The main excitement recently has been my trip to Sydney for the Australian conference and then Auckland the following weekend for the New Zealand conference.
The Sydney conference was fabulous as usual and everyone turned out in style for the Carnevale Cocktail party. We were all completely blown away by Jennifer Crusie’s all day workshop on the Friday. Sydney turned on glorious weather which was totally wasted on most of us as we remained glued to our seats so as not to miss anything Jenny and Anne Stuart had to impart. It was wonderful to meet both of them and those of us going to both conferences were doubly fortunate.
All text within this site is (c) Elizabeth Rolls. All design is (c) Paula Roe. Reprinting any part of this website without prior permission is prohibited. Red rose used courtesy of Istockphoto
I’m finishing off my next book. Julian, Lord Braybrook first appeared in His Lady Mistress. He has a much bigger role in A Compromised Lady and he has finally insisted on his own book. Having had several light bulb moments in Sydney and New Zealand, mostly due to Jenny Crusie, the book is now moving along at a good rate of knots.
What am I doing now? Well, I’m feeling ridiculously pleased to have got this website happening at last. Finally I have caught up with the end of the 20th century<g>. And I’ve been teaching the puppy –Pippa’s not really a puppy anymore to be honest – to shake hands. My neighbour and I took our kids for a long walk the other day and my youngest fell waaaaay behind. In the end I sent Ally and the other kids on and waited for Piers with the dog. Since Pippa’s a bit new to the concept of a leash and walking to heel, I’d armed myself with a pocket full of dog treats. We sheltered from the rain behind a tree and I spent the time teaching her to shake paws. She now shakes paws the moment she sees a dog treat and walks to heel beautifully. I’ve decided that I am much better at bringing up puppies than children.
Writing wise, I’m revising the sequel to His Lady Mistress that I sent off to my editor a while ago, and have another one that I was working at on and off about two thirds complete.
Going home in between seemed like a terrible waste of time and money so Tessa Radley, one of New Zealand’s newest Desire authors, very bravely invited me to stay and chauffeured me all over the place for a couple of days. New Zealand has hit the top of my list as one of the most civilised nations on the planet. On ordering a café latte at lunch with Tessa and Frances Housden, I was asked if I wanted it in a glass or a bowl! Naturally I opted for the bowl . . . this is a custom I am definitely keen to see make its way to this side of the Tasman. Those Kiwis take their coffee seriously!
I gave a workshop with HQN’s Helen Kirkman (Vikings and Saxons) at the NZ conference on making historical characters live and breathe for a contemporary audience. The two of us were also on a historical panel with Kalen Hughes (think historical underwear and Lord Sin), and Sheila Hodgson – a senior editor from Harlequin, Mills & Boon’s London office. It was moderated by one of my favourite Harlequin Presents authors, Robyn Donald, who asked just enough questions to stop us getting completely off the subject. The subject? Historicals Are So Not Dead! Not that we ever thought they were to start with, but we had a good time.
Tessa Radley in the wilds of New Zealand
~ February 2009
The major news is that for those of you who have been emailing me asking about Julian, Lord Braybrook - the wait is nearly over! Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride will be available in the UK in May and North America in June. Not sure yet about Australia, but I'll let you know as soon I do. So many of you emailed asking about his story. I hope it lives up to your expectations. Let me just say that his lordship had some very strong ideas about what he required in a bride . . . needless to state, not too many of his expectations were fulfilled! I'll have a page up for it soon, although as yet I've only seen the UK cover.
Another huge piece of news is that Harlequin celebrates their 60th anniversary this year. As part of their celebrations they have made 16 books available for free download. I'm very pleased to say that His Lady Mistress is one of them. For those of you who missed it, this is your chance to own it for free. It's especially nice because this is the book in which Lord Braybrook first appears as a very minor character. Link to the Harlequin Celebrates site Here.
I have a couple of projects going at the moment. I'm working on a Historical Undone! for later this year. Writing something shorter is always a nice change of pace and weight. Right now I'm a little uncertain about how this particular idea is going to work, but I'll only figure that out by writing it. I also have a full length Regency Historical about half done. Well, half done in terms of word count, that is. There's bound to be some major re-thinking and re-writing because there always is. This one is a bit of a departure for me; I keep murdering characters and burning down their houses! Not sure what that says, but I may have worked it out by the time it goes to my agent and editor.
As far as non-writing news goes the boys seem to have grown every time I look at them. They have both been playing tennis this summer and soccer is about to start for the eldest one. Sadly we lost Oliver the cat to a car a while back. I'm sorry to say that the other cat, Mehitabel, mourned him not at all. In fact we suspect that she may have actually lured him under the car! She's been staying home far more which means she isn't out chasing birds and frogs, at least. All the dogs are well although Smokey the lab is becoming very elderly and deaf. The alpacas and sheep are out of work at the moment because our paddocks resemble Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard - bare! Instead of eating our grass and saving us time and money, they are being fed very expensive hay. I suppose that's the woolly lawnmower equivalent of unemployment benefits.
And finally, instead of having to email all my update material to the fabulous Paula Roe this time, I've actually done the update myself! Of course I had to beg Trish Morey to come over yesterday and show me what to do, but now that I know how I'll be updating far more regularly. One of my aims for the year is to include a couple of new pages. I'm thinking that a Historical Oddities might be fun; odd facts and tidbits that I pick up in my research. Check back in month or so and see how I'm going. Happy reading!
~ June 2009
Well at least the updates are getting closer together! Amazing - only four months this time! My big news at the moment is of course that A Compromised Lady has finalled in Romance Writers of Australia's Romantic Book of the Year in the Long Romance category. I'm thrilled to bits about this, not least because the other finalists for Long Romance are the wonderful Karina Bliss, Anna Campbell and Anne Gracie. As Trish Morey, finalist in the Short Sexy Romance, put it, that's playing with the big kids. Congratulations to all the finalists in each category! Now we just have to wait for the conference in Brisbane this August to find out who the winners are.
Don't miss the fabulous competition on the Heart & Craft page! The prizes are gorgeous and I'd love to hear that one of my readers was lucky enough to win one of them!
In other news it's winter here and soccer has taken over our lives with Not-so-small-boy #1 apparently playing for every soccer team he's eligible for, and Not-so-small-boy #2 doing his best to follow suit! When we aren't taking them to soccer it's Cubs and Scouts or a music lesson. Boy #1 is making strides on the alto sax and plays a mean rendition of Gershwin's Summertime. Boy #2 is doing well on piano. I'm right into bribery so at the moment we have a deal on - an A grade at school earns a trip to the local bakery. We used to do it with books read, but ended up going to the bakery every second day! Still, it worked. I have two readers, so I consider my job at least half done! And with all that soccer they have plenty of opportunities to run off the bakery visits.
We've had a year of change here. Our elder son has started high school, with a few bumps and scrapes along the way. He's settling down though, and has recently made a gorgeous coffee table for a school assignment. We're very impressed, and right now he's planning to be a carpenter.
More change ahead with a much-needed and long overdue renovation/rebuild planned for the back third of the house in the New Year. The part built by our neighbour's father 80 years ago is going strong. The back section built by a previous owner about 15 years ago, not so good ... So it will be an interesting year coming up, with us crammed into the front part of the house, and hopefully a friend's caravan. But before that we're off to Victoria for Christmas with my family.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and now that I've found out how to get myself on Facebook, I'll look forward to catching up with you there.
This is Ben at three months, a day after we got him. He's a Gordon Setter and is such a good natured, friendly fellow. Usually we have rescued dogs from the pound, but I've always loved Gordons and wanted one, so after Smokey died I contacted a breeder and went on the waiting list for a pup. Which was nice because it gave us a chance to mourn Smokey and yet we knew there was another puppy coming along for us. There are more photos of him, and our gorgeous girl Pippa, on the photos page.