Tag Archives: Australian fiction

Meet IMBROGLIO star Noel Valentine

IMBROGLIO star Noel Valentine agreed to this interview with Kathryn E Jones for her blog A river of stones a while back and both Noel and Kathryn have said I can reproduce it here on my blog. Given Noel is the star of my novel IMBROGLIO I’m pleased to be able to add it to my website IMBROGLIO page.

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Hello Noel, lovely to meet you.  Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. There are so many questions I’d love to ask you about David and why you got involved but that would spoil the surprise for readers who haven’t yet discovered you. So I’m going to keep them general. Would you tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

My name is Noel Valentine –Alana hijacked my story for her conspiracy mystery thriller IMBROGLIO. I live in a studio apartment in Elisabeth Bay on Sydney Harbour. I work in the city as a PR consultant with William T Hall Advertising. I’m 25, 5’8”, pretty slim, have longish dark hair and my eyes … I like to say topaz with green flecks. These scars on my hands and arms—it’s okay to ask about them—the doctors say they won’t look so bad after a while. It’s only been a few weeks … I was on holiday in Cairns in Queensland and was behind a car that ran off the road down an embankment. It burst into flames. I managed to pull one of the men out but not the other—the police say he was dead already. And I got these burns.

Phoebe Tonkin-- ThePlace2.ru
Phoebe Tonkin, the Australian actor the author would choose to play IMBROGLIO star Noel Valentine if a film version were made.
Photo from ThePlace2.ru
Eliz Bay view to seaThe view Noel has from her studio apartment in Elisabeth Bay, Sydney. Photo by Alana Woods

As for aims in life; once it was to be at the top of the PR game but that was before … well, before things went haywire. For the last couple of years it’s just been putting one foot in front of the other every day. But since all that’s happened in the last couple of months I’ve been able to look at the bigger picture again and I have to say that life has improved. I’m thinking that maybe I’ll stick around to grow old after all.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I swim. I find it incredibly relaxing mentally. My father taught me when I was little. Most mornings I’ll swim at Coogee but my parents have a pool and if the weather’s no good I’ll duck over to their place and do a few laps.

Coogee Beach with baths

What is your favorite colour and why?

White. I know people say it isn’t a colour but I like it. It’s not the only colour I wear but it’s what’s predominantly in my wardrobe.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

I been known to have fads ☺ Last one was Italian, current one is Thai. Why? The flavours.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

Gloves! Ever since my hands and arms were burnt. I can’t go into a shop now without making a beeline for the gloves section. The last ones I bought were these lovely little lacy things, like gossamer, but enough to disguise the scars.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?

That would be Nick Donaldson, the lawyer managing Gem Techtronics. Everyone thinks he’s an upstanding pillar of society but he’s a criminal and one day I’ll prove it. And he’s a sleaze, which really is the icing on the cake. He cornered me on his motor cruiser the other night; it was a work thing and I was there with William. Such a sleaze!

 What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

Family. Definitely. I lost my dad when I was young. Mum remarried a terrific chap. And I have two younger half brothers who drive me insane but I love them to bits. I’d do anything to keep them in my life.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I’m not a manipulative bitch. I know, given what’s happening, there’s a tendency for people to think I am. But, please, look a bit closer at the circumstances and what I’m trying to do before making up your mind about me.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Don’t put me in the water! I can sort out my issues without being put in that kind of life-or-death situation.

Ask me any question. I’ve always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself.

I’ve been wanting to get this off my chest for a while now, ever since I found out Alana had written a warts-and-all about my life without consulting me. Why do writers believe they can do that? Write someone’s story without asking first. And why do they feel entitled to include the most intimate of details; things, at least as far as I’m concerned, I’d never in a million years have revealed to my mother let alone the world.

Noel, thank you so much!

You can find IMBROGLIO star Noel Valentine and read her story in IMBROGLIO

Phoebe Tonkin’s IMDb page


This interview first appeared Kathryn E Jones’ blog A river of stones

Read my interview with David Cameron

What should an author website contain?

I’ve just had to build a new author website from scratch.

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I recently changed website provider and host, and as my old provider didn’t allow me to export data I was forced to start again.

It focused my thinking on this question: Who am I reaching out to and what information should I be providing them with?

I tried to be all things to all people with my old one. Information about my books, me and my writing for the reading public—but I also had pages dedicated to indie authors to help them navigate the tricky shoals of publishing.

I realise now that’s not the way to go. The two purposes are at odds. I imagine readers found it confusing and, to be brutal with myself, uninteresting.

And authors? … well, frankly, my pages palled in the face of many other sites that actually are dedicated to them.

I realised that my purpose as an author is to concentrate on readers.

That brought me to another question: How interested am I in behind-the-scenes information about the books I read and their authors?

In relation to books the answer was that it tickles me to know what inspired a story.

In relation to authors it was wanting to know a little about their lives—only as much as they’re willing to give, of course—and how that has steered their stories.

So … today I’m announcing my new website is ready to receive visitors.

My new author website


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It welcomes old fans and new.

Each of My books has a dedicated page containing cover image and a snapshot of the story. They have a story-behind-the-story segment, my favourite review, and a slideshow gallery of photos that show the story locations. Two also have video trailers.

My About pages contain personal as well as professional information and, again, slideshow galleries depicting my past and present; nonsensical stuff such holiday pics. 

Then there’s a Photo albums page where all of the slideshows reside in thumbnail presentation with captions.

Roz and me...
John and m...

I’ve kept a blog and, in fact, expanded it to two. There’s My World of Books which will continue to focus on book reviews and author interviews, but with forays into the wider world of publishing from the readers’ viewpoint. My new blog, Travel Tales, combines my love of writing with my love of travelling and gives yet another insight into my private life.

The travel tales of Alana Woods, the Intrigue Queen of thriller fiction
The travel tales of Alana Woods, the Intrigue Queen of thriller fiction

What anyone desires with their website is to engage the visitor, pique their interest and, ultimately, want them to stay and investigate.

Come visit.  alanawoods.com

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Alana Woods’ book reviews: LOOKING FOR LIONEL by Paul V Walters

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In the introduction to this book the author observes that writing short stories is no easy task. He’s a successful novelist who has for the first time, with this collection, tried his hand at another genre. In a novel the author has time to develop the story line and characters. In a short story there are several thousand words at most in which to tell the story. They are snapshots that, when told by a gifted storyteller, convey a nuanced lifetime in those few words.

Walters needn’t worry. Every one of these stories is a superbly nuanced snapshot.

They follow no theme and are bound, as he points out, only by their quirkiness.

And quirky they are! I found pleasure and poignancy in each. Being Australian I especially enjoyed the outback tales of Looking for Lionel and The kangaroo shooter because they reminded me of the times I spent as a youngster in such places.

I was sorry when I came to the end of the last little tale as they’d kept me entertained, but then there was the bonus of the essays and articles and these, let me tell you, are mostly tongue-in-the-cheek gold. I say mostly because Climate change is a serious piece and When the black dog growls has the capacity to break your heart while ultimately giving you hope.

Walters proves he is an adept raconteur on every level.


Take this link to my interview with Paul V Walters