While attending ARRC in March I met a whole host of awesome Aussie authors I’d never met before. Among them was a woman who grabbed my attention for one reason, and one reason only: She swore more than I did. (A feat I’d long thought impossible).

I had to get to know her. Can’t say I was too surprised to discover Lisa Heidke not only swore a fortune, but she was absolutely hilarious too. Oh, and did I mention really, really, really nice. (Or should I just say, fucking nice?) Then…she bought one of my books. That was it. I officially loved her. And since she had one of my books, I had to try out one of hers.

Luckily for me, I was the highest bidder for her three books at the ARRC auction, and so I now have shiny new copies of  Lucy Springer Gets Even, What Kate Did Next and Claudia’s Big Break on my bookshelf.

I’ve only had a chance to read one of them so far. But damn, I adored the book. Lucy Springer is a wonderful, funny, sad, happy, poignant chic-lit story about a woman whose marriage is falling apart. The only thing about the book that worried me was the fact I had to stay up til 3am finishing it! I think what makes this read so compelling is that the main character could be you or me. She is so real, with such real, yet hilarious, reactions to such a very sad situation it’s hard not to relate to her. Not to think, “Damn, I’d do exactly the same thing under those circumstances.”

Know what’s nice for me now? I may have finished Lucy, but I still get to read the next two books. 😀

Now, I’d love to go into lots and lots more details about Lisa and her books, but I won’t. I’ll save that for Lisa herself. Because…Drum roll please

Lisa is here, today, to chat about herself and her books!!!


Here are a series of questions and answers that’ll help you to get to know her so much better. Oh – and be prepared to laugh. Especially at the last few questions.

Q. Which genre best describes your novels?

A. I’ve heard my books called contemporary women’s fiction, chick-lit and hen-lit. To tell you the truth, I really don’t mind what people call them as long as they’re reading my books!  I guess chick-lit is instantly recognisable and suggests that my books will be holiday reads. And that’s fine by me.

However, my characters have moved on from the twenty-something Bridget of Bridget Jones’s Diary.  She has been replaced by women in their thirties and forties who have married and perhaps have children and are now struggling with issues such as infidelity, divorce and career slumps, as well as raising a family.

Generally, my main characters are thinking, ‘what happened to the dreams I had?’ and ‘how did I get here?’

Basically, I write women’s fiction and hope that my books resonate with readers because they’re true to life but still light in that there’s comedy and generally, if not a happy ending, then at least a hopeful one. My main characters do tend to ‘find themselves’ by the end of the books I write.

Q: What’s your latest book about?

A. Claudia’s Big Break is about three best friends, Claudia, Tara and Sophie, who take off to Santorini for a two week holiday.  All are at a crossroads, some surprisingly so. Each has their own dreams, and through a series of adventures and unexpected events, find that a holiday can change their lives forever.

(Note from Jess: I had to insert this cover here, because honestly? I think it’s one of the coolest covers I’ve ever seen.)

Q. Is it similar to your previous books?

A. Claudia’s Big Break is similar in that my main characters are women facing a crisis or two. Both Lucy Springer Gets Even and What Kate did Next were based in Sydney (possibly the Upper North Shore). However, I’m pleased Claudia and her friends have jetted off to Europe to find themselves.

I’d like to think that all three books are relevant and realistic but are also entertaining and give readers a sense of ‘we’re all in this together.’

All of us deal with varying levels of crisis on a daily basis and I have my share (I’m also an excellent eavesdropper) so I can relate to my characters and identify with them. I have hopefully presented their stories in a humorous way that readers will relate to.

Q. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

A. Yes, I think I probably have, although it wasn’t until after my third child was born in 2000, that I got serious about writing a novel.

Q. Was it difficult getting your first book published?

A. The short answer is YES!

I started writing my first manuscript in 2000 and finally got a publishing contract with Allen & Unwin in August 2007. During that time, I entered competitions, completed four manuscripts and received rejections from every mainstream publisher in Australia as well as several overseas ones. My biggest mistake was sending manuscripts to publishers before they were polished. The key to good writing is re-writing, and of course, persistence, commitment and a very thick skin.

Q. How long does it take you to write a book?

A. For me, the first draft (approximately 70,000 words) takes about seven months – and then there are the subsequent drafts which involve weeding out superficial characters, plot lines that go nowhere, as well as creating layers to make the story a rounded, entertaining, three dimensional read. All up, it takes me close to eighteen months to write 85,000 words I’m (relatively) happy with.

(Note from Jess: Hmmm, maybe you should try a short story?  *Snicker*. Yes, that is a response to your blog post: And the worst piece of writing advice you’ve been given?)

Q. What’s next?

A. I have a new book coming out in January 2012, tentatively titled Stella Makes Good! It’s all about swinging, infidelity and mother-in-laws…with a bit of romance and sexting on the side!

(Note from Jess: Yay, yay, yay! And sexting on the side huh? Cooooooool!)

SOME FUN QUESTIONS WITH LISA:

Q. Unfortunately, the boat you were on sunk (bugger when that happens), and now you’re stuck on a desert island with the only five items you could save. Those five essential items. What are they?

A. 5! That’s a lot!

Funnily enough, last time I was stuck on a deserted island, I only got to save three items. They were Grey Goose Vodka, a solar powered Utopia (dual action, waterproof bunny vibrator), and clean underwear. I’m sticking with those because they served me well last time, but being the ridiculously practical person I am, I’ll also save matches and a fishing spear!

(Note from Jess: See? See why I love this woman?)

Q.  You weren’t alone when the boat went down. There were other people on board. But you only got to save one of them. Who was it?

A. Tough one but as there can only be one winner I’m choosing to save Charlie Sheen – he’s quite funny and being on the island will give him a chance to dry out and regain some of that boyish charm he’s lost over the years. No doubt I could also learn a few new tricks from him as well.

(Note from Jess: Charlie Sheen? Really? Really?)

Q. If you had to choose one of the following to sleep with, who would it be? (Yes, you have to choose one!)

 A. I would like to preface this response by saying persons a, b, h and i  are going to be getting basic no-frills missionary position sex and I will probably fall asleep during it.

a) John Howard or Kevin Rudd                     Kevin Rudd

b) John Howard or Julia Gillard                    Julia Gillard

c) Bill Clinton or Barack Obama                    Barack Obama

d) Jake Gyllenhaal or George Clooney         Jake Gyllenhaal

e) Hugh Jackman or Nicole Kidman            Hugh Jackman

h) Harry Potter or Ron Weasley                    Ron Weasley

i) Dobby or Dumbledore                                 Dobby

Q. Now remembering this is an erotic romance blog… if you were to have a menage, who would you choose to participate? (The skies the limit with this answer. Just remember, Hamish and Andy are taken. By me.)

A. I could possibly have a lot of fun with Rob Lowe and Matt Dillon!

😀

If you would like to find out more about Lisa and her wonderful books, check out her website and blog at:

www.lisaheidke.com

Jess

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