Posted in Animals and conservation, Happiness, Health and fitness

A book, a dog, parkland, two wood ducks, a dusky moorhen and a pink galah.

Why these seven things made my morning.

Hi readers, I know you’ve been wondering where I got to. There’s nothing wrong with being offline for a patch of time. I hope for your own sanity, you occasionally do the same. Though of course I’ve still been typing, gazing at a white screen, wondering what I can fill it with. As a writer, the writing or thinking about writing rarely stop, but we all need time-out to recharge.

The break from blogging and social media has helped my writing output, given my neck a well-deserved rest and ensured I have quality time renovating my gardens and exploring the parklands near my new home.

Spring is a brilliant time of the year to get outside and enjoy nature. I thought I’d share a little bit of what I found (possible ideas for the next book). As the title of this post says:

  • Book – Kendwa’s Secret first batch of books should be on my doorstep today (the excitement is building)
  • Dog – Mahli, my dog, will chase any bird out of our backyard, but when we walk, she ignores them, giving me time to photograph my neighbourhood birdlife.
  • Parkland – The parklands make up the Eddie Kornhauser Recreational Reserve, which is an open space for recreation, picnics, walks, bike riding, dog runs; all surrounded by bushland and waterways.
  • Two Wood Ducks – There are more than two Australian Wood Ducks in the area, but I only photographed a pair this morning. I’m yet to see ducklings but I’m sure (the way they seem to be loving it up) ducklings will be hatching soon. These aquatic birds obviously love the multiple waterways, lakes, creeks, streams and ponds.
  • Dusky Moorhen – At first its red beak made me think it was a baby swan until it strutted in front of me.
  • Pink Galah – This cute galah had a mate nearby who did not want to be photographed. I love parrots and there are plenty here to see. Rosellas congregate in the tree out the front of my house and their happy twitter is like music out of the speakers of nature.

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Though these photos were only taken with my iphone, you can see how pretty the area is. Where do you live? Can you explore it further? You may live near the beach. Don’t just walk on the sand, feel the sand on your feet, sniff the salt air, look for washed up shells or driftwood, gaze out at the ocean and perhaps spot a whale. Whatever you do, wherever you are, spend some time in nature. You’ll be rewarded. Enjoy.

Oh and if you need a book to read while sitting on a park bench, lying on a beach towel or lazing in your own backyard, don’t forget Kendwa’s Secret is available now. Get yourself a copy and enjoy the read.

Posted in Book Reviews, Kendwa's Secret, The Zanzibar Moon, Writers, Writing tips

Creating memorable main male characters (heroes).

Creating memorable main male characters (heroes).

In real life, you judge people through their actions, how they react to other people, animals, children and their environment. You’ll like people who are kind, truthful, compassionate, adaptable, broad-minded, calm, charming, generous, sincere and warm-hearted.

Heroes, hero guy, main male characters
Picture your own hero. Does he look like this…or?

In fiction, you want to read and enjoy a story with characters who have some, or all of these character traits. You probably desire to fall in love with the main male character (especially if you are reading romance). He doesn’t need perfection. A few quirks make him interesting. The main thing is his core values are as solid as his chest (oh, okay not all heroes, oops main male characters, are built like Kendwa).

I try to give my characters depth by showing their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths. My men cry, but I don’t have them opening bawling their eyes out like a baby (unless the love of their life just died). No, there will be moist eyes, the twitch of a cheek, a clenched fist, a confession to the best buddy; action and dialogue showing that he’s vulnerable and human.

Being people, we want to read about other human stories. We want to laugh, cry, celebrate, grieve and fight for them. If you have no investment in what happens to them, I haven’t done a good enough job as a writer.

I am a mother of three boys and married to a self-confessed softy husband. I know a bit about male emotions. Seriously, I didn’t need to read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus to understand our differences. It’s blatantly obvious in a house full of males.

sexy guys, heros, main male characters, creating characters
You don’t need to see his face, just imagine it. See the handsome face you desire. Hot isn’t he?
  • knee footy is a sport
  • fart jokes are fun
  • socks on the floor don’t get to the laundry themselves
  • two-word answers are a big conversation
  • some jokes Mum doesn’t need to hear
  • everyone, from the coach to the footy team, is welcome in our home (stray dogs included)
  • the fridge is always empty
  • bliss is a full bath, an empty house and a book ( haha, that’s just me not them)
  • boys hearts break as hard as girls (millions of pieces to pick up)
  • males have solid mates who they stick up for no matter what
  • dogs don’t walk themselves (nor do they pick up their own poo)
  • anything lost is always found (with a female look, not a ‘man look’)
  • boys are the best huggers

I decided to make Kendwa exceptionally good-looking (he isn’t much aware of it though), strong (Tarzan type) and appealing, but he has flaws that make him endearing. He cares deeply for those he loves, second-guesses himself, is tough on himself, is reckless in the wild because of his lack of fear, tries too hard to please everyone, stuffs up (but makes amends), his environmental crusade sometimes clouds the other important things in his life and he has a secret that he keeps (which makes us wonder, what is he hiding?). Enough to keep you interested in him right? Oh, I could add that he protects wildlife, climbs trees, wrangles crocodiles, travels the wilds of Africa, recovers from all sorts of injuries, is as exotic as his name, has mesmerising turquoise eyes and dimples to boot.

The best MMC is one who is relatable, but he also takes you on a journey. He’s the kind of guy you fantasise about. He evolves through the story by making up for any of his flaws. I don’t have a picture of his face on my covers because I believe all readers imagine their own perfect version of Kendwa or any other MMC. The view in their brain is as unique as the character I create on the pages.

How did you see Kendwa when you read the book?

If you haven’t read The Zanzibar Moon, I have signed copies available for only $20.00. Be sure to get your copy before the release of the prequel Kendwa’s Secret (due in September 2018).