|Bora Bora, Tahiti|
In case you're wondering: I'm a New Zealander, born and bred. My American home state is Hawai'i. Kona on the Big Island is my place of residence when I'm home. And my soul is also being called to New Orleans, Louisiana. :-)
Tell our readers a wee bit about yourself. What are 5 things you wished you’d done, have done or are still to do, on the Bucket List? :-)
1. I wished I’d gone to bloody Tahiti with Aaron when we had the chance. It seems like such a stupid thing to have not done. Stayed in one of those over the water huts. Gorgeous!
|Bora Bora, Tahiti|
2. I want to fly in a B-17 and Lancaster bomber for old times sake.
3. I want one of my books made into a Hollywood film.
4. I want be back traveling every 6 weeks. I’m done with having my wings clipped. I need to be up flying again.
5. I want a home again in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawai’i and be a multi-millionaire again. I enjoyed that a lot.
|Honaunau, Place of Refuge, Big Island, Hawai'i.|
Tell us about the genre you write, why do you love it and how did you get into it?
I write romance erotica or sensual romance novels. It started because I hit 50 and some part of me simply refused to turn in my sensuality slippers. I was in a marriage that wasn’t sexual and all that energy got poured into writing my steamy romantic stories and much to my surprise, I LOVED doing it.
I loved my characters, the gorgeous sex scenes. I liked seeing what they’d do. I was thrilled when the characters started doing their own things and I found myself just trotting along at a brisk clip behind them taking dictation.
What’s your most favorite restaurant in the world? Where, why and the best dish/es they make?
I think it has to be Alan Wong’s out of Honolulu in Oahu. Not the Pineapple Room though. Alan Wong’s itself in the office building. LOL. Seriously. But oh, it’s lovely. Elegant, refined, fine dining. Superb fusion food. Their tasting menu… Gorgeous!! I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten anything else there for years. :-)
And their Bully’s Martinis!! Wow. I’m not a strong alcoholic drink person. But those Bullys… Yum-tiddly-um-tum. Soak hacked up pineapple in vodka for days and strain into a martini glass. Seriously good. :-)
|Chocolate Crunch Bars - sooooo good.|
Remember those ads for Expedia (if not, just play along) that asked, ‘If you could go anywhere in the world, but have to go right now?’ Where would you have gone and would you have said to YES to right now? What pulls and entices you to that country?
Right now. The Maldives. Why? Because they just look so delicious. The sand looks like you could carve it up and suck on it like cotton candy. The whole energy of where it is. For me, somewhere that’s not home, not familiar. Somewhere I can simply escape to, rest and recover. And run away for a wee bit. I just need to do a Nike on myself right now. LOL.
|Piano Bar - Maldives|
What parts of you, are incorporated into your characters?
All of them. I think every story has a New Zealander in it. It means I can write in my own language. Yes, I speak English, but sometimes my American is a wee bit rusty.
I’m a Southerner New Zealand from Christchurch and we have a particular speech style, compared to someone from Auckland, say. Our nature and energy is slightly different too. And we use the Scottish ‘wee’ in our speech pattern if we’re from the South Island. It started down in Otago and Southland and has spread throughout the whole South Island. My dad’s originally from Auckland, but it’s in his speech too.
Izzy is almost pure me. Although, when I get stroppy, I start edging toward Charlie, who has no tolerance for bullshit. I’ve been seeing more of that lately.
I always have a gentleness in one of my characters and despite my intense Aries/Leo stuff, I have the gentleness in my spirit too. To me, it’s one of my ‘strangest’ pieces of myself. Because I don’t see myself that way, but I know it’s there. I see it in Henry and Beau. Two characters whom I adore.
Favorite male hero/public figure you admire in the world, dead or alive, and why?
I have a few. I deeply Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was such a charismatic man. Gunned down on my birthday in Memphis, TN, when I was 5 years old. We went to see the Civil Rights Museum there and my god, we came out of there, shell shocked. It’s in the old Lorraine Motel. The shocking and to me, soul cutting racism that went on and still goes on. So, Dr. King is one of my heroes.
And I love Sir Richard Branson. What a complete nutter. And in my country, that is a compliment of the highest regard. LOL. He’s just terrific. What an amazing visionary of a man. Such enthusiasm and zest for life. One of the worlds modern pirates. Quite, quite fabulous.
Also, one more. I adore Morgan Freeman. He is such an unusual man. He’s very interesting, marches to his own drummer. He’s radical and also a bit of a pirate I think. I suspect he’s quite an intriguing person and has this wonderful energy to him which I find utterly captivating. His energy is virile. I suspect he’s a very deep person and you don’t meet too many of those on this earth. I also feel he’s a very nice man, oddly compassionate and quite quite unusual. I think he should be on my bucket list. Meet and have dinner with Morgan Freeman on a beach in Hawai’i. :-)
Favorite female heroine/public figure you admire in the world, dead or alive, and why?
I always pick Amelia Earhart. I should pick someone new. Who? I’ll pick my mum Olwyn Loudon. She was a complete character. Terrific sense of humor. The madcap things that used to happen in our household. LOL. Mum had a life’s for living attitude to her. And a laugh that I once tracked through a hospital from a floor down. Like me, she was a gregarious loner to use Spencer Dryden’s term. But she had such great energy and style. Her view of the world was just different altogether.
|My Mum doing a photo shoot for a friend.|
|Me, Mum and Rach - portrait for Christmas|
Have you ever had a character just “do their own thing?” Have you ever had an argument with one of your characters? Or anything else odd happen?
Oh God yes. My characters all seem to do their own thing. I’m just the hapless secretary, taking frantic dictation. Trotting around behind them, trying not to look too alarmed at where they want to take the story next. :-) But to be honest, I actually like it when they take over. I haven’t got a chance of writers block when they’re running the show.
Charlie is the worst culprit. He’s always doing his own thing. Nicknamed ‘Bloody Charlie’ by me, because of his ability to simply not do what I want him to do. He’s a complete law unto himself. And when I’m not writing about him, I miss him, quite physically sometimes. I want to sit down with him and have a wine, soak him in. Enjoy him.
|A Young Charlie|
What’s your passion in life?
Writing obviously. But also travel. I used to be on and off planes every few weeks and I loved it. I also love art. My two big ginger and white boys, Leo Ray Jr. and Mr Beaumont. And I love passion in people of any kind. I think that’s why people like Martin, Richard and Morgan and my mum appeal to me so much. They are/were passionate vibrant people. Unusual outlooks, ideas, energies. I love that.
|Leo Ray Jr|
I have bugger all routine. I write at night. I sit down with a Bacardi and diet coke and write. I write in bed on my remote keyboard. I’m a complete pantser and write organically. Sometimes I write the end first. Or I start a scene half way through. I often write a sex scene and go back and ‘fill’ around it. I write parts of dialogue and slot them into scenes that they’ll be perfect in. LOL.
And somehow it always comes together. I know my characters well, they’re so alive and real in my head, that no matter what you asked me about them, I could tell you off the top of my head. They’re a living breathing part of me. My only rule as a writer is ‘don’t follow the stupid writing rules.’ Half of them nearly stopped me from being a writer at one point.
When I first started out, I read all the ‘how to be a writer’ books and thought… God, I haven’t got a hope in hell of keeping up with that. LOL.
Now, I do my own thing. It works.
I’d like to write the anti-writer’s book one day, Writing by the Seat of Your Pants. For all us pantsers out there. Rules like:
Never walk away from a ‘hot’ scene. Start in the middle of the sentence if you have to. A hot scene is one that's any scene running perfectly in your head.
Always work at night, when it’s most bewitching for the brain.
Never research too much at the start. Do that afterward and you’ll be surprised how much you already intuitively knew.
Have at least one alcoholic beverage to start you off on your writing day. It frees up the brain.
Always take precise dictation from any rogue character that turns up. They’ll be your best characters, you most loved, your deepest loves.
Get the bloody thing down. Don’t worry about the textures of it so much. Get the story on paper, go back and ‘fill’ it with the cream later and ice (frost) it later.
Don’t write everyday. You don’t get a chance for the really good stuff to build and percolate. Always run wee plays in your head of all your scenes. Speak the dialogue out loud, move about. Do it in the car, pretend you’re on a hands free cell phone. LOL. By the time, it’s running ‘hot’ — you can just dictate the whole thing down, line by line.
Always send your work to your email at the end of the day and read it on your tablet, cell phone etc. It always reads differently to on the computer.
In the final edit stage. ALWAYS read your work out loud to yourself. You’ll catch most of the funny wee extra words either put in or left out when you changed sentences mid way, or your hands typed slower than your brain.
You’ll also catch weird words which you’ve read over a hundred times. I had clique in Henry and Isolde, which I reckon I read at least two hundred times! When I read it out loud, I heard it. The word was supposed to cliché. LOL. Your brain will read over skipped or wrong words after a wee bit.
I think there are millions more of my rules, but I can’t remember them right now. LOL.
If you could pick a past life, what time period would appeal to you and why? Would you be male or female? Rich or poor?
Well, I always say WWII. I’d love to be up flying planes again. But I think I’d like to have a go at one of my Russian lifetimes. I’d like to test drive being male and I’d like to be wonderfully wealthy. I like being rich, it’s such a nice way to live.
What things have you got in the works at the moment?
I have a few things on the go.
For Christmas, Muse It Up Publishing is releasing my heartfelt sensual romance Saint Nicholas.
A beautiful heartfelt, sensual erotic romance story—New Zealander, Daisy struggles with the death of her husband, and the days become blurs of unreality. Her one bright spot is buying a lotto ticket twice a week from the gorgeous Greek store owner, Nicky Constantine.
Then in Spring next year, the first of my Troika Romance Series will come out with Muse. The steamy sensuous romance of Henry and Isolde.
A steamy, deeply sensuous love story, set in modern day New Orleans. Henry, an older black musician feels his life is nearing its end. Until he falls in love with the exuberant New Zealander, Izzy—his white, younger, richer, married boss.
The passionate Izzy seduces him in the secret garden he built for her. His life goes from fifty shades of beige to a rainbow of textures, sights and sounds, but most of all—feelings he’s allowed to have.
|Troika Horses in Russia. Troika means three equal things.|
I’m also working on my first soulful romantic and sultry male/male romance Hawaiian Lei.
Fed up with his empty soulless club life in LA, Norfolk Islander/Maori New Zealand painter, Matt Quintal, comes to the Big Island of Hawai’i to visit his sister Rach. He meets the gentle intriguing Hawaiian/Japanese/Tahitian bi-plane pilot, Beau Toyama.
They both have deep wounds in their backgrounds that have made painful holes in their souls fabrics. Caught in the Hawaiian magic and spirit, they heal each other and find deep romantic love.
I love all these characters, they’re so special to me. Beau is absolutely beautiful. And to watch this lovely man be loved and cared for is so warming. :-)
|Beau Toyama's face and body, now add long hair. Yum|
Yes, I do fall in love with my characters. I hope my readers do too. I write very deep characters, very metro, lots of feelings expressed, lots of real men and whole men, whether they’re straight, bi, pan or gay. They’re real people with real feelings.
The Lush and Blush Club on FB.