Friday, December 12, 2008

All Hail el Presidente, Kelly Hunter!

by Anna Campbell

It is with huge pleasure that I introduce my dear friend and fellow Aussie, 2008 RITA Finalist Kelly Hunter.

Kelly is not only the author of sparkling, idiosyncratic, romantic books for Harlequin Presents Extra/Modern Heat/Sexy Sensation, she's also the President of
Romance Writers of Australia. She's great fun to be around as you'll all discover when you read her answers to my interview questions.

If you'd like more information about Kelly and her books, check out her

Kelly, your current release is PLAYBOY BOSS, LIVE-IN MISTRESS which is out in the U.K. in December (you can order it
here and not pay postage and packing). Can you tell us about this story?

Ah, yes. The pirate story. May as well be upfront with you from the start and confess a fascination with a certain Captain Jack Sparrow around the time I wrote this story. Boats appeared. Sydney Harbour. My hero became a corporate raider and developed something of a swagger. My heroine developed wiles worthy of Mae West. And yet buried beneath the romp is a wounded heroine, a patient hero, and a friends to lovers story that’s really kind of sweet.

They’re walking past an airport terminal soap shop:

‘What say we forgo your PA training for the next couple of hours and I meet you back on the plane?’

But the ancient Asian saleswoman had already made her move. ‘Come. Come,’ she said waving them into the shop proper. ‘It is good for the man to choose the soap for the woman. Choose now, benefit later, no?’

‘No,’ said Sienna, but the saleswoman ignored her.

‘This one,’ she said, and handed Lex a block of soap. Ylang ylang and lemongrass. Smell good, no?’

Lex sniffed. Considered. Decided. And all without giving Sienna a second glance. ‘No,’ he said as he handed the soap back to the woman. ‘She’s more of a rosehip kind of girl.’

‘I am not.’ said Sienna.

‘Rosehip and vanilla?’ said the saleswoman, picking up another block of soap and offering it to him. ‘This one you like?’

‘Hello,’ said Sienna. ‘Over here.’

‘Got anything with ginger in it?’ said Lex.

‘Sandalwood and ginger,’ said the woman and passed that one to him as well. ‘Also matching body lotion, hand cream, and shampoo.’

‘Sold,’ said Lex and produced a wallet from his trouser pocket. ‘Don’t bother wrapping it.’

‘How sweet,’ murmured Sienna. ‘You think we’re done here.’

‘We are done here. You wanted soap. You got soap, moisturiser, and shampoo. What more could you possibly need?’

This wasn’t about need. It was about shopping. Possibly about revenge. ‘There’s a men’s range.’

‘No,’ he said hastily.

‘Oh yes.’ Sienna studied him serenely.

The saleswoman studied him too. ‘So much hurry,’ she said. ‘Does he have airplane to catch?’

‘He just got off one.’ Lex opened his mouth to speak. ‘He’s about to tell you he already has soap,’ Sienna murmured. ‘Anyone would think he’s not a patient man.’

‘A man with no patience is like an ocean without fish,’ said the woman, and continued to study Lex. ‘Why even cast the net?’

‘I have fish,’ said Lex indignantly. ‘I have plenty of fish.’

Sounds like another winner coming up, Kelly. You are brilliant at dialogue, as I'm sure you've been told before! Your next release in America is May’s THE MAVERICK’S GREEK ISLAND MISTRESS, that U.K. and Australian readers already know as TAKEN BY THE BAD BOY. Can you give our U.S. Bandita Buddies a sneak peek at this story?

This is the third story in my Bennett Family series. This one features pilot Pete Bennett, little Greek islands, a goddess divine, a first kiss as it ought to be remembered, anticipation, frustration, seduction, expectations, and an unstoppable tumble into love. We're not talking anguish and heartache here. This one’s purely for fun, and you can find an excerpt here.

What’s next for Kelly Hunter?

Another Modern Heat story, set for release in July 09 in the U.K. This one’s set in a chateau in Champagne in France. It’s called MAVERICK MILLIONAIRE, HOUSEKEEPER'S DAUGHTER and beneath all the glamour and wealth it’s a simple coming home story.

Can you tell us about your writing journey?

I was first published in 2006 as a launch author for Mills and Boon’s Modern Extra subseries so I’m a relative newcomer to the writing business. I write two books a year and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the line I write for grow and expand into all the regular Harlequin world markets. At the moment the writing journey gets squeezed in between the day job and the demands of teenage sons, a husband, three dogs, four cows, chooks, a pig called Bella Mary, and a garden I can’t seem to leave alone. You can never have too many roses, I say. Bella Mary agrees.

You write for the Harlequin Modern Heat/Sexy Sensation/Presents Extra line. Can you tell us what differentiates this line? Any hints for aspiring writers targeting this line which seems very open to new authors?

There are excellent guidelines for the line, as well as an editor podcast that points out the similarities and differences between Modern Heat and Modern Romance, over at My advice to myself whenever I sit down to write one is that even though these are lightweight feel good stories - easy on the tragedy and darkness - they still need a compelling emotional heart. Find it. Work it.

Can you take us through a day in the life of the fabulous Kelly Hunter?

Oh, that Kelly Hunter. She rises at ten to seven, gets everyone up, waits for teenage boys to ready themselves for school (that’s like watching grass grow), then drops them at school on the way to the day job. She dons lab coat, teaches eager university students about the joys of soil chemistry and physics (these are fantasy eager university students as opposed to the hungover and supremely uninterested ones who have been known to grace my lab) and finishes work at three. She then turns into after school Taxi mum, and arrives home two hours later with children in tow and also more mss words owing to fabulous mobile office (ie a laptop and a car). What’s for dinner? Erm... Teenage son takes pity on his mother and cooks… something. Family time happens. If I’m on deadline I’ll head up to bed around 9pm and write for a couple of hours. Occasionally I need incentive in order for this to happen. Chocolate. The promise of a new book to read after a certain amount of words have been writ. Wine. Sometimes I light a candle - one of those hideously expensive aromatherapy ones that smell divine but that you wouldn’t dare light for any old reason on account of it’s like watching money burn.

Kelly has very kindly offered one lucky commenter a copy of her latest witty, wonderful romance, PLAYBOY BOSS, LIVE-IN MISTRESS. Her question to the Banditas and Buddies is:

I’m always on the hunt for new incentives that’ll get me up those stairs and into the story. What are some of yours?



Helen said...

Is he still at my place

Have Fun

flchen1 said...

Ooh, missed him by a feather! ;)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

DRAT! Helen, you are a fast one!

Helen said...

I was really trying to be slow today but obviously he wanted to stay probably for the Tim Tams it isn't the weather it has been cold and raining all day we are in track pants and it is summer here LOL.

Great interview Kelly and Anna these books sound really good (BTW one of my son in laws names is Lex) just the weather here at the moment for curling up with a good book, are you in Sydney Kelly can you believe it.

Some new temptations to get you up the stairs to write chocolate you have mentioned and I gotta say that would be one of my favourite temptations and of course a great book with a hot sexy hero gets me all the time.

Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Gosh, Helen, you'll have to build a permanent chicken run at this rate! I hope he's behaving himself!

Wow, talk about neck and neck, Fedora! You're both up as logging in at 12:38!

Kelly, sorry I should have explained - the first poster of the day gets to spend the day with the extremely urbane and erudite Golden Rooster.

Anna Campbell said...

Gosh, Jeanne, you were close too! What is it with you girls?

It's stinking hot up in Queensland, Helen. I rather envy your cold weather down south. I've just been getting the house ready. Got visitors coming to stay tomorrow. I'll say one thing for guests - they make you do some cleaning which is a GOOD thing! You would adore Kelly's books. I think they're right up your alley.

Anna Campbell said...

Kelly, a question I meant to ask but ran out of room for in the interview - can you tell us what your role is as president of Romance Writers of Australia. It's a lot of hard work, I'm sure, but can you tell us what you think the benefits of taking such an important job are?

Amy Andrews said...

Ah Kelly, Kelly. One of my favourite authors. And on one of my favourite blogs. Yes, I know, haven't been here much lately but you know there was the small matter of a broken arm and a deadline. Anyway - I'm here. And so is Kelly - yay! Good one, Anna!

If y'all haven't read a Kelly Hunter you don't know what you're missing. They are fantastic. With a capital F.

Okay, fan girl moment over.

I'd like to say something etheral and luxurious motivates me to write but I usually find my credit card debt a more than reasonable, if unromantic, motivation to get thee into my office. Plus, you know, the's the only way I can get them to shut up.

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Kelly! I'm still LOL over Lex insisting he has fish! Love the excerpt - your books sound fabulous!

I'd say a new incentive for me is going to be a couple of your books! I'd say Playboy Boss, Live-In Mistress to start *g* Maybe the promise of such a fantastic read will help me finish my latest proposal :-)

I also have a teenage son who cooks. But only chicken quesadillas and burgers *g*

Have you ever had an idea that you thought you started for one line only to figure out later it was better suited to the other line?

Thanks for the fabulous interview, ladies!

Beth said...

Yes, I know, haven't been here much lately but you know there was the small matter of a broken arm and a deadline.

Amy, I had no idea you'd broken your arm! I hope you're all healed!

Donna MacMeans said...

Amy - gentle cyber hugs - you broke your arm? Is there a story to go with the cast? (and were you able to milk it to get some help from the dh? *g*)

Helen - The GR must be loving it at your place! He's not going to want to move on.

Kelly - what a fun interview. Your stories sound great. I find the scented candles help - not so much as an incentive - but there's something about the scent that means it's time to get to work -- one of those brain association things. Now incentives to light the match to light the candle...that's the rub. Can't wait to see what everyone else says.

Amy Andrews said...

Thanks Beth and Donna - no grand story I'm afraid. Just slipped in the kitchen on wet tiles and put my arm down to break my fall and broke it instead :-(
I keep thinking I should have some glamorous story like - well, the chandeleir broke and then... but you know, I dont think I can pull that off :-(
Beth all of Kel's are great and her RITA one is fab, set in the orient and it made me laugh and cry - but then I read her next one, Taken By the Bad Boy, and it's even better. Don't you hate that??? Why do authors feel the need to impress with better and better books?? It makes it very hard to keep up... ;-)

Hello, my name is Amy and I am a Kelly Hunter-holic....

Mel said...

AA, it is annoying how a certain el presidente keeps getting better and better lol If she wasn't so nice...

Great interview, Kelly and Anna!

Kelly Hunter said...

Hi Helen,

Congratulations on your acquisition of the rooster/cockerel/banty/er...cock

A good book will always get me up the stairs (or squirrelled away in a comfy chair somewhere) but not to write!

I know one writer pal who treats herself to one M&M per completed page. What remarkable restraint! She cn't really mean one per page, can she? I'm thinking one per word.

Kelly Hunter said...

Helen, no, I'm not in Sydney. I'm about 6hrs north and we've not had nearly as much rain. Still good book readin' weather though.


Helen said...

The GR is really relaxed and comfy here at the moment although we have been through a few packets of Tim Tams will need to re stock the pantry tomorrow. Fedora I reckon we should be sharing him seeing as how the times are the same.

Kelly I forgot to say how much I loved the photo of Bella Mary she is cute.
I have added your books to my must get list Kelly which is sitting around the house for everyone to read dropping a few hints to them I love getting books as presents.

Have Fun

Kelly Hunter said...

Anna, as President of Romance Writers of Australia Inc, I get to play figurehead to an amazing crew of talented, clever, and generous volunteers. We work to provide support for all levels of romance writers, Australia wide.

The organisation is in its 18th year and I love the vibrancy and the ever changing landscape that comes with being part of the management team. I've forged great friendships during my years on cte. I've reaped the benefit of endless support. Do I sound like a commercial?

Kelly Hunter said...

Thanks for stopping by, Amy and Mel, and for the lovely compliments.

Both these ladies have been - and Amy still is - on the RWAust exec. I have Long Island Iced Teas here with your names on them. They're somewhat potent. We may not make it up the stairs. Not sure we should use them as incentive for anything actually...

Kirsty C said...

Another Kellyaholic here. Sleeping Partner was an awesome book - the others aren't to be sneezed at either!

I checked in on your website the other day Kelly and got all excited about your next release. December it said. So I'm down at Kmart getting very cranky because I couldn't find it, and of course in my excitement I didnt read that it's out in December in the UK. Not out here until Feb. Argh! So I'm crossing my fingers I win one here!

My best way of getting the words down is bribery - with books, taped TV shows and craft. Once I've done my limit I can spend the night (what's left of it) doing what I want and feel good about it (rather than guilty).

Thanks Kelly, keep up the good work. Both the writing and the governing!

Kelly Hunter said...

Hello Beth, thanks for the welcome.

I hope you enjoy Playboy Boss if you do ever happen upon it. It was my banter book - I try and pick something to particularly work on every book, setting, secondary characters,whatever. In Playboy Boss I tried to bring that old fashioned hollywood movie banter between hero and heroine to the story. Hence the fish.

Keira Soleore said...

With Kelly Hunter as the guest here, the chook was bound to stay with you, Helen. Besides, we all suspect, you have some secret up your sleeve that makes the GR want to only be with you. Watch out though; he might hoodwink you yet; and fly off to meet-n-greet the chooks on Kelly's farm.

Kelly, welcome to The Lair. Thanks to Fo (AnnaC) for this opportunity!

Jack omghawt Sparrow!! He's been the inspiration of many of my dreams, story-wise, of course, not RL.

Kelly, congratulations on launching such a successful sub-series. I had no idea the M&B line is so knew, barely 2-3 years old.

I never thought I'd say this before, but Bella Mary has my heart. She's so cuuuuute.

You must move to Seattle. Grass grows like weeds over there, way too fast, under 10 months of mist and rain.

An incentive for you, Kelly? It seems like you're super-efficient and organized already, so my hunch is that none are needed. However, I would suggest that being able to give up those dreadful brats, er, eager university students, in order to write full-time might do the job of the stick and the carrot. What do you think?

Banditas, might I suggest that you perhaps include a date along with the news items in the right sidebar of the blog?

Kelly Hunter said...

Beth, I'm getting better at figuring out what my line (Sexy Sensation/Modern Heat/Presents) will tolerate, but it's still a process of trial and error.

Before Modern Heat acquired my work I wrote stories first and tried to decide where they fit afterwards. Not the brightest idea I've ever had. With category romance in particular, I do think it helps to identify the line and market you're aiming for. Then again, if you don't write a few different types of stories early on, how will you know which ones you enjoy writing the most?

Keira Soleore said...

Amy, glad to have you back. A broken arm and a book deadline seem mutually exclusive, but you seem to have achieved the impossible: turned the book in on time and healed the arm.

Fo, you've been talking about the heat being "stinking" in Qld for a while now. Is this rather like the Vienna/Thames effect, or just an expression?

Kelly, I'll have Fo's Long Island Ice Tea since I've heard that she prefers wine. Ha!

Kelly Hunter said...

Helen and Keira, I'm loathe to speak ill of the delightful Bella Mary as she can (and does) keep me amused for hours, but she was a teen in her prime when that pic was taken. Think the-miniature-pig-that-grew. Think 600kg sow. Jowls. Necks. Huge body, tiny trotters. Think Mud.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Kelly! Thanks for the great interview! I loved the excerpt and definitely want to read the whole story! Please excuse my ignorance, but are the Aussie releases also available in the US? At the eHarlequin site, there's only one of your titles listed, and it's sold out :(

Congrats on the GR, Helen!

Keira Soleore said...

Christine, I just caught up with your blog o' jaunts. Off to comment in that thread.

Kelly Hunter said...

Hi Kirsty, yes, a Feb release for Playboy Boss in Oz. Me, I've been waiting for it to arrive for 8 months...

Kirsty, because I often write late into the night I can't bribe myself with something afterwards. Bribery has to happen during the session. Chocolate and wine are my favourite incentives, but one makes you woolly brained and the other makes you wish you exercised more.

The one thing that always gets me up the stairs and into a sttory is a looning deadline. Three weeks to go and *cough cough* how many words still to go? I'm there. But there has to be a less stressful way...

Kelly Hunter said...

flchen1, word has it that all the stories will get to North America eventually. Two have gone there to date - both sold out quickly, much to my delight. Another is due on NA shelves in May 09. Another towards the end of 09. Hopefully I'll slot into a 2/yr schedule in NA as well. At least until I start writing more than two a year...

Jane said...

Hi Kelly,
Congrats on the new release. Sometimes knowing that my work is appreciated is an incentive to get things done right and efficiently.

jo robertson said...

Delightful interview, Kelly and Anna. Welcome to our Lair, Kelly.

You should feel right at home seeing as you have chooks and we have one golden chook who travels thither and yon each day depending on who captures him with the first comment of the day.

Your books sound like a fun read. I love the cleverness of your dialogue.

Pepsiholic that I am, I find a huge decanter of icy Pepsi the greatest incentive to keep me writing into the wee hours of the morning. Of course, I'm a little strung out the next day LOL.

Helen said...

Well one of my daughters is in labour very early yet we have just come back from the hospital she has had some pain medication and the midwife and Doctor say probably tomorrow so maybe that is why the GR wanted to stay again to see my new grandson.

Jo How are things with Emma and Sandra?

Kelly my grandparents had a hobby farm on the Central Coast of NSW when I was young and we had a pig named Betsy and I was on holidays there when she had 9 piglets and they are really fun to watch but yes they do grow

Have Fun

Kelly Hunter said...

Thank you for the welcome, Jo. I do feel quite at home, what with talk of golden roosters and chookpens and the like. We have a gold and black Seabright bantam rooster here at the moment who's quite the lad. I have been known to watch him with a grin, and then with a snigger give the hero-in-progress a few of his traits. You take your inspiration where you can get it, right?

Icy Pepsi, huh? I'll have to give it a try.

Kelly Hunter said...

Helen, fingers crossed for the safe delivery of your grandbaby! Keep us posted.

Waiting up for exciting news - I'll add it to the list of things to keep one writing into the night...

Anne Gracie said...

I've read Kelly's book and it's FABULOUS!!!!! I smiled all the way through it, except for the place that I cried. ;) And that suit.... to die for.
More please.

Nicola Marsh said...

I adore your books but I think 'Taken by the Bad Boy' is a favourite!
So US readers, you're in for a treat in May!

Maureen said...

This was an interesting interview for me because I had not heard of Kelly before but I liked the little bit that you featured. The 12 Days Bandita Christmas sounds like fun.

Amy Andrews said...

Hmmm, Kelly, did I tell you already that Long Island Ice Tea's are my fav cocktail??? They sound so delightfully posh don't they? One would never guess at their lethal contents....

Thanks Kiera - arm all healed, book done. See? It's amazing the limits cc debt will push you too ;-)

Trish Morey said...

Hey Anna, thanks for letting us all know Kelly was playing in your sand pit! And thanks to excerpt I now cannot wait to read Kelly's next book. Anne Gracie, how come you've read it already? Most jealous. Love that banter.

And I so agree with Anne G - more please!!

Any more of those Long Island Teas going begging? Cos I am...:-)

PJ said...

Helen, sending good wishes for the safe delivery of the grandbaby! I'd already figured out that's why the GR won't leave you. He doesn't want to miss the big events! :)

PJ said...

Welcome to the lair, Kelly! Terrific interview! Love the banter, both in the story excerpts and between the two of you. I can already tell I'm going to love your books, Kelly. I'm still chuckling over the "fish" comment! LOL!

Food, especially chocolate, is always a good incentive for me to get things done but I have to admit that what works best for me is that dreaded deadline. I'm a reviewer, not an author, and also a world-class procrastinator but when a deadline is looming the brain kicks into high gear and somehow, magically, words appear!

I'm with you on the M&M. No way that person is only eating ONE per page!

PJ said...

Amy, I'm so glad to hear you're healing!

Kelly Hunter said...

Evening Trish, Nic, Anne, and Maureen. Plenty of Long Island Iced Teas available tonight, it's that time of year.

Nicola writes fabulous stories for Modern Heat and Harlequin Romance, Trish writes gorgeous alpha males for Presents, Ms Gracie writes perfectly wonderful historicals. Amy writes excellent Medical Romances that I wish would find their way on to North American shelves. When they tell me they've enjoyed one of my stories I get the goofy grins.

Gannon Carr said...

Welcome to the Lair, Kelly! I loved your interview with Anna. Can't help having fun with her. :) Your books sound like they could be incentive for readers like me!

Isn't chocolate a universal incentive? For me, it is. Like PJ, I'm a reviewer, so the looming deadline always lights a fire under my butt.

Laurie said...

My number 1 incentive for things I dislike doing (like shopping and cleaning) ICE CREAM... A great,refreshing pick me up!
I enjoyed your interview! I love the Presents line so I definitely will be back to visit The Romance bandits!!

Buffie said...

Hey Kelly!! So glad to have you here with us. Great interview!

What really works for me as an incentive is just knowing that I will get to do what *I* want to do whenever I finish that looming project. Like PJ and Gannon, I'm a reviewer and those deadlines seem to sneak up on me quicker and quicker every week.

I have a question for you. Does being President of Romance Writers of Australia take up quite a bit of your writing time?

Joan said...

Hi Kelly! Welcome to The Lair!

We have a couple of cabana boys who cook. Drat! No, wait...I think AC absconded with those a while back.

And kudos for you on your Presidential role. As a Board member myself I know it takes some work but I also know there is nothing more rewarding than leading a group of dedicated writers.

PLAYBOY BOSS, LIVE IN MISTRESS sounds great! I LOVED the excerpt you gave. Lex and Sienna seem totally matched. What kind of soap did Sienna pick out for Lex?

Joan said...

I have Long Island Iced Teas here with your names on them.

Umm....not sure I'd let Amy have any right now....

Just sayin'


Amy hope you're better!

Gillian Layne said...

Kelly, your books sound delicious!

Helen, how exciting, a grandbaby! Many congratulations!

I know other authors who buy themselves a beautiful charm for their charm bracelet each time they publish a book--or submit, or finish, or start a new one! Any way you approach it, it sounds lovely. And I'm fond of pretty, sparkly things. :)

Louisa Cornell said...

Gracious, Helen! People are starting to TALK!! He must be waiting on the arrival of that grandbaby!

Hello, Kelly! Great interview, La Campbell.

I do love the sound of Lex - kind of a take charge type. And as it is 28 degrees here some HEAT sounds wonderful! If I have to wait until February to read it I may be frozen by then.

Who wouldn't be inspired by Jack Sparrow's swagger?

For me the incentive to write is that I promise myself a book off the TBR tower if I finish a certain number of pages. Chocolate and Milo's tea are not incentives, they are FUEL!! I can't write without them!

Lois said...

Oh, if I'm rereading a book that I loved, then I know I have something great to look forward to. . . if it's new and it's an autobuy author, then I know it's a very good chance I'm going to love it. . . and if it's totally new (new to me, new period), then it's the adventure of reading something totally new and the possibility I'm going to be adding to my favorites list! :)


MsHellion said...

OMG, I love that dialogue--Anna's right, you are a master at dialogue. "How sweet, you think we're done here..." and "I have fish. I have plenty of fish." (Which is totally reminiscent of "My compass works fine" so I love that nod.)


A massage session (I'm all about the massage nowadays)

Hot cocoa (the good kind; it's cold here right now, so warm drinks sound more appealing than wine to me. Also if you pour in some rum, it's even better.)

If you write so many words/pages, you can put in North & South and watch the "train scene" three times (not the whole movie, just that scene. You watch it once to calm you down; once to make you sigh; and once as a reward.) I find putting in Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one) and fastforwarding to the scene where Jack smiles over his shoulder--it has a similar effect.

A basket of cheese fries. (I do love cheese fries...but this is probably not a good incentive. Too many negative things can happen. *laughs*)

You can phone a friend and chat with a "real person" for a while. (Or email. But email is more dangerous because I can email all day and not stop; but I don't like being on the phone above 30 this way you can talk to a real person, have some laughs, but then get back to work again.)

Kirsten said...

Kelly, fabulous excerpt--nice to hear a woman put an alpha in his place! I can't wait to see what she does to him in the bedroom! Me--ow!

Thanks for swinging by the Lair to show how to do things Aussie-style. Any chance you can make a Bandita eligible for your give away? (bats eyelashes becomingly) Pretty please?

My motivation for writing involves hiding from my children. Some days it's either hide away at the coffee shop writing about naughty faeries and gorgeous men, or play Barbies and help write 3rd grade book reports. Or even worst -- the most dire fate of all -- help put together the dreaded school diorama! EEEKK!! I guess you don't need much temptation to avoid that fate, right? ;-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Lest you think I'm terribly rude, Kelly, let me shout out, Welcome to the Lair! :> In the wee hours of this morning, it was all about rooster chasing. Ha!

Your books sound fabulous and I loved your description of "Find it. Work it." It made me LOL. :>

Kelly, glad your arm's healed up and the deadline met. Whew, and OUCH! on that one.

Amy, I'm with you. I'm motivated by all I want to do around the house and what I've already done that I need to pay off! Ha!

Another incentive for me is getting to go outside and play. Unless it's two a.m. Heehee. I like to write in the wee small hours too, but it isn't conducive to getting the wee boys - 4 & 8 - up for school. The two a.m. write-sessions means groggy mommy at 7 a.m. Urg. I can't wait till my DH retires so HE can be breakfast-and-school-run mavin.

Change ice cold Pepsi to Diet Coke, and I'm with you. Chocolate...yeah, Louisa, that's FUEL! So are baklava and Doritos (not together...ewwww!)

Mostly though, as Amy says, it's the voices.

Sue A. said...

Hi Kelly! I'm looking forward to reading your books after learning about you here through this wonderful interview and this cool little excerpt.

If you're a collector you could set writing goals that have to be reached before you are allowed to add to your collection. Have something picked out and place a picture of it close by your work space.

Minna said...

Chocolate and books!

Rajaton - En Etsi Valtaa Loistoa

Virginia said...

Chocolate is the best one! I also use books and other little treats to get me going.

Cheri2628 said...

Interesting interview, great excerpt, and a picture of THE pirate! I'm glad I stopped by! :)


terrio said...

Goodness, it's hopping over here today. Love the interview and that excerpt is terrific. Definitely need to add this to my list.

Nothing gets me writing these days so I'm afraid I don't have an answer. A reward for me would be more sleep. Or if someone promised to add more hours to my day. That would be a huge incentive.

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview and excerpt, looking forward to the read!

robynl said...

a small reward at day's end such as a Mocha Frappachino from Starbucks is incentive for me, the reader.

Anna Campbell said...

Gosh, you girls are having a party here! Kelly, I hope you're still sober enough to talk to people!

Isn't Kelly great? I knew she'd make a great guest. She's got this fabulous dry wit that just cracks me up every time I talk to her. If you haven't read the books, get them. There's an address in the blog for a UK place that doesn't charge postage for the ones that aren't available in the States yet. Seriously, a book by Kelly Hunter will add a champagne sparkle to your Christmas!

Hey, Kelly, how's that for a plug? And the best of it is I MEAN IT!

Eva S said...

I'd love some chocolate and good books too... Kelly,I have to look for your books, they sound great! I think my internet bookstore may have some...
And I'd love some snow...

Congrats Helen, he must love your place!

Anna Campbell said...

Amy, so glad you're back fighting fit again! Isn't it great to have Kelly on the Bandits? I think she's a Bandit at heart, don't you?

Beth, so glad you enjoyed the interview. Kelly's voice just shines out like a beacon, doesn't it? I remember I read an excerpt of her first book on her website before it was out and just thought, WOW, what a voice!

Scented candles, Donna? That's a good idea. I might try that. I find music helps me. Somehow it focuses my mind.

Mel, thanks for popping over! So glad you enjoyed the interview!

Anna Campbell said...

Kelly, I heard the M&M story and thought WHAT? I'd maybe treat myself to a packet once I've done a page - which is why I can't have chocolate in the house when I'm writing!

Helen, the Bella Mary photo was cute, wasn't it?

Kelly, thanks for that stuff on being president. I think you're a wonderful figurehead!

Kirsty, thanks for coming by. This is the venue for Kellyholics! Laughed at your KMart story. It's awful when you WANT a book but it's just not out yet, isn't it? I mean, it's written, why can't we just read it!

Anna Campbell said...

Kelly, your banter book? All your books are banter books, you silly sausage! Even the cockatoo gets classic lines in Priceless! By the way, the cockatoo was one of my favorite characters I read in a book last year!

Keira, M&B has just celebrated its centenary which made for lots of fun events around the place. The Sexy Sensation and its various incarnations line is new, though. Kelly's book launched it. Isn't that right, Kelly?

Oh, putting in the dates in the news items is a good idea, Keira. I've got some to put in. The Green Monster ended up coming second in the Barclay Gold! Go, GM!

Anna Campbell said...

Kelly, I think experimentation is part of any apprenticeship! I don't think many of us land our first book on a publisher's desk fully fledged to fly high above the bestseller lists.

Hey, Keira, what's the Vienna/Thames effect? Sounds like something out of a sci fi movie!

Ah, Kelly, isn't it sad how age and gravity catch up with us all?

Fedora, even if it takes some effort to get them in the US, Kelly's books are definitely worth it! As I said, the Book Depository in the UK will send anywhere in the world post free. I've been using them to add to my TBR pile for a little while now. With the exchange rate and no postage, it works out much cheaper than Amazon for me.

Anna Campbell said...

Hasn't Christine been a flutterby lately, Keira? She might even make it to India - she seems to be going everywhere else! Oh, a week on Heron Island on the Barrier Reef. Doesn't that sound great?

Samuel Johnson had a great quote about a hanging being a wonderful way to focus the mind. Actually I just looked it up - "The prospect of hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully." Well, I find deadlines do the same thing!

Anna Campbell said...

Kelly, congratulations on selling out! Hmm, that didn't come out quite right...

Jane, positive strokes sure do help!

Jo, laughed at you on the Pepsi high!

Helen, wishing you all the best for the big event!

Actually, I think we find inspiration for alpha males where we can find it, Kelly! I had a lassie dog when I was a kid and seriously, he was the greatest gentleman I've ever met, and that includes all the two-legged variety. I think about Astro when I'm writing one of my knight in shining armor types! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya, Presidente pre-Kelly! Thanks for popping over!

Nicola, I have to get Taken by the Bad Boy. Hmm, that didn't come out right either! Thanks for dropping in!

Maureen, I think all the Banditas have swapped their masks and thigh-high boots for red ensembles with white fur trimming. Seriously, these prizes are GREAT! Especially the Christmas one! Glad we've introduced you to a great new writer!

Anna Campbell said...

I've never had a Long Island iced tea. Hint, hint...

And now that Trish is in on the act! I went a little green at AG getting a sneak peek at Kelly's latest too. Perhaps it's a president club thing! Thanks for coming by, Trish!

I think the GR is staying with Helen because he knows big celebrations are on the way, PJ!

Yeah, PJ, you're with me on the M&Ms! A likely story!

Anna Campbell said...

Gannon, thanks for that lovely compliment! It's hard not to have fun when Kelly's around! Seriously, even if you're not a category reader, check out Kelly's books. They're really great! Sadly, I can't use too much chocolate as an incentive because then there would be too much of me!

Laurie, thanks for popping in! One of the things I love about our guests on Bandits is that we talk about all sorts of romance. I've picked up some great new authors by hanging around in the lair.

Buffie, that's a good incentive. And it's not fattening. Unless what you want to do for you includes food. Sadly, I think my list would!

Anna Campbell said...

JT, glad you're enjoying meeting Kelly!

Gillian, I know writers who do the charm bracelet thing too. I always buy myself something significant when I get a book accepted. I got a really glam handbag with the last contract.

Louisa, something from the TBR pile is a great incentive. I'm looking forward to attacking mine after Christmas for a couple of days.

Anna Campbell said...

Lois, what a lovely description of the pleasures of reading!

Hey, Hellion, you're just teasing me talking about the kiss scene from North and South, aren't you? Sigh!

Kirsten, hiding from the children? That gave me such a laugh!

Jeanne, baklava, YUM!!!

Hey, Sue, what a good idea! Unless one happens to collect chocolate...

Minna, do YOU collect chocolate? LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, books and chocolate. Works every time!

Hey, Cheryl, it has been a luscious day in the lair, hasn't it? I love the excerpt too!

Terri, sounds like the busy season is getting to you. Hang in there - things usually slow down after Christmas. I hope that's the case for you!

Anna Campbell said...

Tetewa, do yourself a favor - get this book!!!

Actually, Robyn, I hear you. Although I must say my reward is a nice glass of Aussie red. Really relaxes me and takes away all the stresses of the day. Hic!

Eva, you might have luck finding Kelly's book at a UK site. Good luck!

It's very early in the morning over here. I suspect Kelly might still be asleep but she'll be over once she's woken up and chased the pigs, the kids and the chooks into their respective corners, I'm sure!

Cassondra said...

Kelly, welcome to the lair!

These books sound amazing. I will admit, right here in front of God and everybody, that I don't tend to like the uber alpha heroes, but the dialogue in this snippet makes me want to read it. So I'm going after it and I can't wait. I haven't had any reading time in several weeks, and may not until after the holidays, but hey, what's wrong with stuffing my own stocking a bit.

Oh dear. That sounded a bit rude, didn't it?

Fo, good on you for bringing Kelly to the lair!

As to rewards, I'm afraid I haven't found a really good one yet. Getting to read is one of them. A glass of my favorite Tawny Port would be another. I have no willpower so I can't hold out on the chocolate and pastries and such. I eat them first and then there goes the power of the reward. Ah, well.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, thanks for the link, Anna--that can be my incentive for getting some more of the piles of stuff out of the living room! Yep, books pretty much always works for me! ;) *off to search the Book Depository...*

Leslie said...

Loved the excerpt with Lex and Sienna. Gave me a chuckle about Lex's fish.

As for incentives, chocolate is always a good one for me. Also I negotiate with myself ~ if I get "whatever" done then I get to read and relax for X amount of time.

Pat Cochran said...

Welcome to Ms. Kelly, thanks for joining us today! Anna, great
interview! You always bring us the most interesting visitors!

Not being a writer, my task lately
is finding more reading time! I
seem to be spending more time gift
wrapping, baking, and getting ready for the holidays!

Congratulations, Helen! The golden
fellow seems to have set up his
residence with you! He knows the best places to be!!

Pat Cochran

Kelly Hunter said...

Ladies, sleep overtook me. I went to bed around midnight and set the alarm for five am with every intention of rising bright and early to come and play. The rooster crowed, mine eyes cranked open, dh groaned and not in appreciation. I figured five minutes more sleep on a Saturday wouldn't hurt.

So... seven am here now and my cup of tea is at the ready. Thank you to everyone who's stopped by. I'll try and answer all questions but if I don't, please be blunt and yoohoo me again.

Hi Donna M. Fragrant candles are working a treat as incentive to write at the moment. I'm sticking to one particular scent per book and finding that it does slide me into the mood of the book fast.

Kelly Hunter said...

Hi Pj and Gannon,
Chocolate really is set up to tbe the perfect indulgence, isn't it? It sits there with deadline pressure at the top of my incentives list.

Laurie, you'd like my heroine in Playboy Boss Live-In Mistress. The housekeeper in this story (Rudy the former frigate midshipman who's loosely based on Steven Seagal) is a man of few words who also cooks. He spends most of his time attempting the perfect ice cream recipe, giving Sienna a tiny taste of perfection, deeming it highly unacceptable, and then giving it to the next door neighbour's rottweiler. Perhaps I need a Rudy in my life. Bella Mary certainly thinks she does. She loves ice cream...

Helen Bianchin said...

Long Island tea? Chocolate? And Jack Sparrow! This is some party!

Kelly, love your books, every one is a gem. Can't wait to read your latest.

Estella said...

Great excerpt!

Kelly Hunter said...

Hi Joan, thank you for the welcome.
I had to go back to the story to see what soap I gave him. Here's a little more of the scene:

'Allspice and lemon thyme?’ offered the saleswoman.

Close. There was no denying the man’s edibility, although Sienna fully intended to. ‘I’m thinking cinnamon.’

‘Cinnamon and orange,’ said the woman, picking up a nearby block of soap and handing it to her. ‘Good choice.’

Sienna took it. Sniffed it. ‘I don’t know… I’m not sure…’ And with devilry in mind, ‘He may need to try it on.’

‘How –?’ he began, and then spied the basin and tap. ‘No.’

Oh yes. ‘I’d hate to choose wrong. Imagine if the aroma didn’t complement your manly essence?’

‘Sienna, it’s soap.’

‘How little you know,’ she said and reached for his arm, pushing his jacket sleeve up to his elbow before taking his wrist and turning it to expose the inside of his forearm. ‘Think of the fish.’

The saleswoman slapped a damp cloth on his skin and deftly wet him from elbow to wrist. ‘The soap will slide,’ she said.

The soap did slide. And somewhere between elbow and wrist Sienna lost the upper hand and Lex found it.

Kelly Hunter said...

Gillian, charms and pretties have just been added to the incentives list. GOOD call. Then credit card debt will get me up the stairs anad into the story as well. Win-win all round, I say.

Trish Milburn said...

Welcome, Kelly. Sorry I'm so late to join the fun. Duty called.

I'm imagining you and all our lovely Aussie ladies down there enjoying summer right now. We had our first snow last night, though it's mostly gone now. Bleh. I hate winter.

Oh, I have to say that cover boy on Playboy Boss is yummy. Rrrr! And I laughed out loud at your description of your lab students. Hee hee. Is that picture of the pig really Mary Bella? She's cute.

Anna Campbell said...

Man, this is some party we've got going here! Kelly, I kept the drinks going in your absence - I hope that means you're going to let me share in the long island iced tea fest!

Actually, C, I wouldn't call Kelly's heroes uber alpha. They're definitely alpha but they've got too much sense of the ridiculous to be ubers.

Fedora, because books are so cheap in the US (compared to Australia!), the Book Depository mightn't end up being a long-term solution but it's a great way to get things that are more readily available in the UK like Kelly's fabulous titles.

Leslie, love your avatar! How cute is that?

Pat, I think at this time of year, we're all juggling for time. I'm looking forward to really taking up my rewards after Christmas is over. Most of Australia closes up between Christmas and New Year and I'm seriously thinking of doing the same thing!

Anna Campbell said...

Kelly, do you find one scent works over another? I must say most of my candles seem to be of the relaxation type and that's the last thing I need when I'm trying to work!

Nice to see you up and about, m'dear! I think I'll have to have you back again soon! Everybody loves you!

Hey, cool, I've got a bearded dragon sunning himself just outside my office. Do you think he knows I'm talking to him?

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Kelly, I LOVE the sound of the factotum! You do the best secondary characters - I hope you saw my ode to the fabulous cockatoo that I wrote at about 4am!

Hello, darling Helen, my mega-star friend! Helen is a bit of a legend in Aussie romance circles. We all genuflect at the sound of her name ;-)

It is a great excerpt, isn't it, Estella?

Ooh, Kelly, what a teaser! I LOVE that excerpt too. Whaaah I want this book now!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Trish! Aren't we having a blast today? Excellent you could make it back into the lair!

Kelly, are you originally a country girl or are you a city ring-in? It sounds like you've got the lifestyle down pat!

Kelly Hunter said...

The thing about those Long Island Iced Teas is that they're such a refreshing little nip (or five) AT THE TIME. There's all that ice. All that lime. They don't taste all that potent. At the time.
Long Island Teas are going on the list of rewards for AFTER the book has been written. The entire book.

Buffie, you asked if being president of Romance Writers of Australia was time consuming. The short answer is yes. On the upside, there's a huge skill base and lots of depth within the organisation. Delegation happens, particularly come deadline time. We all write. We're all a little time challenged. If we need that last writing week without the added RWAust work, someone else steps in.

anna cleary said...

Kelly,you brilliant and original woman, thank you for that enchanting little excerpt from Playboy Boss, Live-in Mistress, which I'm sure I've noticed glowing like a pearl on the Modern page of the Mills&Boon website.
My mouth is watering already! Is it coming out in Aus in February?
anna x

catherine cockburn said...

Hi Kelly (madly waving hand in front of Kelly's glazed eyes) it's me! your cp! The one who gets to read your books first and tell you she hates the hero's name but loves the sex :-) I need some titivating so please send me your next opus asap.
And btw I'll not hear a nasty word about Bella's jowls or her teeny weeny trotters - she was inspiration for the porcine character in "Colorado Christmas" and is dear to my heart.

limecello said...

Ooo - congrats on the GR, Helen! :D As for what makes me want to read a story... great plot. An interesting hook - but one that is still believable. Or... heck - old hat is good for me too, as long as it's well written! :P Apparently I'm a pollyanna who is easy to please today! :D

Kelly Hunter said...

Anna, my heartfelt thanks for holding the fort at 4am, and for plugging Pat. That also didn't come out right, did it? Anna, check your stars - you may be up for a busy day what with plugging the parrot, being taken by the bad boy, and associating with a sell out. You might need a nap come lunchtime.

Anna, I was born country, raised city, and couldn't wait to get back where there was space and breathing room. I've the best of both worlds now - living 10km outside a small but cosmopolitan rural centre with a large international student base. No traffic, a glorious landscape to admire, and company and shopping whenever you want it. We lived in Malaysia for a while - that was fantastic too - but in a totally different way.

Anna Campbell said...

Hello, Anna Cleary! Nice to see you here. Is it your first venturing into the lair? Pull up a cabana boy!

Catherine, aren't you in Colorado? Anyway, lovely to see you!

Hello, Polly...Limecellow! All that sounds perfectly fine to me!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually I've got visitors coming in about an hour so Kelly, the fort will be all yours! Actually I wish Pat was a man - I love a man with a wicked tongue. Hmm, THAT didn't come out right either? What's wrong with us today???!!!

I could tell you loved Malaysia. It just glowed out of the book you set there. I really wanted to stay in that hotel in Penang right on the beach!

Kelly Hunter said...

Anna, I'm besotted by an In Essence (that's the brand) candle called Zanzibar at the moment. Exotic, a little bit sexy, it's perfect for the current wip.

Minna said...

I do collect cookbooks with chocolate recipes in them...

Minna said...

I do collect cookbooks with chocolate recipes in them...

merry christmas everybody

Kelly Hunter said...

Anna, enjoy your visitors and thanks again for your outstanding hospitality. I'm having a lovely visit.

Helen B, Estella, Anna C - geetings and thank you all for stopping by.

Anna Campbell said...

Kelly, you've been a pleasure as always! Hoping it's not too long before we catch up face to face! And good luck with the new books. I'm sure they're going to be huge hits like everything else you write! All those Kellyholics out there are waiting with bated breath!

Don't forget to check back in the next few days to see who won the copy of Kelly's book, lucky ducks! I'm guessing I'm not eligible. AM I?????!!!!

Kelly Hunter said...

Catherine! How's Colorado?

When Catherine's not in Co she's living beachside in Australia. Definitely the best of two wonderful worlds! Catherine's first book, Colorado Christmas, is a Christmas 09 release for American Romance. Louella the pig is a secondary character in the story whose natural bent is to steal the show. I looove Louella.

Kelly Hunter said...

Anna, you're going to get handed one as I'm on my way out the door. It's only polite to leave a little something for the hostess...

The rest of the UK copies turned up this week so we could possibly put another book up for grabs - this one fo a Bandita?

catslady said...

Seems like I'm the only one who hasn't read your books :( I do need to remedy that :) Congrats on being a 2008 RITA Finalist.

Michele L. said...

Oy' there Kelly!

What a fun blog! My first time here. Hi everyone! Loved reading all the comments everyone had.

Oh gosh, what better incentive to get you up the stairs and fast is?...running shoes and a handsome man waiting to fill your order! Ha,ha!

Well, on a serious note, maybe look at it this way, the little bit of writing you get done today is that much less you will have to do tomorrow. Light your favorite candle, put on soft music, have your favorite drink nearby, sit in a comfortable chair, and relax. Now, don't fall asleep! I find when I am writing if I have my favorite drink with my favorite crunchy snack mix nearby, I am raring to go!

You are an awesome writer! I love your books! Have an amazing Christmas!

Kelly Hunter said...

Michele, it's my first time here as well. It's a welcoming feelgood kind of place, isn't it. Puts me in mind of an Irish bar. Dark wood, mood lighting, drinks all round, and a brilliant storyteller or ten in the corner. A tune starts up... someone has a fiddle (that came out wrong) Anyways, a fun place to visit.

So glad you enjoy my stories (preening happening here, just a little).

Kelly Hunter said...

Catslady, this was my first rita nomination as well as my first Romance Writers of America conference. Colour me completely overwhelmed. It was a fabulous experience, no doubt about it. But daunting.

Sharon said...

Hi Kelly and Anna!

I love your Bennett family stories, Kelly! You have such a lovely, witty way with words.

"The soap did slide. And somewhere between elbow and wrist Sienna lost the upper hand and Lex found it." What a great last line to tease us with! I can't wait to read more! Hand washing is never going to be the same!

As for a new incentive idea - hey, I'm here to read everyone else's.

Commiserations on your arm, Amy - it's no fun break bits.

Thanks for having Kelly to visit, Anna! It's a fab blog!


anna cleary said...

I'm sure you'll be less daunted at the next one, Kelly. And after a few Rita wins you swan around, I believe, flinging largesse to your adoring masses!

And a query of the lovely Ms Anna, if she is still with us. When you have these visitors, do you offer them freshly baked scones and light and fluffy passionfruit sponges?


Kelly Hunter said...

Oh my! Fluffy passionfruit sponges and freshly baked scones? You'll mention butterfly cupcakes next and have me weeping with hunger for them.

Sharon, there's more to that scene than meets the eye (nore nodding to Carribean Pirates) Last sneak peak, I promise:

‘Now you rub with your hands,’ the saleswoman told her. ‘I take the soap.’

Lex’s mouth curved lazily and his eyes gleamed. ‘I like a firm touch,’ he murmured.

He got one and winced, doubtless from pleasure.

‘She’s so obliging,’ he told the saleswoman. ‘Really. Ouch!’

‘A woman without spirit is like a sky with no clouds,’ said the woman.

‘Perfect?’ said Lex.

anna cleary said...

Oh, that Lex sounds like a devil.


Trish Morey said...

Kelly Hunter, you just keep posting those excerpts and I will be one happy camper:-))

All I want for Xmas is a Kelly Hunter book...

Kelly Hunter said...

Devil? Nah. He's just a man in need of a firm and knowing hand. Preferably not his own.

Kelly Hunter said...

Ms Morey, we need to arrange a bookswap. When's your next one out?

Trish Morey said...

Ooh, now you're talkin' Kelly!

April sees my next release, Forced Bride, Royal Love-Child, and one of my yet to be delivered author copies has your name on him:-))

Trish Morey said...

Or maybe that should be, Forced Wife, Royal Love-Child...

Whatever, they get married and waddayaknow, there's a baby involved. Who knew?:-)

Keira Soleore said...

Hey, Keira, what's the Vienna/Thames effect? Sounds like something out of a sci fi movie!

Hahaha. No, dear, it's the stink from the rivers in the summer effect. You've been talking about stinking heat in Qld. I wondered if that was an expression or a sensory effect.

Fo, it's been fun to have been exchanging so many comments with you in this post. It's almost like chatting, eh?

catherine cockburn said...

"He's just a man in need of a firm and knowing hand. Preferably not his own."
LOL! OMG, Kelly I'm blushing and you know that's quite a feat for me.
Keira, "stinking hot" is an expression. I guess it's uniquely Aussie? We use it a lot in Queensland where the summers are hot and humid. I wonder if residents of the US south have an expression for the summer heat when just the effort of thinking, causes you to break into a sweat (or should that be a glow?)
Here's a couple of snow flakes for my Qld buddies sweltering through summer *********** (not very artistic are they?)
It's going to get down to negative 3F here this weekend which is about -20C in real money :-) brrrr!
Will send cold thoughts from Colorado to you guys.

Anna Campbell said...

Miss Cleary, no, I beat them with hessian whips and make them scrub floors on their knees ;-) Strangely, though, Miss Kelly seems to like this treatment!

Yeah, Keira, it IS lovely to be in such regular conversation, isn't it?

Thanks, Kelly. You've been a magnificent guest!

Danielle said...

Just wanted to drop by and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.