7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Lee Piper!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

Rock My Body, Book #2 in the Mondez series, is due for release through Evernight Publishing on June 3. I’m really passionate about eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness, so decided to write a novel from the viewpoint of a heroine who has been medically diagnosed with Anxiety. It’s a great way to not only highlight the (many) challenges of this illness but to also celebrate the strength of someone who lives with it through a combination of humour, music and love. (What a wonderful thing to do. Anxiety can be crippling to a person.)  

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

The hardest thing about writing Rock My Body was the fact I was pregnant with severe morning sickness (19 weeks, people. 19 looooong weeks) while also trying to work full time and raise a three year old. It was so unbelievably hard. Strangely, I was really happy with the manuscript itself, it was just the extenuating circumstances surrounding its creation which really knocked me around!  (Oh Lee, that is quite a load to be juggling and morning sickness…yuk.)

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m a combination of the two. At the start of every book, I plot out a basic storyline, the characters, their motivations, and their relationships with one another. Then, (pregnancy aside) I go for a jog along the beach while listening to heavy rock music. This is when I think up each chapter of my WIP. Most often, I will let the ideas sit with me for a while—overnight works best—and then get up at 5am the next day to put pen to paper until 7am which is when I get ready for work. In the evening, I then go over what was written that morning; I type it up and spend the next day or so tidying it up until I am happy with it.

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

I do read the reviews on my books and, like many authors, sometimes wish I hadn’t. I figure if they’ve taken the time to write about my work, regardless of it it’s positive or negative feedback, the least I can do is read it. I’m curious by nature, so it’s really hard for me not to! If nothing else, the negative reviews teach me resilience and the positive ones make me feel awesome. However, I have decided that unless the reviewer is brave enough to become an author themselves, I’m not going to pay too much heed to their opinions either way. Reading is so subjective and trying to please everyone is beyond impossible. (We all need thick skin.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) 

I’m very active on social media. Facebook is my go to marketing tool and to be honest, I find most new reads by my favourite authors on Facebook too. I love reviewing and blogging on Goodreads, updating my website/blog, creating YouTube book trailers, taking part in Facebook parties, running giveaways, writing a monthly newsletter, contacting fellow authors for blogging/interview opportunities etc etc. It’s non-stop but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

Love, love, love. I’m trying to find the happy medium between marketing my books and building rapport with my friends/followers. I hate the thought of continuously flogging my latest novel to the point of turning people off, however know it is a very powerful tool if done correctly. So, I carefully take note of what the big names are doing and, if I agree with their methods, follow their lead as much as possible.

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things about all others: read a lot and write a lot.’ – Stephen King.  

This sounds like the perfect life to me. (It sure does.)

Lee loves connecting with readers and fellow authors, here are her links:  

Website: http://www.leepiperauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leepiperauthor/

Blog: http://www.leepiperauthor.com/blog

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Piper/e/B01NAS0IBO/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16304661.Lee_Piper

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNhPr2s7QOf5B-1NiaHq5Dw

My latest Newsletter: http://mailchi.mp/20ded2dd0312/lee-pipers-april-newsletter

 

 

Procrastination – Enemy of the Writer

 

One of the biggest distractions for any writer, is the triple headed beast, social media. It is evil incarnate, sucking authors into a dark abyss, a stench filled place that takes every ounce of determination to fight and climb back to the surface and towards the proverbial ‘light’.

Well, maybe it is not that bad, but let us face the truth and the facts, none of us are immune to social media. Why? Because the un-necessry stuff we learn about other people is interesting and gives us something to giggle about and write about. 

Facebook:

Gossip Central

The battery in my car died, look I have  a paper cut. 

Instagram:

Vanity Shots

Look coffee, look food, look alcohol.

Twitter:

Word Challenge

This word limit sucks. 

Pintrest:

Pin Boards Galore

Oh I can collect bolts.

There is so much more, but you really do get the gist of it, and why it can swallow a chunk of your precious writing time.

Steven Pressfield, in War of Art says,

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I with our big brains and our tiny hearts who doubt and overthinking and hesitate.”

Pressfield believes that it is hesitation in the form of ‘resistance’ that causes the writer to stop from moving forward. This resistance is a villain made up of “fear, self-doubt, self-sabotage,” and can manifest itself like an ever changing chameleon in a multitude of wicked forms. The sole purpose of this chameleon, is to stop you form achieving your goal – writing. Thrown right in there with this ‘resistance’ is none other than, overthinking.

Did you know that around 20% of people avoid tasks which they believe are difficult, thus taking monumental steps to do anything but the one thing that needs completion. Why? Because they overthink, and by doing so they move deeper into procrastination. 

So how does one move out of the procrastination faze?

With two things that counter balance motivation. 

COMMITMENT and DISCIPLINE.

Yes we have all seen a bazillion blogs and books about motivation, but motivation is only part of the process. To fulfil the idea we need commitment and discipline.

  • MOTIVATION is something that gives us the impetus to act.
  • COMMITMENT is the promise of engaging oneself in the act.
  • DISCIPLINE is the rule that sets controlled behaviour in order to develop, improve and finish the act that was inspired by the motivation in conjunction with the promise made to oneself.

Discipline is embedded in commitment. Commitment is the time allotted to one’s work on a daily basis. Discipline is the act of completing what one has committed to.

In my crazy brain all of this makes sense. I do hope it has hit a cord with some of you. Honestly, we could all do with less social media (a.k.a procrastination) and do better with more time committing and being disciplined in writing our stories. 

 

 

 

Note: All images paid for and downloaded from Shutterstock. 

7 Minutes with an Author - Georgia Carter Mathers

WELCOME Georgia Carter mathers!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

At the moment, I’m working on The Miana Prophecy. The themes will follow on from Trelloran Seduction, but some of the themes will be accepting our own weaknesses and deficiencies, even if this means accepting that we’re struggling against something we can’t control—things like mental illness. Of course, the other overarching theme will be deepening intimacy and trust between Kaitlau and Pietah. I’ll also be talking about poverty, wealth and war. Those are deep themes Georgia.  

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like Frodo?) 

The hardest thing about writing is struggling against the chaos of life, long enough to put words down on paper. I often find myself in the position where I am off in a story world, experiencing what the characters are experiencing, but in reality, I’m sitting at green lights with the cars behind me beeping. A teacher said the following when I was surprised to learn that she reads fantasy, “Reality sucks.” What you’re saying here Georgia is so true, our stories are a wonderful way of escaping the harsh pressures or every day life. 

3. Because everyone wants to know, are you a panster or a plotter? 

Lol, I am both. I use a combination of inspiration (dreaming, mental images, videos, news events and current affairs) and consciously plotted material to create my stories.

4. How important are reviews to you?  Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)

Reviews are important to me. I haven’t had a bad one yet, but that’s only because people are polite, I think. Everyone has their own way of viewing something. Obviously, I get upset when people treat my work as though it were crap. That has happened to me, just not in a review. As an intensely sensitive writer, the thought of a bad review makes me feel ill. As a publisher, a bad review is a chance to see where I went wrong. I can do better next time. Not everyone is going to like what we write so we do have to come to terms with the good and the bad. 

5. How do you market your books?  (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or singing? (If you haven’t got any that is fine.) 

I market my books in a variety of ways. The key is to create word-of-mouth buzz about it. Of course, that is easier said than done. You can see my website for updated events, but I will be available for book sales and signings at the Arts and Design Kirribilli Markets on 8 January, 12 February, 12 March. I am attending the ARRA conference in Melbourne (24-27 February), and I’ll be signing books there as well. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, get in now. You don’t want to miss out. I bought an extra ticket for my husband—he wanted to come to the Awards Dinner—that was a surprise. I will be signing books at the Writers Unleashed Festival on 19 August 2017. More dates will be added to the calendar as I go, but 2017 is filling up fast.

The Facebook party for Trelloran Seduction is also happening on December 16, 12-1 pm! Be there; I’ll be giving away prizes. 

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it? Where do you hang out the most? Any tips to share?

Hmmm. Social media. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I like it because interacting with other writers and readers gives me support, but often, I don’t use it as effectively as I should. Facebook is the easiest for me, so quite often I go there if I need a break from something. My social media tip is that the algorithm owns you now—if nothing is happening, blame the algorithm. It works for me. Hahahaha. True. 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying? 

I am different, so what! It’s okay that I’m different.

If you want to know more about Georgia you can find her here at: 

 http://www.darklovestories.com

 

Trelloran Seduction

It begins on the 300th day of 2195 on Volen …

There is no such thing as an individual. All the humans think of themselves as units with predetermined roles, and they do not grow old with their lovers. The females are sacrificed when they turn thirty, leaving their male counterparts behind.

Princess Kaitlau is a nymph who can take any form. She is also a refugee. She came to Volen through the charmed window after escaping her prison on Trellora.

King Ganim, the vampire who is thought to have created Kaitlau, must be punished. She had thought he loved her as a father, but that could not be. Although he was never present in the chamber, the king had ordered the priests to repeatedly rape her. Merely punishing her father is not enough. She wants him dead. It will be done.

Kaitlau has been observing a particular rebel killing priests on Volen. He is just the one to help her. But feelings for the rebel start to emerge when he agrees to carry out her assassination plans, and gradually as they work together, love begins to matter more than revenge.

Buy link: https://darklovestories.com/books/trelloran-seduction/

 

 

 

The Golden Giveaway

Hello lovely people, 

Christmas is the season of love, family and sharing. It’s also a time of giving so the perfect way to celebrate is by giving one of you lucky folks out there, a chance to win wonderful Gold themed desk accessories and stationary. Use this gift to freshen up or re-vamp your workspace. The giveaway opens up at midnight on the 11th of December, 2016 and runs till midnight Christmas Eve.  

What is in the pack;

  • Gold leaf pin board
  • Gold striped coffee mug/cup
  • Gold trinket dish
  • Gold Candle holder
  • Gold Stapler
  • Gold in-tray basket
  • Gold sequence pencil case
  • Gold striped pencils
  • Gold Pencil/Cup
  • Gold Photo Frame
  • Gold magnetic pegs
  • Gold pack with post-it notes and paperclips, pins and bulldog clips
  • Black and gold mousepad
  • Gold Notebook 
  • Glitter tape
  • Gold gel pen
  • Copy of Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle by Doreen Virtue 
  • Copy of PHANTASMA
  • Highlighter pack
  • Sticky note tabs  

There might also be an extra two or three items thrown in. Now all you have to do is follow the link bellow and 

  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Retweet on Twitter
  • Visit my Facebook page
  • Follow me on Facebook
  • Sign up for my Newsletter 

Goodluck and hope this makes a special Christmas wish come true.  

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE – http://gvwy.io/udj8mgm

Christmas smiles,

Efthalia

Travelling around Greece - Monemvasia Winery

A while ago, whilst watching Rick Stein travel around Europe for his ‘Venice to Istanbul’ series,
he visited a winery in Monemvasia and for some reason, other than the fact, that my husband and I both love Greece, we remembered it and decided it would be an absolute inclusion of our Peloponessian sight-seeing. 

Monemvasia Wines are known for their decadent sweet white wines, that are fermented from sun-dried grapes. This process gives the wines their distinct notes. Everything and I kid you not, everything I tasted was of stellar quality. Even the wineries ‘most lower grade of wine’, as Nikos said, had an authentic and original appeal to me and my palette. I am by no means a wine connoisseur but, I certainly enjoy a good drop and can appreciate wine in all its grades. What you will find in the Monemvasia Winery’s selection, is that there something for everyone. 

History of the monemvasia region

The history of the Monemvasia region goes back to the Neolithic period, about 8,000 years ago. The region was active in the Bronze Age and right through to the construction of it’s impregnable fortress, the castle of Monemvasia, in the Byzantine era. Malvasia wine, as it is know in the Monemvasia region, has a long history. From the 12th century onwards it influenced the Western and Eastern marketplace.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

To understand its popularity one only needs to look at the wine’s name – Monemvasia. The Italians call it Malvasia, the French call it Malvoise and a brilliantly executed line comes to us from Shakespeare’s “King Richard III,” where he calls it Malmsey. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Elli and Nikos and whilst there they met and chatted with my husband and children. They are knowledgeable people and know their industry like many wine professionals around the globe. They were also very accomodating and excellent hosts. I totally recommend that if you are travelling around Monemvasia, you pop in and grab a couple of bottles to enjoy. 

We drove away with some amazing bottles of wine that will be shared with relatives. After all, that is what good wine is for. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kourambiethes - Almond Cookies

I’m sharing a recipe that I included in my August Newsletter.  

Kourambiethes, are a an almond shortbread that is coated in icing sugar. They are traditionally baked at Easter and Christmas time. The Christmas recipe calls for a single clove to be placed in the centre. These cookies are so popular that you will find them all year round at any Greek patisserie. The origins of the Kourambie (cookie) comes from 7th century Persia, when sugar was a common used staple in cookery. The origin of the word is from the Iranian word “Qurabiya.” Naturally, the cookies have changed over time and many countries have a variation of this transcendent buttery cookie. Today I am sharing my Greek recipe with you all.  

 
Ingredients
250 grams unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup blanched almonds or Slivered Almonds
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup ouzo (you can omit ouzo and add 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence and 4 tablespoons of fresh orange juice.)
3 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup icing sugar, for sifting. 
 
Method
1. Preheat oven to 140 degrees celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. 
2. Place Almond Slivers on a baking tray. Toast for 5-10 minutes, stir them once or twice. Then take them out of the oven to cool. As soon as they are cooled, place them on a chopping board and chop roughly with a mezzaluna or knife.  
3. Place the sugar and butter in bowl and mix with an electric mixer till pale and creamy. 
4. Beat egg yolks and add to butter and sugar. 
5. Add vanilla or ouzo. 
6. Sift flour and baking powder.
7. Remove bowl from mixer and add the flour and baking powder till mixture is soft. Then add the chopped almonds and mix till you have a nice dough. 
8. Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and kneed it into the palm of your hand, making a round shape. Then place on tray.  Continue till all dough is used.  Don’t forget to leave a little space between each cookie. 
9. Bake for 15-25 minutes till cookies are light golden brown.  
10. Remove and leave to cool on wire rack. 
11. When cooled arrange on a plate and sift icing sugar over them. 
 
 12. Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or tea! 
 
Trust me you’ll want to eat more than one. 
 
Smiles,
Efthalia
 
 
P.s. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter to get the gossip on book news first. There’s also a random giveaway every month! 
 

About Nothing - McGuffin

I have been writing and scrapping posts all day and then it hit me, mid sentence, write about the McGuffn, the nothing that moves a story or movie along. Best example of a McGuffin is Seinfeld – a whole show dedicated to nothingness.

So what is the McGuffin?

…powerful piece of nothingness or hook that drives the story forward and keeps the viewer engrossed and pinning for the outcome…

The McGuffin is a powerful piece of nothingness or hook that drives the story forward and keeps the viewer engrossed and pinning for the outcome, only to be diverged and thrown on another path. In other words it is a plot device that leads nowhere. In my book Phantasma, I use a seedy character named Tom as the McGuffin. He is the nothing I created to lead the heroine to the ‘call to action.’ Everything about him is left un-answered, intentionally. 

As I mentioned above, Seinfeld was nothing but a BIG McGuffin. I think the creators of this show were very clever indeed and knew exactly what they were doing and how to hook an audience. Artistically, they introduced the McGuffin that drove the show forward and then veered in another direction, by dropping the McGuffin without the audience even realising.

 

…the question of what is buried in the garden – the McGuffin that keeps the audience pinned…

Hitchcock coined the term McGuffin and was a master in using it. He enticed viewers and drew them in, a good example is ‘Rear Window,’ and the question of what is buried in the garden? We never find out because it’s the McGuffin that keeps the audience pinned until it’s dropped. At some point in all suspense, thrillers, and comedies the McGuffin becomes the insignificant factor and is all but forgotten, allowing the first and second acts to build to the climatic crescendo of the third act.

Hitchcock was also talented in drawing out the McGuffin, in order for the third and final act to carry more impact. I like this idea because the audience leaves the movie with the final climax still in mind, and with it, all the makings of a successful, suspenseful and memorable film.

I hope you all enjoyed this little bit of nothingness.

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME LEE MURRAY!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

Hi Efthalia! Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I’ve been a Fan of 7 Minutes with an Author for a while now, so it’s a thrill to appear here. (I’m glad that you’re here.) 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

I’m currently working on the stand-alone sequel to Into the Mist, another military thriller with mythological and cultural connections. (Oh, I’ll be keeping my eye out for it.) 

2. What is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? (Did you or do you want to throw it in the fire  like Frodo?)

I’m a slow writer. It’s so frustrating. I see other authors posting comments about their daily word-count and I feel so inadequate. I’ve tried all sorts of brain gymnastics—nothing seems to work. It might have something to do with the editor in me, which, for the life of me, I can’t switch off. And yes, I am the annoying person in the group who points out the misplaced apostrophe in street signs. (Hahaha. The truth be told Lee, we need some annoying friends.) 

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

Definitely a pantser, although I like to have a vague idea of where I’m going. It’s a bit like my life really: I have an end point in mind, but with the freedom to go off and explore the tangents. (It’s about what works best for you.) 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)

They’re important, but mostly because of their effect on the discoverability of our writing. Of course, I’m not immune to a bit of flattery: I glow when a positive review comes in, and anguish over what I might have done to improve the work and please the naysayers, but as many other 7 Minutes contributors have already said, you can’t please everyone. Readers are just part of the story. At its essence, as writers, I believe each of us has a responsibility to ourselves, to write the story that resonates for us and in a way which best tells the story we intend to impart. We write the books we want to read—we’re our own target audience—and if we want to stay motivated, if we wish to continue craft work that we are proud of and can stand behind, then perhaps the only review that counts is our own.

5. How do you market your books? Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing?

It’s a good question, because even traditionally published authors are required to contribute to publicity these days, which means blog posts, podcasts and radio interviews, guest articles in magazines and newspapers, and readings and appearances at conventions and conferences. Whenever I can manage it, I like my publicity to add value in other ways, so I tend to jump at opportunities to judge writing competitions, edit charity collections and mentor young writers. It’s good publicity for me and also important work, helping to develop writers and writing and promoting their work to a wider readership. Where am I appearing next? In a few months, I’m heading across the ditch to participate in Book Expo Australia in Sydney (8-9 October, 2016), contributing to a panel on mythology and appearing alongside some of my Cohesion Press colleagues like Greig Beck, Alan Baxter and Kaaron Warren, all of whom I’m excited to be meeting in person. If you live in the region, please stop by and say hello. (Sounds exciting!)

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it? Where do you hang out the most? Any tips to share?

I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love the opportunity to connect friends, but there is a superficiality to it, which is frustrating. It’s understandable: after all, it’s human nature to want to put our best foot forward, but are we seeing anything real? On the other hand, some of what we see is simply too real: the brutality of recent news reports almost undoing me. I’m on Facebook and most days people can find me there, talking about my family life and, occasionally, my latest book projects. One caveat, if you’re tempted to join me there—I’m almost afraid to say this—I’m not a big fan of cats.  

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful, 100%.” — Horton the Elephant (Dr Seuss). (Love this!)

If you want to know more about Lee you can find her here at: 

leemurray.info

Into the Mist

Buy link: Amazon

When NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army. 
Militant Tūhoe separatists are active in the area, and with its cloying mist and steep ravines, the forest is a treacherous place in winter. 

Yet nothing has prepared Taine for the true danger that awaits them. Death incarnate. 
They backtrack toward civilisation, stalked by a prehistoric creature intent on picking them off one by one. With their weapons ineffective, the babysitting job has become a race for survival. 

Desperate to bring his charges out alive, Taine draws on ancient tribal wisdom. Will it be enough to stop the nightmare? And when the mist clears, will anyone be left? 

Me Tarzan, You Jane – A Review

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Five Stars

Me Tarzan, you Jane! Those lines are stellar because they epitomize a simple and concise introduction. I grew up watching Tarzan movies over and over again and they never got old. So what does the re-booted version give us? Apart from the drool worthy abs on Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård), it certainly gives us much more but that means taking a deeper look. This is what I took away from the film and why I gave it five stars.

Firstly the big bang elements; the historical narrative is what pulls you in immediately. Belgium did commit unspeakable atrocities to the natives of the Congo. The narrative follows the exploitation of the Congo by King Leopold, a man who wants more than just coca beans, he desires the real prize – diamonds. The truth is that colonialism is ugly no matter how you approach this subject there is no easy feelings at the injustice caused.

As the layers of the movie were reveled, thoughts of a different kind flicked through my mind and they did not have anything to do with Skarsgård’s immaculate body and his spellbinding hip-flexors. No, what drew my attention was the parallel themes from Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” and those simple lines spoken by Kurtz, the Russian trader, “The horror, the horror.” Kurtz is brutal in his raids leaving a bloody path in his wake. Again the parallel on screen of Leon Rom’s (Christopher Waltz) character reminded me so much of Kurtz. Rom does not flinch at the loss of his men. Everyone is disposable in his quest. A complete analysis on both Conrad and Burroughs works, would illuminate the numerous similarities and not just from a philosophical and thematic perspective. Heart of Darkness and Tarzan both share striking parallels, in fact it is mirrored in the setting, plot and character portrayal. I will not go into that, as it will turn into an essay.

He is no normal man. He was thought to be an evil spirit, a ghost in the trees. No man ever started with less.”

As you get deeper into the story you can not ignore the unmistakable motif of identity dancing or swinging through the movie. Tarzan at the root of it all is a man raised by the Mangani. He leaves his life to join an aristocratic life in England. Where does he belong and who is he? Even Jane (Margot Robbie) confirms that he is far from the usual stock. “He is no normal man. He was thought to be an evil spirit, a ghost in the trees. No man ever started with less.” These lines clearly allude to the difficulty in categorizing Tarzan. I think Tarzan has some serious identity issues! :)

The movie is also heavy with symbolism. These are some of the things that give you the proverbial slap in the face, even if you are not looking for them.

  • Civilization vs Nature
  • Man’s most primitive roots
  • Imperialism and destruction
  • Christianity vs Native beliefs systems
  • Birth and death – lots of death

There is also a scene that brings us smack bang into the present and that is the ugly subject of elephant poaching, the ivory being a source of funding for armed groups. It is very hard to ignore the reality of it. I might leave it for you to ponder when you see it. Again this will turn into an essay if I keep going. :)

At the heart of my inner critical assessment is one thread that tests the boundaries of human relationships, and that is love. The love that Tarzan has for the family that raised him and the love he has for his wife. There is just enough of Tarzan’s and Jane’s relationship to allow for the emotional moments in the movie. This all adds to the rhythm and pacing, allowing the audience the right amount of ups and the downs. I would have liked more Tarzan and Jane scenes but then that would have changed the rating. :)

…should be controversial, informative and most of all entertaining.”

To sum up, a good movie should be controversial, informative and most of all entertaining. For me Tarzan certainly hit all the right spots. I walked away asking myself a few questions and thinking about the consequences of imperialism. Tarzan wasn’t just about the special effects and those drool worthy abs which are everywhere on the internet. I walked away feeling it was more about the physical and psychological journey to heart of Africa and the hypocrisy of imperialism.

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Juanita kees!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

Home to Bindarra Creek is a small town story about a girl who has loved and lost, and a guy who thinks he’s lost everything until he finds love where he least expects to. It’s time for both of them to leave the shadows behind.

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?) 

Midway I want to rip them to shreds. By the end I want to burn them, and somewhere during the edits, I’m always convinced they’re not publishable. The hardest thing is trying to get your characters out of a situation that wasn’t written into the plot. Characters often develop a mind of their own :) (Oh I totally understand!)

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m a plotpantser, a hybrid author who sometimes gets the plotting right until the characters decide to fly by the seat of their pants instead. (Ha ha ha, you gotta love those unpredictable characters!)

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

Reviews are important. They are the yardstick other readers use to decide whether or not to buy your book. A bad review can rip your heart out and destroy your spirit, but reviewers don’t have to be mean, nasty trolls. A good constructive review can help an author give the reader what they want in the next book or a revised issue. Not everyone will enjoy your writing. I have to remind myself of that often. The only time I get upset is when a reviewer leaves a one star review and doesn’t take the time to tell me what it was they didn’t like about the book. (We do need thick skin, don’t we?)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) 

I believe in doing everything in moderation because the most effective marketing tool is still word of mouth. So if you loved Home to Bindarra Creek, please tell your friends about it. :)

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

I’m not so keen on Twitter and Instagram. I’m on LinkedIn, but seldom even look at it. I love Facebook because it’s a mix of interaction, pictures, quotes etc. I can always find something there I can relate to or share. (It’s the hotel California, where you can check in and never leave. Lol) 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?

Many years ago, racing legend Peter Brock told me to live my dreams … so I did. (Brilliant!)

 

If you want to know more about Juanita, you can reach her here: 

Website: https://juanitakees.com/

Home to Bindarra Creek

Buy Links: https://juanitakees.com/shop-now/

Park Ranger, Alice Pritchard lives with the ghosts of her past. As long as she has her rescued wildlife to rehabilitate and Bindarra Creek parks to care for, she’ll never need a man again. Now, with rejuvenation of the town in the pipeline, she has no choice but to let go of the past.

Dan Molyneaux roars into her life in his high-powered V8 and reopens the Riverside Pub forcing her to face her ghosts, his possum problem, Curly the cockatoo who swears like a sailor, Old Man Jake who’s appointed himself caretaker of the property, and Grandad Charlie who’s determined to find her the man he thinks she deserves. Alice would love to ignore them all and keep living in the cocoon she’s created for herself in sleepy Bindarra Creek, but fate has other plans for her.

Dan isn’t looking for love or the friendship of the two crazy old men who appear to have ‘adopted’ him. All he wanted was the peace and quiet of the country, away from the city highways. Soon he’s swept along by renovations, fundraisers, hell-raisers and the problems of a small town coming back to life. But it’s the park ranger he’s curious about. Why would a girl as beautiful as Alice bury herself in a backwater town so far off the main highway, it was merely a blip on the satellite map? What he uncovers raises some of his own ghosts from the dead.