Writing the “unlikeable” character

A Sunrise over Bali, the 4th book in the Holiday Romance series, is out next month. I wrote this book in 2020 and while I was writing it, I blogged about writing the ‘unlikeable’ character.

Off the Beaten Track

Cover of A Sunrise over Bali: darkhaired woman standing on a Balinese beach with palm trees, huts, and a temple looking at a beautiful sunrise. Tagline: the adventure of a lifetime awaits

A Sunrise over Bali, the 4th book in the Holiday Romance series, is out next month. I wrote this book in 2020 and while I was writing it, I blogged about writing the ‘unlikeable’ character.

Written May 2020

In Bali, I am hyper aware that my main character is, based on her role as a supporting character in That Night in Paris, “unlikeable”―so much so, that when I mentioned to a friend who I was writing about, she cringed.

So, why write this character? Why give her a whole book?

In short, it’s because I love her.

I love the hard, prickly exterior she uses to mask a lifetime of being terrified of vulnerability. I love that, once she does care about someone, she is fiercely loyal and generous. I love that she is feisty and bold, independent and resourceful.

I love that, just like the…

View original post 332 more words

The Writer’s Other Half – Job Description #Writer

Oh, my, Lucy Mitchell has absolutely NAILED this. Brilliant post, Lucy. I am shamelessly re-blogging it.

If you think being a writer is difficult…think about what your loved one or other half has to endure.

Can you imagine how they must feel listening to you huff and puff over the opening paragraph of your first chapter?

Ever wondered what it must be like to sit and watch the person you love spend their entire day editing the hell out of three sentences?

I think we can all agree on this, the writer’s other half is a special human being with many interesting qualities.

So, I have given some thought to what the job description might look like for the writer’s other half.

Job: Vacancy

About The Role:

An exciting romantic opportunity has arisen for a self motivated, patient and enthusiastic individual required to love a writer.

Hours:

Can change and will be dependent upon:

  • The writer’s love of social media. Hours will vary according to…

View original post 736 more words

A love letter to Australia

This was my love letter to Australia before a pandemic hit.
It’s still true.
We should still change the date.
We should not honour bigots and media autocrats with national honours.
We are still, on the whole, here for each other, both proud and ashamed and (mostly) resolute to change, to be our best selves, our best country.
At times we are hopeless, but almost always hopeful, with a sharp eye focused on a better future.
We have stayed at home to save lives, we have grieved those we’ve lost, and we are hopeful of a vaccine that will open up our world again.
We have wept for a ravaged land, hopeful of recovery but mourning loss of flora and fauna, some species gone forever.
We have stood up against injustice and, from afar, have watched our brothers and sisters across the world in their own suffering, hopeful of change that must come.

We have survived.
We will thrive again.
We will see you again.
We are Australia.

Off the Beaten Track

It is Australia Day 2020. January 26th is a contentious date, because it marks the arrival of the First Fleet―the first European settlers who arrived in Australia in 1788.

Of course, by commemorating this date, Australia ignores that in 1788 we were already populated by hundreds of nations of Indigenous Australians forming the world’s oldest civilisation. January 26th marks the date of an invasion and the beginning of a genocide.

This post isn’t about whether or not we should change the date of Australia Day, although we absolutely should. This post is a love letter to my home, my country, my Australia.

My Australia

My Australia is the person at the tram stop who sees that you’re lost and points you in the right direction with a smile. My Australia is the person at the party who draws the introverts into conversation, and makes sure everyone is heard. My Australia…

View original post 476 more words

CHRISTMASSY :: Q&A :: Sandy Barker

With huge thanks to Bookish Bron for having me!

BookishBron

A couple of years ago I did a little series of Q&As with authors where we talked about books and Christmas. It was so much fun that this year I’ve decided to bring them back!

First up to chat Christmas with me is the lovely Sandy Barker. Sandy has a new novel out called The Christmas Swap – it has been my favourite Christmassy read so far this year (you can see my review here). Here’s the blurb for The Christmas Swap – read on for our chat.

Chloe, Jules, and Lucy meet at a Maui resort kids’ club, aged 11, forging a lifelong friendship spanning two decades and three continents.
Twenty-two years later, they decide to swap Christmases, none of them expecting the hilarity and romantic escapades that will ensue.
Chloe from Melbourne spends her Christmas with Lucy’s mum and dad in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire…

View original post 1,194 more words

A Hero’s Journey – Furious Fiction May 2020

A breathtaking read from fellow Aussie author Nathan J Phillips for May’s Furious Fiction with the Australian Writer’s Centre.

So good I just had to share.

Nathan J Phillips

I haven’t shared a Furious Fiction story for a little while – quite frankly, they didn’t make it past the internal Quality Control assessments to justify making them public.

This story was different for a couple reasons – first of all, it felt like it hit all the buttons I wanted it to, so that was nice. Secondly, it managed to make the Long List for the month, which is a first for me and still has me giddy with excitement! But without further ado (ad while I quickly double check the list again to make sure I haven’t imagined this), here are the conditions and the story!

Conditions:

The story’s first word had to be FIVE.

The story had to include something being replaced.

The story had to include the phrase A/THE SILVER LINING

A Hero’s Journey

Five faces stare at me through the hatch. Relief washes over them…

View original post 456 more words

Where the winds take you

In 2016, Ben and I took another sailing trip around the Greek Islands. Here’s that tale.

Off the Beaten Track

A year ago, Ben and I were about to embark on a journey back to the Greek Islands, revisiting some of the places we discovered together in 2006 – when we met.

Our skipper from the sailing trip in ’06, Patrick, would be at the helm again. We’d get to see new places, we’d make new friends, and we’d celebrate a decade since we first met on the pier in Santorini.

This is about where the winds take you…

There’s something rather magical about going where the wind takes you, quite literally. The cares and stresses of everyday life ebb away, and the present becomes everything. Briny air, inky blue swells, and a wind that carries you and your fellow sailors to the next port. It’s freeing.

Seven people, one yacht, five Greek islands and one incredible week.

Group pic - sailing tripDay One

We meet with eager faces at the port of Vlychada…

View original post 2,874 more words

Celebrating the Launch of my #RomanceBook #IFFILA #NewAuthor

A huge congratulations to one of my dear writer friends, Lucy Mitchell, on the launch of Instructions for Falling in Love Again. I read an advanced copy of this wonderful drama-comedy-romance. It’s beautifully written and it will lift your soul – highly recommended.

15 books in 15 minutes

I came across this post from 10 years ago.
15 books that have stuck with me…I may need to revisit this meme.

What are yours?

Off the Beaten Track

1189018851_33abd5066b

I love to read. In fact, I have discovered that my desire to write is affected greatly by whether or not I am reading regularly. When I read less, because I am too busy to carve out the time, I write less. When I make time to read – and I read diversely – I find that creative impulses kick in more frequently. I even write stuff in the middle of the night, if that is when inspiration strikes (like last night).

This meme, as with many of the others I have done, comes from Charlotte, whose humor and insight also inspire me.

The task: Name 15 books that ‘stick’ with me – in 15 minutes. Okay, so this took me 45 minutes (sorry Charlotte).

IT by Stephen King Truly the most terrifying book I have ever picked up. I could only read it in daylight, because it scared…

View original post 669 more words

Character Description Must-Haves

Brilliant advice for writers from KM Allan.

K.M. Allan

There’s a lot of elements that go into writing a book, and each one has their own set of must-haves.

Take character descriptions, for example. Obviously, the easiest way to create a picture in someone’s mind is to list the physical characteristics. Often it’ll be something like; “She was tall, with long black hair and bangs that sat above her blue eyes, clashing with her pale skin.”

Do you create a picture? Sure, but unless you’re from the Nine-Nine putting out an APB for your solve (can you tell I’ve just discovered the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine?), describing your characters like a police description doesn’t do you any favors.

Instead, try digging a little deeper. Think of new ways to work in height, weight, eye color, etc, and mix up the accurate facts with vivid details. Ones that touch on the five senses and include some of these character…

View original post 985 more words