They all have a common theme: surviving the elements. It doesn’t get more basic.
Which is why I dare to mention my story imbroglio in the same breath.
Imagine the fear of going overboard 25 kms out to sea, at night.
I’m serious. Really imagine it.
Knowing that although you’re completely alone, you’re not alone. You might have survived the fall, but will you survive the predators beneath your feet? Will you survive the unrelenting tides and weather?
But let’s face it, it’s the thought of those predators that are making your toes curl right now.
Enough to give you nightmares, isn’t it.
Could you possibly survive? What would you need to attempt it?
A sense of direction? The will? The ability to swim? Strength? Endurance?
You would need all of those and more.
Noel Valentine. Does she have those qualities? Any of them?
Maybe, but will they be enough?
On a dark night 25 kms off the coast of Sydney, Australia, she goes over the side of a luxury yacht. She doesn’t want to. It’s a choice between a quick death aboard at the hands of criminals or a slow one overboard. Instinct impels her to the slow option.
For an atmospheric glimpse here’s my new half minute imbroglio trailer.
The prompt was a problem with the blog sharing capabilities of my old website. That raised it’s very annoying head just two weeks before I was due to renew my website registration for another year or two.
It was obviously a sign from above to move on. So I did. To WordPress. Boy, was that ever a steep learning curve!
Incredibly annoyingly—at least in the short term—was the fact that I was unable to transfer my existing data. I therefore had to start from scratch.
That turned out to be a good thing because it made me analyse what my old site had offered and whether I wanted to replicate it.
I decided I didn’t.
I thought about what I, as a reader, like to see on author pages.
Information about their books, yes, but also information about them. I like to know something about the lives of the authors I read. Not nosy stuff, definitely not. But where they live, what interests them and what they occasionally get up to.
And here’s the result.
I’ve completely overhauled my book pages to include the story behind the story and location pics. I’ve also gone the extra mile and chosen the Australian actors I’d love to play my lead characters if the books were to be made into movies. Come check them out. Here are a few. imbroglio stars | automaton stars
Today I was lucky enough to corner David Cameron for half an hour to talk to him about recent events in his life. It’s fair to say, and I don’t think he’ll contradict me, they were catastrophic and life changing for him.
Thanks for agreeing to sit still and have a coffee while I interrogate you.
David: No worries. Although it remains to be seen what I’ll actually answer.
I can see by the grin you’re not going to put too many obstacles up. I’m going to raise Noel Valentine straight the way. Putting it mildly, your meeting was unorthodox.
David: Putting it mildly, yes. But she saved my life twice, so I can only be grateful.
Twice? I know about the car accident but …
David: The second time was after the accident, when I was hospital. Who knows? If she hadn’t done what she did I could still be there and still be in a coma. No-one mentions it but it couldn’t have been easy for her, in any number of ways but one, specifically, was that she was injured herself and what she did must have caused her pain.
You’re right, no-one has brought that up before. How did you feel when you thought she was lost? Sorry, it’s obviously something that makes you uncomfortable.
David: No, not uncomfortable … Panic … still … every time I think about it. And if I still feel that way imagine how her parents, her family, still feel.
I apologise for mentioning it. What are your plans now everything has settled down? Do they include Noel?
David: If she wants it, yes. But let’s not jinx anything, huh?
All right, let’s talk about something else.You were sporting quite a few aliases there for a while. How did you keep track of them?
David: With difficulty. Glad to be done with them and be myself again.
How are things with your mother now?
David: Still a bit tricky but at least we’re talking. I spent several days with her in the States a few weeks back and it went well. And I’m glad. I gave both my parents a hard time when I was growing up and neither of them deserved it. I’m pleased to be back in the fold, so’s to speak.
The company, Gem Techtronics, I understand you’ve been working around the clock since taking over. Are you going to be able to save it?
David: I think so. It’s looking that way. Marion’s putting her heart and soul into it too, I couldn’t have attempted it without her. But she’s got the two kids, Elizabeth and Robin, and I’ve got to keep reminding myself to let her have that work/life balance.
I wondered at one time whether you had a soft spot for her.
David: I did. And I do. She’s one in a million. She has my undying gratitude and friendship, but if you’re asking if she has my heart, no. And she wouldn’t want it. She thinks I’m dangerous!
In what way?
David: To tell you the truth I don’t know. When I asked what she meant she just gave me that gimlet stare and said ‘You don’t change overnight’. You’ll have to ask her.
Maybe I will. I’m talking to her soon. You’d led a pretty free and adventurous life before all this happened. Do you think you’ll be able to settle permanently or do you think you’ll get itchy feet again? What’s so funny?
David: Excuse me while I crack up. What’s so funny? The question. What I’m doing now couldn’t be called anything else but adventurous. It’s just a different kind of adventure and it’s exactly what I want … and what I need. I’d already had enough of my old life, that’s why I came home. Life now is exactly what I want it to be. Or almost, anyway.
You’re talking about Noel.
David: And that’s where this interview ends. Thanks for the coffee, I’ve got to be going.
I wouldn’t be worth my pay grade if I didn’t try. Thanks, and good luck. It was nice to meet you.
IMBROGLIO star Noel Valentine agreed to this interview with Kathryn E Jones for her blog A river of stones a while backand 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.
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, the Australian actor the author would choose to play IMBROGLIO star Noel Valentine if a film version were made.
Photo from ThePlace2.ru
The 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.
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