Thursday, 14 August 2008

Identify me….

I was talking to another Aussie author about whether readers read books set in Australia. My answer - yes. All my books except one are set in my home town of Brisbane. I do some terrible things to Brizzie yet the Tourism bureau hasn’t arced up yet. Arced up = angry. Anyway, I follow the advice of ‘write what you know.’ I am not saying everyone has to do it. And, I am not sure if anyone really has first hand experience with vamps and werewolves – but I would love to know. I just personally believe there has to be a common thread within a book that is based purely on author experience. I also believe anyone can write a book if they have the determination to do it. No published writer I know, myself included, is any more special than anyone else out there.

Australia – I love it. I have travelled around the world. It was one of the best experiences of my life working and travelling. But in saying that, I do not believe I could not easily successfully write a book set in another country with a non Aussie characters. I am Australian. I speak Aussie. You and I both know you cannot be something you are not. Sure, Maid For Death was set in London. I worked for several years in the UK doing the usual stuff young travellers do – pub work, waitressing and doing the chambermaid gig. The character in Maid is an Aussie working in a hotel. I have had experience of that so I believe I can justify writing that. I think it would be bloody hard to step into the shoes of another nationality and try to write.

Yes, we are all human being but the thing is we are all so culturally diverse. That’s a good thing.
How boring would it be if we all spoke and thought alike? From my own personal experience Aussies think differently to other countries. No, we are no better or worse than anyone else but we have a different manner and attitude. I’m not sure anyone non Aussie could effectively write that. You know when you look at Crocodile Dundee – excellent movie – number one that is – the rest were not – many of the characters in that are true blue Aussie you could meet any day walking down the street or at work. However it’s also, as you know, exaggerated to catch the imagination of people not familiar with Australia – Aussies can see that – others may not.

So…where was I? Oh yes, I believe books that you read show the author's life experience. I am not an American but I have American friends. There are subtle nuances of behaviour and speech that I could never copy and come across as a genuine American. You would know it was false and I believe readers would know that.

And yes, I do believe books on Australia sell. Why? Could be the fact that we are a fantastic country with amazing people. Or the fact that people like to read of countries foreign to them. Who knows? What do you think?

Got a couple of contracts…always nice to know people don’t think you suck completely. One is the follow on from Tantalizing Tilly called Rowdy. What’s it about? Basically a woman is haunted by the words of a curse. The other book is The Fall Girl…it’s the follow on from Taking the Fall…and it’s to do with things out of your control and how you deal with them. Don’t we all know about that?

Here's a sneak peak at Taking the Fall - ménage that comes out on October 3 or 6…hmm…one of those dates and I’ll find it - through Resplendence Publishing….

“Um… h-hi.”
Smooth Jontie.
“Hi yourself,” he responded with a grin.
“Are you a friend of the bride or groom?” The weather was her next topic of conversation if that failed. I suck at this.
“Neither. I’m a gatecrasher.” He looked pleased by something. “You?”
“Er─a friend of the bride.” God he smells good. Jontie wondered if his skin would taste as delicious. “She’s too good for him.”
“Generally most women are so much better than the groom.” He stated it matter of fact. “How long do you think the marriage will last?”
“Two and a half months.”
“Exactly?” He smiled widely at her prediction.
I hope our kids have his smile. Jontie mentally slapped herself. Get a grip. “Yeah, they’ll get over the married person sex thing, and the first bills from this virginal extravaganza will come in, and it will all fall to pieces.” Three of her friends recently married, and two of those were on the rocks already.
He nodded his head as he looked around the room. “There is a lot of white.”
“The bride felt she was entitled.”
“Was she?”
“Oh, hell no. She is about as virginal as I am a natural blonde.” Jontie liked the way he laughed. It was smooth and rich, and it reminded her of the taste of warm, gooey chocolate on her tongue. It also had the ability to make her relax slightly in the presence of raw male beauty. “So did you gatecrash for the free food? The fake calypso band? The doves that crapped on the bridal party when they were released?”
“Oh yeah, that was fun to watch.” He grinned, his eyes never leaving hers. “However, I came for you.” He picked up her hand and enfolded it in his own.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


Regina Carlysle said...

You do Aussie so well, too. I tend to stick to Texas or at least the south. I have a few regencies which required years of research but I'm finding these days it's easier and more natural to write from my own backyard so to speak.

I love this excerpt! Damn good.

Molly Daniels said...

I also like this excerpt! Congrats on the contracts:) And btw...your books are fantastic:)

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Oooh, he's nice! Will be waiting for more.

Anny Cook said...

Oh, yeah. I want someone to tell me that. I love your books and one of the big elements is the strong Aussie flavor to them as I've always been fascinated by Australia.

Stick to your plan!

Ashley Ladd said...

Are you kidding? I love books set in other countries, most particularly in Australia and New Zealand. I've always had a fascination for both countries and hope to visit for real someday.

I don't notice that many differences in the speech you use on your blog than someone from the US or England. Only a few phrases here and there are different but I really like learning them.

As far as the differences, there's differences in my own country. When I lived in Mississippi (the deep south/Dixie) I felt like I was an outsider and from a different country. And Texas and New York are very different yet again. But I like the differences. We'd be so bored if everybody was alike.

Jacquéline Roth said...

I do tend to set my books in areas that are familiar. Places I've visted extensively or lived. No I've not met a Were yet, but I've been promised that if I find one, I can bring it home and keep it.

barbara huffert said...

I always enjoy books from other places. I get to learn things while being entertained with a great story. Perfect for me.