Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

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

Tuesday 8 May 2012

ebook of the month :: collaging


The collage:

I've always "cast" my hero and heroine, from right back at my first ever book.  But the first time I had a go at "collaging" was at a Romance Writers of Australia conference when Barbara Hannay asked us to bring magazines, scissors and glue, and those of us doing the talk proceeded to, well, act like a bunch of joyous kindergartners!  Ripping out pictures we loved, and slapping them together on a big bit of paper.

Here's what I came up with.

The hero & heroine inspiration images changed in the writing - Danny needed to be darker, Brooke more of a mum - but the hero's air of luxury and solitude remained spot on, as did the heroine's fresh, natural, girl-next-door feel.  The "No More Mr Nice-Guy" quote which meant nothing in particular when I cut it out, ended up being the hero's entire character arc.  For me the collage was about a feeling, a tone, a dichotomy that flowed into the book.

I don't collage all that often anymore, as for me it can box me in as much as open up new ideas, but this time it helped for sure.

The excerpt:
A week later, Brooke stood in the middle of the grand foyer of the beautiful Hawthorn mansion she had called home for the past several years.  The house looked so cold now devoid of furnishings she had sold or given away, without scattered toys on the floor, without Beau’s bike and dirty shoes resting against the front hall, or scattered feathers from Lily’s pink feather boa that she never went anywhere without.
Heavy footsteps drew her from her reverie.  She turned with a smile plastered to her face to find Danny coming out of the library with Beau lifted piggy-back style. 
She blinked but it didn’t change the fact that her serious seven-year-old son, a boy who had long since thought himself too old for such things, had his skinny arms wrapped tight around Danny’s neck.
Big tough Danny Finch.  A man who bowled his last representative cricket match with a broken finger.  A man so unforgiving he’d had Australia’s top football commentator sacked for making disparaging and untrue remarks about one of his clients.  Which was why the endearing image of his large hand resting so gently over her son’s small one was so hard to digest.
The second Lily tumbled into the room, her dilapidated feather boa wrapped about her shoulders, curls galore escaping her blonde pigtails, twirling with her arms held wide, loving all the extra space, clueless as to what it meant, Brooke turned away from Danny and Beau before they could see the hazardous emotion building inside of her.
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