I produced two inspirational novellas for the By Grace bridal anthologies before realizing I have to superglue on my halo too often.
The Marian Kind novella came next -- a crazy contemporary romp where I played with a modern-day Florida Robin Hood and the girl who loved him. That came out in Freya's Bower's Summer Lovin' collection last April.
I've written shorts for a variety of Adam's media books (not THAT Adam! The Cup of Comfort and Hero series mainly), and a number of novels largely for myself, though they have done very well in competitions. :0)
As I mentioned above, my first novel, Between the Gutter and the Sky, was a contemporary romance set in an Australian ER. I was delighted when Freya's Bower ran with it. Gutter was a fire-in-the-belly story for me, so although my voice has become much more humorous over the last four years, that first novel holds a special place in my heart. Given the subject matter, it seemed natural to donate half my income from that book to Gran's Van, a mobile soup kitchen for the homeless.
Recently, my first-person romantic comedy suspense, Theft of the Golden Hooha, finaled in the Get Your Stiletto in the Door competition and went off to a publisher and agent. So who knows, maybe we'll see that in print some day soon.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
You can visit my website at http://babekingweb.com or my blog http://babekingweb.com/blog. You'll find excerpts, fun and games and buy links there. I'm always happy to hear from readers, and if you join up for my newsletter, you'll go in the running for prizes. I promise not to flood you- usually one letter every three to six months. I also have a nutty free read, Cinderella Soup, coming out with Freya's Bower for Halloween.
Thanks so much for having me, girls, and a massive thank you to everyone who buys my books and keeps me doing what I love.
Thank you for this opportunity!