Book Boyfriends

I have had many boyfriends over the years, just most of them were fictional. A book boyfriend will never let you down. You can leave him on the shelf and know he will be there whenever you need him, or you can pick him up again  and again and fall in love with him all over again. This is the story of four such men.

marryagilbert

I often say I was lucky enough to marry my own Gilbert Blythe. We were friends for a few years before we finally admitted we did really like each other as more than friends. There were other relationships in between, but our friendship finally turned into more and we’ve now been together 10 years, married for three and have a 10 month old son. Apart from a relationship that stemmed from friendship , my husband has other characteristics like Gilbert: smart arse, smart, hard working, good looking, caring and has the balls to call me on my crap.

Like Anne, I have a very over active imagination and tend to have the flare for the dramatic (something it appears my son has also inherited) and like Gilbert, Tim takes it in his stride. Or calls me out on it. He challenges me and supports my goals and dreams while still achieving his. Gilbert loved Anne because she was smart, spirited, different and although not as classically beautiful as other girls, he knew there was no other woman for him. He loved her from the moment he saw her.

Take home to the family factor: 10/10

 

mr tilney
He understands muslin

 

I never liked Mr Darcy and at the risk of being stoned by the masses, I’ve never got the appeal. I get the appeal of Colin Firth jumping into a lake with a white shirt that turned see through, but apart from that, he’s kinda moody and sullen, much like a teenage boy. I know, I know that’s the appeal, moody, broody male, but I prefer my Austen men to have a little bit more spunk, like Mr Tilney from Northanger Abbey.

 

My real life boyfriends, crushes and now husband all seem to have one trait in common: they were smart arses. It appears I like myself a quick witted smart arse that can put me in my place without putting me down. Like Mr Tilney. He teases our heroine Catherine pretty much from the moment he meets her and out of all of Austen’s love interests, he is my favourite.

He’s kind and loves his sister, he somehow turned out to be normal after having an a-hole for a dad and cad for a brother and most importantly? He loves Catherine despite her massive over imagination, yep, that point is a key one. And he’s kind, upfront and not moody. No pride here peeps.

Take home to the family factor: 8/10

Which brings me to a contender a little from left field. Let me introduce you to Captain Rhett Butler.

Rhett-Butler-romantic-male-characters-34261468-547-410
The original bad boy

Oh, Gone With The Wind, one of my favourite movies and books of all time. This epic has produced one of the most masculine and reformed ladies men of all time. Captain Butler has been disowned by his only family, cavorts with prostitutes, throws away his money gambling and makes a profit from an impending civil war and during while making a nice profit from blockade running. All up, on paper he’s a cad, but guess what? He stops that for a woman.

Now, I’m not saying you can change a man and you shouldn’t have to, but Captain Butler loves Scarlet with every fibre and he stops his womanising ways once she finally marries him. He gives her funds to restore her family estate to its former glory understanding that it’s important to her. And the biggest winning point? His love for his daughter.

Nothing warms my heart more (well, maybe an elderly couple holding hands is on par) than seeing a man with his kids. Seeing my husband and our my friends and my friends husbands play and look after their kids just melts my heart. Rhett Butler would have gone to hell and back for Bonnie and this I feel is a very big redeeming feature. And who doesn’t love a former bad boy?

Take home to the family factor: 6/10

And finally, Jamie Fraser (insert love heart eyes emoji)

Outlander-Rant
Scot on the rocks anyone?

If you don’t know who who Jamie Fraser is, where the hell have you been?

The Outlander (originally known as the Cross-stitch series) series is pretty heavy reading but introduced me to a hunk of a man I didn’t know existed until last year. Jamie is all that is man and is one hell of a sexy character. In fact, I  would go as far to say that he is one of, if not my favourite male literary character.

My favourite accent in the world is Scottish (tick) I am very attracted to a man in a kilt (tick) and his love for Claire (tick) literally has him killing people. He’s a warrior who’s not afraid to show and say he loves his wife and he’s just super hot. He’s a man who lives in a very manly world, but he has a soft side.

Take home to the family factor: 8/10

Author Interview: J.R Knight

Jake and I met back in February where we both attended a Writers Victoria self publishing course. We clicked because we both wanted the same thing: we already had a work of fiction we were about to publish and working on bigger projects we hoped to get published traditionally. We also clicked with our love for social media – Instagram for him, Twitter for me. We’ve stayed in contact since and I’m so excited that he launched his debut novella “The Cure” last night. I’m pleased to introduce you to J.R Knight.

Tell us a little about yourself
Well hello, my name is Jake! I’m a Melbourne-based author and I love cats, candles and coffee! I believe in chasing your dreams, doing something every day to make you happy (and) sleep ins!
What is your writing style, what do you like to write?
I love writing in all types of genres. I think my favourite though is a genre that allow for fantastical world building. So, it would make sense that my favourite style to write in would definitely have to be fantasy!
Why did you self publish?
I decided to self publishing my first piece of work The Cure because I wanted to go on the journey, from beginning to end, and be in control of the entire process. From writing the first word, to selling the book on the launch night, I wanted to oversee it all! Cropped Circle
What are the best and worst parts of self publishing?
BEST: Being in complete control. You decide everything. For an A type personality (which I am) it definitely suits!
WORST: Being in complete control. Yes, I know, a contradiction! Having the control has to be the best and worst thing about self-publishing. At times you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and when you are the one who presses ‘submit’ on the final version, it’s a lot of responsibility! For this project though I wouldn’t have it any other way though!
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my major manuscript ‘Hearts’ which is all about the suit of hearts in a deck of playing cards. The story primarily revolves around the Queen and King, and Deck, the man who is responsible for all the chaos and drama that ensures. I aim to get ‘Hearts’ traditionally published and it’s currently 3/4 structurally edited.
What advice have you got for people who may be thinking of self publishing?
1. Find what motivates you and harness it everyday.
2. Plan the launch of your book once you have the final product, then add three months.
3. Invest in an editor, a separate proofreader, beta readers and book bloggers.
7) Book or eBook?
Both (but) definitely a physical book, nothing beats the feel and look of an actual book!
The Cure First Edition Copy Product Image for Website
If you held a dinner party, which literary characters would you invite and why?
Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events: For entertainment.
Hagrid from Harry Potter: In the hopes that he’d bring some awesome magical animals.
& The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland: For an interesting comparison (and) for a little research.
FAST FIVE:
1) What was the last book you read? Prince’s Gambit by C. S Pacat
2) Who is your favourite author? Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket)
3) What can’t you leave home without? My wrist watch.
4) What was the last song you heard? Automatic by ZHU
5) What is your favourite word? (Can be in English or another language)
Believe, in any language. Anything can happen if you just believe.
For more from Jake or if you wish to buy a copy of The Cure, head to the following:
Instagram: @j.rknight
Annnnnnd, because Jake is such a swell guy he is giving readers of my blog a 20% discount (plus postage) if you purchase the novel via his site. All you need to do is add the promo code girlonasoapbox. Easy as pie.

 

Author Interview: Steph Cuthbert

Welcome to the post where once a month I feature a indie author for you to meet and agree with me about how awesome they are.  These posts are a great insight into the world of self publishing and the various reasons people do it.  If you’re new to the website I recommend going through the interviews and having a read.

 My apologies for the delay on this one, got to love technology when it works, loath it when it doesn’t. Anyway, this month I’d like to introduce you to the lovely Steph Cuthbert.

I first came across Steph on Instagram when a fellow author friend told me about about her. I followed her and feel in love with her posts; the lady has some serious fashion cred and a rockabilly wardrobe to die for. Enough from me, here she is:

Tell us a little about yourself

I am a full-time writer/YA fangirl/rockabilly mama, comprised entirely of red lipstick, winged eyeliner, sushi and coffee.

I was the geek at school who always had her nose stuck in a novel, or was scribbling furiously into a notebook. I wrote a lot of emo poetry in high school and some of it won awards.

After school I worked in the insurance industry, then at 26 decided to quit my job and start writing again. While completing an assignment for an online writing course, I was struck with a vision of a time travelling teen called Genesis Guardian, and have been writing about her ever since.

My debut YA novel, The Amulet of Hearts book one in The Genesis Guardian Chronicles, debuted at #3 on the science fiction time travel chart on Amazon and is available from ebook retailers.

I live with my husband, two noisy girls, and two cats in Sydney.StephCuthbert

 

What is your writing style, what do you like to write?

I write young adult speculative fiction with bisexual protagonists.

The Genesis Guardian Chronicles is a fantasy-based time travel quest about magic shoes, stardust, romance, ancient times, darkness, and evil forces. The Amulet of Hearts is the first book in the series.

I also have a science fiction novella series in the works, called Darkside. It’s a prison drama, space opera with superpowers and it’s very sexy and violent.

 

Why did you self publish?

I spent 5 years working on The Amulet of Hearts and writing dirty drafts of several of the other books in the series. I self-published because I was really keen to see the project through to the very end and have control over the final product. Self-publishing wasn’t a final option for me, but rather a first, and I never submitted The Amulet of Hearts to a publisher.

The Amulet of Hearts

What are the best and worst parts of self publishing?

The best part of self-publishing is that you do everything yourself. The worst part of self-publishing is that you do everything yourself.

In all seriousness though, I loved learning new skills and applying them to create my book. Some of the work (e.g. formatting) was like pulling teeth. Other elements, particularly cover design, were just another creative outlet. It takes an enormous amount of time and energy to publish a book and there were a lot of nights I wouldn’t get to bed until 2am only to be up again at 5am to keep working.

 

What are you currently working on?

I just finished the first draft of the second book in The Genesis Guardian Chronicles. Genni’s quest through time continues in ancient Greece in The Tears of Zeus. It’s been a blast to write, particularly, as the plot was established in The Amulet of Hearts, there is now more room for character development. There are some new characters in this book too, and while the first book was written from Genni’s perspective alone, I’ve introduced duel points of view in The Tears of Zeus. This has given me so much freedom and a chance to delve into a character who is a favourite with readers.

 

What advice have you got for people who may be thinking of self publishing?

Research. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. There is a lot of work involved in publishing a book, and if you don’t have the time, energy, or skills to do it, think very carefully about your motivation. There are a lot of publishing services that you can hire to take care of some of the elements of publishing that you may not want to do, but be careful. These services often come with a hefty fee, and it’s unlikely you will make that back on your sales.

My other piece of advice is to get some structural editing done once you feel like you’ve produced the best piece of work you can. Once your structural edit is done, then hire a copy editor. These are important steps and will mean that you are putting the best product you can onto the market.

Lastly, it’s one thing to have a book in the world, but it’s quite another to have a book that sells. I’ve found that getting out from behind my laptop, going to events, supporting other authors, meeting up with book bloggers and making friends with people in the industry all helps. But be genuine about it and don’t push your book onto everyone you meet.

The Tears of Zeus COVER

 

Book or eBook?

As an author-publisher I like ebooks because they are cheap to produce, distributed globally, and I don’t have stock to move.

As a reader, I don’t really mind and will read anything. I have hardbacks and paperbacks. I read on my Kindle. I even read on my phone. I don’t think it’s important how we read, just that we keep reading.

 

If you held a dinner party, which literary characters would you invite and why?

Ooooh. What a great question!

– Lila Bard from V.E Schwab’s Shades of Magic series because she is a cross-dressing, wannabe-pirate, thief. Pretty sure that is a good reason to invite someone to a dinner party.

– Kestrel from Marie Rutkoski’s Winner’s series because she’s smart as a whip and can play the piano for us.

– Celaena Sardothien/Aelin Ashryver Galathynius from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas because she would slay.

– Adrian Ivashkov from Vampire Academy and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead because he is my ultimate book boyfriend and will charm the pants off everyone.

– Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas because… well, if you’ve read ACOMAF you will know exactly why I’d invite him.

– Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows because he is just so interesting, mysterious, dark and complex.

Good thing this is a hypothetical dinner party because I can see a LOT of plates getting smashed.

FAST FIVE:

1) What was the last book you read? I’m currently reading And I Darken by Keirsten White

2) Who is your favourite author?  Gah. I can’t pick one so I’ll give you five: Neil Gaiman, Victoria Schwab, Amie Kaufman, Sarah J Maas, Richelle Mead.

3) What can’t you leave home without? Red lipstick, a book, and a notepad and pen.

4) What was the last song you heard? Disarm by The Smashing Pumpkins. This song has been the anthem of The Tears of Zeus.

5) What is your favourite word? (Can be in English or another language) Zugzwang: a situation where every possible move or decision is a bad one, or one that will result in damage or loss.

For more from Steph you can find her at the following:

Twitter: @scuthbertwriter

Facebook: Steph Cuthbert Writer

Instagram: @cuthbertsteph

Website: www.stephcuthbert.com

 

Drumroll please…

If you follow me on Instagram you would be aware that the next pony in my stable is about to run it’s first race. On Friday I revealed the cover of my next project, FIGHT.

FIGHT is part one in a new novella series I am writing that will be an ebook only. I will be posting more about it soon but for now, here is the beautiful cover designed by Rebecca Berto.

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00005]

Tumble Playlist

Some scenes of Tumble were easy to write, where the words flowed out of my fingers and onto the page, while others were damn hard. Those scenes were down to a few things: hard writing days, hard scenes to write (emotionally) or a character not doing what I wanted them to do. Perhaps it’s my drama background, but I always find the characters conversations the easiest and most fun to write. It was interesting that one of my first readers of Tumble said those scenes worked best, and she loved the way the characters interacted.

I found some scenes had to be written in silence while others needed music. I’ve decided to share some key songs from the book without giving anything away for those of you who haven’t read the book. Enjoy =)

RILEY’S THEME: Counting Stars, OneRepublic

EMMA’S 18TH: Figure 8, Ellie Goulding

DANCE OFF: Blood On The Dance Floor, Michael Jackson and Robyn, Dancing On My Own

ROAD TRIP: Run To Paradise, Choir Boys

BALL ROUTINE: Vanessa Mae, Clear Like Ice

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, EMMA’S FIRST GLIMPSE AT CIRCUS ARTS, Lavelle, No One Knows Cover

EMMA’S AUDITION PIECE: 24, Jem (sorry no real film clip)

EMMA DANCING ON POINTE, Cirque Du Soleil, Iris, Flying Scarlett

A CLIP OF SOME AMAZING CIRQUE DU SOLEIL WORK (Side note, I used to do rhythmic gymnastics and I Did a hoop routine to this music =)

 

 

 

 

Author Interview: Sophie Davis

Welcome to the post where I interview other indie authors. I first came across Sophie Davis when I stumbled across their novel “Talented” on Amazon. The cover caught my eye and when I read what the book was about (for the bargain price of $0.00) I thought I’ll try it. Talented is the first book in the brilliant Talented saga and at the time four books had been published. That weekend I discovered the series,  family, boyfriend and friends were ignored as I blitzed through the books. Never since Harry Potter has a series grabbed me from page one and took me on a crazy ride of action, war, love and friendship. Oh, and a powerful mind manipulator as the main character and people that have “talents”.

Safe to say I am a massive fan of Sophie Davis, real names Tabitha and Hannah, who are based in the US. They now have several series and books as well as the Talented saga including, The Blind Barriers Trilogy, The Nightmares Trilogy and new series Timewaves. Phew! These are busy ladies! Without further ado, I introduce you to Sophie Davis.

New Author Photo

Tell us a little about yourself

We are best friends who met our first year of law school. After we completed the Bar Exam, we moved to D.C. and began our careers in the legal profession. About two years in to our legal careers, we decided to make our mutual dream of writing a reality. Not long after, the Talented Saga was born.

What is your writing style, what do you like to write?

We like to write paranormal, sci/fi, and fantasy, with a little romance thrown in

Why did you self publish?

The decision to self publish was one we made before ever finishing the first draft of Talented. Self publishing was just becoming big at the time, and we thought we’d give it a shot and see what happened.

What are the best and worst parts of self publishing?

The best part is having so much control over our projects. We work on our own timetable, we pick our own covers, and we write what we like. The worst part is, we have to do constant research to stay on top of the current marketing techniques. We have learned a lot through trial and error, and we’ve had a lot of errors along the way J

What are you currently working on?

Currently we are working on the second book in our Timewaves Series, Atlic. We are also working on the third and final book in our Blind Barriers Trilogy, Vacant Voices.

Inescapable1600X2400
Inescapable, the latest in the Talented series

What advice have you got for people who may be thinking of self publishing?

Do your homework. There are a lot of perks to self publishing, and there are a lot of perks to going the traditional route. Exploring both options and making an informed decision is, in our opinion, the best way to ensure you won’t regret your choice.

Book or eBook?

Book

If you held a dinner party, which literary characters would you invite and why?

Wow. This is a hard one. Can I pass?

FAST FIVE:

1) What was the last book you read? The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

2) Who is your favourite author? Currently, Darynda Jones. We both have always loved Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

3) What can’t you leave home without? Our dogs =)

4) What was the last song you heard? Cake By the Ocean

5) What is your favourite word? (Can be in English or another language) Kerfuffle =)

You can find out more about what the girls are up to or their latest books at the following:

Instagram: @officialsophiedavis

Twitter: @sophiedavisbook

Tumblr: officialsophiedavis

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/SophieDavisBooks

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/sophiedavisbook

Website: www.sophiedavisbooks.com

 

C.A.D.D (Creative Attention Deficit Disorder

Hi. My name is Clare and I have C.A.D.D. It’s real addiction/affliction and you may suffer/enjoy having as well.

What the hell is she crapping on about? I hear you ask (great shoes by the way). It appears my life is not busy enough and I need to do multiple things at once to keep my creative juices flowing. At the moment that means marketing my novel Tumble and expanding it to other platforms (more about this soon), working on a new novella series which is a different genre  to Tumble, as well as writing my next novel. I’m actually exhausted just reading that paragraph. But I’m creatively happy, if not physically weary, but that could just be my donut of a son/human weights.

Most writers probably would agree that they need to write to feel complete. Writing isn’t a job, it’s a compulsion and that is definitly the case for me. I think my husband would agree that I am a much happier person  to live with when I’ve squeezed in a writing session. We’re a strange breed us writers and most would probably agree that we’re not happy unless we’re creating something or reading/making something creative.

lady writing

I learnt awhile ago that I couldn’t just research something and not write at the same time. It was at this point that I self diagnosed myself with C.A.D.D. Some people may frown at this and question why I don’t just finish one thing and then move onto the next. If you’re wired like that, great! Congratulations! But for those of us that need to let off a little more steam you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Zoe Foster Blake is a perfect example of this. When she was the beauty editor at Cosmo she started a beauty blog called Fruity Beauty. When that still wasn’t enough creatively she wrote a novel. She now has a number of books under her belt and is the CEO and creative Director of her skincare range Go-To Skincare. Zoe is another person I would say suffers from C.A.D.D and is only fulfilled when she has multiple fingers in multiple pies.

Now I’m not going to start up a business, but I’m saying you can make C.A.D.D work. Sure, one of my babies may get more attention than another at one stage, but they’re all growing at a rate I’m happy with. Book baby 2.5 to be born soon. Doctor says its progressing well.

The fact that my projects are different genre’s as well keeps things interesting and fresh and easier to jump from one to other. My novella series was inspired by a particularly bizarre dream I had and was so weird that I wrote it down and knew I had to create a story from it. Book one will be released later this year. We all know a dream inspired story worked well for this author so fingers crossed.

C.A.D.D may not be for everyone and when the editing process kicks in everything else will be hit with the pause button but it works for me and so I will continue to C.A.D.D away.