AUSSIE MONTH with Kate Belle
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
Writing is a little like breathing to me, I can’t live without it. I’ve kept a diary since I was 8 years old (yes, I still have them all) and harbour a secret desire to become an eccentric writer living alone by the ocean growing my own vegetables. Since 2013 I’ve published two erotic novellas (Breaking the Rules and Bloom – Master of Love series), short stories in two anthology’s, and two novels, The Yearning and Being Jade (Simon & Schuster). Under a different pseudonym I’ve had short stories highly commended in Australian literary awards and won the 2012 Southern Cross Literary Award. I’ve also had numerous non-fiction articles published. I tell myself stories all day.
Tell us about Being Jade:
Being Jade is a powerful story of love so strong it lasts beyond the grave. Banjo falls for Jade the moment he sees her marching across the school yard in her faded, second hand school dress. She is beautiful and frighteningly tough. Banjo befriends the lonely, isolated girl in the hope he will become someone special in her life. Banjo gets what he wishes for but discovers unconditional love is a tough gig. Jade is no ordinary girl with ordinary dreams. Marriage for Banjo is complicated and requires sacrifices well beyond his simple expectations. Jade comes from a home without love, without security and without a father. She is wild, untamed and Banjo soon discovers the very things he loves most about her threaten to tear them apart. Being Jade asks how much of our selves are we willing to sacrifice for love? And, in the end, is the sacrifice worth making?
What inspired this novel?
The characters. Jade appeared in one of the first writing classes I attended and she fascinated me. She is new, not a character people are familiar with, but who she is, what she represents, is very important. Banjo’s wonderful voice followed and it was he who guided the story. It was strange, because he’s dead, and he insisted on being dead, no matter how many times I tried to resurrect him. I just had to trust him, trust the words that poured through my mind. He was such a lovable character I was sorry to let him go when the book was finished.
What are you reading right now?
Stoner by John Williams (a gift and a pleasant surprise); Currawong Creek by Jennifer Scoullar (a great friend and even better writer!)
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
Become an eccentric writer living alone by the ocean and growing my own vegetables.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
Living in a landscape absolutely saturated with story. I am so grateful to have been born in a country with such a rich and ancient story telling culture.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
Diverse. From literary styles to commercial comedy, from cowboy’s to aliens, there’s bound to be something to appeal to every taste.
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
I’m putting the finishing touches to the first book in my Master of Love series. I got the rights to my erotic novellas (featuring the masterful and charismatic Ramon Mendez) back in 2014. I’ve been reworking the concept into a five part series and hope to find a publisher for it this year.
What were your big achievements of 2014?
The release of Being Jade and the brilliant reviews she received. Appearing at the Sydney Writers Festival, Williamstown Literary Festival and Woodend Winter Arts Festival. Teaching writing courses at Writers Victoria. And finally, seeing Jade brought to life on stage with Baggage Productions Madwoman Monologues.
Sometimes the strongest love casts the darkest shadows.
Banjo Murphy is killed on the night he finally walks away from his wife Jade after twenty five years of adultery. In the aftermath, Banjo is bewildered to discover he still exists, and in despair he watches Jade collapse into deep depression and his daughters, Lissy and Cassandra, struggle with their unexpected loss.
Lissy is tortured by the mystery surrounding her father’s death. What compelled Banjo to leave the night he died? Why won’t Jade talk about what happened? Despite their volatile relationship, Lissy believes her parents’ love to be enduring, but sensible Cassandra sees things differently. When Cassy discovers a sketch book chronicling Jade’s affairs, the truth of their parents’ relationship begins to unfold and Lissy’s loyalties are divided.
Searching for answers, Lissy contacts Jade’s ex-lovers. Watching from afar, Banjo aches as he discovers what these men meant to Jade – until Lissy’s quest with Jade’s long line of lovers uncovers an explosive truth …
One that will finally set her family free.
READ FIRST CHAPTER FOR FREE HERE.