Hey readers, brilliant news. Kaz Delaney, author of all things awesome and swoon-worthy (Dead, Actually) has a new book out called Almost Dead. If you like my stuff, you'll LOVE Kaz's. For starters, she's genuinely funny and super-clever AND she's Australian and she writes the best romances around.
I bailed Kaz up and demanded she answer my impertinent questions:
Q: In a proverbial nutshell, or on the back of a coaster, tell us what you're latest book, Almost Dead, is all about.
Okay, so Macey Pentecost has just slipped into the blackest hole of her 17-year-old life. She’s got an irritating (but very cute) ghost to contend with, her family has fallen apart, she’s being stalked by someone who means to get revenge in a big way (scary!) – and just when she’s sworn off guys, she meets a gorgeous one who challenges every thought she’s had about the species. And really? She so doesn’t have time for all this! [Quote alert] Power, hate, love, bad language, tears and great shoes. Just another day at Ruth Throsby High School, really...
(Oops! I rolled over the coaster and onto the table. Darn! And it’s permanent marker...)
Almost Dead is available at Booktopia.com.au and Bookworld.com.au so get your orders in!
Q: You are a complete legend, (Ok, so that's not a question) and you're so full of fun. What's the preoccupation with death then?
O.M.G – I always so wanted to be a complete legend. My work is done. :-) This is such a great question and one I’ve asked myself a few times. In honesty I didn’t think I had one (preoccupation with death) until other people made similar comments and I started thinking (and asking). I actually have a morbid fear of death and am definitely not going to take that option which means I’m going to live forever. Mwahahaha. But my stories don’t really focus on death (apart from the titles and yes, that’s a biggie and yes, I did notice) so much as make light of it in a weird, but not disrespectful, way. The ghosts that populate the stories are annoying and lively – just as they would have been in life. No gentle, benevolent, tragic ghosts here thank you. So, maybe my subconscious is trying to take out the scare factor? From an artistic viewpoint – death has such drama. And if there’s one thing you know about me it’s all about the drama. Right?
Q: You'd make a brilliant benevolent dictator. When are you going to take over the world?
Thank you. I have it scheduled for October 11, 2020. I really don’t have time in my schedule to squeeze it in before then. I’ve searched the diaries. Busy, busy. By the way, the Secret Intelligence Portfolio is up for grabs. Can I put your name against it? (Not that it will be a secret. Everybody knows how clever you are.)
Q: Hypothetical: You're on a desert island with an e-reading device of your choice. Every book in the world is loaded on, but there's nowhere to recharge so you can only read 3 books max. Which three books would they be?
Impossible question. Probably “Little Women” ( Louisa May Alcott) because it was the favourite book mum and I read together when I was a child and it had a profound effect on my life. My mum even chose a name from that book to be called when she became a grandmother. So, the sentimental choice would have to be that one. An Agatha Christie because the woman is a goddess and lit the fire that ignited my love of mystery when I was a kid. Third choice? “Almost Dead” by that amazing author Kaz Delaney. :-) Why? Okay – so how do we know this island is really deserted? Even Old Robinson found Man Friday. And what if the Friday I find isn’t nice and wants to eat me? That will be the end! Of me! Of my career! BUT, what if, when the rescuers finally arrive and find my tom sauce smeared bones next to the pot, they also find my still barely charged E-reader and check to see what I was reading when I inhaled my last sage and garlic filled breath? What will they find? Almost Dead! Come on Ebs – you’re a journalist! That news story will be live (unlike me) in seconds. People all over the world will read or hear my story and be aghast. And being the ghouls we humans are – they will all race out to buy the book! See? Marketing till the end...
(I like the way you're thinking!)
(I like the way you're thinking!)
Q: What do you do to relax?
I’m so glad you asked! Natch I read – what author doesn’t. I also watch the Teev whenever I can and I love movies. I also love walking down by the lake. Very relaxing. BUT I just discovered kayaking and OMG – I am so in kayak-lust. It’s the perfect sport! Gentle, quiet (except when you lose control and slam into some hulking great cruiser and they yell at you), you’re in the sun, on the water – and you’re getting exercise!!! What’s even better? I get to sound so fit and sporty when people like yourself conveniently ask me this question! Yes! (insert air punch)
Q: Are you ever tempted to put real people or events in a book?
Hmmn – I did once. (He’s famous so the name was changed ever so slightly to protect me – and yeah okay, I changed his occupation and shaved off about 30 years - but it was him!) And I made him a complete loser. Let’s just call it payback shall we? Saying no more...
(Did I mention I like the way you think?)
(Did I mention I like the way you think?)
Q: If you could have any fantasy animal as a pet, what would it be? Dragon, Ice Mage, Unicorn, Cerberus ... Anything. And what would you call it? And could you ever find a vet to give him or her their shots? (A Cerberus would be bad enough, but a Cerberus with Pavo? OMG the cleaning!!!!!)
I adore this question. I have no idea what you’re talking about – but I adore it and I think you’re very funny. Picking out the bits I vaguely understood – a Dragon because I feel the cold and it would be great to have something to warm the cockles of my heart – and other parts – when I’m freezing. And I have a fearless vet friend who would take on anything. (Actually, I’m not really sure about that but she’s completely egotistical and as I’ve just given her ego an upward jab with that comment, I know she’ll rise to the occasion. So, no probs – bring along your Pavo afflicted Cerberus. Got it covered.)
Q: Do you belong to a writer's group or a critique group?
Yes, I do. Two and they are invaluable. Couldn’t live without them. Or Diet Coke.
Q: Does the Aussie sense of humour translate well into other countries or do you have to modify some parts of your book so readers overseas will get the joke?
Some humour translates, others not so much. My US (YA) books did very well with hardly any editorial changes and they were humorous romances for want of a better description. They were mostly set in the US, however, one had scenes set in Australia at Christmas and that we Australians thought were very funny – and typical – but didn’t go down well at all (meaning they were taken out). The bonbons (crackers) and silly jokes etc. But that could have been that the American editor couldn’t relate our hot , silly Christmases which are so very different to the northern versions. Or maybe not. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had to make very few changes.
Q: Complete this sentence .... "Nothing is better than a good ....... Massage." Boring I know. But I’ve been sitting at this computer for a month solid with only time out for necessary ablutions. My butt is killing me. My fingers had typed the word before my conscious mind even realised my body had answered for me.
Kaz, thank you so much for dropping by my blog. Love Ebs
Thank YOU beautiful Ebony! This was such fun! And even though I was only allowed to mention 3 books – the journos (who no doubt got to the deserted island ahead of the investigators and rescuers) would have discovered all the fabulous Ondine books both in my library and on my e-reader. Taking you with me on that wild ride to superstardom baby. Cha-ching! Kaz xxxxx
If you want to meet Kaz in person, she'll be at the Newcastle Writers' Festival in April, the MANTLE Conference in May (in Conversation with Kaz Delaney). Check out her web site for more details.
To win a copy of Kaz's latest book, Almost Dead, answer this tricky question in the comments below.
Q: If you died and came back as a ghost, what shenanigans would YOU get up to?
Comp closes Feb 14 (Valentine's Day!).
Kaz, or I (or both of us) will choose one winner.
This is a competition of skill, wit or utter rat cunning.
Comp open world-wide.
Judges' decision is final, yadda yadda, results may vary.
Get to it!