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It’s a Red Letter Day…

Today is one of those writerly days I’ve dreamed about for, oh, say the last six and a half years…

Today, I signed with The Nash Agency, and I finally can say I have a literary agent.

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The Nash Agency is owned and operated by Haylee Nash. I was lucky enough to have something to do with Haylee when she worked for Harlequin Australia when my debut book His Brand Of Beautiful was published by Harlequin Escape.

Haylee has published some of Australia’s highest-selling books from authors such as Rachael Johns, Fiona McCallum,  Sally Hepworth and Kylie Scott, and has worked for Pan Macmillan Australia, Harlequin Enterprises Australia and Booktopia.

The Nash Agency will represent my contemporary fiction with a book called ASHES, and also my future rural and contemporary romance books, including the Chalk Hill series I’m working on now.

Thank you for your faith, Haylee! I’ll be doing everything I can to do you proud.

 
 

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Margaret River Region Open Studios April 22 – May 7

I had the huge pleasure last night to join two talented Cowaramup artists, painter Kerry Sibly and sculptor Alan Meyburgh, at the launch of Kerry and Alan’s exhibition for this year’s Open Studios.

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One of Alan Meyburgh’s sculptural creations. This looked amazing lit up at night.

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My connection to this clever and versatile pair is that Kerry illustrated and designed my Butterfly House ‘Who Killed The Bride book cover… plus he lives in the same street as me, and in our street we’re always up for a party. 🙂

About 80 people came along to the launch, held at Kerry and Wendy Sibly’s house. The house itself made an amazing frame for an art exhibition. At different times Kerry and Wendy’s home has been in the lens of programs such as ‘Grand Design’; and on the radars of some of Australia’s house and lifestyle magazines. It’s an incredibly special place, filled with personal traits, tricks and treats.

Kerry and Alan made a combined sculpture that they offered as a prize on their launch night. Alan sculpted the heart, and Kerry (in his words) “added the rusty barbed wire to it”.

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Kerry Sibly stood on the kitchen bench to make his speech at the launch. He’s holding the sculpture he and Alan put together as a prize for launch night. Alan is pictured in the centre bottom of the screen, and the lovely lady in the background is Wendy Sibly, Kerry’s better half. PHOTO: Emily Cockburn.

 

We were thrilled to have the sponsorship of Stella Bella Wines and the Margaret River Dairy Company for our launch. There’s nothing like viewing art, sculpture, and books whilst enjoying classic Margaret River wine and cheese!

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A sample of Kerry’s artwork above Alan’s sculptures.

The Margaret River Region Open Studios (MRROS) is now in its fourth year, involving artists of all pursuits from Busselton to Augusta who open their studio/shop/shed or workplace to visitors where people can peruse and buy artworks, but also talk to the artist and see them at work.

Over the next few weeks, I’m relocating my ‘writing room’ across to the Sibly’s house for several mornings a week, and I’d love to see you for a cuppa and perhaps to chat all things books, writing, and reading…

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People are laughing… so Kerry’s speech must have been funny. PHOTO: Emily Cockburn.

If you are in or around the Margaret River region, please look for the Open Studio signs everywhere, or visit www.mrros.com.au to see what’s on offer.

Kerry and Alan’s exhibition is No. 51 in the Guide. They’re open every day from 10am to 4pm, including ANZAC day.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in News, Uncategorized

 

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Happy Easter everybunny

How’s things at your house this Easter Sunday? At Chez Malone, I have two boys a little slow with that typical Easter Sunday afternoon over-indulgence of chocolate. But the Easter eggs very nearly didn’t happen at all. Hubs and I had gone to bed and he was snoring rather soundly when I sat bolt upright thinking ‘Omagawd! The eggs!’

Yes. Having specially got the kids to decorate the shoe boxes I use for Easter loot with their names and a drawing for the Easter Bunny, I forgot all about filling the shoe boxes with Easter Bunny treats.

So with much prodding at about midnight, hubby was encouraged up and into his jocks to cheerily hide tiny chocolate eggs about the garden for our traditional Sunday morning easter egg hunt, while I counted, divided (equally) and distributed the Easter Bunny eggs into the shoeboxes.

Phew. Crisis averted.

And we can then happily snooze-forward to Easter Sunday.

Hubs is in the wine industry here in Margaret River and Easter is prime-time vintage – which means he had to go to work today, while the kids and I planned Easter Sunday brunch.

Last year, I had enormous success with a German apple pancake recipe I found on the Internet. But I couldn’t find the recipe this year, so I went with Jamie Oliver’s German apple pancake instead.

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I don’t know what I did wrong but it tasted terrible. Even dollops of whipped cream couldn’t help us eat it. My Facebook friends are bringing me to believe that I put the ingredients in the blender in the wrong order. I should have started with the liquid ingredients then added the dry… but I just did my normal and bunged the whole lot in and pressed ‘blend’.

To make matters worse, right at the end I tried to sprinkle a little nutmeg over the apples… and the nutmeg lid flew off which meant a whole heap more nutmeg than I’d planned landed on my apples.

I tell you, baking is never dull in my house!

Whatever you’re up to this Easter, I hope you have fun with family and friends, or just to take time out doing what you like to do.

Me? I’m crossing fingers that I’ll have big bookish news for the blog this week. There, I’ve said it. Hope I haven’t jinxed myself!

xx Lily

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2017 in News

 

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Words, Words, Words = New Book Done!

Phew!

It’s been quiet here and there is a bloody good reason for that! I’ve been incredibly busy since February when my two boys went back to school. I’ve been head down, bum up, writing to finish my new rural romance, Water Under The Bridge.

This is the book I started in NaNoWriMo last year (National November Writing Month). In November I got to my personal target of 30,000 words on the book. The vast majority of those (particularly the latter half) were drivel… and have since been dumped. Then it was end of school, Christmas, New Year, school holidays, camping, back to school, and I didn’t do much writing in January.

But the day school started in February, my new work/life balance of working two days in my administration job, and writing Wed-Thurs-Fri, kicked in… and I am so happy to tell you I’ve been very disciplined!

I finished my book on Friday last week. I typed these words with such gusto!

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That means I wrote about 53,000 new words (probably more because some of the earlier drivel had to get cut to smithereens), and edited the entire lot, in about 5 weeks. That’s good going. That’s about 10,000 words a week, with edits along the way.

Here’s how I did it (if my tips help any procrastinators out there):

  • After I dropped the kids to school on Wed/Thurs & Friday, I set the oven timer for my 1.5 hour sprints, and sat down and wrote. I would have done this at least 3 times in the day, so 4.5 hours of writing, usually with a bit of an edit after school.
  • So that I didn’t go too hard and hurt myself (writers/office workers, all types who spend hours at the keyboard will know that neck/back issues can be a problem) when my oven timer ‘timed’ I’d get up and move and do something else. That might be make a coffee and take a walk around the garden; hang out some washing, empty the dishwasher, go for a quick 45minute walk etc. I’d stretch against the door on my way into my writing room and stretch coming out, using an elastic rope of my hubby’s. My great mate and pilates’ instructor neighbour explained that it was important to stretch/release the chest muscles to counteract how tight typing can make my back and shoulders… and so far it’s worked perfectly.
  • I made myself accountable for my time – using the adage of “make an appointment with your writing self”… and it worked too.
  • I didn’t give in to temptation to do other things, like lunch with mates, coffee, longer walks. See – disciplined!
  • I surrounded myself with positive people who were cheering me on! Thanks Louise Allan and the Lollygaggers, my mates, and all the usual suspects!

So now that the book is with beta readers, I have time for other things – like blog posts! I have a few to do. One for the Naughty Ninjas, one for Maureen Eppen’s Shelf Awareness series. I’ve been for a walk this morning down the beach – just beautiful – and tomorrow is my Mum’s birthday so we’re going out for lunch. I’ve been catching up on my reading and I have to share with you how much I’ve just loved a book called SHELTER by the amazing Rhyll Biest. Here’s my review.

When your book is out with beta readers, the waiting is such a killer, so keeping busy is the plan. Then it will be a case of acting on what they come back to me with, then submit, submit, submit.

Then I get to write a new book! And you know what the really cool thing is? I’ve discovered Water Under The Bridge, featuring Jake and Ella, is the first in what will be my Chalk Hill series… and it’s Abe’s story next 🙂

Now that’s really exciting!

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2017 in Naughty Ninjas, News, Procrastination

 

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And So It Begins…

Today as they say, is a brand new day. It’s Wednesday. It’s bloody hot! I am not at work, and I’m not on holiday. This is day 1 of my 2017 life of working less and writing more.

Given there are a few people who’ve threatened to arrive at my house at the end of a day wanting to check the word count on my manuscript (you know who you are), I’d like to take this opportunity to reassure the world that I’ve been busy 🙂

5.05am: Awake & plotting Chapter 14 of Water Under The Bridge in bed

6am: Actually sit down and edit through chapters 12 and 13 to find out where I’d got to.

6.35am: Have enough of that, above

6.45am: Go back to bed

7.30am: Until 2 children knock on my door because they’ve been given the job of taking down the Christmas tree today… and they can’t unwind the lights, the tree is too tall unless they stand on a chair. Is it okay if they stand on the chairs?

7.31am: Get up and unwind the lights before the kids set fire to the house and/or break a bone/break my chairs

7.35am: Cup of tea and check Facebook & catch-up with what’s happening in the cricket

8.35am: Make a Facebook promotion that says this: (because it’s true! I’m on Sale!)

Kickstart your reading year!

Each of my Escape Publishing books is $2.99 in a big New Year Sale  🙂

at Amazon AU, Kobo, Google, iBooks, and Booktopia

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9.25am: Help grizzling children pack up the last of the Christmas tree

9.35am: Go shopping for groceries.

10.35am: Unpack groceries while checking what’s happening in the cricket.

11.35am: Test-run the new milkshake maker. Prepare strawberry milkshakes for the kids. Verdict: they are more like thick-shakes and the kids don’t need lunch now, thanks very much, Mum.

11.45am: Make muesli bars. (Sidebar: I used to make these all the time but I don’t think I’ve made them in this new house. That’s at least 2.5 years since last time. Verdict: they work!)

12.30pm: Lunch, while watching cricket

1pm: Clean the house. Properly clean the house, including baths & showers & dusting & mopping. (A downside to my new working less hours life: it’s goodbye to the luxury of my treasured once-a-month lady who came and cleaned for me)

2.30pm: To the beach! (after all that cleaning I was bursting to get into the water…)

3.30pm: Home. Make the kids a snack (because we forgot all about lunch, remember?)

4pm: Cup of tea. Facebook. Write a blog post about my day!

4.22pm: Edit said post.

4.33pm: Battle for 10 minutes with trying to set tabs in WordPress, and giving up

4.44pm: Hit publish on said Blog Post!

4.45pm: When does the Big Bash start? Oh… look, it starts right now. Turn on the cricket!

4.46pm: Gosh I need a beer

4.47pm: (from the couch) “Can somebody please cook dinner? I’m exhausted!”

So that about sums it up to date. It’s been a great day – I’ve had so much energy (well, till now)! I hope my lovely job-sharing trainee has had a wonderful day too…

xx Lily

(feeling relaxed, beachy, rocking this whole school holidays Mum caper, lovin’ life!)

The words for Water Under The Bridge can wait at least another day 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2017 in News, Procrastination

 

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas is always exciting, but the lead-in to Christmas 2016 has been even more exciting for me because there are such big things ahead in 2017 🙂

Next year is the year I’m dedicating towards producing more words and more stories, and so I’ve given notice at my ‘day’ job and from January 1st, I’ll be job-sharing with this wonderful lady in the photo – Sue.

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I intend to spend much more time at the beach, (NO! I was just trying to check if you were paying attention) of course I mean, writing.

First though, there are presents to wrap, food to prepare and eat, champagne to uncork and drink… and cricket to watch!

Whatever you are doing for Christmas, I hope it brings you smiles and joy.

Every best wish from me,

Lily

xx

 

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2016 in News, Uncategorized

 

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When Cows and Butterflies come out to play

Q: How much fun can an author (moi), a cover designer (Kerry Sibly), two giftshop owners (Kerry & Wendy Sibly), a photographer (the very patient James Bunting), a journalist (Nicky Lefebvre from The Augusta-Margaret River Mail), and a Cowaramup cow have during a photo shoot?

A: Too much fun. Will Cowaramup ever be the same again…?

Thanks James Bunting for the photos!

Check out Nicky Lefebvre’s story here.

You can get your personally signed print copy of Who Killed The Bride, Butterfly House Book 1 for $18.95 by emailing me lilymalone@mail.com or if you’re in the South West, call into Mukau Giftware and Gallery in Cowaramup or Barefoot Books in Fig Tree Lane, Busselton.

More information about the book is right here.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in News

 

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