(reblogged from AusRomToday, where J’aimee is running an amazing competition!)
Tell us a little more about your housewife, Lana:
Lana had to work hard to achieve her success and status; she never forgets that even if others do. She’s loyal, independent, strong-minded, but fair. She lives life her way. She loves young men and has no shame about her flirting or her sexual habits. She treats men well, but only for a short time.
What inspired Lana’s story:
I had to create Lana from these instructions: “A once famous soap star who is into toy boys. Big flirt who makes eyes at all males in her vicinity especially the young handsome ones”. I wanted her to feel real, so I started looking around at famous people who had some of the characteristics I thought Lana needed – Samantha from Sex and the City, Kerri-Ann Kennerley, the late Charlotte Dawson. These women are all strong, independent, attractive, and they flirt. So I created Lana using bits of them as inspiration. The rest is all my crazy, warped mind!
What was your biggest challenge in writing Lana’s story?
At one point, reality overtook fantasy. I realised Lana was about my age, and she was picking up young men who were just older than my nephew. I got creeped out and it showed in my writing. A friend asked me what happened, and I had to go back and fall in love with the fantasy of Lana and forget reality. It was a very important thing to learn – we’re writing fantasy! Plus I was a bit overawed by the company I’m keeping with this series. There are authors here who I look up to and admire, whose careers I’ve watched grow.
Why will we love Lana?
To love Lana, you have to buy into the fantasy. Forget reality. Focus on a strong woman who is doing what she wants to do. A woman who isn’t hurting anyone. A woman enjoying the life she’s made for herself. A woman who takes what she wants and enjoys herself. Let yourself fall into a world of fantasy, fame, money and sex.
The Housewives of Sydney series promises that we’ll “find out what goes on behind the doors of the most exclusive addresses in the country”. What was the appeal of joining this series? Similarly, what has been the biggest challenge?
The appeal and the biggest challenge are probably the same thing for me – working with the 10 other authors and Kate Cuthbert. When I worked with many of these authors before, my writing went from sub-standard to publishable – that’s how much I learned and how much they shared. I wanted that again – the camaraderie, the tips, and learning from being in discussions with these more experienced writers. They give out gold nuggets without even noticing!
Another appeal for the series was that it’s a brilliant idea. Kate is visionary – who else would think of a secret confession series? To be invited took my breath away. How could you ever say ‘no’?
The challenge was holding my own when I wasn’t sure I belonged. Within a few days, some authors had stories, characters and motivations developed. I was still in shock after reading my instructions and trying to think what I knew about fame, riches and toy boys! I had to stick to my writing process and believe in my writing process. That was a challenge.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I learned so much, again. Working with more experienced authors is priceless.