Wednesday, 30 November 2011

7 (more) things you didn't know about me...

I've done a post very similar to this a while back - 10 Things You Didn't Know About Me... -  but the lovely @Mummy_Misfit (check out her fabulous Diary of a Mummy Misfit blog) has nominated me for a blog award this week, and this requires me to reveal another 7 things about myself that you might not be aware of, so, here we go... another 7 things you might not know about me...

1.  I am unashamedly addicted to US reality show 'Storage Wars'.  

This is a show that features 5 second hand store owners/collectors/auction house owners as they visit storage units in and around California, bidding for and buying units which have been left abandoned and unclaimed.  My husband got me into the show and now I'm absolutely addicted!  And it can be really funny at times, watching arguments ensue over a locker that, at first glance, appears to be filled with nothing but junk, old mattresses, and battered furniture.
Barry Weiss - Storage Wars Legend!
But, just sometimes, there's a hidden gem lurking inbetween the rubbish.  Great entertainment!
And I've got a teensy, weensy little crush on the rather eccentric - but absolutely hilarious - Barry Weiss, but I think you really have to watch the show to understand why!!  The man's unending optimism that there's always something fabulous hidden behind those mattresses is becoming a very endearing and attractive trait!! Plus, he makes me laugh - every episode.  Without fail!

2.  I'm a little bit in love with Bradley Cooper.

Bradley Cooper - Yes please!!
Ok, ok, I know this is hardly a secret, but not everybody may be aware of the fact that I find the man kind of attractive!  He's gorgeous, he's funny, he's a fabulous actor... and he's proving to be great inspiration for the character of Dominic MacDonald in my up and coming novel Illusions of Love, the follow up to No Matter What.  Actually, sometimes inspiration turns into distraction, but, come on!  That's one hell of a fantastic distraction!
And I can't wait to see Hangover 2 when it's released on DVD next week.  Look out for my review of the movie, once I've actually got around to viewing it... bet you can't wait for that post!!

3.  I'm a bit of a darts tart!

Something else which isn't exactly a secret to those that know me well, but there may be a few people for which this comes as a complete surprise!!  I've loved darts since the days when you had to squint through a fug of cigarette smoke to see the board, the days when tournaments were sponsored by Embassy and the players drank pints and chain-smoked their way through matches... ah, those were the days... whatever happened to Jocky Wilson...?
Paul Nicholson - Geordie-born darts eye candy!

Anyway, this is a sport (yes, it is a sport!) that I grew up watching, and the habit's never left me.  I can actually get quite excited over a good game of darts, especially if Paul Nicholson's playing, but we all know how I feel about darts' sexiest player! 
And at this time of year I'm particularly excited as we head towards one of the biggest darts tournaments of the year - the World Darts Championship, which kicks off sometime in mid-December... which means over a fortnight of more distractions for me, but I ain't missing my Christmas darts fix for anything!  And, just incase anyone isn't aware of this fact either, there's a little bit of a darts influence in my light-hearted, fun romantic novel Too Much Trouble in Paradise.  Yep.  Darts and romance, together, in a chick lit novel!  Don't tell me I'm not original!! Check it out, you might be surprised.  It's got nothing to do with darts, really, but one of the main characters is a particularly handsome young professional darts player... hmm, wonder who I could have based that character on...
Darts & romance? Together? You bet!

















4.  My all-time favourite comedy ever is 'Phoenix Nights'!

Phoenix Nights - Classic British comedy.
Absolutely no question about this.  I've seen it heaven knows how many times and I still cry laughing when I watch it.  Peter Kay is a comedy legend in my eyes, and this show is something I will never tire of watching.  The characters were hilarious, and anytime I feel a bit low or need cheering up, I just stick on an episode of this and I can't help but smile.  Comedy perfection!
May not be everyone's idea of humour, but it's certainly mine!

5.  I've got a terrible habit of watching anything hosted by Ant & Dec!

I can't say I'm proud of this one, but it's a fact, and I have to learn to live with it.  I'm especially loving them on 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' at the minute - they can be hilarious (I'm liking that word in this blog post today) at times, and I think that has a lot to do with their Geordie humour.  
They're kind of addictive, as long as they don't start singing, and the less said about the time I actually made a point of going to a Radio 1 Roadshow just because they were performing 'Let's Get Ready To Rumble' the better!  Although, I've always had a little bit of a soft spot for Dec... (he's the one on the right, by the way!)
And I don't believe my husband for one second when he says he still doesn't know which one is which...

Ant & Dec - rather lovely Geordie boys!

6.  I went to London and back in a matter of hours, just to see a Pink Floyd gig!

What's so special about that, I hear you ask.  Well, I lived a good few miles away from London at the time, up in the North East of England, so it was a bit of a hike, for one gig, but it was worth every knackering second!  It was back in October 1994, (17 years ago???!!!) when I was very much younger and a performing arts student.  We were in the middle of rehearsals for a play at the time so taking a day off to go to the gig was out of the question, especially as I was Stage Manager, so, a half day was the best we could hope for, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
Me and the two guys I was going with (just friends, believe me!) legged it out of that morning's rehearsals, jumped into the car, and drove from the North East of England towards the south like our lives depended on it, hit London early evening, parked the car, jumped on a tube to Earl's Court, breathed a massive sigh of relief that we'd made it, watched an amazing gig, legged it back on the tube to the car and drove all the way back to the North East, arriving home around 5am (ish!), grabbed a couple of hours sleep, and were back at college by 9am for more theatre rehearsals!  And I'm exhausted just writing that so God knows how I managed it!  Couldn't even think about doing that trek now.  I haven't got the bloody energy!  But I wouldn't have missed seeing Pink Floyd live for the world - nothing was going to stand in my way!  It was a funny, if not extremely tiring, adventure, and one I'll always remember.  Because I have never, and will never, go to those lengths to see a band ever again!!  These days I'd need a week off to recover... one day queueing outside the Stadium of Light to get decent seats at the Take That gig back in May finished me off, I can tell you...

7.  I absolutely adore being an author of glamorous, sexy romance!

Because I do.  I really, really do.  I love creating glamorous characters - beautiful women and handsome, sexy men... to do that every day???  It's my dream job!  I love creating escapsim, stories that transport you to someone else's world.  I love writing - and I adore writing the kind of books I do.  It's where I'm comfortable, it's what I know I'm good at (even if I do say so myself!!), and it's something I hope to be doing for a long time to come. 
The Jackie Collins of South West Durham?  Yeah, I'm aiming for that.... ;)


So, there you have it.  Another set of random facts you may not have (and may not actually want to have) known about me.  I hope you enjoyed reading them, and I hope I haven't scared you off too much!! I really am quite normal... most of the time...

And don't forget, all 3 of my ebooks No Matter WhatSee You At The Show and Too Much Trouble in Paradise are available to download from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Author Interview - Elle Amberley


In the first of my new, regular 'Meet the Author' interviews, I am very pleased to be talking to Elle Amberley, author of Nowhere Left to Hide and Occupy Me, a French Affair.


Although she is a British author, Elle likes to dabble in French too and hopes to resume work on her French novel when time allows.
She’s a bohemian at heart, the result of having lived in several countries as a child.
She also enjoys writing articles on women’s issues and whatever she feels passionate about, as well as poetry and short stories.
Lost in your time is scheduled for publication in February 2012.
Elle’s books are available in both paperback and Kindle.


So, let's find out a little bit more and about Elle, and her books...

When and why did you begin writing?
At school. I was the annoying kid who wrote and rewrote essays. Only I sometimes got into trouble because of my unbridled imagination. It took me to places far beyond what was required.

What inspired you to write your first book?
One of my professors kept kicking me until I got the message. Once I started I didn't stop. All I had to do was literally allow myself to let it pour out. 

What comes first for you when planning a new book - the story or the characters? 
Ooh, haven't thought much about that. I think for me it's a package. It's like a film in my head, it's mostly there. Some characters are born as I get into the story but mostly it's just a question of writing as quickly as my fingers will allow.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I didn't. It happened. I used to write mostly Literary fiction, under another pen name. The stories I wanted to write more recently are more Women's fiction, not a conscious move. I also write poetry, articles and short stories. To tell you the truth I hate labels and even more to be constrained. I don't really fit in any boxes, never have. 

Do you follow any particular methods when writing, for example, do you work from an outline, or do you just write and see where the story takes you? 
No method to the madness. The characters live in me for duration which is probably why I write so quickly, it's emotionally exhausting. I laugh and I cry with them. Surprise happen on the way. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your books? 
Nowhere Left to Hide is my latest novel. It's kind of a coming of age story, a young woman fleeing her childhood ghosts and her tormentors. By going away to California she's able to shake off the labels and find herself. It's a love story with abuse as a backbone but it's full of hope, a positive story.

What are you working on at the moment?
I always have several projects on the go. Lost in your time has gone through final edits and is due to be published in February. I have zillions of short stories, one to be published this week. I have two more novels in various stages and a French novel which I'd really love to finish writing when I have a bit more time.
  
Do you have anything due for publication coming out in the near future?
Ooops, kind of answered that. 

What do you like to spend time doing when you're not writing?
I swim every day, it helps me focus. Mostly I spend time with my children, I homeschool them so I'm kept busy. Otherwise I love reading and music, we also travel quite a lot. 

Where can readers find out more about you and get hold of your books?

My website: Elle Amberley Author  
I'm on Facebook and Twitter. I'm shy but I love interacting with readers and fellow authors. So, come and chat with me.   
Elle Amberley Twitter                                 

My two latest babies:

Nowhere Left to Hide on Amazon UK  
available in paperback & Kindle



“A heartfelt tale, told with a deft touch” novelist Rowan Coleman.
‘Lyrical from start to finish, Elle Amberley embraces the essence of women and friendship in Nowhere Left to Hide. ' Ana Lewis, Founder, WomenontheVerge.net
I also have signed copies available through my site.




  




Occupy Me, a French Affair The arrest of a French politician in New York brings back unwanted memories as a French woman recalls her ordeals. After a brief holiday back in France, she gets caught in the upheaval in America and witnesses her boyfriend being pepper sprayed at a peaceful demonstration.



Elle, it was a pleasure to talk to you.  Thank you so much for a great interview!


You can find out more about Elle by connecting with her via Facebook, Twitter and Google, or by visiting her website.



Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas eBook Offer reminder - Update! All books now available from Amazon.co.uk for just 86p!

Seeing as I'm feeling very much in the Christmas spirit right now, I thought I'd lower the price of my ebooks even more over the festive period!  So, if you buy my books from Amazon.co.uk between now and mid-January, you can download any (or all!) of them for just 86p each! 

All ebooks are still available to download from  Amazon.com for only $0.99 each!

So, maybe you're getting a Kindle for Christmas, or you just want to find a few bargains to read over the holidays, and if you're a fan of edgy romance, or even if you just fancy a little bit of light-hearted chick lit, maybe one of my books has just what you're looking for.



Do you like your romance with a touch of glamour?  Do you like a sexy read with more than a handful of twists and turns, all set against the backdrop of Hollywood, Malibu and Las Vegas?  Then my epic, two-decade-spanning, 5-star rated contemporary romantic drama No Matter What might just be for you!


It's a lot of book for not a lot of money, and why not grab it now at this special offer price before the follow-up novel is released next year?  If total escapism is your thing, then you won't be disappointed.


Also available here from Amazon.com.


See You At The Show - also 5-star rated - is another sexy, edgy romance but this time set in the worlds of rock and roll, and politics.  When two completely different worlds collide, is love enough to keep them from shattering completely?


Available here from Amazon.com.






Or maybe it's a more light-hearted read you're after.  In that case, why not check out my final 5-star rated book, Too Much Trouble in Paradise - a story of new beginnings, second chances, sun, sea - and darts!  It's a fun, frothy romance set mainly on the Canarian island of Tenerife, guaranteed to transport you to a much warmer part of the world this winter!  One of my reviews described it as a "giggle in the sun", and I think that just about sums it up perfectly!  And all for just 86p/99c!
 
Get Too Much Trouble in Paradise here
from Amazon.com.









And, don't forget, even if you aren't lucky enough to own a Kindle - or any other eReader - you can still read any ebook on your computer, iPhone, Android, iPad etc...  by downloading the FREE Kindle reading app!


Free Kindle reading app UK
Free Kindle reading app US


So, there's no excuse not to bag a bargain ebook this Christmas!  ;)

*UPDATE* This offer is now closed. But please feel free to still check out my books - they haven't gone up in price by all that much! ;-)


Friday, 25 November 2011

Book reviews... I need some!

I'm frustrated today.  Actually, I've been frustrated for a good part of the week, if I'm being honest.  Why?  Because Bradley Cooper hasn't yet knocked at my door offering to whisk me away to some exotic location? (Whitby would do, the way I'm feeling!)  No, of course not.  I may live in a fantasy land half the time but I'm not that deluded!

Because our broadband went off yesterday afternoon and didn't come back on until a couple of hours ago?  Well, yes, that did actually frustrate the hell out of me, even though I have no idea why.  Thanks to that enforced break from the World Wide Web I managed to make some real headway on 'Illusions Of Love', writing over 3,000 words and finally pushing the story on into its final phase.  But you really don't realise how much you actually rely on an internet connection until you don't have one anymore!  British Telecom are keeping their eye on the "problem" (whatever it is - they have no idea, apparently) so I'm only hoping I can get this post finished before it decides to go down again.

Want to review this book? Please, feel free!
So, why am I frustrated then?  Book reviews.  That's why.  I'm beginning to realise that it would be easier for me to track down, marry, and have 3 kids with Keanu Reeves than it would be for me to gain some more book reviews.  I've sold a fair few books, yet only have a handful of reviews that have barely scarped into double figures over all 3 novels!  That's terrible!  But not only that, it can't be doing anything to help sales.

Rock 'n' Roll & politics? All wrapped up in an edgy romance? What do you think about it?
I've tried offering books for free to people in return for them leaving a review on Amazon/Goodreads etc... but even the offer of free books isn't working.  I know that a lot of reviewers won't accept ebooks, so that's a whole section alientated straightaway, or maybe I'm just not pushing myself enough to get my books reviewed, I don't know, I just know that - this week - it's been the one thing that's made me feel quite down.  Sales haven't been particularly bad (not fantastic, but not bad, and better than last months, by a handful) but reviews just don't seem to be forthcoming.  I ask every now and again, on Facebook/Twitter, for anyone who's read my books and hasn't yet left a review - no matter how small - to please take the time to leave one, but more often than not I get absolutely no responses.  And it can sometimes make you feel as though either nobody can be bothered, or they just don't like your books!!

Now, I'm not saying that I want reviews to appear just to stroke my ego, that's not the case.  Of course I want to know what people think of my work - what writer doesn't want to know that?  Just a few short sentences, a handful of words expressing what someone thought about your books, that can go such a long way to making this whole writing process a lot easier, and it does no harm as far as sales are concerned.  The more people read about a book, the more they see that other people enjoyed it - in the end it could help someone make that decision as to whether they're going to buy the book for themselves, or not.  And I've not had a new review for months now.

An epic, contemporary romance - is that your kind of thing?

















I think confidence is an issue with me too, though.  Infact, I know it is.  I write what some people have called "trashy" romance - Jackie Collins-esque, movie stars and rock stars, glamour and sex, it's all there in my books (although not in 'Too Much Trouble in Paradise' - that's very much a light-hearted, chick lit, fun romance!), and not everybody likes that kind of thing.  So, I suppose, I'm a touch nervous to push my books onto reviewers incase they don't really rate the kind of stuff I write.  But, then again - and I have this argument with myself on a daily basis - I am actually very proud of what I write.  I love my books, and I think there's a readership out there who would like them too, they just need a bit of a push to get them out there and noticed by the kind of people who would love to read them.  And a few more reviews wouldn't hurt, at all!  So, should I start pushing them a bit more?  To reviewers?  Because I know I have to do this myself, nobody's going to come asking me for a book to review (although, please feel free!), but I am painfully shy, believe me, and I'm still having a lot of trouble pushing myself forward in any way.

So, yes, it's been a frustrating week, but I think that's partly down to me letting things get to me more than I should, and partly because I know what I should be doing, I'm just finding it hard to muster up the confidence to do it!

But, the only thing I really want for Christmas (except that Kindle I know I'm getting... and Bradley Cooper - preferably unwrapped - would be nice too...) is to see a few more reviews appear for my books.  That's all.  A few words, just a couple of sentences... nobody has any idea how much that would cheer me up. 

Before I go, however, I would like to say a huge thank you to those that have taken the time to leave reviews - on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.  There are a handful of you out there who are always the first to read and review my books, and for that I am truly, truly grateful.

Now, I reckon it's time I stopped whinging and got back to writing.  However, if there is anyone out there who would like to review any of my books, you know where to find me... ;)

All 3 of my eBooks are available to download from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Christmas is coming... just a bit too early for me...

We're still in November, aren't we?  I mean, I haven't fallen asleep and woken up sometime in mid-December have I?  Because it certainly feels as if I have.  We've only just had Halloween and Bonfire Night but all of a sudden I'm flicking over radio stations and hearing Wham!'s 'Last Christmas', and I'm the first person to have a good old sing-a-long to The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's 'Fairytale of New York', just not until I've opened at least a couple of doors on the advent calender!
And I'm not being all "bah humbug" here, I just think that every year we seem to start celebrating Christmas earlier and earlier.  At this rate we'll be digging out the tinsel and cracking open the mince pies before we've got August Bank holiday out of the way! 

Bit early for all this, isn't it?
Heaven knows how people with kids are coping.  I mean, I used to get incredibly excited when Christmas started drawing near, but I'm talking a couple of weeks before the event here - nowadays kids must be getting themselves wound up into a frenzy of anticipation before their pumpkins have been carved out!
It was never like this in my day, and yes, I'm aware that makes me sound old, but it wasn't.  Was it?  There must be a few of you out there like me (and by that I mean in your 40's) who remember Christmas back in the day, when the build up started in December, not October!
Maybe I'm just getting more cynical as I get older, but I can't really seem to let myself get into that Christmas spirit until the tree is up and the house is decorated - and no way is that happening until at least the first weekend of December because, yes, I've seen trees up already.  I kid you not.  At least wait until the final week of 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!', for heaven's sake!
I love Christmas, don't get me wrong.  I love the build up, I love the songs, I love the fact Michael Buble has a Christmas special on ITV this year (although I can't say the prospect of the latter sent my other half into spasms of delight), I just don't want any of it to happen until we've taken those first few tentative steps into the final month of the year.  At least let me get November out of the way before I have to start the annual panic about what to get various family members as presents and just who it is we visit on what particular day.  It's stressful enough without having to start thinking about it any earlier than is absolutely necessary!
I'm probably starting to sound like Bill Murray in 'Scrooged' now, but I'm really not one of those people who hates Christmas - far from it!  I'm getting a Kindle this year so I'm counting the days until I can get me hands on that, believe me!  And I love it when the Christmas lights are up, and the house feels all cosy and warm (although, thanks to the extortionate cost of utility bills in the UK, I'm glad I've got a Slanket because leaving the heating on all day is a long-gone luxury, I can tell you!) with my candles lit (another welcome source of heat... blimey, beginning to sound like something out of 'A Christmas Carol' now...), and Slade belting out 'Merry Christmas Everybody' (which they've been doing since 1973 but who cares? It's a classic!), I love all of that!  Just, not yet.  Ok?
Let me get my head around the fact the festive season is almost upon us again when, quite frankly, it doesn't feel like 5 minutes since I was getting the Christmas tree out from behind the sofa in the spare room and trailing lights around the kitchen shelves!  Where's this year gone?  You see, me blood pressure's going up already!
So, maybe I should just go with the flow, start trawling the Argos website for present ideas (John Lewis might do beautiful adverts but they're still out of my price range!) and start looking forward to whatever tragedy the Eastenders Christmas Day episode is going to throw at us, and from what I've heard it's not looking good for Pat... because it's certainly starting to look as though it's a case of if you can't beat 'em...  right, where's that Greatest Ever Christmas Hits CD... ?

Fancy a bit of escapism this Christmas? Looking for a book that can take you away from it all?  Why not try one of mine!  At the minute,  my chick-lit-inspired novel Too Much Trouble in Paradise, my sexy romantic saga No Matter What and my edgy, rock 'n' roll romance See You At The Show are all available to download for just 86p until January 2012 from Amazon.co.uk.

And from Amazon.com for just $0.99!


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My own 'Cover Story'...

This writing lark isn't easy.  Well, actually, it is.  The writing bit, anyway.  As far as I'm concerned that's a walk in the park compared to the bit that comes afterwards - the dreaded marketing!  But I'm learning, slowly.  I'm learning a lot.

When I first started out on this journey I was more than a little naiive.  I didn't know anything, I'll hold my hands up.  I knew how to write, I knew how to string a story together, and I knew that I wanted my books to be read.  What I didn't know was how to get them noticed.  I knew absolutely nowt, as we say up here in the North East of England.

But, almost 6 months on, and I know a hell of a lot more than I did back at the end of May!  And one of those things I've learnt is that, despite what I might have thought before, the covers of my books are slightly more important than I first gave them credit for.  After all, they're the first thing people see when browsing for a book to read.  An eye catching cover can draw people in, and grabbing potential readers' attention is what it's all about, isn't it?

So I had to make a decision.  Two of my books needed an overhaul.  And that's exactly what I've done.  Covers have been changed, one of them has had a slight re-edit (mainly for grammar purposes, the story hasn't changed) and now both of them are back out there and available to download with their new, rather sexy covers.  And I'm quite pleased with them.  They say a lot more about the books than the original covers did.

'No Matter What' - Before
'No Matter What' - After
So, which books have had that all-important overhaul?  Firstly, 'No Matter What'.

I did like the original cover, don't get me wrong.  But, knowing what I know now, and realising how important packaging can be, I can see that it doesn't really give you much of an idea as to what the book is actually about.  It's a romance novel, a love story - a bit of an epic one, but a love story all the same.  And I'm not sure the original cover conveyed the essence of the book, or the story.  The new cover, however, does.  Hopefully it tells potential readers who may be browsing for a new romance, that this is something they might want to try.  Hopefully it tells people that this is a love story.  Time will tell, but I'm happier with the new cover, and more confident that I can market the book in the genre in which it belongs - romance!

'See You At The Show' - Before
The other book to have a make-over
was 
'See You At The Show' - After
'See You At The Show'.  

This is also a romance novel, but it's a more edgy, slightly sexier romance, set in the world of rock 'n' roll, with sexy fermale roadies and hot American rock stars.  Am I selling it to anyone yet!? ;)  So, hopefully, the new cover gets that message across.
It's romance, just with more of an edge.  Again, the new cover makes me far more confident of marketing the book within the romance genre, because I, as a writer, am finally comfortable in that genre.  It's what I am, I know that now.  I'm a romance author.  And it's what I love to write - God knows I can get precious little romance at home so I've got to get it from somewhere! ;)

I struggled with my genre for a while,you see, in the first few months of my writing journey.  I don't know why, and maybe it was because I sometimes felt there could be quite a bit of literary snobbery when it came down to romance novels, with some people dismissing them as mindless fluff, but, let me tell you, that couldn't be farther from the truth.  And, anyway, so what?  The romance genre covers such a wide spectrum, from chick lit to Jackie Collins, it's all there.  And what is so wrong with a bit of romantic escapism?  It's what I love to read, so it made sense that that was what I was going to love to write.  And if you don't love what you write, how can you expect anyone else to love it?

So, I've had little over a week of changing not only my books' covers, but also my whole attitude to this entire writing experience.  I now finally feel comfortable with who I am, the kind of writer I am, and the kind of books I'll be continuing to write.  Books I know there is a market for.

Will the new covers make any real significant difference to sales?  Who knows.  Only time will tell, but, as we hurtle towards Christmas (a bit too fast for my liking) I can move forward with books I can't wait to market, books I can't wait for people to read, knowing that I'm finally happy with where I am, the writer I've become, and the writer I know I'm going to be.  And that's all that matters.

Oh, and a really big thank you goes to everyone over on the Indie Writers Unite page on Facebook, who have given me so much advice and support during my various creative meltdowns! And there've been many! I truly am grateful for everything.  :)

Right, I suppose - now that covers, re-edits, and attitudes are finally sorted - I'd better get back to what's important in the life of an author.  Writing!  And, yes, there's more romance on the way... lots and lots of romance...

Don't forget, both 'No Matter What' and 'See You At The Show', along with my chick-lit-inspired comedy romance 'Too Much Trouble in Paradise' , are all available to download from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

'No Matter What' - My Ultimate Fantasy Cast List...

Ok.  You've just come home, after doing the weekly food shop in Tesco when, as you're having a well-deserved cup of tea with your feet up watching Bargain Hunt, you recieve a call from a top Hollywood  studio - they want to turn your book into a movie!  And they want you to choose the actors who will play your carefully created and wonderfully written characters!

Now, that situation is probably not going to happen to all that many of us, in reality, but just imagine if it did!  What would you do?  Who would you choose to play that all important lead role?  Which actors would you, as the author of this book they want to turn into a box office smash, pick to play out those characters you spent so many hours trying to get just right?

Is this even something that any of us have ever thought about?  Well, actually, yeah.  I've often thought about it, but as I live in cloud cuckoo land on a permanent basis that's not really surprising.  I actually write all of my books imagining who would play the lead roles in a movie version, but that's just the kind of person I am.  Make of that what you will.

But let's have a bit of fun and fantasy today - let's just imagine that this scenario is true, that Hollywood is just begging you to get involved and tell them who you want on board - would you turn that chance down?  Would I?  Would I hell!  I'd be throwing ideas at them faster than you could say George Clooney!

So - and I'm going to think of this as though I'm casting the roles for this fictional (unfortunately!) movie based on my debut novel 'No Matter What' - I've now got to get my thinking hat on and decide who, out there in movie-land, is cut out to play characters I've grown to love very much indeed. 



Shouldn't be too hard a job, actually ...  although, I'm picking movie stars to play movie stars because, as those of you familiar with the book will know, a lot of the characters - well, most of them, really - are movie stars...

Ok.  Now, those of you who've read the book will know these characters well - I know them so well I dream about the buggers half the time, especially as I'm writing the sequel to 'No Matter What' as we speak, so they're on my mind all over again - so, I'd especially like to know what you think of my choices, and whether you yourself would have picked anyone different.

Let's start with the male characters.  And one of the main male characters - probably one of the most important - is that of Kenny Ross, a young (when the book starts out, anyway) drop-dead-gorgeous movie star with dark hair, deep brown eyes, and a bit of a laid-back attitude to life.  And the actor I'd love to play him?  Step forward Mr Keanu Reeves!

Keanu Reeves - my perfect Kenny!
As far as I'm concerned, nobody else could play the role of Kenny Ross.  And I would argue the toss should anybody say otherwise.  I'm an ex-theatre luvvie, I'm allowed to throw hissy fits!


Ok.  So that's Kenny Ross sorted.  Keanu's got that part, but what about the next most important lead male character - Reece Brogan.  Reece is a Hollywood icon, a bit of an old-school actor, English born with Irish heritage, he's suave, sophisticated and conventionally good looking.  A true leading man.  Who would I love to play him?  Pierce Brosnan.  

Pierce Brosnan - the only man for Reece!

Can't think of anyone else who I'd like to play that part, although I'd take George Clooney if I had to...  oh, to be in the position where I had to take George Clooney ... ok, where was I?

Oh yeah.  I'm casting my fictional movie.  Who are we going to pick next then?  How about the character of Michael Walsh?  The man with a dangerous obsession.  Another Hollywood icon, but a more unconventionally handsome one this time.  The character of Michael is more quirky, less obviously good looking, but with a charm that makes him incredibly attractive and a smile that could - at one time - get him any woman he wanted.  Who do I think could play him best?  The actor that springs to mind here is one Michael Keaton.  He's got those quirky qualities, and I've always loved him as an actor anyway, and don't get me started on who was the best ever 'Batman', I'll be here for hours!

Michael Keaton - good enough to be MY Michael? I think so.
Ok.  We're flying through these.  Who's next?  How about the all-important female characters?  What about India Steven herself?  Who would I love to play her?  Well, to be honest, thinking about the female roles was harder than the male ones, but someone like Charlize Theron would be perfect for India!

Charlize Theron - my perfect India
She's blonde, she's stunning, she's everything that I imagined India to be when I was writing her, so yeah, I think she'd be perfect!  I'm having fun here - who's next?


How about India's best friend, Charley Miles?  Charley is dark haired, and just as beautiful as India, so someone like Megan Fox springs to mind.



Megan Fox - in my eyes, the right one for Charley.
And now, let's look at the character of Vince Maine - the handsome, successful best friend of Michael Walsh.  Las Vegas hotel owner, and all-round good guy, Vince is the perfect gentleman.  Who could I see playing him?  Again, George Clooney could do it (and he always does it for me!) but I'm seeing someone more like Vince Vaughn being the perfect Vince Maine!
He's tall, dark haired, and good-looking, again in that more quirky sense of the word.  He'd be great!
I'm already writing that script ...
Vince Vaughn - my choice for Vince Maine!

Out of my main cast of characters, who's left that I'd really like to cast?  I suppose the only other main one I'd really have to consider would be the character of JJ Foster, who we meet much later on in the book.  JJ is a young, incredibly handsome - almost too handsome - TV actor with dark brown hair, dark, brooding eyes, and a killer smile.  Have I got anyone in mind for him?  You bet your life I have!  Step forward Mr Joseph Fiennes!
The perfect JJ - Joseph Fiennes.

Yeah.  He'll do!

Now, although I was doing this post based on 'No Matter What', did I mention that a sequel (working title - 'Illusions of Love') has been written and will be released at some point, hopefully some time later this year? And whilst most of the aforementioned characters make some welcome (and not-so-welcome) reappearences, there's also been the introduction of a new, utterly gorgeous, incredibly handsome new character with the most stunning eyes and a smile that could make any woman go weak.  Dominic MacDonald.  Who would I have playing him?  Should this fictional Hollywood studio call me back and ask for the sequel to be made into another box office smash, that is.  Well, and this probably comes as no surprise to those of you who know me well, but he would have to be played by the one and only Bradley Cooper!  No questions asked, no arguments, no compromising.

Bradley Cooper - my one and only Dominic MacDonald.
So there we have it.  I've just cast the fictional movie of my very real novel.  And, as I mentioned before, if you've read 'No Matter What', do you agree with my choices for the movie versions of my characters?  Or would you have picked someone completely different for those parts?  I'd really love to know. 

And if you haven't yet read the book, maybe you now fancy giving it a try because - and it's shamless self-promotion time again - it's only a couple of quid/dollars to download, which isn't a lot of money for a whole lot of book! 800+ pages, remember! ;-)  Sex, obsession, jealousy, betrayal - what more could you want? Have I sold it to anyone yet?

Anyway, thank you for sitting through my little flight of fantasy.  Maybe it's even given you something to think about when you feel like popping off to la la land for a little bit of escapism (I'm there quite often!) ... maybe it's given you some ideas of your own ... who would you pick to star in the movie version of your book ...

In the meantime, I'm off for a lie down and a much-needed cup of very strong tea ...


If you fancy reading 'No Matter What' for yourself, you can buy it here from Amazon.co.uk  or  Amazon.com

Over 800 pages of sexy escapism!