The Writer’s Hot Seat

I was tagged last week by the fabulously talented Jennifer St George and then on the same day there was another tag by another wonderful fellow RWA author, Heather Garside in this series of rolling blogs where I’m asked to talk about my writing – I feel very popular! Thanks ladies for thinking of me and including me in this lovely event.

But first, before I talk about me, let me tell you a little about Jen and Heather.

The Billionaires Pursuit of Love


I have known Jen for a number of years now through Romance Writers of Australia. She is a powerhouse of a woman, talented, funny and gorgeous to boot. If she wasn’t so lovely, I’d probably hate her. 🙂

Jen was one of the first authors picked up by my publisher, Penguin’s Destiny Romance and writes sexy, exotic contemporary romances and has been nominated for best novel of the year in the Australian Romance Readers of Australia Awards (ARRA) this year. Her latest novel, The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love, is set in London and Brunei with betrayal and a heady dose of passion and love wrapped up in a fast paced read that I devoured in a few sittings. You can find out more about Jen and her books on her website and can buy The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love at AmazoniTunesDestiny RomancePenguin and Google.


Breakaway CreekI have actually never met Heather in the flesh, but she is a regular contributor on the RWA published author loop and from everything I’ve read and heard, a very talented author. Heather writes historical romances. Breakaway Creek, her latest release, was a finalist in the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program – very impressive. It is a rural romance written with a dual timeline. You can buy Breakaway Creek at Clan Destine Press, Kindle, Kobo, Lulu, Nook and iTunes.

She works part time at the local library, at home on the farm and helps produce a local monthly newsletter, amongst other voluntary activities. Find out more about her on her website here.

Now to me. It’s time for me to sit in the hot seat and answer the questions they both posed to me.

What am I working on?

I am currently working on redrafting and polishing Healer Moon, the book that follows on from Dark Moon in the Witch-Were Chronicles. I am also writing the 3rd in the series, Blood Moon and when I get time, I am also working on completely overhauling a pet project of mine that has done well in competitions and has garnered interest from publishers and agents, but just doesn’t quite work as a whole. I think, after ruminating on it for some time, I’ve realized why and am now trying to (slowly, given everything else occupying my time) work through the story again and breathe some new life into it.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I am a very plot oriented person, the trickier the plot, the happier I am. I like twists and turns and unexpected happenings as well as having really solid overarching themes in individual novels and in the series as a whole. Suspense and mystery plays a big part of my work, as does mythology and history, yet I change things to suit the tone of my work and then add more suspense and more plot twists and turns. There is a lot of the fantasy world building in my paranormal novels. An editor and writer I took a class with one time were trying to place my work in a way they could market, and when I was finished explaining what I was working on, they said, ‘Oh, so it’s a dark urban epic fantasy paranormal.’ I think that sums it up.

Why do I write what I write?

I think I kind of answered that above. I write what comes to me. I write the kind of thing I would love to read. I write a culmination of all the things I love to read. I write because I have to and because I love it. I write the stories the characters in my head are dying to tell me.

How does my writing process work?

I don’t really have a writing process. I did years ago before I had children. I had to have a certain amount of time to write and I needed to do a certain series of things before I could write to get me into the mood. But after I had my eldest son (in a very traumatic pregnancy and birth) I suffered from some post-natal depression afterwards and the therapist I saw told me to stop making excuses and putting up blocks and to just take any time to write – because I obviously needed to be creative in some way to be happy. I realised she was right and I was being an idiot about it. So, now, I don’t have a ‘process’. I just write when I can. I think that’s helped by the fact I’m a pantser – someone who just writes without any clear idea where it’s going to lead, so I can just sit down and let myself go. Sometimes it’s for 10 minutes, sometimes it’s for hours, but I take what I can and go with it. However, I do prefer to have a large cup of tea beside me and my heat bags heated up and on my back when I sit to write.

Now that I’ve been in the hot seat, it’s the turn of 3 other writers. And the winners are…

Irresistible EnemyMary Costello

Mary is my release buddy at Destiny Romance this month. She is a funny, witty ex-pat Irishwoman who has come to love Aussie Rules Footy more than many Australians do and if you talk smack about her beloved team, Collingwood, you better watch out! Her first novel, The Reluctant Wag, was about that very subject – just with a healthy dose of romance and passion thrown in.

Mary’s new novel, Irresistible Enemy, features a nature loving heroine matched up against a wealthy business tycoon who has come to her little part of country Victoria to build a horrible new housing estate, but passion and an irresistible attraction get in the way of their war. Irresistible Enemy will be on sale as of the 15th March at all good eBook retailers.


Uncovered By Love

Madeline Ash

Madeline is also a fellow Destineer and a more gorgeous and talented young woman you’re not likely to meet. She says she’s emotionally allergic to spontaneity, and yet doesn’t mind the weather that drags her into rain when she’s planned for sunshine. She likes to call this her wild side. But I think her true wild side is expressed in the sweet and sexy contemporary romances she likes to write, chock full of compelling emotional conflicts.

Her first novel. Uncovered by Love was nominated for a Ruby Award last year – Romance Writer’s of Australia’s premier award. Her newest novel, The Playboy’s Dark Secret, will be out in April and features a return home story, a hero tormented by a dark secret and a young, carefree independent heroine who pushes past his carefully constructed restraint. Hmm, sounds enticing.

Threes a crowd

Edwina Darke

I met Edwina last year when she flew down from Sydney just to have lunch with the Melbourne Destineers. If that hadn’t impressed me (it did), then she certainly did. A tall, vibrant, gorgeous person like Edwina had to write something sparky and fun, and that’s exactly what she’s done. Having gone travelling at 18, working as a ski instructor and studying fine art in Florence before jetsetting off to live in New York, she certainly has lived the kind of life her heroine in Three’s A Crowd would be jealous of.

Three’s a Crowd is set among the hard and fast paced world of publishing in Manhattan, and is a funny story of life and love in New York. If Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada were cup of tea, then Three’s a Crowd is the perfect book for you.


Catch up with Mary, Madeline and Edwina next Monday when they answer the hot seat questions about their writing. Take it away girls.

4 Comments on “The Writer’s Hot Seat”

  1. Thanks for tagging me Leisl! The Witch-Were Chronicles sound fascinating. I love that your writing spans so many classifications: dark urban epic fantasy paranormal! Who says our writing has to fit snugly in one box? 🙂

    1. Absolutely my pleasure, Madeline. I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks about my dark epic urban paranormal fantasy. 🙂 And I can’t wait to read your next one.

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