Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Goldie and congratulations on the release of “Penelope’s Ghost”. You have some 80 titles to your credit, from where do you draw inspiration to write across all those genres?
I began my writing career with commissioned books for Young Adults as part of the Dolly Romance series under the pseudonym of Gerri Lapin. These small novels taught me a lot about writing. Since then I have written in almost every genre. I must be the original Jack of All Trades. Perhaps the only genres I haven’t tackled are adult movie/TV Scripts, graphic novels(can’t draw for nuts) and erotica. Interestingly, Clan Destine Press who has just published my latest YA novel, “That Stranger Next Door” has suggested I attempt one. We’ll see…
Do you have a favourite genre or another one you can see yourself venturing into?
I am easily bored, so I tend to drift from one genre into another. That’s why I introduce myself as ‘A Publishing Slut’ as I go from one company to another. ‘Penelope’s Romance’ was my first attempt at writing adult romance. To my utter delight it was picked up in the United States almost immediately. My ‘Mentoring Your Memoir’ was self published but it is presently my best seller. It seems everyone has a story they are dying to tell.
You’ve won many awards as well, including the Australian Society of Authors mentor program 3 times. Can you tell us about that, please?
One way or another, I have been teaching Creative Writing these last 25 years; both in traditional adult writing classes and through mentoring individual authors. These are talented people who have won this opportunity via the ASA. We all learn a lot. It’s said that when you teach, you relearn that stuff all over again.
Do you write one book at a time or have many on the go at once?
I usually concentrate on one book at a time, but often other books need another draft before they are published. And then there’s the marketing….
What would we find on your book shelf / e reader?
Don’t ask! I was in a bad traffic accident 2 years ago and in hospital and rehab for 10 weeks. Thankfully, I was brought a Kindle. I have something like 300 books on it at present because I belong to 2 book-clubs, one adult and literary, the other children’s – this includes story picture books, middle range novels and Young Adult novels. And there are many books recommended by friends or reviews I become interested in. I have friends who write wonderful books for all ages such as Hazel Edwards (we have co-written a lot together). Though she is best known for her Hippo books, look her up. You will be impressed by all she has written.
Do you think that exploration of other genres helps to strengthen writer’s craft and skill?
Anything and everything improves a writer’s skills, the most important being reading! Read what other people write. And eavesdrop on conversations. Listening in on trams, buses and trains to other people on their mobiles provides excellent fodder.
Writing a memoir is different to fiction. What are the elements of a compelling memoir?
I guess an exciting memoir depends on what kind of life the memoirist has had. I wrote about my first 30 years and stopped at that point because all the people I was nasty about were safely dead and couldn’t sue me for defamation. There is really nothing different about writing a memoir than writing anything else. All use the same techniques. This is what I try to teach aspiring memoirists.
Is writing a memoir more difficult in regards to the feeling that you are writing facts about yourself as opposed to creating a fictional character?
Unless you terribly inhibited or ashamed of yourself, it is possibly easier, though it may bring up unpleasant/unhappy memories. The trick is to see yourself as ‘a character in a novel’. I recommend that aspiring memoirists create a character dossier describing how they might appear to others.
What do you do in your spare time, (if you have any!).
You make me sound like a ‘workaholic’ which I possibly am. But as I am a bad sleeper, I rarely work at night, confining myself to sitting at the computer most mornings. At night I like to read, go to the movies, watch TV, cook and of all things knit (It’s like Greek worry beads and soothing.)
Could you give us a sneaky peek at one of your favourite parts of ‘Penelope’s Ghost”, please?
“When Lisa Harbinger takes a job as nanny to a prestigious Australian family, she gets more than she bargained for: two spoilt children, vengeful ghosts, a long-unsolved mystery and a blazing passion she and her enigmatic boss are unable to deny. Fleeing a humiliating end to a passionless marriage, Lisa Harbinger seeks refuge in a posh summer retreat on Australia’s lush South Coast. There she finds work as a nanny for two willful children on one prestigious estate. But behind Rangoon’s ivy and red brick walls lies a mystery: What really happened to the family’s beloved Penelope?
Even more mysterious is Richard Prescott. Cold and aloof by day, Lisa’s boss heats up her nights and awakens her soul. But to have a future they both must escape their pasts. Vengeful ghosts and a generations-old curse seek to bring ruin on Richard and his family. But if Lisa can find the answers, she—and her growing love—could be the one to set him free.”
“He fell in love with someone else,” Richard repeated thoughtfully. “Was she a friend of yours?”
It must be time to confess. What he would think of me after that, I didn’t dare consider. “Actually, she was a he. Simon fell in love with Robert and finally admitted he was gay.”
Richard’s eyebrows shot up. “Married to someone as lovely and intelligent as you? That’s almost impossible to believe.”
Lovely? Intelligent? Not knowing how to respond to these compliments I said quickly, “I think Simon always knew he was gay. Even when he married me, he was just in denial. I was too dumb to wake up to it.”
“When you did realise, how did it make you feel?”
“Angry. Miserable. Then totally stupid,” I answered. “There were so many hints, but I kept on ignoring them.” Then I dared to venture, as the atmosphere between us was definitely pulsing, “He was never interested in sex.”
His face blank, Richard turned to the next page of the book we were sharing, then another. In the pause I heard an owl hoot and the wind rustle a branch against the window.
At last he put down the book. “Never interested in sex. That mean you’re not? Let’s find out.” With this, he placed one arm around my waist and with the other hand tilted my head so I faced him. Then he carefully and delicately placed his mouth over mine.
Buy link: Boroughs Publishing Group.
Thank you for taking part in our Author Spotlight, Goldie!