AUSSIE MONTH with Sandra Antonelli
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I dabbled with writing in high school. I’ve been writing romance fiction for almost 11 years. Driving in Neutral, my rom com about phobias, is my third published novel. My three books join the small number of romance novels that feature heroines 40+. I write stories where the over 40 heroine is not shown in a stereotypical, negative role or as a supporting player. In my books, the middle-aged woman is the star of the show—the romantic show. She gets it on and has a happily ever after. I am so passionate on giving women over 40 a voice in romance I did my PhD on their underrepresentation as heroines in the genre. Give me ten minutes and I’ll get up on my soapbox and tell you forty doesn’t mean your all washed up in love, sex, or romance.
Tell us about Cleaning House:
I never seem to write one book at a time. This week I’m bashing away at my rom-com-thriller, Cleaning House, which when you get down to it, is the story of a housekeeper, her boss, her husband, a trust fund, a murder, a pasta company, Jane Eyre, and a toilet brush.
What inspired Cleaning House?
Romantic comedies like the Grant and Hepburn movie Charade, James Bond spy stories and Alistair MacLean novels, and my friend Elle, because she’s my Bond Buddy.
What are you reading right now?
The Golden Leopard by Lynn Kerstan
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
I don’t have a bucket list. If I want to do something I do it.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
Being able to sit outside and have dinner in the middle of winter, the spelling of Woolloomooloo, seeing the Constellation of Orion all year long, abbreviating words with an ‘o’ or an ‘ie’: arvo, garbo, rego, servo, smoko, Davo- Steve-o, Johnn-o; brekkie, bickie, sunnies, sickie, chippie. And Arnott’s Gingernuts and Lemon Crisps. Om nom nom…
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
Romance fiction has something for every taste.
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
I recently submitted my fourth novel, Next to You. It’s my hope the story gets picked up. I wrote it 10 years ago and I love, LOVE the hero William Murphy—mostly because he knows and sings all the words to Bubble gum pop songs from the 60s and 70s. Plus, he looks so freakin’ hot in a suit.
What were your big achievements of 2014?
I finished my PhD in romance fiction writing and had my third book published!
Driving in Neutral
Levelheaded Olivia Regen walks away from her car-racing career and the wreckage of a bad marriage to take on new work that’s far removed from the twists of racetrack. Her new life is about control, calm and the good friends that she adores. But her day on the job involves getting up close and too personal with her claustrophobic boss, alone in a broken elevator. Her unconventional solution for restoring his equilibrium shocks them both and leaves Olivia shaken. Determined to stick to her plan, Olivia drives headlong into work and planning her best friend’s wedding, leaving no room for kissing, elevators, or workplace relationships. But Emerson is not one to be out-manoeuvred. Can he convince Olivia that her fear of falling in love again is just another kind of claustrophobia – one that is destined to leave them both lonely?