We're pleased to have Renee Conoulty at CLC today to feature her debut novel, Don't Mean a Thing, which is now available through Kindred Ink Press. Melissa A knows her from some chick lit groups on Facebook and she's a real sweetheart!
Renee Conoulty is an Australian Air Force wife and mother of two. When she’s not devouring books, reviewing and blogging on HeySaidRenee, or writing her own stories, Renee can be found swing dancing. Or possibly napping. She tweets about reading and reviewing at @HeySaidRenee and about writing, military life and dancing @ReneeConoulty, but hasn’t created a handle for nap talk yet. You can also find her at Facebook.
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Synopsis of Don't Mean a Thing:
What if you finally took the lead, but life refused to follow?
Thirty-year-old introvert, Macie Harman, has finally found a career she is passionate about, and after months of training, she’s begun her new job in the Royal Australian Air Force. Leaving behind her family, friends, and the life she knew, Macie has travelled to the other side of the country where the only person she knows is Rachael, the extroverted girl she went through basic training with. Everywhere Macie goes, Rachael is there too.
While looking for a way to widen her circle of friends in her new town, Macie discovers a local swing dancing class. The jazz music captures her heart, and Matt, the sexy swing dancer, sweeps her off her feet. Matt has claimed the tropical Northern Territory as home and has no plans to leave. He loves his teaching career with its predictable routine and has a great bunch of friends. All he wants now is the right girl to make his house a home.
Military life is tougher than Macie expected, and not everyone can deal with the inevitable separations and last minute changes. Is this exciting but unpredictable life something Macie wants to fight for, or could she give it up and put down roots with Matt?
What was most challenging thing about writing Don't Mean a Thing?
The most challenging thing for me was finding the time to write. I couldn’t concentrate with the kids running around and I worked during the day. I’m not a morning person, so I opted to stay up a bit later each night, after everyone went to bed, so I could write in a quiet house.
How did you decide to write chick lit?
I decided to write the book I wanted to read and I’d been reading lots of chick lit. My natural writing voice fits well with chick lit too.
In one sentence, share a piece of advice to future writers.
Finish the first draft before you start to edit and if you find you need to make a major change (like deciding to switch the whole book from 3rd person to 1st person halfway through the first draft like I did) make a few notes to yourself then keep writing as if you’ve already made the changes.
If you could cast Don't Mean a Thing as a movie, who would you choose for the lead characters?
While I was writing, I used pictures of Alana de la Garza and Theo James for inspiration for Macie and Matt but if it was turned into a movie, they would have to be Aussie actors. I think Phoebe Tonkin would be great for Macie and Liam Hemsworth for Matt.
What is your favorite winter holiday movie?
I adore Love Actually. One of my friends gave me the DVD for Christmas one year when she found out I hadn’t seen it and now I watch it every year.
Since you live in Australia, what is it like to have the winter holidays during summer months?
It’s always seemed a bit strange to sing about sleigh bells and snow while sweat is trickling down your back so here’s an Aussie carol to give you a giggle – Six White Boomers. (Boomers is a nickname for kangaroos – we have nicknames for everything)
Thanks to Renee for visiting with us and to KEPR Tours for coordinating the interview and hosting some special giveaways as part of Renee's tour. Check out the schedule here and visit the other stops!
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