Kiwi author Michelle Holman—a founding contributor to The Romantic Journey—stormed onto the bestsellers list with her debut novel Bonkers, she got the locals in Cambridge wearing stilettos with her second bestseller Divine, and now she’s back and funnier than ever with:
RELEASE DATE: 1 OCTOBER, 2009
When Daneka Lawton was awakened at 6 a.m. by her radio alarm clock and Lilly Allen singing ‘Smile’, she was unaware that her personal nemesis had just stepped off a 747 at Auckland airport.
Danny Lawton is sharp-tongued, fiery and occasionally blue-haired. With no extended family to support her, she is struggling to look after her twin sister’s orphaned children while working full-time in a busy North Shore Emergency Department. Times are tough, but she is holding her own. And she is determined to hold onto her own.
So when the children’s paternal uncle, Ross Fabello, turns up unexpectedly from America with instructions to take the children back with him to meet their huge, extended family, Danny marshals all her wits and wiles for the fight of her life. Unexpectedly, she finds that her first enemy is herself and a seemingly irresistible and totally unsuitable sexual attraction…
Because our launch week coincided with her book release, Michelle took the time to do a short interview. She’ll also be posting her introductory post, but we wanted to make sure you had a chance to win her book when it is fresh and new. (Note: If you don’t want to wait or take your chances on the drawing, you can order Knotted from this New Zealand-based store. They don’t do automatic currency conversions. Knotted is coming soon to Amazon. Want to skip to the contest rules? Click here.)
The Romantic Journey: Tell us a bit about Knotted.
Michelle Holman: Danny (Daneka) and Ross are two equally immovable and stubborn forces set to collide when they discover they share an orphaned niece and nephew. Danny’s twin sister was the children’s mother and Ross’ wastrel brother was their father. The children are the only family Danny has, and she’ll do anything to keep them including briefly considering knocking their uncle off and feeding him to her neighbours’ pigs – after all, it’d be like recycling.
Ross is a best selling international author who’s been in a bad mood – for two years – due to a bad case of writer’s block. He can’t understand how a mouthy, New Zealand nurse with blue hair and the fashion sense of a bag lady keeps thwarting his plan to make contact with his newly discovered niece and nephew.
I had huge fun writing this book. Danny and Ross share a sarcastic sense of humour and I loved creating Ross’ mixed bag of Irish/Italian/American relatives and Danny’s Maori family.
RJ: What inspired you to write this story?
MH: Believe it or not – breasts and socks. Okaay, I hear you say, so I’ll explain. I’m a lapsed nurse (you never stop being one, you just lapse) and when I was still practising I cared for quite a few women with breast cancer so I’m a passionate supporter of breast screening and early detection.
Danny’s sister and mother both died young from breast cancer and the possibility of following them sits on Danny’s shoulder like a gremlin. Before you start worrying, my books always have happy endings. As for the socks, I often get ideas for stories while I’m hanging out underwear and socks on the washing line because they take so long.
One day I heard Ross and Danny arguing about what she’d done with his socks. There’s a sock on the cover of Knotted. You’ll have to read it to find out why but suffice to say, Danny is creative when it comes to fighting back (snigger).
RJ: If you could be any character from your books for a day, who would you choose and why?
MH: That’s easy! I’d be Lisa from my first book, Bonkers. She gets body swapped in Heaven’s Waiting Room and in the best “second hand car deal” ever wakes up in the body of a drop dead gorgeous Californian babe and gets a tall, hunky American surgeon husband to sweeten the deal – except he can’t stand her.
I’ve had so many readers tell me they have the hots for “Dr. Dan” and would love to get their hands on him. So would I, purely for professional reasons, of course.
RJ: Tell us how you first got published.
MH: Err…I hate answering this and try and avoid it in case purses and shoes come flying my way. I “dabbled” for years but could never finish anything until I made a New Year’s Resolution at the end of 2005 to complete a book.
I wrote Bonkers during 2006, sent it off to HarperCollins in October and they bought it in February 2007. It was a case of right book, right time, and I know, I was really, really lucky.
RJ: Tell us about your influences while writing Knotted. Did you listen to music? Or read?
MH: I don’t read while I’m writing, which puts a serious cramp in my pleasure index because like all writers I love to read, but I do listen to music and each of my books have certain songs that I associate with them.
I See Red by Split Enz, a NZ group, was Danny’s song. She plays it whenever Ross (frequently and deliberately) drives her nuts. Ross’ song is Message To My Girl which is also by Split Enz. No big surprise that I’m a dedicated fan.
RJ: What kind of research did you do while writing this book?
MH: Some research on breast cancer screening and detection. I also watched a lot of SpongeBob Squarepants – purely for the purposes of accuracy because the children in the book watch it, and not of course because I love it.
RJ: What else are you working on that you’d like to tell us about?
MH: I’m about a third of the way through a book about a widow with three children who gets made an offer she can’t refuse by an uppercrust, blonde, English, James Bond type. Go Daniel Craig! He’s on my list of favourite things alongside SpongeBob and Split Enz.
I’ve also made a start on the next book in the Bonkers trilogy (Glenn and Sherry’s story) plus I’ve come up with an idea for two more linked books, one set in a vineyard and the other in a cherry orchard in the South Island of New Zealand, which means I’ll be heading off to Cromwell in December to do some research and attend the Annual Cherry Pit Spitting Contest – I did not make that up! It exists!
Now on to the fun part: Michelle is giving away one copy of Knotted to one of our readers. Enter the random drawing by:
- Commenting on this post.
- Tweeting a link to this post in Twitter. You’ll need to comment letting us know that you tweeted. Include your Twitter username for verification.
- Posting a link on Facebook. Again, comment letting us know that you posted the link.
- Adding The Romantic Journey to your blogroll. Comment that you did that and include a link for verification.
- Posting something about The Romantic Journey on your blog. Comment that you did it and include a link for verification.
- Subscribing to the RSS feed or email feed. Comment that you did it to be entered.
- Following The Romantic Journey on Twitter. Again, comment with your Twitter username for verification.
You receive one entry for each action, so you can potentially receive seven entries.
The winner will be announced 9 October. Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. UTC on 8 October, 2009.
No transfers or substitutions.