Hi Jennie, thank you for having me! I’ve been watching ‘Country Manor’ since you started and I love your website.
In that case - you’d better come on in, Lily.
Lily Malone and I have a legitimate reason for opening a bottle of something light and refreshing. So limber up, grab a lilo (in case we decide to take a dip in the pool) and come languish with us on the terrace as we find the luxury of time to talk … Lily's writing!
(Oh, and by the way - congratulations on the release of your second novel: The Goodbye Ride ... see below!)
Take it away, Lily Malone:
Are there cowboys or country manors in any of your stories?
Cowboys and Country Manors? Hmmm. Well, houses and habitats are very important parts of the two books I’ve written to date: His Brand Of Beautiful and my new one The Goodbye Ride...but I can’t claim too many cowboys or country manors, as such. (As such? - Is Lily leaving the door open?) In His Brand of Beautiful, there is an outback scene where they go horse-riding and what is probably most surprising about that scene is that it’s Christina who proves herself more of a cow-Girl vs Tate being a cowboy. (Ah ha! Now she’s talking cowboy/cowgirls - I’m winning her round, folks.) He’s a country boy at heart so riding comes naturally to him, but Christina is a city girl and all through their outback trip he’s setting her up for failure. He’s taken her out of her comfort zone to prove to himself that she’s not the right girl for him. Of course, she then starts horse-riding and shooting a gun like Annie Oakley, and... I’m sure you can see where it’s going from there!
I certainly can. (Interesting to note how clever some writers are, isn’t it? One simple, strategically placed question finds Lily looking for country manor or cowboy attributes in her novels - and finding them!)
But houses/habitats are important props in my books. In His Brand of Beautiful, where Tate lives is key to some of his issues in the book. He has a guilt thing going, and he’s found himself in a big sterile city mansion type of a house, all modern, white and stark... and he hates it.
In The Goodbye Ride, Olivia is still living with her parents. There are reasons why she’s living there, but Owen questions why a girl her age (24) would still be living at home and until she shares the reasons why, he can’t work out why she’s staying in a house that is (quoting Olivia) “an advertisement for bleach,” and it’s a house he quickly sees is making her unhappy.
So settings are important for me, but I can’t quite make that stretch to ‘Country Manors’... :)
Mmm … not so sure, Lily. You didn’t do too badly there!
Will you tell us about yourself and what genre(s) you love writing?
My name is Lily Malone and I am an addict... No! Not to wine! I promise. I am addicted to writing. I have written all my life in my media career, beginning way back in about 1993. English came easy to me in school and finding a career involving words seemed a natural fit. But creative writing and romance writing was a whole new challenge. I thought I knew it all. I thought it would be easy. Yes, I can hear you and any readers out there laughing at me already. (I’m not laughing, I’ve been there.)
I had so much to learn when I started writing *seriously* in 2010, after the birth of my second son. I’ve been through what everyone goes through, submissions, rejections, revisions, resubmissions, re-rejections... Until about two years after I started trying, in one beautiful weekend, I had two publishers say they wanted His Brand Of Beautiful. I went with Escape, and that book launched in March 2013.
I’m writing Contemporary Romance at the moment. I just finished my new novella The Goodbye Ride
(it launched 23 May - yesterday). (Woo hoo! And this book is currently free on Amazon.com!)
At the moment I have another full-length story to work on, called Fringe Benefits. That one has an option to Escape Publishing as a follow-up to His Brand Of Beautiful. I have one more idea in the wings related to the wine industry - which has been my ‘brand’ to date... then I might think about something different. Possibly a harder-edged book with fewer happy endings?
Are you fun to go on holiday with?
I used to be. I was great fun to party with in my 20s on the Greek Islands. I think I’d be a bit of a lazier holiday buddy now. If I managed to get a girls holiday going, without kids, I’d be so tempted to fill that holiday with a book by the pool with some type of drink they serve with an umbrella in it. But I think I could still find it in me to rock the dance floor with the gals at night... As long as they let me sleep in next morning and don’t expect me to go hiking somewhere at the crack of dawn.
What are books for?
Escapism. Drama. A bookshelf. (Nice one.)
Will you name one entity you feel supported you outside of family members?
RWA certainly. Facebook and the group of writing friends (such as you Jennie Jones) who I’ve found there. I kept my writing very secret for a long time, from family. Even my mother/sister/in laws etc didn’t know I was writing for at least
12 months. I only started coming out of the closet when I felt I was ‘getting’ somewhere... I finalled in RWA’s First Kiss comp in 2012 (April) and after that, I began to get more confident about what I was doing.
Do you see writing as a career?
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just thank you so much for the support. ♥
What kind of research do you do for your stories?
Well, I write a lot about wineries and vineyards (and compared to what you might think, not so much about the actual wines)... research? Well... I drink a lot! (Ahem - in moderation of course - regularly but not to excess!) I am lucky that I’ve spent the majority of my life in wine regions of Australia. I’m in Margaret River now but the past decade or so I spent in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, where wine is hugely important to that state. I have also worked for wine magazines and publications and that helps get me what I hope is an authentic background behind my wine/vine/winery descriptions.
Thank you for having me Jennie and huge congratulations on The House on Burra Burra Lane.
Thank you, Lily! Time to pop another cork? I think we deserve it.
Lily, your story to publication is a lot like mine. Thanks for coming all the way up from Margaret River, Western Australia. Drive safely on the way home, and no stopping at the many wineries en route for … em … research.
Here’s where you can find Lily Malone after I wave her off at my blue door:
Lily Malone Blog
Lily Malone on Goodreads
And - where to buy Lily's books:
His Brand of Beautiful
The Goodbye Ride - Breaking news! It's free on amazon.com - yes FREE - but only for a short time.
As always, Jennie recommends readers purchase (or pre-order) the titles of their dreams and support the writers who have taken the time to answer these questions. Writing is hard work and not for the faint-hearted - but so joyful for the reader. What would we do without books (and writers)?
Feel free to leave a pleasant comment, we’d love to hear from you!
Jennie & Lily