Q&A with Laura Boon
1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
I wanted to set my story in a place that was inspiring and a little exotic so that the characters had to consciously consider their environment. Being “out of place” heightens one’s awareness and raises the stakes on any difficulties. I had previously visited the Chamonix-Le Tour valley in the French Alps and thought what a wonderful setting it was for a romance. Beautiful but challenging, especially for an English-speaking person.
2. When did you take up writing?
I first started writing at university. I had written essays at school but always thought of them as assignments rather than writing. Taking a course in creative writing at university dared me to think that I could be a storyteller rather than just read the stories of others.
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
Setting is very important to me. The space we occupy affects our behaviour, from our home outwards. Place can be safe or dangerous, from both a physical and an emotional perspective. Until I understand the environment my characters inhabit, I can’t predict how they will behave. Is walking down the street a ho-hum experience, so familiar they don’t even notice the shops or is every shop window an inspiration and a curiosity? Likewise, how do they fare in nature? Do they love the challenge of the environment or are they always on the lookout for spiders and wondering how soon they can turn around and head home?
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
I have a soft spot for my heroine Hailey Gordon. She’s always trying to do everything right and is flummoxed when life refuses to play along and follow her rules.
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
“Bum glue.” If your butt isn’t in the seat, you won’t produce any words.
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
I don’t have a schedule although now that I am not working full-time, I am hoping to write more regularly. I am easily distracted – by the dishes, my dog, Facebook; you name it, I can be distracted by it. I aim for a particular word count per day, but it doesn’t matter when I do it, except of course if I leave it too late because then it doesn’t happen.
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
I would love to be a plotter. Plotting makes sense. Unfortunately, my characters are very uncooperative and have their own ideas. I start with a rough outline of the key action points in each chapter. By the time I finish the novel, this outline has been rewritten four or five times.
8. Can you name three or four of your current favourite books?
Only four? I’ll try. Lionheart by Thea Harrison (it is book three in a fantasy romance trilogy set between the contemporary world and other worlds people by magical beings and Arthurian legends. Rough and Tumble by Rhenna Morgan. This is book one in her six book Men of Haven series. It’s been my go-to comfort read since it came out. The others are fabulous as well. I just reread the whole series and I’m waiting (very impatiently) for book six. The Pursuit Of by Courtney Milan, a beautiful, sensitive, same-sex novella that is the origin story in her Worth Saga series. The Laird’s Wilful Lass by Anna Campbell, her first full-length novel in some time. It’s set in Scotland. There are kilts and accents and high-handed men who need to be taken down a peg or two.
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
I have two projects on the go, Lion Dancing for Love, which is part of the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press and book two in Romancing the Alps, currently title-less.
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
Join a writing group or association, keep learning by taking as many courses as you can, and keep reading. Reading is the best education of all.
Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their Pekingese Beau. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbour. You can find her at:
Website and blog: https://lauraboon.com
Blurb and excerpt
When danger threatens a bona fide city girl, an adventurer is her only hope of rescue
Mountain climber Matt Hanley is a former investment manager whose lean body and rugged good looks epitomize an outdoor adrenaline junky. When his business partner in their country hotel is injured, he needs an efficient replacement in a hurry.
Hailey Gordon lives a chic city life free of adventures and daredevils. She craves stability and security but loses her job and boyfriend on the same day. A holiday job in France is the perfect escape from her troubles.
Sparks ignite when Matt and Hailey meet, but she resolves to ignore the flame flickering between them. Aside from the fact Matt is her boss, she is convinced he is not her type. Matt is determined to teach Hailey to look beyond appearances. He needs to show her how good they are together, even if he must risk life and limb to do so.
Extract from The Millionaire Mountain Climber
Hailey drank in the landscape, noticing the clarity of the late afternoon sky and the way the snow-capped peaks glistened despite the fading light.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said Matt. “Trending down the valley, you have the villages of Argentiere and Les Praz and the town of Chamonix. Behind Chamonix you can see the Grand Mama of all the peaks, Mont Blanc.”
“Yes, the pens––and the chocolates.” She shook her head. What hubris to name a pen after the magnificent towering peak, but what marketing genius.
Matt grinned. “Ah, you know the chocolates, do you? We’ll have to buy you some.”
“From the lips to the hips,” she murmured, “and I am sure they don’t do the mountain justice.”
“Come on, let’s get you inside before your face turns blue, and I earn a reprimand from Genie for chatting up scantily-clad women in sub-zero temperatures.”
“Really? You were chatting me up? I’m flattered.”
The smile turned wicked. “You’re welcome.” As he bent to pick up her suitcase, he dropped his head next to hers and murmured into her ear in a low, deep voice, sending shivers down her spine. “For the record, Hailey, your curves are perfect. A little chocolate won’t do them any harm.”
She blushed, and the fire of his words flickered all the way through her belly. When was the last time her ex had paid her a compliment? An appalling thought crossed her mind; she, the High Priestess of Order and Long-Term Planning, was ripe for the picking and contemplating a holiday romance.
Amazon Australia: https://tinyurl.com/y9v28sq3
Amazon UK: https://tinyurl.com/ya26ljwh
The Wild Rose Press: https://tinyurl.com/y7n7ghg5
A Wave of Love by Monica Donnelly
Fintan Doherty was back.
Polly had spent a decade avoiding the man who’d broken her heart as a teenager but now he was back in town and she couldn’t seem to escape him.
Fin wanted wanted to make amends, not for leaving but for the way he left. He’d gone to pursue a career as an World Champion Surfer, that was his dream and he’d fulfilled it. He didn’t regret going but he did regret that his leaving had broken Polly’s heart.
Polly hated that Fin was still the one man she’d ever loved. She’d tried to move on and now ran a successful vineyard but for some reason no one else had touched her like Fin, which meant here she was nearly thirty and still a virgin.
If Fin wanted her forgiveness all he had to to was commit to some no strings attached sex while he was in town. Polly was certain it was a win-win for everyone.
The only problem was Fin wasn’t planning on leave and he definitely wasn’t planning on kissing Polly good-bye again.
This is the second book in the Henley’s Bluff series and can be read as a stand-alone novel
Grab yours here today
Dancing by the Moonlight: (A sweet summer romance to read on the beach) (A Carlisle Bay Novel) by Angie Ellington
Olivia Shields is a new resident to Carlisle Bay, Connecticut, after having traveled the world as a professional ballet dancer. Dancing was her life. Chasing performance dreams is all she's ever known or planned for. Now, she'll take on a new role as the manager of her aunt's coastal boutique.
Brady Carlisle has recently returned to Carlisle Bay; the hometown of his family's namesake. He's spent the last decade in California, designing and patenting surfboards. Becoming his own man without relying on the Carlisle name is all he's ever wanted.
Just as life seems to be getting on track, the boutique could be lost. The Shields women have got a few storms to weather. They aren't the only ones. The Carlisle family has held on to secrets for over a decade.
Starting over isn't always simple. Will they try and recapture a summer love swept out at sea thirteen years earlier.. Will secrets and heartache of the past keep them apart? Life may not always be smooth sailing along the shores of Carlisle Bay, but fireworks are sure to be found.
Get your copy today
Frankie B - The Ghost Ship - A paranormal witch cozy mystery (Marina Witches Mysteries Book 1) by Andrene Low
She’s a jinxed witch with Bruce Lee moves. The coven's being haunted and witches are disappearing. Will she be able to save the coven and herself?
Not yet over the loss of her mom, Frankie B's in a new city, without family, a home or her full powers. Thank goodness for her familiar, Dex, the best Jack Russell in the world.
They're faced with moving into a flea-pit motel, when Dex spots a vacancy at a nearby marina. But this is no ordinary marina, and before they've even had time to finish unpacking, life takes a deadly turn.
Will Frankie solve the mystery of the missing witches and rid the coven of the ghost of Captain Russell Garnet? Or will her ability to make him corporeal see her being held as his prisoner until her dying breath? Either way, she's not going down without a fight.
Frankie B and the Ghost Ship will have you longing to perform magic of your own and maybe even considering a few self-defence classes...
Claim your piece of magic by getting a copy today.
I am so excited today to have Erin Cawood on the blog. Erin has done the cover for Snowbound, A Chicklit Christmas Novella which releases this week.
I absolutely love this cover. It really captures the feel and the essence of the book, which is what you always hope for when you set out to have a cover designed.
Erin has made a video talking you through her design experience and how we worked together to come up with the design which I think you will find really interesting.
Erin lives in the UK and I live in Australia so we've never met in real life so seeing her on video was extra fun for me. (Don't you just love how the internet makes it possible for us to collaborate with people who live a world away?)
This isn't the first cover Erin and I have done together, she did all my Upper Crust Series Covers as well, but this is our first illustrated cover together.
I really hope you enjoy the video and if you are an author I highly recommend getting in touch with Erin to look at working with her.
Only one day left to enter the Any Way You Fight It Bog Tour Give- Away. There's $20 Amazon gift card up for grabs so go on and take a chance.
Any Way You Fight It
Matchmaking came easily for Cherie . . . unless she was matching herself. A successful realtor, Cherie could sell a piece of property with ease, she could match up her friends with their perfect mates, but she couldn’t seem to find love for herself. Heck, even her seventy-five-year-old Nona was dating again! Cherie had the perfect love once, or so she had thought. But that was a long time ago, and yet, Luke was the standard by which she measured all potential mates.
After matching her two best friends and watching them live their happily ever afters, Cherie decides it’s time to make a change and get back in the game. Now all she needs to do is balance what she wants (a Luke-alike) with the demands of her crazy Italian family (a good, Catholic Italian boy).
Just when she is ready to shake off her past and move forward, her past walks through the door of her favorite local pub with her best friends. Luke is back, looks better than ever, and still has eyes for Cherie. And Cherie can’t control the heat she still has for him. But as with most long-lost loves, he has a past as well, and that past just might prevent Cherie from finding her happiness despite what her Nona’s visions predict.
Can Cherie and Luke make peace with their pasts and look forward to a new life together? Or will this be the final good-bye?
Welcome to the Here Comes The Bride Blog Hop
here we are on the first hop of the Here Comes The Bride Blog Hop. Please stop by all of the stops on the hop this week (details at the bottom) and be sure to enter our competition to win copies of ebooks from all five authors on the hop.
Character interview with Cassie Callahan from Hearts Afire.
Let's find out a little bit about Cassie and her wedding day.
Were you nervous on the big day?
Actually I really wasn't nervous at all, I thought I was marrying someone who really got me. I guess that shows what I knew because my fiancé called to say he'd changed his mind on the morning of the wedding and he wasn't coming.
Then I was more mad than nervous.
Did anything go wrong?
You heard what I just said right? I was jilted on the day of my wedding. Still that actually wasn't the worst thing that happened that day, believe it or not. I'm a caterer so I decided to cater my own wedding (okay in hindsight maybe not a great idea) and in all the fuss my sister left the stove on and the kitchen caught fire so the fire brigade turned up. I think the real question should be - did anything go right that day?
Be honest were you a total bridezilla? (Or do you have a Bridezilla story?)
It turned out was not even a little bit bridezilla, in fact my fiancé chose my wedding dress - maybe he was a groomzilla. Is that a thing? It should be. I am a caterer so I have dealt with my fair share of highly string brides so I think that made me extra anxious about not being one.
Bridesmaids, how many is too many?
Well I was only having two, my sister (more about her later) and my best friend Miranda. I think even one bad bridesmaid is one bridesmaid too many. I never wanted to be like Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias...so many bridesmaids.
You can’t have a wedding without family – how did yours behave in the lead-up to the wedding or on the day?
I don't have much family. My parents were killed when I was a teenager so it's always been my sister and I...she set the kitchen on fire and then came with me on my solo honeymoon with me (may as well use the tickets). However she abandoned me on the honeymoon so all in all I guess my family didn't exactly have my back.
Are you still a believer in the happily ever after?
You know what a funny thing happened since my botched wedding day. I've started to see that maybe I was with the wrong guy all along and that maybe the right guy isn't too far away at all.
Follow the Here Comes The Bride Blog Hop authors and
enter our give-away
Monday - Monique McDonell
Tuesday - Samantha March/ChickLitPlus
Wednesday - Laura Chapman
Thursday - Nikki Mahood
Friday - Kathleen Irene Paterka
Guest Post by author T.A Willaims - Why I’ve come to love my secondary characters as much as the main ones.
Most books have got a hero or a heroine, or both. Most books, unless they’re set on a desert island, have got other characters in there, who interact with the main ones. As an author, I get a lot of fun out of creating a host of secondary characters who add to the plot, but, above all, provide a bit of humour.
It may sound weird, but my favourites, who feature in all my books, are the dogs. There’s always a big black dog who offers support, sympathy and a discreet shoulder to cry on. Like most dogs, they are always obsessed with food and ever ready to put on the old canine, “They don’t feed me,” expression when meeting strangers carrying food. Some have obedience problems, some flatulence, but they all share one thing; they provide the main characters with uncomplicated love. We all need a bit of that from time to time (that’s the love thing, not the flatulence).
There’s a female vicar in When Alice Met Danny that I enjoyed writing. She tells Alice apologetically,
‘I’m afraid it really does say, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s ass”. I regret to disappoint you, but that’s what it says, however nice the man may look.’.
There’s more than a touch of Dawn French in The Vicar of Dibley in her character, but she’s massively supportive to Alice when she’s going through some difficult times. Similarly, the character of Becky in my latest book, What Happens in Cornwall…, serves a similarly supporting role. I had great fun with Becky. She’s a woman on a mission; to find herself a handsome man as soon as possible. She and Sam are archaeologists, and one of Becky’s recurring gripes is that there are precious few hunky men in that field. ‘Where’s an Indiana Jones when you want one?’ is one of her regularly repeated moans.
I was maybe a bit surprised to find that one of the supporting characters who is most popular with my readers is Marco from What Happens in Tuscany… . He is a former male model, stunningly handsome and he knows it. He describes himself modestly as ‘the most beautiful man in Tuscany,’ and when he invites Katie out for a drink, he doesn’t mince his words.
‘A glass of champagne with a man as handsome as I am has to be every girl’s dream.’
Marco is as gay as Elton John’s tailor, but this seems to make him all the more appealing to the readers. But, underneath his outrageous exterior, he is another very supportive character.
And, finally, there are the two Italian paparazzi. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t read What Happens in Cornwall… yet, but Giancarlo, the serial philanderer, still manages to raise a smile. Like when he tells Beppe his latest conquest thinks of him as a Latin lover.
‘Latin, eh? So I suppose it’s, veni, vidi, vici?’
Giancarlo had done Latin at school. He grinned at the fat man. ‘Well, the first of the three anyway. Several times.’
Excerpts from What Happens in Cornwall…
At nine-thirty on the Sunday evening, fortified by a large glass of Chardonnay each and bearing a bottle of Rioja as an offering, they turned up at the party. It wasn’t in a scruffy terraced house in the heart of student town, but in a fine Georgian villa, high on the hill above the university, with a terrific view across the historic city. Even more surprising was the fact that the music was provided, not by a tattooed DJ with an earring and a couple of battered loudspeakers, but by a string quartet set up under a pergola of exquisite white roses. As they rounded the side of the house and took in the scene, both of them stopped dead in astonishment. They glanced at each other, the same thought on both their minds.
‘Bugger! We should have dressed up.’ Sam looked down at her shorts and regretted her decision not to go with a dress. Beside her, Becky was doing her best to tug her very short skirt down to her knees without baring her bottom.
‘There’s something about Bach, isn’t there?’
They turned towards the voice. It emanated from a tall man, probably in his early forties, with a patrician accent and immaculately styled long brown hair. He was wearing jeans and a plain white shirt. Samantha began to feel a bit less conspicuous about her choice of clothes. He smiled down at them. ‘Miles Vernon, Professor Miles Vernon. And you are?’ He held out his hand.
He was very good-looking and he knew it. Sam read the interest in his eyes, but she took a surreptitious step backwards, definitely not attracted to him and keen to avoid his getting the wrong idea. At the same time, she didn’t want to appear rude to a professor, even if his was a new name to her. But she needn’t have worried. Before she had time to extend her own hand, Becky had grasped his with both hands and was pumping it up and down. She beamed up at him. ‘Hello, Professor Vernon. I’m Becky and this is Samantha. We’re PhD students in the Archaeology department.’ She paused, then added for clarification, ‘At the university.’
Sam had a hard job restraining herself from giggling. Miles Vernon probably didn’t realise just how close he was to having his clothes ripped off him, Viking-style. You didn’t need a PhD to see the ‘target acquired’ look in Becky’s eyes. Sam waited until Becky had reluctantly released him and then shook hands with him in her turn. ‘Good evening. Is this your lovely house? Is this your party?’
He smiled at her, exposing a set of immaculate white teeth as he did so. ‘Good evening, Samantha.’ He pronounced it ‘Sementha’ and she repressed a shudder. ‘The answers are yes and yes. The house is indeed mine, and I thought I should do something for all my new friends at the university.’
For a very British summer holiday…
When archaeologist Sam realises her relationship is as dead as the skeletons she’s exhuming, she knows it’s time to make a change. But with bills to pay her options are limited…until a discovery on Rock Island in Cornwall gives her a reason to escape…
Head to the Cornish coast!
In Cornwall, questions are thrown up at every turn: who is the glamorous owner of Rock Island that the paparazzi are so interested in? How has the irresistible, but impossibly arrogant, history professor James Courtney managed to get so far under Sam’s skin? And will it ever stop raining so Sam can lose the cagoule and sip a cool drink in the sun? One thing’s for sure: there’s never been a holiday quite like this one!
Enjoy a summer of surprises and romance with What Happens in Cornwall…, the perfect retreat for fans of Fern Britton.
Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B00YUTHNNY
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YUTHNNY
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-happens-in-cornwall-t-a-williams/1122082544?ean=9781474036580
Firstly, my name isn't T A. It's Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...
I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.
Social Networking Links
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/T-A-Williams/e/B00FDVNVMA/
Today's guest blogger is author Engy Albasel Neville and her blog post is written from the perspective of the protagonist of A Leap in Time, Lexi Carter.
Past Life, Present Connections by Lexi Carter, A Leap In Time.
Growing up, I always gravitated towards ancient cities and places that have been forgotten with time. The stories of the people, remembered only in the pages of history pages tugged at me in a way that I couldn’t explain. Even to the people closest to me.
In high school and college, I studied Latin and in my early twenties, I found myself in antique stores for fun. I know … it sounds strange for a twenty something year old to love antique stores as much as I did. But I did.
One day, I stumbled upon an antique painting that changed my life forever. Even though I had never laid eyes on the painting before that day, I felt a deep connection to the landscape of the ancient city portrayed in it. This will sound weird but I felt like I had been there before. Have you ever felt that way about a place you’ve never been to? I couldn’t put my finger on why I loved the painting so much. All I knew was that I needed to have it.
To my shock, I discovered the painting was enchanted, as in a time portal to another world … ancient Pompeii to be exact. Can you believe it? I couldn’t until I blinked and found myself there, actually there in Pompeii.
So much has happened since my first accidental trip there but I wouldn’t spoil the story for you. You can read more about my journey to ancient Pompeii and the incredible man that stole my heart in A Leap In Time. I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I did.
About the author
I'm Engy. I'm a mom, a wife, an amateur chef, yogini, bookworm, a nature lover and a hopeless romantic.
Prior to writing full time, I worked in the entertainment industry and later in brand consulting. Some of the interesting personalities I met along the way have inspired the characters in my books. I currently reside on Long Island, New York with my husband, two toddlers and dog.
Book Blurb for A Leap in Time
The morning after hanging an antique painting, Lexi Carter notices strange noises in her living room. Scared beyond words, she confronts the sounds only to discover that the landscape itself has come alive. Did Roman soldiers on horseback just gallop across the thing?
She impulsively touches the painting and is sucked into the world of ancient Pompeii. Lexi meets Marcus, a Roman Adonis, who occupies her every thought, and sends her senses into a tailspin.
The year is 59AD and Pompeii is at its peak of glory and prosperity. Lexi is faced with the decision of choosing between two worlds, her modern day Los Angeles or ancient Pompeii...with the man who captured her heart and soul.
Where to find Engy:
Goodreads (Author Page): www.goodreads.com/EngyAlbaselNeville Goodreads (Book Page): www.goodreads.com/book/show/23453246-a-leap- in-time
Amazon (Author Page): www.amazon.com/Engy-Albasel- Neville/e/B00P64IB2O
BUY A LEAP IN TIME (Paperback & eBook):
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ALeapInTimeBN
Google Play: http://bit.ly/ALeapInTimeGooglePlay
Apple iBooks: http://bit.ly/ALeapInTimeiBooks
The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/ALeapInTimeWildRosePress
This is my stop on the TV Done Right Blog Hope being hosted by the lovely Deb Name Krane.
I really struggled to pick a show for this. I had lots of old-school options running through my brain.
It seems like TV done right speaks to you at the age and stage you are at when it aired. Melrose Place speaks to the young single looking for love or The Gilmore Girls to the woman with kids who still wants to be smart and sassy while building a community while Buffy the Vampire Slayer makes us all want to go back to high school for a do-over, oh yeah, and to save the world while we’re there. (That was especially true when you had to wait a week for each new episode, before Netflix, pay per view and DVR players.)
I had a lot of Australian examples I considered (I’m talking about you such as A Country Practice and E-Street) but I decided I’d pick a show that everyone could relate to. Just for your information, in Australia until about ten years ago we only had four television stations. It was a safe bet whatever you were watching your friends were watching. TV unified us probably more closely than in countries with wider choice. Our programming was drawn from the UK, the USA and Australia. We got foreign shows up to six months later so we waited and sweated on those new episodes even though word had long leaked out about what happened months earlier.
In the end I’ve chosen to talk about Ally McBeal which began in 1997. My reasoning, apart from the fact I loved the show particularly in the early years is that it spoke to me at that time very loudly.
If you didn’t watch it or are too young to remember it the show centred on a young lawyer called Ally McBeal and the antics or her friends and colleagues. She started working at a law firm, Cage and Fish and discovered her ex-boyfriend and his new wife worked there also. (Awkard!)
Here are some of the reasons I loved the show:
Lots of the action of the show took place in the unisex bathrooms of Cage and Fish. At the time unisex bathrooms were quite controversial. Conversations were over heard, people emerged from cubilces and clients were frequently astounded by the mere existence of the unisex nature of the bathrooms. The truth is lots of conversations in office do take place in the bathroom, you do need to check who is in there before you open your mouth, they are both a private and a very public space. Making them unisex just brought everyone into the conversation.
Dancing babies or Ally’s imagination and having a theme song
Ally had a habit of seeing things that weren’t really there. Mild hallucinations, or too vivid an imagination that she couldn’t quite control and while she tried to work out what was real or not it made her seem a tad bizarre. I enjoyed seeing a smart successful woman with an under-current of quirky imagination and it was a good reminder that even as we nod and smile we may be off in another place all together (By the way they use this device in very popular Australian series Offspring.)
One of the ideas that haunted Ally was the need to have her own theme song and she struggled to find it. It was a problem that plagued here through legal cases, friendship dramas and a string of boyfriends (hello Robert Downey Jnr!) She was changing so pinning down just one song was too hard. I am still trying to find my own theme song.
The bar downstairs
These lucky characters worked in a law firm in Boston with a bar downstairs. It was pre-karaoke so they sometimes just stormed the stage and started singing. I loved the idea that at the end of the day these people, who were very quirky and flawed got together and had some fun.(There was also a regular singer at the bar Vonda Shepherd who appeared every week)
This show had a rich cast of odd ball characters. I loved Richard Fish with his unique language and cadence and his penchant for older women. The Biscuit aka John Cage was a really fun, and somewhat absurd character and while I his improbable love for Ally was hard to watch sometimes he was smart and funny and despite his weirdness was always included in the group.
Work was fun
This show made going to work in a boring office job look like it was actually pretty fun. That’s probably why it spoke to me, I’d not long left college and I was growing up. I wanted to work with my friends, have our own language (Bygones anyone?) and go out drinking after work. It was a show about grown-ups doing a grown up job and yet it was sometimes hard to spot an adult in the room. That’s why the show worked. Ally and her colleagues were much crazier than the rest of us but what they were going through and struggling with was what most of us in our 20’s at the time were dealing with – office politics, friendship, romance and finding your place.
I don’t think Ally McBeal stands the test of time as well as some shows but for it’s time it was fun, it was innovative and it read it’s audience really, really well.
P.S Apologies that the post isn't very visual. We lost power in a storm and unfortunately the library internet is rather unreliable.
It's my stop on the TV Do-Over Blog Hop and my TV show of choice is How I Met Your Mother.
If you haven't watched the final Episode of How I Met Your Mother - SPOILER ALERT - okay, you were warned.
Do you know what HEA is? It’s happily ever after. I’m a huge fan of HEA in movies, TV and books and I was a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother too, just not a great fan of their lack of HEA. And I know what you're thinking "I just watched that scene and it looked like a HEA to me." But was it? I don't think so.
I started watching How I Met our Mother when it first started airing. Australian TV programmers do a funny thing where they run a show in prime time but even if it’s rating well they sometimes move the time slot about – sometimes they do it a whole lot – and that happened with this show. That meant I had to work to find it. I had to check my TV guide and remember when it was on because it wasn’t consistent and in the start I didn't have a DVR. It would come for a while and then vanish and then start running again at 11pm one week and 9.30pm the next. What I'm telling you is this - I was committed to the show.
I was loyal because when the show started I was in my mid 30’s and I couldn’t hang out in bars with my friends anymore laughing and eating burgers and I really wanted to (I mean REALLY). I wanted Lily to be my friend and I wanted my husband and I to be the 'couple friends' she and Marshall sought to find through many seasons but never quite did. They were a great couple and I wanted both of them happy. I had friends like that, friends who struggled to find their place, stay together and have kids. They were my people. Heck we were probably them to an extent.
I wanted to be involved in the minutia of my friends’ lives the way the characters in the show were. The truth is, I was home with a small child and I had a husband who travelled a whole lot for work and I was more than a bit lonely and didn't feel I belonged in the suburbs. When Lily and Marshall moved to the suburbs and couldn’t cut it, I could relate. I missed the days when my friends all lived in apartments nearby each other and met for breakfast and shopping or a post-mortem of the night before. I missed that ability to get together on a whim.
I also wanted a happily ever after for Ted. Yes he was annoyingly earnest, and he didn’t always have great taste in women, but I really liked that he kept going, kept looking, kept searching and to me that was romantic. I never especially wanted him to end up with Robyn because, even though I liked her character, she never struck me as a team player and to me it seemed Ted wanted desperately to be part of a team.
As for Barney, I “wait for it” loved that character. I loved that he was fun and completely not realistic. I loved that despite working in an office, in a bank, in a soulless environment he didn’t change. He worked the system. And no, you wouldn’t want to date him, but hell yes, I’d love to have him as a friend. He was hilarious.
He and Robyn together…that kind of worked for me as well. I wanted them to be happy together. I always want that for people. Especially after spending the whole final season, it seemed, getting them down the aisle I wanted a HEA for them. And I thought what made that couple work was that they were honest with each other in a this-is-who-I-am kind of a way.
So near the end it looked like finally Ted was going to get his happily ever after with ‘the mother", Barney and Robin were married and yay Lily and Marshall would finally have couple friends. The gang evolves but stays together. Why not leave it there? That’s how I would have ended the show.
It’s not that the mother got killed off that annoyed me, though I must say as a viewer it felt sudden, for us he’d spent 8 years looking and only had her for a month. (Plus it was a comedy show and I didn't need to be by anyone's hospital bed thank you very much!)
Still, what annoyed me was that Ted got back to Robyn.
Robyn who had married his friend and dumped him, Robyn who he’d chased for all those years, Robyn who had let Lily, her best friend, drift out of her life because it was easier than hanging in there. That was not a satisfying ending to me. It felt like the wrong girl got the guy.
And because of that, because of all that history, because in the words of Maya Angelou “when people show you who they are, believe them” well I wasn’t convinced it would ever work for Ted and Robyn and so it didn’t feel HEA for me.
So I still love that show, I just probably won’t watch that final episode again.
That's what I would do differently - I'd give that show a real happily ever after ending because that's why we watch TV to escape to a world where the right couple gets together and still gets to hang out with their friends whenever they like - even if they have kids, get old and life knocks them about a little.
Hop on over to Kerrie Olzak's blog tomorrow for her TV Do-Over Blog Hop post.” http://www.kerrie-land.blogspot.com/
For the full schedule of posts visit : http://www.carolinefardig.com/news/blog-hop-coming-soon-/
I am a writer of light-hearted contemporary women's fiction.