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#MY VERY OWN ‘NEXT BEST THING’ BLOG

Because I missed out, due to my own carelessness, on joining this round robin blog, I thought I might have a little fun answering the Q and A’s anyway. So here goes:            

 

What is the working title of your next book?

Dessi’s Romance  is the title of this ebook. It is published by www.indrabooks.com in late January as only an ebook. Later this year, it will appear in hardcopy as P.O.D.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

It was originally the second half of a YA novel that was published in 2003 under the title of Body and Soul: Lilbet’s Romance. Lilbet’s half was set in 1938Melbourne. Dessi’s section was contemporary, the settings both Melbourne and the Gold Coast. These 18year old girls are related as Lilbet is Dessi’s great aunt. Though they live in very times their conflicts are similar as well as the major themes in both novels.

 

Here is something about it: “End of school is a crucial time for life -making decisions. Eighteen year old best friends Dessi Cowan and close friend Emma Simpson have planned a celebratory trip to the Gold Coast. Emma is an artist, Dessi a poet; their mothers long term ‘best friends’.  In the past the girls have always been there for each other and this relationship is central to their lives. However, when Emma meets charming Adbul Malouf and Dessi is forced to stay in Melbourne, Emma asks Dessi to look after Abdul while she is away. What Emma couldn’t have foreseen was the instant attraction between Dessi and the older, darkly exotic Middle Eastern Abdul. Dessi’s romance threatens to destroy a friendship that promised to last a lifetime.  ’

 

 What genre does your book fall under?

Dessi’s Romance is intended for a YA audience, but I think adults might also enjoy it. Also as Lilbet’s Romance will appear shortly after as also an ebook, there might be some interest in the prequel.

 

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Doesn’t the writer always want the finest and best known performers? Of course I would like Kieran Knightly to play Dessi and Scarlet Johansson to play Emma. They are both too old to be eighteen but who cares.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

This novel is about friendship, its loss and redemption, all this happening during “Schoolies Week”.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Dessi’s Romance is published by www.indrabooks.com. This company published Body and Soul: Lilbet’s Romance in 2003 and will shortly reappear as an ebook under the title of Lilbet’s Romance.
 How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I can’t honestly remember. This book has been a long time in the making and withstood many major edits. It would have been at least ten years as it was originally part of another book.

 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Because the title containing the word ‘Romance’ is intended in an ironic way, maybe this book is unique? It certainly isn’t a ‘romance novel’ in the traditional sense. In the end, quite the opposite.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was interested in the idea that though many things change eg technology, much remains the same. Girls still suffer with disabilities, still fall for the wrong men, and still lie to their best friends and try to manipulate them. All the stuff that happens to young people as they search for their individuality and identity happens regardless of the times they live in. Because Schoolies Week is such a ‘rite of passage’ it seemed an excellent setting for this novel.

 

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The double settings using contemporary Melbourne and Schoolies Week on the Gold Coast. Attitudes to the latest migrants – some generous, others negative. Youngsters exploring their sexuality. Search for individual identity and maturity. The close relationships between women that can be easily destroyed. I think readers will find all this interesting. Also, right now it is only emerging as an ebook. If enough interest is shown then hardcopies will shortly appear.

 

Other authors in “The Next Best Thing Blog” you might like to look up include:  

Fiona McDonald: http://fionamcdonald.blogspot.com.au/

Wendy James:  http://literarygnat.blogspot.com.au/

Gillian Polack :  http://www.trivium.net/gillianpolack/index.html

Sophie Masson : www.sophiemasson.org/news.html

Felicity Pulman:  www.felicitypulman.com.au/blog

Wendy Blaxland:  www.wendyblaxland.com

ps. Meant to add this latest review from Mahli Benjamin-Robbins

‘Dessi’s Romance’ is a compelling read, rich with humour and the ups and downs of teenage hood. The trials and tribulations that each character experiences is not only relatable but forms a gripping read.”

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