AUSSIE MONTH with Stefanie London
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I’ve always played around with words, even as a kid. English was my favourite subject at school and I have a Bachelor of Business where all the elective subjects are English literature units. After throwing all my energy into my corporate career for the better part of my twenties, I eventually started writing fiction again in late 2012 and haven’t looked back.
Tell us about The Rules According to Gracie:
This fun, flirty novella is about two people who think they shouldn’t be together. Des and Gracie meet at Des’s bar where he becomes the guy who bails her out of her (many!) bad dates. They develop a friendship, although he definitely wants more. Gracie, however, is totally Type-A and has a list of suitable characteristics for the guy she wants to bring home to her family and he doesn’t tick the right boxes.
What inspired this novel?
The opening scene really inspired this book, it came to me suddenly and I could see it very vividly. Des is standing behind the bar watching Gracie and her date have a drink. The date isn’t going well and he’s pleased about getting to rescue her again. I love writing perfectionist heroines and then coming up with the perfect guy to bring them totally undone.
What are you reading right now?
A Game of Thrones by George R. R Martin. It’s by far the longest book I’ve ever read! I am thoroughly enjoying it though, and looking forward to following it up with the first season of the TV show.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
Visiting Italy, specifically the town where my family is from. I’ve always felt a really strong connection to my Italian heritage and I would absolutely lovely to spend a few weeks travelling all around Italy. Think lots of wine, gelati and sightseeing. Perfetto!
Best thing about being an Aussie?
I love how Australians have a real ‘have a go’ mentality. We’ll trying anything whether it be a new type of food, new fashion or a new activity. I love the experimental nature of Australians, it’s definitely reflected in Melbourne where I grew up – there’s so much variety and change. Also, Australian wine. Enough said!
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
That the genre contributes to important changes in the perception and role of women in society. Romance novels reflect the continuing improvements in gender equality and also the need for further improvements. They also show that women can be in powerful positions, they can take charge of their sexuality and achieve their dreams. Romance novels have a happy ending for the relationship of the couple, but they also have a happy ending in terms of how the women and men in those novels grow and become better people. I find that inspiring.
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
I have a lot of projects in the works currently! My novella with Entangled’s Lovestruck imprint is out this month and I’m working on the second book in that series. I’m also part of an exciting continuity with Harlequin that kicks off this month (my book is out in March) that centres around a group of friends who all worked together in the Whitsundays and have now met up in Sydney eight years later. There are a few more secret squirrel things going on, including a possible Christmas story.
What were your big achievements of 2014?
Having my debut novel published! Only The Brave Try Ballet was the first book I ever wrote and it came out in July 2014, which was one of the most exciting times in my life. I also signed on to publish with Entangled publishing in 2014. Oh, and I moved to Canada with my husband. That was a big one! We’re probably going to be here for a couple of years, but I know I’ll always come back to Australia.
The Rules According to Gracie
Rule number one: don’t fall for the wrong guy.
Gracie Green has a shopping list for men. Career, financials, family…and a long list of rules to determine a guy’s suitability. She’s already disappointed her socialite mother once—now Gracie needs to find Mr. Perfect. Too bad she keeps getting distracted by her super-sexy, six-feet-of-tattooed-hotness friend, Des, who is so many shades of Mr. Wrong…
Bar owner Des Chapman has vowed never again to get involved with society girls. Yet he’s irresistibly drawn to Gracie—those lush curves, those lips, and her ridiculous ability to date the wrong guys. As Gracie’s discouragement grows, Des realizes it’s time to show her what she really needs in a man—and it has nothing to do with a briefcase and generous bank account.
He’ll teach Gracie the Rules According To Des…even if it means breaking his rule in the process.