Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mills & Boon Annual

Yesterday I received two hard back editions of the new Mills & Boon Annual 2007. This is a first and I think it's a terrific idea -- and not just because it contains one of my short stories -- Dating in the Dark.

Other stories included are:

Afternoon Delight by Carol Marinelli
Dearest Eulalia by Betty Neels
Midsummer Masque by Deborah Hale
The Boss's Bought Mistress by Sharon Kendrick

As well as these stories there are festive tips, gardening ideas, puzzles and horoscopes. I'm going to be giving away one of my precious copies of this annual as part of the lead in to the release of my next book Claiming the Cattleman's Heart in December. I don't think this annual is being published outside the UK, so if you'd like to be in the draw, either leave a message in the comment box or send me an email via my website with Annual comp in the subject.

Looking forward to hearing from you, but have to scurry back to my deadline book...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Guest interview about collages...

My collage for In the Heart of the Outback... Romance April 2007

Fellow Harlequin Romance author, Nicola Marsh, has interviewed me on her blog about using collages as a writing tool. Inspired by writers like Jennifer Crusie and Susan wiggs, I've begun the habit of creating collages of pictures, found objects, pieces of text etc that evoke the mood of my book and I recently gave a workshop on this at the Romance Writers of Australia conference.
Everyone had a lot of fun, going through masses of magazines to find exactly the right face, setting etc.

It's really amazing how the subconscious responds to the process of selecting and arranging these images. One of the women at the workshop got an idea for a new book while she was finding her pictures. Shortly after, she had an appointment with New York literary agent, Miriam Kriss. She pitched the new idea, using the collage to illustrate her points. Miriam loved it!

So, if you'd like to know more about collages, pop over to Nicola's blog.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Should writers get a life?

Do writers need a life?

From the outside looking in it may not look as if we do. You will see us hunched over our computers for long stretches of time and then dashing off to physios and Pilates classes in between to fix up our tight shoulders and aching necks.

In a week like this when I’m on deadline, the book is pretty much front and centre of my life, but I think, in times like this, it's still important to squeeze in a few different activities... to have a break, fill the well, relax the weary brain cells… whatever…

Things I did yesterday when I wasn’t writing…

Updated all the Townsville Cinema Club events in my diary. (I LOVE art house movies.)

Explored Melton Hill (thirty minute walk)

Read huge chunks of Anne Gracie’s divine regency romance “The Perfect Stranger”. If you haven’t tried her books, give yourself a treat and run and find one.

Bought fresh fruit and vegetables and heliconias in the Cotters’ Market (next block to where I live). Heliconias are tropical flowers commonly called lobster claws and I arrange mine in a big pottery vase that my daughter made when she studied art at high school. I hadn’t eaten fresh radishes for ages and yesterday I bought some that were wonderfully crisp and sweet – turned my salad into something really special. Oh and I also bought some rainforest honey and homemade mango chutney.

Watched black shags fishing in the creek. My apartment overlooks a creek and these wonderful birds form teams in the water, in a V shape like a net, and then they all close in together to dive on schools of fish. You see them bobbing and diving at once and there are tiny flashes of silver everywhere as they come up with fish in their beaks.

Watched the final episode of Bleak House.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

If you ever plan to visit North Queensland...

Let it be in winter...
(or thereabouts... May to October is fine)

Not that I don't love living here all year round, but I think most people from elsewhere would find our summers too harsh.
  • it's VERY hot in summer.
  • we have cyclones in summer.
  • if you swim here in summer you have to wear a stinger suit to protect you from the box jelly fish.

But none of the above applies in winter!!!!!!
NQ in winter is gorgeous.
  • balmy weather
  • blue skies
  • swim wherever you like -- we have loads of beaches on the mainland and on all the Barrier Reef islands
  • footy season (home of North Queensland Cowboys)
  • festival season ( Australian Festival of Chamber Music --July, Cultural Fest -August) and this year, for the first time, Write Up North --the first ever Townsville Festival of Writing from September 22nd -- 24th -- and yep, I'll be there!!!! More about that later.
I could go on and on about the diversity of experiences you could have here in NQ ... right now my husband and one of our sons are off on a boys own adventure , camping, fishing and canoeing all over ...
oh, and I'm finishing my book... better get back to it...
Barb xx

Barbwired... Barbara Hannay's blog

OK. Here I am, taking a deep breath and diving into the blog pool. Of course, this is the very worst time I should be doing this, with a book's deadline just a week away, but I've been feeling rather chained to my desk and blogging has been calling to me to come and play.
My main aim with this blog is to tell you a little more about North Queensland and Far North Queensland, as I'm the only romance author in this part of the world. I'd also like to show you that perhaps my life reflects my books to a certain extent in that I spend rather a lot of time in the bush (Outback) but I love the city, too.

You see, I live in an apartment (condo in USA) eight stories up, right in the heart of the city. And I also have a little cottage in the country on the Atherton Tableland. I'll be going there next week as soon as I've sent this book off.
But this time I'll be calling in at Hinchinbrook Island for two nights on the way . (There's the island is on the left. Isn't it gorgeous?)
My husband Elliot and I have decreed we need a little "island time" as research for my next book which is going to involve a desert island adventure. I'm not too interested in being stranded on a desert island myself, but I'm happy to put my characters through the ordeal. Two nights in a tree house on the world's largest island National Park will suit me just fine.