Monday, 27 May 2013

Knots Landing and nostalgia...

Thought I'd do a bit of a fun post today, what with it being a Bank Holiday here in the UK and my concentration not being 100% as far as the writing is concerned. I'm also slightly on edge as my husband is currently halfway up the stairs painting the second floor landing using a pair of extremely complicated ladders and I'm listening out for any noises that might mean we need a quick trip to A&E. He's an IT consultant, not a decorator, but he's determined to do it all himself. And, as long as he stays in one piece, I'm not going to stop him, especially if it means I get a gorgeous yellow wall by the end of the day.

Anyway, back to what I was going to write about today. Nostalgia. And particularly where TV is concerned. Because, when you get to my age (approaching mid-40s at a far more rapid pace than I feel comfortable with) nostalgia seems to play a much bigger part in your life, whether you're realising it or not. And this especially goes for TV shows. For example, when I heard Dallas was coming back I was more excited than if someone had told me Take That were coming round to play a live gig in me back garden! That's how much my thinking has changed over the past few years. Once-upon-a-time nothing would have been a bigger dream-come-true than Robbie Williams belting out 'Could it be Magic' next to me climbing clematis, but now I'm far more excited at the prospect of the new Dallas getting a third season!

So, imagine my utter joy when I was flicking through the satellite channels one morning, (sometimes I just can't watch the news over breakfast - it raises me blood pressure too much at times), and saw that CBS Drama was repeating that classic late70s/80s Dallas spin-off Knots Landing! From the very beginning! That was it - it was put on a SKY+ series link before you could say cul-de-sac. This was one drama from my childhood I was going to re-live, and I am loving it second time around, just as much as I did when I first watched it. And it's all coming back to me now - Abby Cunningham's perfect 80s make-up, Karen Fairgate's hairdo that was exactly like my mum's (except that Michele Lee, the actress who played Karen's hairstyle has probably changed over the years whereas my mother's hasn't!), and the absolutely classic acting! Yes, sometimes it was completely over-the-top, especially when the music that accompanied certain scenes kicked in, and sometimes it was just hilariously bad! But I love it! And I still want to live in that cul-de-sac. Preferably in the house that Kenny and Ginger lived in. Even now, watching these repeats and seeing it decorated in that unmistakeably 80s decor, I'd still move in right now! 

For me, Knots Landing was one of those shows I'll always love. Yes, the stories were slightly far-fetched at times, and I particularly loved the way the women went to bed in full make-up and woke up with it still looking perfect, but it was escapist TV at its very best. And, if you look very closely at some of the clothes, you'll see some of them are actually coming back into fashion! Abby was wearing something that very much resembled a playsuit the other day...

The women of Knots Landing... God love the 80s...
As a child of the 70s and a teenager of the 80s, I remember all too well the days when you had to get up to change channels on the TV, when microwaves - if you could afford one - were the size of a small industrial oven, and the only phone in the house used to sit on a table in the hallway. I remember tape decks and top-loading video recorders, and the days when Radio 1 used to play songs I actually knew. And even though we in the UK only had three channels on our TVs until 1982, when we then had the grand total of four, some of the TV back then was far better than we get today, in my opinion. Or maybe I've just got a slightly rose-tinted view of my childhood. Maybe those memories of Friday nights cuddled up on the sofa with my mum, sister and the dog watching Dallas while my dad escaped to the pub for a couple of hours are memories I don't want to forget. And maybe watching these repeats of Knots Landing are just another way of me reminiscing about my past, I don't know. And I don't really care. All I know is I am thoroughly enjoying re-living all this 80s melodrama. It's fabulous stuff, if you like that kind of thing. Which I do. Showing my age? Probably. But, once again, I don't really care. 

If Take That were ever to come knocking asking if they could 'Relight My Fire' (oh, that 90s dream I once had... mind you, right now I think they'd be hard-pressed to relight anything, quite frankly...) then I wouldn't say no. Those buggers have had my support since 1991 so a little bit of payback wouldn't go amiss. But, if it came down to that or a box set of Knots Landing, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Dallas... well, I think you get the idea. Escapist TV wins hands down. Having said that, if Bradley Cooper/Keanu Reeves/Jim Caviezel ever came knocking at my door with box sets of Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart... well, maybe I'd have to ask them to stick around and watch them with me. A girl isn't gonna say no to all of her fantasies now, is she? ;)  

Friday, 24 May 2013

Writer's Block? Self-doubt hitting hard? Walk away! You'll feel better for it...

I think all authors go through this at some point in their writing life - that feeling that a story just isn't going in the right direction, which then turns into something resembling a massive dose of self-doubt as nothing you do can make you convince yourself that no, everything's fine, it's just you being paranoid and over self-critical. I've just had a couple of weeks of experiencing those exact feelings.

I haven't made a secret of the fact that my latest WIP - Extra Time, the follow-up to my sexy soccer romance Striker, and the next book in the Striker Trilogy - is giving me some horrendous headaches. But that's only because I care so much about the characters that I feel this way, that I let myself get stressed out about the way the story is going and whether it's heading in the right direction or not. I've already done one semi-major re-write concerning one particular character, and, at the beginning of the week, I was halfway to doing another one. 

But then I did what I probably should have done a while ago - I took a step back. I left it alone. I put work on Extra Time aside and began planning another, separate project, but more about that in another post. 

However, after a few days of not even looking at Extra Time (I can't say I didn't think about it, though, because I did. It's all I ever think about these days!), I began to have very different feelings towards it. I began to miss those characters that had given me so many headaches lately. I began to miss spending time with them. And I began to realise that there was absolutely no need to mess with the story anymore. I'm on the right track, it's heading in the right direction - I just needed to take that step back to realise that. 

You always hear people say that, when things start to feel stagnant, or when that old friend writer's block comes knocking, then the best thing to do is to leave what you're working on alone and don't go near it for a few days. But, being the slightly obsessive person that I can be at times, I used to think bugger that, I'm just going to keep working on it. But that really, really doesn't help. In fact, doing that could actually make things worse. I could have ended up faffing about with this WIP until it didn't even resemble the story I wanted to tell, because it was heading that way. But, instead, I left it alone for a while and that worked. It gave me time to think about the story from a different perspective, to give myself time to go through each character's journey and make sure it was the right one. And when I started to miss those characters, that's when I knew it was time to get back to work, which I have done, and I'm so excited about this book now! I can't wait to get out of bed in the mornings and start writing, can't wait to spend time with characters I've grown really close to, which is why I want their stories to be right. And when you're excited about something, that's when you feel confident, when you know you're on the right track. 

I can't say I'm never going to have more days when I hate everything I've just written, but now I know that the best thing to do when those feelings hit is to walk away, because I'll feel better for it. 

Jamie Redknapp - my Friday afternoon source of inspiration...
Anyway, I think I've rambled on enough this afternoon. I've got work to do. But, before I go, I would just like to thank the rather gorgeous ex-footballer-turned-TV pundit Jamie Redknapp for a dose of inspiration (and those that know me and follow my work will know just which character Mr. Redknapp inspired in Striker) that has meant I got a scene written today that was way more powerful than I ever thought it could be. I love the way my mind works...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Has Sunderland player Phil Bardsley turned into my fictional footballer Ryan Fisher???

Now, they say life can sometimes imitate art, but I hadn't really expected to see players from Sunderland AFC imitating the behaviour of my fictional "bad boy" footballer Ryan Fisher. However, it's happened. Sort of.

When I first started writing Striker I was reading a book called I Am The Secret Footballer - a biography written by a professional footballer who has chosen to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons. He gives a sometimes fascinating but always interesting insight into the world of a top-flight player, and after I'd read it I realised that nothing I made Ryan do within the pages of my book could possibly be too far-fetched. Believe me. In fact, what Ryan gets up to could be considered tame in comparison to what really goes on at times.

So it was no surprise when news of Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley's behaviour at a Newcastle casino last week was made public. I'd actually seen the pictures a few days before the papers got hold of them - my Sunderland-supporting husband showed them to me via a fan forum he's a member of. And it would appear, allegedly, that what happened at the casino was Mr. Bardsley's way of celebrating Wigan's defeat at the hands of Arsenal last Tuesday that saw Sunderland survive relegation and remain a Premiership team. Although why he couldn't just knock back a glass of wine like the rest of us I don't know. But why should he? When he can go throwing pots of money around and act like an idiot? 

Phil Bardlsey during his now-infamous casino night out.
It was the image of him lying there on the floor of the casino, covered in £50 notes, that most people have taken offence at. Another millionaire player doing nothing to counteract the somewhat stereotypical image a lot of people have of professional footballers. Although, to be fair, I've never met the bloke so he could well be a thoroughly decent guy who just let a night out and news of Sunderland's Premiership survival run away with him. However, if he'd like to help me with further research so I can continue to make Ryan Fisher as realistic as possible I'm happy to listen to anything he has to say. Shameless, I know, but an author has to try anything she can these days...

However, whatever the circumstances, this is yet another incident that made me realise, once again, that my fictional player isn't doing anything that some (but not all) real-life players don't do. You couldn't make it up half the time, and it would appear I don't need to. It's happening anyway.

My fictional footballer - the rather gorgeous, and sexy, Ryan Fisher - spends quite a bit of time in casinos himself in Striker, although I would like to point out that the book was written long before Bardsley's display of childish behaviour, and Ryan never ended up on the floor. At least, I don't think he did... not the casino floor, anyway... 

I digress... Ryan also gets into trouble with his manager because of his antics, something else which has been mirrored in real-life after Sunderland Head Coach Paolo Di Canio got wind of Bardsley's playing out on a "school night". He was subsequently dropped from the squad for Sunderland's final game of the season against Tottenham, and he's probably been fined, too, although I can't confirm that. In fact, I listened to a press conference Di Canio gave after the Tottenham game where he, basically, laid into Bardsley, and other Sunderland players, over their attitudes. Not a surprise. I always imagine that some of these players revert to acting like over-grown (and over-paid) schoolboys just because they think they can get away with it. And, believe me, if women ran football clubs they wouldn't get away with much of anything. Could be a bit distracting though, having to discipline all those players in their shorts... sorry, mind wandered for a bit there... Where was I? Oh yeah. Disgraceful behaviour from footballers...

It's all proving to be great research for me, though, as I forge ahead with the next book in the Striker Trilogy - 'Extra Time'. And all of this news of Bardsley being dropped and Di Canio shaking things up at Sunderland is quite apt, as things hot up over at Ryan's fictional club in Striker, Newcastle Red Star. And once again it feels like life imitating art as some of the things going on over there on Wearside are spookily close to what's happening over at Red Star right now...

So, as this house eagerly awaits to see just what Paolo Di Canio has in store for the players at Sunderland, I'll continue to write 'Extra Time' once again safe in the knowledge that nothing is too far-fetched in the life of a Premiership footballer - nothing. Mario Balotelli proved that. And if you think it is, then you really need to read I Am The Secret Footballer, or just take more notice of the headlines some of these players create, because we have those that are making them for all the right reasons, and they're usually on the back pages. And those that end up on the front pages - usually for reasons of the wrong variety. And, as an author currently trying to immerse herself in the world of the professional footballer, both kinds are good news for me...

And just incase you fancy reading about a fictional (and very hot!) bad boy footballer, come and meet Ryan Fisher in my sexy soccer romance Striker. Containing action you ain't ever gonna see on Match of the Day... 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

It's Eurovision time!

Yes, it's that time of year again. The 2013 Eurovision Song Contest is almost upon us and I, for one, am quite excited about that. I've always loved a bit of Eurovision, and I'm one of those people who isn't ashamed to admit to watching it, and enjoying it. There's just something about Eurovision that I'm addicted to. So much so that my build up to Saturday's final in Malmo, Sweden, began last night with the screening of the first of the two semi-finals to decide who joins Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Sweden in that final. 

I know a lot of people really can't stand Eurovision - maybe they think its had its day, that it isn't necessary anymore, or maybe their "street cred" just prevents them from admitting that, just like millions of others on Saturday May 18th, they'll be sitting there in front of their TVs getting caught up in the whole camp, over-the-top atmosphere that only Eurovision can create. Because I don't think its had its day. No way! I'd be gutted if there was no more Eurovision!

The UK's behind you, Bonnie!
Having said that, I do think that the UK will struggle to ever win the competition again. We've done it with Brotherhood of Man and the quite unforgettable (well, I suppose that depends on who you're talking to...) 'Save Your Kisses for Me' back in 1976, and who can forget Bucks Fizz's win in 1981 when those skirts were whipped off during 'Making Your Mind Up'? Katrina and the Waves and 'Love Shine A Light' was the last time the UK won the competition, and that was sixteen years ago in 1997, and to be quite honest, I really can't see us taking the title of Eurovision winners home again any time soon. When it comes to getting the votes, it would appear that nobody seems to like us. And I don't think it has anything to do with the song choices, not really. 

Voting in Eurovision has always been slightly "political". I remember my dad shouting (and swearing) at the TV back in the 70s when we used to watch it. In fact, he used to get himself quite worked up over it, and it is quite hard not to get carried away and feel slightly cheated by the quite obvious bias voting that does go on. Allegedly. But it does. Eastern Block countries voting for other Eastern Block countries, Cyprus voting for Greece and vice verse... you get my drift? It could be the worst song in the world but your neighbouring country will more than likely drop you a few points anyway. But when it comes to the UK it would seem we're the "Billy No Mates" of Eurovision. We should just put out a song called "Everybody Hates Us and We Don't Care"! Because it doesn't really matter who we stick up there on that stage to sing our entry, I just can't see us ever getting enough points to bring the competition back to Britain. These days we're lucky if we even make it into the top half of the voting table!

However, as always, despite the usual pessimism the UK carries with it during Eurovision time I, and I'm sure millions of others, shall be fully behind our entry. And this year - after poor Engelbert Humperdinck failed to make much of an impression last year in Azerbaijan - we've got the fabulous Bonnie Tyler flying the flag for the UK with 'Believe in Me'. I only really got a good listen to this track yesterday, but I actually quite like it. Is it good enough to win? Yeah, in terms of it being a good Eurovsion song, it's good enough. But we won't win. And I'm not being deliberately pessimistic here, I'm just stating a fact. Bonnie is a fantastic singer, a legend who can belt out a rock ballad like the best of them, even after all these years. But, even though she's also incredibly popular over there in Europe, I just don't think we can do it. But, stranger things have happened... just, not that strange... Oh, what the hell... Come on, Bonnie! You can do this!

Anyway, after watching the first semi-final last night I think Denmark stands a good chance of winning with 'Only Teardrops', and the Belarus entry is pretty catchy, too. 

And the Netherlands entry may just throw a bit of a curve-ball at the competition. It's a strange little song, called 'Birds', and I didn't really take to it on first listen, but, after a few listens it could really start to grow on me. We'll see.

To be quite honest, though, I don't really care who wins - although that's actually a complete lie because I have been known to get quite vocal during the voting - I just love the whole spectacle of Eurovision. And I really did think it might just lose a little bit of that magic once (Sir) Terry Wogan hung up his commentating crown - his dry wit during the show was one of the main reasons for tuning in. But, give him his due, Graham Norton is doing a sterling job of keeping up the tradition of making sure Eurovision stays full of the tongue-in-cheek humour it's known for. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's what makes it so addictive! I love it, and I will always love it. 

So, roll on semi-final number two on Thursday night. Let the Eurovision band-wagon roll on and let's get ready for Saturday! I can't wait!

Before I go though, I just thought I'd share one final Eurovision memory - one of my favourite past winners. Norway's entry from 2009, Alexander Ryback with 'Fairytale', a fabulously quirky Eurovision song, and a well-deserved winner that year.

Is it Saturday yet...?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

To plan, or not to plan... Storylines, that is...

When writing a book, how many authors out there actually sit down and plan each stage of the story they're about to write? And how many of them would describe their style as more "flying by the seat of their pants"? I'm actually a bit of both. And I only ask this question because, as work on 'Extra Time' continues, this next installment of the Striker Trilogy seems to be developing a new twist or turn that was never there in the beginning on an almost daily basis.

Now, I can't just sit down and start writing without any kind of plan in front of me. I'm not that clever. I need to have notes, guidelines, some sort of plan in place. But even I know that any kind of plan I do make in the beginning isn't going to stay that way for long. But I never expected 'Extra Time' to throw up quite as many changes as it seems to be doing lately. These characters of mine really are talking to me, telling me where they want to go and why they need to go there, which is fine. That's alright. It's all falling into place, and it's only making writing this book all the more exciting as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes I sit down at this desk of mine not really knowing exactly what's going to happen as the day progresses, but by the end of the afternoon I'm usually pleasantly surprised by the results. 

This lot have been giving me a few problems lately... but their story continues in 'Extra Time'...

So, it got me wondering how many other authors out there start out with a planned storyline that looks almost completely different by the time their book is finished, and how many prefer to stick to a rigid plan with no changes whatsoever. Is it even possible to do that? Surely everyone makes changes as they go along, even if they're just tiny little ones? Don't they? Or can you really sit down and plan everything to the nth degree and stick to it rigidly? 

It always fascinates me, finding out how other authors write, what works best for them. Sometimes - especially when I first started out on this writing journey of mine - I used to think I was doing everything wrong, that I couldn't possibly "wing it", so to speak, and just let the story flow as I wrote it. I used to think basic notes weren't enough, that I had to have this rigid story plan in front of me and stick to it, but I soon found out that that was impossible. I can't do that. I have to let the story and the characters guide me, because they usually know what they're talking about, which is more than can be said for me half the time.

So, for anyone interested in another update as to how 'Extra Time' is coming along, the good news is that I think the characters have finally told me all I need to know now. At least, I hope they have. All these little changes mean I keep having to go back and rewrite more sections of the story, which then means I start that awful habit I have of editing as I go, even though I keep telling myself to stop doing that. It only slows things down, and things are moving slow enough as it is! However, with what I hope is the final twist coming to me late yesterday afternoon, I think I can now settle down and get this story written. I've got a completely new set of notes in front of me now, a revised plan, and an ending in mind that will set things up nicely for the third and final book in the trilogy. I'm happy. At last!

Right, I've rambled on enough for one day. It's time to get writing. But, before I go, a question for all the writers out there - what kind of an author are you? One that plans everything meticulously, or one that just lets the story happen? I'd love to know...

Friday, 3 May 2013

What am I doing today? A rewrite, that's what...

Yep. A rewrite - that's exactly what I'm doing today. This morning I have proved to myself that I really can't switch off, no matter how much I want to. My mind is always whirring, always thinking about the book I'm writing, the characters I'm currently living with (and even the ones I'd quite like to live with in the future!). So, even though I just wanted to settle down in front of the TV last night and look forward to the new series of Waterloo Road followed by the much-anticipated MasterChef final, my brain wouldn't let me. Oh no. That just wasn't happening, because, for some reason, halfway through that aforementioned new series of Waterloo Road I decided that 'Extra Time', the second book in the Striker Trilogy - I suddenly decided it needed a rewrite. Oh, not a major one, I mean, I'm not scrapping the whole thing and starting again, far from it. But one of the characters, well, I'm not happy with the way their story is going in this sequel. I don't think it's strong enough, and I'm definitely not feeling it. The other characters, I'm quite excited about how their journeys are progressing, but last night, as my enjoyment of my favourite school-based drama was rudely interrupted, I realised that this other character - and they're quite a major character so it's not like I can just ignore this - I needed to stop and think about just where they were going. What I don't want is a story that isn't strong enough, that's weak and half-hearted; that character doesn't deserve that. And leaving things the way they are could also mean I run the risk of bringing the rest of the story down, and I'm not willing to do that.

Which of these characters from 'Striker' is about to take a very different journey in 'Extra Time'?
For the past week or so I've had a little niggling doubt at the back of my mind that this character's story wasn't really going in the right direction, but I tried to kid myself that I was wrong, that I could make it work, but, like I said before, I just wasn't feeling it. And, as a writer, if you're not feeling something, then it probably means you shouldn't be writing it. 

It's only one strand of the story, of course, and changing this character's direction isn't really going to affect the story all that much, but it does mean a substantial rewrite in parts. But it's necessary. I think that, what I've now got planned for them, I think it'll make the story flow better, I really do. I guess, before, I was almost making them do something they didn't really want to do, making them go somewhere they didn't really want to go, and eventually they let me know that something was wrong. So I'm dealing with it. I'd rather they'd waited until after the MasterChef final to let me know there was a problem because, quite frankly, I wasn't concentrating. Those finalists could have been cooking beans on toast for all the notice I was taking at times, but when your characters are talking to you, it's pretty hard to ignore them. Or am I just weird? Don't answer that...

Anyway, after sleeping on it, my decision hasn't changed. And that character whose journey wasn't heading in the right direction, well, they're now going to have a slightly different journey thrust upon them, but, deep down inside, I think it was the journey they were always meant to go on. And I can't really say any more because saying anything about what any of the characters from Striker are up to in 'Extra Time' would really spoil it for anyone who hasn't yet read the first installment in this trilogy of books... However, all I can say is, I hope those who have read Striker will like what's coming next. There are some surprises in store, lots more sexy scenes... and a lot of hard work lies ahead for me! Evidently!! Still, what's happening right now is just another example of how the characters authors create can actually let us know themselves whether or not we're doing right by them. They have a voice - and I'm glad I listened

Right, I'd better get cracking then. I've got a lot of work to do... 

Just another day in the life of this indie author... ;)

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Creating that character - Kenny Ross from 'No Matter What'...

As the halfway mark looms large in this first draft of 'Extra Time', the second book in the Striker Trilogy, and I once again find myself becoming totally engrossed in the lives of the characters involved in this story, it got me thinking about some of the other characters I've created in the past, and how close I've become to some of them. 

Now, I don't know about other authors out there, but there are some characters I feel closer to than others. That's not to say that I'm not close to all my characters, I am. I wouldn't be able to write about them otherwise. It's just that, well, there are some I've created that will always have a special place in my heart. And one of those is the character of Kenny Ross, from No Matter What and Illusions of Love, mainly because I can remember the exact moment I created him. And that moment was two decades before No Matter What even came to light. But he was there, in the back of my mind, for all that time. He was always going to come to life at some point. Always.

So, just how did Kenny come to light then? Well, it all began one evening back in 1991 in the Cannon (formerly known as the Classic) Cinema in West Monkseaton. My sister and I were there to watch a film called Point Break - not much of a plot but after five minutes it became quite evident that it could have been the worst movie ever made and I was still going to enjoy it because, quite frankly, the eye candy was amazing! And so my lifelong crush on Keanu Reeves was born. It began that very night, as I watched that film. And my Keanu Crush just got stronger as I spent the next four nights back in that cinema, watching that movie over and over again. The plot didn't get any better, but I just couldn't get Keanu out of my mind, I mean, even his character's name in that movie - Johnny Utah - even that was something else! I just love that name!I wish I'd thought of it...

Keanu Reeves (left) with Patrick Swayze in 'Point Break'. And so Kenny Ross was born...
The way he looked in that movie, the way he walked, talked, laughed, it all stayed with me. And I just knew, there and then, that I would put that crush to good use one day, and base a character all of my own on Keanu.  

Now, to be quite honest, all of that makes me sound like some weird, obsessed fan-girl, but I know now that it was just the beginnings of something that wouldn't see the light of day for another twenty years. That's all it was. No need for any restraining order or anything... ;)

Keanu Reeves as FBI agent Johnny Utah in 'Point Break'
Anyway, I didn't know exactly who Kenny would be at that point, of course. I just knew that, one day, a character who looked like Keanu in his younger days would appear in a book of mine - giving me endless excuses to watch Point Break over and over again, and even now, twenty-two-years on, I still never tire of watching it. It holds a lot of memories does that movie. 

But that was only the start. Over the years Keanu only got better looking, which only served to give me more and more "research" for Kenny's character, which was a good thing, seeing as No Matter What was turning into something of a saga - which it ended up being. That book spanned twenty years (and 800 pages!), beginning in 1991, which was perfect for me. Kenny began life very much as a Johnny Utah-esque figure, a hot young movie star, but with a spiritual side. And I loved him from the very first second I started writing him. All those memories of decades ago, of first discovering Keanu, they all came flooding back as I created Kenny. And from that moment on he became - and still is - my favourite character. Ever. Out of all my books, he's always the character I come back to. The character, out of all them, that I want to keep writing about.

More 'Point Break' action... Now, where did I put that DVD...?

But, as No Matter What spanned twenty years, so the character of Kenny had to grow, but, as the years rolled by, he never lost any of his good looks. That movie star with the rock star edge, that's how I like to describe Kenny. And, as I'm a huge fan of what I like to call "scruffy Keanu" - when he has the beard and the longer hair, and wears the faded jeans and the army boots - that's how Kenny developed, too. 

"Scruffy Keanu" - I still would...
And now, even after two books, as both Kenny and Keanu head into their late forties, Kenny Ross will be making another appearance in a third book containing some of the characters from No Matter What and Illusions of Love. Because I can't let him go. I just can't. Every now and then I get a burst of inspiration as to where I can take him next, what the future holds for him, and so many people like the character of Kenny, it would be wrong to never write about him again. I just couldn't do that.

Love, love, LOVE this pic!
So, it took just one night (well, okay, five nights) in a little, now-demolished cinema for me to create Kenny Ross - albeit in a very vague form. But that was the night that character was born, so to speak. The night that kicked it all off. My Keanu Crush has been put to good use over the past twenty or so years, and I only hope it serves me just as well in the future as I write the next installment in Kenny's life. 

Just like Keanu, Kenny's grown older, but he's still a star in my eyes. And I can't wait to spend more time with him in the future. Oh, the research possibilities that might entail... I love being an author... ;)

So it leaves me with just one thing left to do, and that's to thank Keanu for giving me the character of Kenny Ross, because, without Point Break, I'm not altogether sure Kenny would have existed...

No Matter What and Illusions of Love are available to download from AMAZON