The year is 1979.An uncool girl in the cool crowd, Bella Stone finds herself the girlfriend to footballer, Ben James, the boy everybody wants to date. Ben and Bella are destined to be together and yet somehow, life has a way of keeping them apart.
Feeling betrayed by Ben, Bella reinvents herself as the life of the party. In a desperate attempt to find the love she lost, she almost loses everything.Now, it’s 1987.
Ben is back but Bella has grown up and moved on. Is it too late?
Heart of Glass is a tale of the fragility of the human heart, a longing that will not be tamed and a promise that no matter what, someone will always love you.
This book is currently available:
I asked LA a few questions:
Tell us about your current book?
Heart of Glass was written about four years ago and was written because I was very lonely having moved with my husband and family from Tasmania to Western Australia and writing seemed like a good way to fill in the time when the kids were asleep and my husband was away working. I had the idea based on first loves we all have and it went from there but it grew into something much bigger.
Why that genre?
I love romances and happy endings. Most of the movies I choose are of that genre also. Chick lit appeals to my weird sense of humour. I love that a lot of them are written in first person
What gives you the stimulus to write this particular genre?
I have a very vivid imagination. Obviously, I read a lot of books like these and watch a lot of movies. Plus, I take things from real life experiences, not necessarily my own but maybe those I’ve heard of or witnessed. I love music too. Lyrics – esp U2 – provide heaps of inspiration.
Have you tried to write in another genre?
No but I am currently nutting out the ideas for a children’s book based on a little boy I taught who was always asking questions. I also want to try my hand at short story erotica.
Is your book a stand-alone or part of a series?
At the moment, all the books Ive written are stand alone. I tend to want a resolution for stories. I get extremely cross when books/movies don’t end with and ‘ending’.
Have your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family?
Heart of Glass has some characters that were based on people I knew at University and School but the events were entirely fictional. I tend to start with a character idea and then the character sort of takes on their own persona even if they were originally based on someone.
What are you working on now?
I’m tossing up whether to go back and edit my third story The Taming of the Bastard or start a whole new story. It’s a love story based on the Dire Straits song ‘Romeo and Juliet”.
What is your favourite scene in your book? Can we have a snippet?
I absolutely love the scene in Heart of Glass where Bella tells Ben to set her free. It was originally set to the lyrics of Don’t Throw it All Away by Andy Gibb but I had to remove them because of copyright.
We looked at each other. His blue eyes were darker than usual. His hand trembled a little as he lifted his glass. “I didn’t cheat on you. You know I didn’t.”I sat silently. I did know it. It was there, in his eyes.If he says he wants me back, I swear, I’ll throw my drink in his face, I thought.“I don’t know what else to say.”My hand twisted at the tablecloth. If he says he still loves me I’m going to deck him. Truly.“I love you, Bel’.”Great.I looked into his eyes. They were melting the ice block I’d built around my heart. I wanted to tell him I still felt the same, no matter what he had done.“Well… I guess that’s all I wanted to say,” he said.Sitting straight as a rod, I took another drag on my cigarette. Don’t let him see your pain; don’t let him know it hurts to have him near. “When are you going back to Melbourne?”“Tomorrow.”It sounded so final. Tomorrow. It was always over so suddenly, never any time to become used to the idea.“Will you dance with me, for old time’s sake?”Oh, to have him close again, the way it used to be.“Alright.”He took my hand, and led me to the dance floor. The band was playing “Don’t Throw it All Away on Love”, drawing the older guests up from their seats. The words of the song rang in my ears, bringing tears to my eyes, like something I’d forgotten long ago and needed to remember.Taking me in his arms, Ben guided me around the floor and from the corner of my eye, I could see Prue and Lucy, their faces glowing, thinking they had performed their job of matchmakers well. If only they’d known what it was doing to me. A double murder wasn’t out of the question.Content to let him lead, I let my mind drift as I listened to the music and we floated together around the room. I’d forgotten what a wonderful dancer he was. I’d forgotten how good it was to touch him, to feel his warmth and strength beneath my fingertips. Instinctively, my head fell to its natural resting place against his chest. I breathed him in, every inch of him. He’d always smelled so good.Ben sighed as my body relaxed against his. He must have sensed the change for he pulled me closer, holding me in the circle of his embrace. His cheek came down gently, to rest upon my head as we danced and the tears dripped down my cheek.“Do you forgive me?”He could feel in my body. He knew I’d forgiven him. I’d forgiven him but I could not forget.“Oh Bella, I’m so sorry. I don’t know why I keep hurting you. All I ever wanted was to love you.”And all I wanted was to be loved.Lifting my head, I examined his face, looking into his heart, trying to read his mind. I knew he wanted me back but I couldn’t bear to hear him say it. I felt it too, but I couldn’t give any more. The pain inside cut too deep.Please don’t ask me to love you again Ben, my eyes begged, beseeching him to release the chains that held my heart and let me go free. I can’t do it, it’s too hard.It was too late. It was over.
Do you have an agent, or have you gone alone?
Heart of Glass is self-published. I presented it to a number of different people but the all told me it didn’t fit into the mould enough to be mainstream.
Perhaps… Perhaps is going to be released by Night Publishing, a small independent group with some very talented authors and I’m very happy to be one of them.
Who is your publisher, or who do you self-publish with?
I SP’d through a company in Australia, just near where I live – SelfPublish Australia. They are a division of Fontaine Press. I’m very happy with the quality of the books they’ve produced for me.
Would you SP again?
Yes, but its very hard to get sales without a fan base. Building a platform is crucial if you SP.
Thoughts on SP?
Now that so many options are open to us in regards to getting our work out there, its very easy to SP. Its also easy to get caught up in a rubbish product. For SP authors, editing and checking every last detail in production is so important. I got a book from the net the other day with so many typos, it was ridiculous and the formatting looked so unprofessional. If you SP you have to make your book look just like it came from a bookstore.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I only write in the evenings and when I get spare minutes. Heart of Glass took about 18 months and the same with Perhaps… Perhaps.
Which comes first for you – characters or plot?
Usually both in tandem but the plot often changes as I write depending on where the characters take me.
How did you get into writing? Did you always want to become a writer?
No, but when I was at Uni I found essay writing very easy and I loved reading. I wrote some poetry and short stories then but never thought about it as a career.
What mistakes do you see new writers make?
Thinking that the first draft is good enough. I don’t know anybody who could be that good. And giving up too easily. Writing is fun but it’s not always easy and sometimes it’s very frustrating.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Network, network, network. It’s amazing what you learn just by being online and talking to like-minded people. Other writers are always willing to share and help you.
Join a writers group for feedback.
Don’t give up.