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Author spotlight: Ally Blake

10 December 2019

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting Ally Blake. She will be attending ARR2020 in Brisbane.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

I read romance all through my tweens; Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High were my bliss! I then moved onto the piles of Mills and Boons my grandmother kept under her spare bed.

I first sat down to write a romance novel when I was around 25.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

Janey Dailey. I still have the first book of hers I read—Enemy in Camp—with its tattered cover, pages falling out, kept in my childhood treasure chest. I think my heroes are very similar to hers from that book—wry, gorgeous and above all capable.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

Only when I was starting out. I’d started a political mystery. I had a children’s fantasy I was working on (and still love) about a boy everyone thinks is gong to be a great warrior, who is really completely average.

I never say never, but, for now, love stories pour delightedly from my fingertips, and that’s just fine with me!

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

I reckon A Week with the Best Man would make for a fun movie! I’d cast the fantabulous Lily James as uptight Harper, and Scott Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s yummy son) as laid back Cormac. Though both would have to nail Aussie accents.

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

Keeping to word count! I write long. Always. I soooo envy those who write short. Oh, the time they must save!

Though the revising, for me, is where the story is honed. Sharpened. The cumbersome parts slashed, the delicious bits enhanced. So maybe writing long is meant to be.

What is your favourite place to write?

My local café. I always choose a booth that feels like a little writing cave. I love the white noise. The fact that I can’t get up to check the fridge, or put away the washing. I truly feel like cafes are patrons of the arts, the way they let us rent a table for a cup of coffee and a bickie. I’m at mine so often I even get staff discount!

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

Not really. Though—as above—I often ‘cast’ my characters. I don’t find actors who look like my characters, so much as those with the right glint in the eye. A certain reserve or movement. The way they hold themselves. The feeling I get when I see them.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

Lies by Kylie Scott was an absolute cracker. A total romp. Funny, sexy, warm; it was a whole lot of fun.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Crazy About Her Impossible Boss is a January Forever Romance release.

Lucinda Starling has worked alongside branding guru Angus Wolfe for years. They are a hell of a team. But if anyone suggested Lucinda was a teeny bit in love with him, Angus would laugh till he split a kidney.

Only thing is; it’s true. Knowing her crush on commitment-phobe Angus is a bust, Lucinda plans a dirty weekend with another guy. Angus finds out, and suddenly has to attend a conference at the same rural resort.

Hijinks ensue, romantical things are said, a fiddle-leaf plant becomes an unwitting collaborator, long-suppressed feelings are pushed to the surface.

Can they go back to work on Monday, as if nothing ever happened? Or will they both be strong enough to risk it all for love?

Loved writing this story. The push and pull was super fun!

What else will you be working on in 2020?

I’m working on the third book of a fun, summery, international rom-com trilogy written alongside Canadian author Cara Colter and British author Sophie Pembroke. I’ve always had brilliant experiences writing series with other authors, have made such close writing friends that way!

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.



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