Saturday, 25 January 2014

Kaz Delaney is Made of Awesome! Plus, Giveaway!


Hey readers, brilliant news. Kaz Delaney, author of all things awesome and swoon-worthy (Dead, Actually) has a new book out called Almost DeadIf 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...)

(Here's some metho and a rag. Get cleaning!)

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.)

(Shhhhhh! We're supposed to keep that a secret, Boris! PS, Kaz and I are "Boris and Natasha" because that's how we met. It was a fancy dress party at a writing conference, she came in a trench coat, fedora and dark sunnies. I was either a Russian Spy or some kind of Bond Girl. I walked up and said, "Boris, in Moscow it is cold in Winter" or something equally daft. Kaz replied with "Natasha! Have you seen a moose and a squirrel?" And from then on we've been mates.) 

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!)

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?)

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

Told you Kaz was made of awesome!

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.

BONUS GIVEAWAY!
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!

17 comments:

Kaz Delaney said...

Hey Ebs!

I had an absolute ball answering your questions. You are a crazy woman - right after my own heart.

Thank you my sweet!
xxxxx

Cathryn Hein said...

I shall very much look forward to October 2020. The world will become a joyous place ruled by you, Kaz!

As for what I'd do if I were a ghost...hmmm. I think I'd have to haunt my family. Just to keep them on their toes. Otherwise I'd hang around a top restaurant, maybe lurking in the cellar, drinking all the good wine and pinching nibbles from waitstaff as they passed by.

Beverley Eikli aka Beverley Oakley said...

I think I'd like to be a benevolent ghost who flitted around and directed a committee of matchmakers. I was a ghoulish child who loved devising tragic endings for my hapless characters but then I grew up and realised the world was a much nicer one if everyone was happy.

I loved this snappy, funny interview with all Eb's great questions and Kaz's hilarious answers. I'd kill to have been blessed with such wit. (But I'd make up for it after I was dead.) :)

Anonymous said...

Great blog! And Kaz as a benevolent dictator would solve all the world's problems.
If I came back as a ghost ... Well, my first reaction was that I would have to check that my husband was cleaning the house the way I would want him to. Or maybe just check that he was cleaning the house AT ALL! But after that short but messy interlude, I'd like to haunt all those non-benevolent dictators and make them change their ways. After all, they couldn't shoot me as I'd already be dead :-)

Ebony McKenna. said...

Kaz, you are way too much fun. Meeting you in 2010, at my first RWA conference ... I was such a NOOB and you took me under your wing. Or trench coat, as it was.


Some great entries already, what fun.

Kaz Delaney said...

Ha! Cathryn, I should have guessed what you'd come back as! But think about it sweetheart! All those delicious d=]rewcipes and not able to make them or tweak them yourself? Would not that be a bit hellish?

But then again, I'm thinking of all the great food you'd get to sample and at any time of the day or night... Hmmnnnn, and as much as I'd like to cook, I DO have 'getting a live-in chef on my bucket list... This could be the next best thing.

Okay you win. That'd be a hugely fun ghostly life!

Hugs honey and thanks for dropping by. xxx

Kaz Delaney said...

(Sorry for the typo in my reply to Cathryn - I meant to go back and fix it.)xxx

Kaz Delaney said...

Hi Beverly!

I sooo cannot imagine you as anything but sweet an gorgeous!

And what fun to be a matchmaker! Indeed very rewarding.

I'd probably be a poltergeist - not because I like making trouble or throwing anything but because I'm inherently the clumsiest person ever created and I'd keep bumping into things. (Hint: Fear not of things that go bump in the night, they're just my clumsy relatives). So, I guess I'd be a poltergeist by default.

The evil side of me would kind of like seeing what people are really like behind closed doors. Are we all as nice as we seem in person/public? Mwahahaha. maybe not and that would be fun to find out - and excruciatingly painful to not be able to use that research!!!

Thank you Beverly and for your kind words! Good luck! xxx

Kaz Delaney said...

Hey Anonymous! ;-)

Thank you so much for dropping by and for your subtle support for my world domination campaign. The bonus for early-bird sign-ups is that you get to pick from the juiciest portfolios. Consider yourself highly placed on my parliamentary team...

Such a giggle at you needing to check that your hub is cleaning the house. I have made mine promise that if I die first that he will wallow in misery for the rest of his life and not try to seek solace in the arms of other women. (If I have to miss out on the fun, so does he!) I have convinced him they are all evil and self-serving, and will not cook as well as I did no make him laugh.

Ergo, I will be around to haunt him and punish him if he tries to make a life after me. As you see, my benevolence has limitations.;-)

Seriously, thank you for dropping in - this blog is too much fun and the people here are wonderful. xxx

Kaz Delaney said...

Ebs - my trench coat will always be open to you. Always.

Big loves, big hugs...
K x

Ebony McKenna. said...

I'm having too much fun with this Kaz. Fingers crossed we can get up to more trouble at the next conference. Hmmmm, what to wear . . . .

theloonyteenwriter said...

If I were a ghost, I would probably become a house-ghost. You know, getting my owner cereal and doing the crossword; putting my Haunt Certificate on the fridge and knitting. I'd settle in a big old mansion with my owner and occasionally terrify small children. And if one day there comes a kid who wasn't scared of me, we'd adopt them. A great little family!

This sounds pretty appealing, actually. I'm in!

Great interview, and Dead, Actually is towards the top of my TBR pile, so I can't wait to read :)

Ebony McKenna. said...

What gorgeous responses!

The competition is now closed so I'll let Kaz do the choosing. :-)

Stand by for winner announcement!

Kaz Delaney said...

WINNER ANNOUNCED!

Just one winner? This is a totally insane task.

So, in keeping with my benevolent dictator take-over philosophy, there was only one way to choose - and that was to put you all on my whiteboard and stick pins in you.

Okay, so pins don't stick into whiteboards, and to my chagrin I discovered they do scratch, badly, (not happy about that!), and yes, sticking pins in people probably isn't conducive to world peace, continuing friendship or even good manners. Don't send hate mail - I got it, right?

But despite all that - the good news is that we have a winner! The name that will forever have a wee bit of it indelibly engraved forever (tautology?)in my whiteboard thanks to that very sharp pin is:

The Looney Teen Writer!

Congratulations Looney (sounds so rude - forgive me) - you won!!!! If you send your deets to either Ebs or myself, I'll send that sparkly prize your way asap. If you don't have either email address, message here or to either of us on FB.

Thank you everyone for joining the fun. I had such a load of laughs with Ebony and you guys all helped to keep that fun feeling alive! I'll be forever grateful.

Finally, thank you Ebony for your imagination, with and superb hosting skills. Love you forever.

Kaz Delaney said...

Wit. It should be your amazing wit. Not with... Sigh...

Ebony McKenna. said...

Congratulations Looney Teen (aka Emily) please email me at author@ebonymckenna.com and I'll get the book heading your way asap!

theloonyteenwriter said...

That's so exciting, thanks to you both! I'm honoured to be ingrained in your whiteboard, Kaz, even if it's just a very small bit :)

I had a lot of fun reading this interview - I'm sure I'll have just as much fun reading both books!