Saturday, June 19, 2010
One of the wonderful things about being an author is you can live your life a little vicariously through your heroine.
Fancy a bit of Gerard Butler? Brad Pitt? Sean Connery? (Okay, forget I said that, he’s getting a bit long in the tooth). How about Matthew McConaughey? Chris Noth? George Clooney? Russell Crowe? The list is endless of the men I’d like a bit of. (Quick glance over the shoulder to make sure my husband isn’t behind me!)
But seriously ladies, we all have about as much chance of getting a bit of these guys as flying to the moon. So what could be better (and far less hassle) than imagining them as our heroes?
Of course, one can’t be lazy and say, “He looked like Brad Pitt, except he had silky black hair.” (ugh!) Read something like that once and thought, how lazy can you be? And what if the reader didn’t like Brad? Then they wouldn’t be able to get away from that image. Far better to use a hunky likeness as a template and let the reader fill in the blanks.
My five book series for Harlequin American Romance, The O’Malley Men, features (wait for it!) FIVE brothers! Of Irish American heritage these dark-haired hunks were a delight to imagine curling up with.
Another CSI actor, George Eads who plays Nick Stokes, was the model for “The Sheriff and the Baby”. I had a clear picture of this gorgeous dark-eyed hunk holding a baby in his arms. Nothing would get past this guy that could harm either the heroine or her daughter when he was around. Again, he has yummy dimples… hey! it’s an O’Malley family trait!
Chris Meloni, the brooding detective from Law and Order SVU was perfect for Luke, the oldest brother who runs the family ranch in “Colorado Cowboy”. Meloni projects that sensitive balance between an over-protective alpha and a man deeply hurt by his past, whose world is turned upside-down when he learns he has an illegitimate son in trouble with the law. (Excuse me a minute, have to go and wipe the drool off my chin – have just found a rather er… revealing pic of him in google images.) Can’t post it here ’cos it’s a wee bit naughty, but type - Chris Meloni Oz into google, then go to images and see the one called Hot Guy Monday – phew!!!
Now, the brother I’m having real trouble with is fire-fighter, Adam. He’s the youngest of the O’Malley boys and being a fire-fighter naturally he’s well-muscled. He also has the O’Malley dimples and dark eyes.
I’m giving away a signed copy of my latest novel to the commenter who can help me come up with a suitable model for Adam. So at it ladies! I’m desperate…
Friday, June 18, 2010
Okay, so 300 is hardly our average Must-Watch Friday movie on The Pink Heart Society. It's not pink, it's certainly not fluffy and there isn't a whole lot of love in it... In fact I'll make no bones about it, this is a very violent movie. There's enough blood, guts and severed limbs here to stock several abattoirs, so you do need to have a pretty strong stomach to watch it. That said, I'm not a person who enjoys watching violence on film, but I have to admit I was glued to this movie. Shocked, yes. Occassionally sickened, but also rapt throughout. And not just because of the huge number of gorgeous buff male bodies on display (although they certainly didn't hurt).
So why was I so enamoured by this epic battle drama? Maybe because it tells such a simple story — the defense of Greece by 300 battle-hardened Spartans against an invading force of hundreds of thousands of Persians — with such macho intensity (nearly the whole film is taken up with the relentless to-the-death combat at Thermopylae). Maybe because it deals with raw human emotion - bravery, loyalty, fear, grief anger and even love — in its most basic form. Maybe because it is filmed using sepia-toned CGI-enhanced imagery which is both breathtaking explicit and yet at the same time lyrically mythic (director Zack Snyder made the equally stylised The Watchmen straight afterwards). Or probably all of the above.
And then there's the performances which are at once gloriously over-the-top as the Greek Tragedy demands, and yet have key moments of subtlety. One of the few romantic scenes, when Gerard Butler's King Leonidas makes love to his queen (brilliantly played by Lena Headey) on the eve of the battle he knows he must fight but cannot possibly win, is both beautifully sensual and yet at the same time believably earthy and erotic.
When all's said and done, this is definitely a guy movie... There's even a distinct element of homo-eroticism about the Spartans as they charge into battle with their phenomenal six-packs, heavily muscled physiques and very small leather pants!! But personally I found the unashamed machismo of the movie remarkably addictive... And then there were all those buff mostly-naked male bodies to enjoy (or have I mentioned that already??)
So, my final verdict on 300... Not one to watch between meals without loosing your appetite. And about as PC as Atilla the Hun (the depiction of people with disabilities and the 'muslim hordes' was offensively grotesque). But still a remarkably captivating and exhilarating epic which brings Ancient History to life... with a capital T for testosterone!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I have a friend who collected her rejection letters. Some were the dreaded form (a well-copied sheet of paper saying no thanks), some had personalized notes to show they did read the pages even though they didn't like them, some had hand written hints, some gave constructive feedback, and some did not.
She saved them all - so many they no longer fit in the binder. And then she sold. We all wanted her to burn them in effigy, but I think she's rather proud of what those rejections taught her. Just because one person doesn't believe in your story doesn't mean someone else won't love it.
I'm following her lead. I don't have the glorious perspective my friend now has (Delilah Marvelle scored Donads Maas for an agent and sold her Scandal series to HQN), I recognize that a story can be great and still not a great fit.
The comments on my latest rejection letter were very helpful. They liked the writing and the idea, but the characters weren't right. Hopefuly I now know what kind of characters they are looking for.
So, while rejection letters aren't the end of the world, they can sometimes feel like it. Take a day to comfort yourself, take whatever they offered in way of advice and process it, and then move on. There's more than one slush pile to conquer!
Compromising Positions just finalled in the Passionate Plume Contest. Was it the Kama Sutra yoga class, the chocolate, or something even more decadent that earned the honor? Check out Jenna's website and blog for more about her stories.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
(Drum roll please)
WILD FLING OR A WEDDING RING has hit the shelves in the US…and more specifically in my home town. And let me tell you, seeing that book shelved was nearly enough to make this debut Harlequin author swoon!
So when I tell you that I was on the floor in front of the book display at the local grocery last week, I get how you might jump to the conclusion that I’d fallen to my knees overcome by emotion, or perhaps paying homage to the publishing gods, or in some other equally understandable scenario.
But, alas, no.
I was there having my picture taken for the “Local Author” display. And as it happened, this bit of promo required me to kneel next to the low profile book rack, holding my precious clinch cover in front of me for fifteen minutes, while Team Trouble (that would be the twins) threatened to do their worst from atop a pallet of 20lbs salt bags. It was ridiculously fun and a great place to start for getting the word out locally. But it was just the tip of the proverbial promo iceberg.
Now don’t think I’ve got some crazy idea about jaunting off for my international book tour anytime soon! Not at all. But as an author without any established street credit in the line, I wanted to do what I could to get my name out there. I wasn’t looking for some hugely overblown promo plan, but I wanted my effort to extend a smidge farther than these city limits. Like globally.
Cue the internet.
Blogs, review sites, Facebook and word of Tweet specifically. Free and limited only by the effort one is willing to put in. Which in my case is a very real limit. I still have a book due next week, four kids home on Summer break, and a husband who likes to see me often enough that we can recognize each other on the street. So I needed to make some smart choices and use my promo time wisely. I spoke with the other authors in my line and got recommendations on which review sites to send my book to. Took advantage of several generous invites to guest blog, keeping in mind timing as each interview or article had to be unique. And did my best to maintain a social networking presence (though this, in particular, I struggle with). Basically I got my name out there.
And in the spirit of promo… here’s the back cover copy for WILD FLING OR A WEDDING RING, along with a link to an excerpt from the eHarlequin site!
Jake isn’t looking for a wife – been there, done that – but his hot new neighbour is in town just long enough for a wild fling...perfect! Yet when the time’s up he can’t say goodbye. Is it just because of their sizzling chemistry – or something a whole lot scarier?
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Eat with tortilla chips.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Well, looky here! I stuck up my hand for today's post, not realizing that it co-incided with Male on Monday. And as I've just finished writing my next book that features yet another gorgeous Aussie hero, I thought I'd talk about some of our little-known local talent from Down Under.
Yes, everyone's heard about Heath and Russell and Hugh. But wait... there's many more yummy guys in this great southern land to drool over! Like:
Axle Whitehead - former Australian Idol contestant and host of Video Hits, this 30yo sometime actor is outspoken, bold and known for flashing the audience on national television. Check out a local interview with him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2yWmjR8_Js
Matt Cooper - what would a hot Aussie guy list be without a football player? Yes, many of the pretty ones have that bad boy thing down pat, but let's face it girls, sometimes you need a little danger in your life! Sydney is the capital of rugby league, so I waded through pages upon pages of hot NRL men (you can thank me later) to bring you Matt Cooper. Here he is doing a shoot for..... um... someone - sorry, I forgot where I was for a minute. In fact, I had a hard time choosing just one - those footy guys are sssssmokin' (Cooper Cronk, Sonny Bill Williams, Billy Slater, to name a few... :sigh:).
So, do you have a favorite non-famous hot male? Tell us (and provide a link where we can drool!) and you could win a copy of my Favorite Short Category Romance for 2009 (as voted by the Australian Romance Readers Association), The Magnate’s Baby Promise.
Paula’s next Desire release (The Billionaire Baby Bombshell) is out in the States now, and in Australia/NZ in July. You can learn more about Paula on her website.