Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Thursday 30 August 2007

come see me!

In two weeks time I will be co-hosting a Romance Author Panel entitled "Love for Sale" at the Victorian Writers Centre with the fantabulous, generous, genius, award winning Anne Gracie. It will be interactive with time for lots of questions from anyone out there who's wanted to write a romance novel with the hopes of selling it to a publisher.

And if you haven't read an Anne Gracie novel, do yourself a huuuuge favour and do so. They are gems, keepers, tear jerkers, warm and fuzzy bunches of pure yumminess. Start with The Perfect Rake and read the whole Perfect series, and then dive into her backlist, and then wait with the rest of us for her new series beginning in 2008.

If you want to come along and play, or if you just want to giggle at me as I waddle onto stage, the details are at the botom of this post! Until then here's what the Victorian Writers Centre has to say about the evening:

Seminar: Romance writers Ally Blake and Anne Gracie will talk about their success in this ever-growing niche of genre writing. Romance comes in all manner of guises from historical, SF, comedy to crime, and there is a whole world market to tap into. Participants will be informed of current trends and innovative ways to promote their writing in a contemporary climate. This event will benefit the budding romance writer and reader no matter what their style.
When: Thursday 13/9 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Victorian Writers Centre 1st floor, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston St Melbourne (03) 9654 9068
Cost: Non-member $25 VWC Members $15/$12 VWC conc.
Rating: A


Tuesday 28 August 2007

spring is almost sprung

I was outside putting some towels on the line a few days ago when it hit me: spring was in the air.

The sky was a piercing blue, the wind rustling the trees was warm, and I hadn't felt the need to put the heater on all day. And when I loooked towards our fenceline and saw these cherry blossoms gracing the plum tree in my backyard I had to rush inside to get my camera! Or as fast as a pregnant woman can rush ;). Gorgeous, no?

Well, now I sit inside, strapped to my computer, doing my revisions with this picture as my screensaver as I pretend I can feel the sun on my face.


Saturday 25 August 2007

music, the food of love

As is always the way just as I'm getting on a fabulous roll with my new Romance, I've had a second set of revisions arrive for my MX. I blame happy hormones for my still being too nice to my characters. No more, I tell you. They have no idea what's about to hit them!

And to help, I have this gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, romantic, heart breaking song to guide me through the brand new black moment. I can't picture Chelsea and Damien on the dancefloor in one another's arms without feeling all teary. Needless to say they won't be smiling like this for long...

George Michael's A Different Corner.

I'd say love was a magical flame
I'd say love would keep us from pain
Had I been there, had I been there

I would promise you all of my life
But to lose you would cut like a knife
So I don't dare, no I don't dare

'Cause I've never come close in all of these years
You are the only one to stop my tears
And I'm so scared, I'm so scared

Take me back in time maybe I can forget
Turn a different corner and we never would have met
Would you care

I don't understand it, for you it's a breeze
Little by little you've brought me to my knees
Don't you care

No I've never come close in all of these years
You are the only one to stop my tears
I'm so scared of this love

And if all that there is, is this fear of being used
I should go back to being lonely and confused
If I could, I would, I swear

You can listen to the song at Yahoo Music. If any of you have his Best Of, have a listen. It's truly beautiful. Other gals who use soudntrack songs are the likes of Trish Wylie and Kate Hardy, so I'm not totally loony!

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Tuesday 21 August 2007

what's in a name?

In between some serious nesting which has included pulling out cupboards, tearing up old carpet, buying so much baby stuff I don't know where it's all going to go hubby and I are trying to pin down possible names for upcoming bub.

So far we're stuck.

As such discussions usually leads to high silliness from him (Rastas Watermelon being his favourite a couple of nights ago - though I never did ask if that was for a boy or a girl) and I throw my hands in the air and say, "That's it! I don't want to talk about it until the second I go into labour and by that stage you'll be so freaked you'll let me have whatever I want!"

It makes me that much more thankful for having complete control over my heroes' and heroines' names ;). Mitch and Veronica? Heaven!


Saturday 18 August 2007

arty farty moi?

A couple of nights ago I went to an art auction. Posh, no?

We had a reason. A friend of mine had a painting to sell through the Joel Fine Art Gallery. A James Haughton Forrest - Vessels at Low Tide 1918. I'd never been to an art auction before so we trundled along and it was fabulous fun!!!

High Street Armadale in Melbourne is famous for its upmarket shops and art houses. Sotheby's has a showroom there as do dozens of smaller galleries. Joel Fine Art Gallery is very schmick - all white walls, neutral carpet and chrome with makes the paintings lining the walls stand out beautifully.

At the door we were greeted with wine and a catalogue. The staff were very glam and glittery, and pretty much all of the patrons were dressed in black. Behind a partition at the back of the rasied auction room a large LCD TV displayed the painting for sale for those at the back. A few arty types mingled with others simply dripping in money. Hubby recognised the owner of the local basketball team. Needless to say we hid against a wall hoping to blend in. Picking our favourite pictures. Imagining where they might fit at home.

And the prices were phenomenal! Some paintings went for almost $200,000 dollars, many of them to one scruffy looking gent who we assumed owned a gallery or was bidding on behalf of others. Or maybe he's a billionaire looking to fill the walls of his new Brighton home. My hubby pointed a finger at something early on and we had to slap his hand down quick smart lest his bid of $42,000 stick. Why we bring him anywhere we're not exactly sure.

There was a Charles Blackman I loved which I thought would go beautifullly on the wall of the bub's room. Though at $40 odd thousand it was a tad out of our price bracket.

Unfortunately it was the modern art that was selling, the crowd obviously wasn't there for the classic stuff, even some big Australian names like Nolan and Blackman were passed in. So my friend's painting will likely return to the wall of her home until the tides turn.

But out of the night came one big find...the ocupations and setting for my next Romance!

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Wednesday 15 August 2007

off, off and away!

Revisions are done and sent. Woohoo!!! Always a beautiful relief. Though now I just have to wait for the verdict from my lovely editor.

I adore this story. I think it's unique and tricky and layered and funny with a seriously gorgeous hero (who I had to kind of ungorgeous just a tad in my revisions as he was apparently too loveable my editor couldn't see how any girl in her right minhd wouldn't snap him up and be done with it ;)), and a heroine with flaws and hopes and tangents that I just loved writing about.

Fingers crossed for good news!

So it's goodbye Damien and Chelsea, hello Veronica and Mitchell in my next hopeful Harlequin Romance - Ring a Ding Ding. Here's hoping they bring me as much of a challenge and a joy. Okay so maybe less challenge and more joy...

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i'm still here!

Sorry I've been so hard to pin down these last weeks. Time is simply spinning away from me!

I've been wasting time... Sitting on the couch watching the Scamp roll about like the Loch Ness Monster creating waves beneath the surface of my tummy. Bub's discovered hiccups as well. Midnight and four in the morning being it's favourite time to get them. Here's a piccie of me with my huge belly, I think perhaps only the second photo of me taken while pregnant. How does time slip away so fast!!!

I've been spending... We've been buying furniture for bub's room, and we bought a car!!! We pick it up on Friday afternoon and I can't wait!!! It's black and shiny and a wagon and has that new car smell and the seats are sooo comfy and now I'll have somewhere to put the bub's pram other than hanging out a window as it would have done on the tiny car I have now.

I've been pining... about missing out on the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Sydney. A huuuuge congrats to Anne Oliver whose debut, yes DEBUT, and a ModEx/Sexy Sensation to boot, won the Romantic Book of the Year RuBY. Go Anne!!!

I've been working... Oh yeah and doing revisions on my third Modern Extra, lovingly titled by me THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGER. After a final read through I'll be sending it off to my lucky ed today. It's shorter, sharper, faster and I love it to bits. Hope she does too!

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Monday 13 August 2007

look who's blogging...

Did you find Brendan Fraser simply goooorgeous in The Mummy?
Well, you can find out much more about him and his possibility as hero inspiration for the next romance novel you read or write at the Pink Heart Society today!


Wednesday 8 August 2007

steamy surrender

So excited! My September UK release, and my second Modern Extra, STEAMY SURRENDER is not only available already on the Mills and Boon website, it is also highlighted on the front page! Woohoo!

This is the book about a photographic set designer for a Parisienne fashion mag who has an addiction to good coffee and free designer stuff, & a seriously sexy entrepreneur who loves his mother and extinct British rock bands, a midnight blue 1968 MK II Jag named Bessie, an Italian gelataria called Bacio Bacio, a green Versace dress, many an Italian guy with roving hands, a chalet in the snow, and the best of Melbourne in winter and Paris in summer...

Sound like your cup of tea, or coffee as the case may be? Then check it out on the Mills and Boon website here... or find out more on my website page here...

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new new book (ignore the old one ;))

Okay, so ignoring post from a week ago during which we all drooled over a young Paul Newman, here are the hero and heroine of my next romance, working title RING-A-DING-DING. Well, that's this week at least. Here's hoping they play nice.

So while all my writing friends head to Sydney for a weekend of fabulous food, industry chatter, Darling Harbour shopping and views, Pink Breakfasts, and Jenny Cruisie at the Romance Writers of Australia conference, my big belly and I will be getting to know Veronica and Mitchell.

I know they'll be working together. I know from this picture that my heroine is going to be funky, sassy, from the Gold Coast, running away, and more than a handful for my suit-wearing, business minded hero who I know is charming, stubborn and infamous for dating younger blondes. Set in Melbourne as usual, maybe heading slightly coastal. But apart from that I know very little.

Do I usually love this getting to know you stage? I truly can't remember. Right now it feels like I'd rather be sitting on the couch eating Cheetos. But oh yeah right, that's all I want to do right now anyway. Blame the bub.

Wish me luck!


Monday 6 August 2007

busy busy

I have been...

Car hunting. Hoping I've found one we can test drive tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Cleaning. Ready to move what seems like EVERYTHING to prepare bub's room. Especially now since I've officially hit the third tirmester. Eek! I'm quite convinced this baby of mine has seventeen legs for all the movement and kicking and jabbing its doing. Though I love it. Watching my belly shift and move is the best thing in the world.

Blogging. At the Pink Heart Society and with Kate Walker and on the 1st of September I will be putting in an appearance at eHarlequin who have asked me "What Keeps me Writing?". Hmmmm... At the moment the thought of paying for new car and stuff for baby ;)..

Revisions. Which are going along beautifully. So far... I have a nice little alcove set up at the dining rom table with a double paged printout, red pens, pencils, fluro pens and my ed's notes. Add a big glass of water, a plate of M&Ms and a hot chocolate and I'm in heaven.

Footying. My team, the Collingwood Magpies, won last weekend!!! Which always puts a nice mood over the house. Bub loves it too. Everytime my team's song is played it kicks up a storm. Or maybe that's bub telling us all to keep quiet it's trying to sleep! But since this could be the last year in a looong time in which I get to go see every game in a footy season I'm making the most of it.

Coming up with a new book idea. Which is such a relief! As I have been swaying back and forth between old ides looking for something that grabbed me. In the end I decided to clear my head and wait for something brand new to come along. Here's hoping the story I've chosen is it. Please...

whimper whimper whimper

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Wednesday 1 August 2007

come party!

The party is raging over at Kate Walker's blog in celebration of the release of her 50th Book. There are daily posts and prize giveaways from a fantastic array of romance authors. Including me! Which makes me feel all blushy. And very proud since the lvoely Kate is now one of our five brand new columnists over at the Pink Heart Society blogazine!

I met Kate a few years back and if you wanna find out where and how, check out her blog ;).

I've brought my dog Squiffy along for the ride, and though she is surrounded by cats at Kate's site, all of them bigger than she is, led by Kate's infamous Sid, she is holding her own. And the person who leaves Squiffy's favourite comment on my post will win a signed copy of GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS which has not yet been released in North America and only hits Australian bookshelves next month!

I've won two books on Kate's blog already. Making me feel extremely guilty and thoroughly spoiled all at once.

Good luck and comment away!

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