Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Well, life has been pretty exciting this year, I must admit. By New Year's Eve 2013, I will look back on a pretty full and exhilarating year: lots of travel, fun times, great food, delicious wine, time spent with friends and family, and four -- count them, FOUR -- books published in just these past twelve months.

What I'll also be celebrating is that I've made a very big decision. I am about to take a risk and change up my life: in January 2014 I'll be moving to live in San Francisco.

I'm moving to take up a new full-time day job, which I'm really excited about. Yes, one day, I do want to be writing full-time, but right now that's not what life has in store for me. But I do definitely see myself with a writing desk that looks out over gently sloping grapevines (Yarra Valley? Hunter Valley? Napa Valley?) as I pen another book that will jet straight to the stop of the USA Today best-seller list in the not-too-distant future.

There are also plenty of opportunities the move presents for me from a writing perspective. New people, new places, new experiences -- these are things my muse loves. There'll also be the opportunity to meet new writers -- I'm hoping there's a San Francisco romance writing group out there that would welcome me as a member so I can keep hanging around with like-minded people, people who aren't concerned about the fact that I hear voices of imaginary people in my head.

I'm also hoping that I'll be able to attend RWA Nationals in July, and finally get to meet face to face with my gorgeous and talented critique partner, Robin Covington.

Right now though, I've got a lot to do. I'm packing up my apartment to rent it out. There are things I need to sell (fridge, washing machine, dryer, couches, book shelves -- all in very good condition if you happen to be in the market!), things I need to store, and things I need to throw out. These are big decisions. I've also got a new book coming out in December, so there's a little bit to do to get that organised, too.

As most of you probably know, I'm a pretty keen social media user (Facebook, mostly) so I intend to keep in touch with you all with frequent updates about my San Francisco adventures, there and here on my blog! And I am very keen to hear from you at any time -- feel free to drop me a line. And if, by chance, you have friends or family in San Francisco who you think might enjoy meeting a slightly homesick Australian author, please let me know -- I'll be after all the friends I can get!

Right now, while I work through my 'to-do' list that's eleventy billion items long, I'm using this song as my anthem. Whenever I start to get a little too stressed about everything, or start to feel the pang of "what the hell am I doing?", I put this song on, LOUD, and have a little disco dance around. It reminds me what this new journey is all about -- looking back one day and saying, "I did it all".

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Halloween Experience

I don't really have a bucket list, but if I did, being part of Halloween in the US would definitely be on it. And, now, it'd be on it with a tick against it, because on 31 October this year, I was there!

I hadn't really planned for it, and so unless I was prepared to go out and spend money purchasing a costume, I just had to make do with what I had in my suitcase. So I went with wearing all black, some bling, a lot of make-up and a hot-pink bob-haired wig. (Doesn't everyone routinely have one of those in their luggage??)
Not much of a costume, really, but it did the trick.

I headed out into the Castro district of San Francisco with a friend who knew that the Castro was The Place To Be on Halloween night. And he was right! The crowds were amazing, and everyone had put so much effort into their costumes!
I'd heard that there had been a few issues on Halloween night in previous years. However my experience was nothing but lovely, apart from one moment when the crowd got VERY crowd-y and I felt a little squished and a tiny bit panicked. But then we got through that and everything was fine.
Everyone was friendly, and fun, and in the mood to show off. In fact, one girl, dressed as a witch, spotted me surreptitiously taking her photo and insisted we get a shot together!
My friend and I did stop in for a drink at one bar. He was very impressed by the fact that they were playing "Sweet Transvestite" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I knew ALL THE WORDS.

So a big CHECK against "be part of Halloween". The only problem is, now I want to do it again!

PS -- This weekend, Dance With Me is a Kindle countdown deal on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. If you haven't got your copy yet, check it out for only $2.99 until Sunday PST!