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Monday 18 January 2016

ℚ♫ Hot Stuff: Surfing Love - Carla Caruso, Maria Lewis, Alli Sinclair and Tess Woods

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about short story, The Bluff, included in the newly released Hot Stuff: Surfing Love (, Impulse Australia, 92 pages), a collection of four Contemporary Erotic Romance.

Read an excerpt from The Bluff in our main feature for Hot Stuff: Surfing Love.

'As with all fabulously written short stories they leave you hankering for more. These authoresses' handiwork is no different. I love the surfing aspect, I loved the strength and independence of all the female characters; they ran the show, not the men. Great collection, I hated reaching the end' Melinda H, NetGalley.

Author Q&A with Maria Lewis | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Authors | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Maria Lewis; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Hot Stuff: Surfing Love, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Here’s a playlist I made for my story The Bluff in Hot Stuff: Surfing Love.  A lot of girl rock.  A lot of surfy tunes.  A lot of ‘Straya mate.  Hope you dig :-) "
What was the inspiration for The Bluff?
"The inspiration for my story in Hot Stuff: Surfing Love actually came from my experiences growing up as a sponsored surfer through my teenage years and early twenties.  I competed on a professional circuit here in Australia and New Zealand and had always wanted to write a piece of fiction that incorporated that knowledge somehow."
How much of yourself is reflected in this story, and how?
"Tonnes!  Although I couldn’t point at a specific character and say ‘oh hay, there I am’ my personality and personal experiences are weaved throughout it.

I had a few particularly bad wipe-outs in my time as a surfer – one where I woke up unconscious and bleeding from a head wound in the water, where my girlfriend had to push me back on my board and paddle me to shore before the next wave.  Those things stay with you and become almost defining memories, so I wanted to really recreate the feeling of a dangerous wipe-out in a visceral way for the readers.  It’s a situation few people find themselves in but I think those who have will be happy and hopefully horrified with that specific element of the story.

One other thing from my life threaded into The Bluff (the name of my tale) is the girl gang: when you’re put in these high-pressure adrenaline situations combined with the travel and close proximity, you develop a real ride-or-die friendship with the sisters close to you.  The world of surfing can be such a sausage fest, so the bonds you form with your fellow women – even those you compete against – can be formative.  Plus, you know, from Josie and the Pussycats to Birds Of Prey, who doesn’t love a good girl gang?"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Hot Stuff: Surfing Love - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"We actually didn’t get to choose the cover, Hot Stuff: Surfing Love being an anthology and all that.  But I know myself and the other writers Carla Caruso, Alli Sinclair and Tess Woods are all pretty happy with it.  It communicates exactly what the book is about: summer, surf and sweet, sweet romance.  I think it was Tess who actually created a group for us all on Facebook and named it Hoff’s Babes, which I freakin’ love and sums up our feelings on the whole thing."
Laughing aloud - I like it!

Why should we read Hot Stuff: Surfing Love and what sets it apart from the rest?

"The great thing about anthologies in any form – film, television, novels – is you get the opportunity to taste a few different stories from a few different minds all in the one sitting.  I think of it as an intellectual buffet and that’s definitely the case with Hot Stuff: Surfing Love.

All four of us women come from very different places and have very different voices, which reflects in the stories and the characters which are all vastly different from each other.  There’s everything from a personal, intimate romance (Carla) to my action-packed adventure, which makes it fun for the reader to experience those contrasting flavours."
Can you tell us something quirky about your story, The Bluff, its story and characters?
"The three main characters in the all-girl surfing gang are; Ever (the one we follow for the duration of the story), Kitty and Ardelia.  For lovers of Thomas HarrisHannibal series they’ll recognise the last name, which is a wee tribute to one of my favourite (and most underappreciated) characters in literature - Ardelia Mapp.  Kitty was named at a later date in direct reaction to her character’s personality: she’s essentially the opposite of what you’d stereotypically expect someone named ‘Kitty’ to be like (a wild, unpredictable, flippant, freestyle renegade).

The main love interest is an Aboriginal man called Nain, which roughly translates to a ‘place to observe’.  I thought that name was so beautiful and unique, it was perfect for him.

And if you can’t tell, I get rather obsessive about naming characters: it’s one of my favourite parts in the writing process and I tend to have baby-naming books in my office and pieces of paper with random names scrawled on them so I remember to use them at a later date."
Who would you recommend Hot Stuff: Surfing Love to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"If you have a fear of drowning or are particularly traumatised by that kind of content, maybe avoid my story The Bluff.

In saying that though, all three of the other stories from Alli, Tess and Carla would all be perfect for you so odds are if you don’t like something one of us has written there’s a whole three more stories packed into the book."
If you could / wished to turn The Bluff into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Well, since The Bluff is a short story there’s not a huge amount of source material here but in a dream world I could definitely pad it out to fit a film or television format.

For Ever probably Phoebe Tonkin (The Originals),
Kitty could be Eliza Taylor (The 100),
for Ardelia I’d love Serayah McNeill (Empire) or Tessa Thompson (Dear White People)
and Nain could be played by the supremely talented Hunter Page-Lochard."

What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Generally speaking I like to write within the genres I like to read: anything from urban fantasy and crime, to YA and noir mysteries.  Usually my favourite thing to do is combine several elements of these, like with my début novel Who’s Afraid? which is like an urban fantasy horror, romance, action, adventure, mystery, thriller *takes a breathe*.

In Who’s Afraid? and another book I have being shopped around at the moment – It Came From The Deep – they involved gender-flipping things that were considered traditionally male or female.  With Who’s Afraid? it was about shaking up the idea of men stereotypically inhabiting the monstrous physicality of a werewolf and with It Came From The Deep it was about a woman discovering a merman, rather than the other way round (an inverse The Little Mermaid, if you will)."
What is your writing process?
"It depends on the type of story: short stories I tend to have a list of wacky ideas in the back of my mind that I’ve always wanted to try and shorter-form fiction is the perfect place to dust those off and try them out.

With my novels and longer-form fiction, it usually starts with a very simple idea which I slowly extrapolate over time as I add details and build the universe and back stories.

I’ve worked fulltime as a journalist for the past decade, so my writing process and general mantra tends to be ‘fit it in wherever the hell I can’."
An Irish Wolf Hound
wearing a pair of Dachshunds
What is in store next?
"Welp, 2016 is the year my novel Who’s Afraid? drops (from Little Brown Books in London) so most of my energy and anxiety is being fuelled into making that début with a splash.  I have a hectic press schedule for my home territories of New Zealand and Australia as it releases there in January, 2016 before I head over to the UK for two months for the international release in July, 2016 with tours scheduled in England, Scotland and Ireland.

Once all that dies down – and I take a breather – the process begins again for the second book Who’s Afraid Too? which is also being released by Little Brown."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I don’t have a pet unfortunately because I live in a very small house in Sydney, Australia but here’s a picture of me with someone’s adorable puppy that I (momentarily) stole.  My dream dog would be an Irish Wolf Hound, for the record."

Ahah!  The Irish Wolf Hounds are immense! - see picture above.
Thank you for sharing and talking to us.  We wish you all the best for your new releases and hope to see you back soon with Who's Afraid!

Hot Stuff: Surfing Love
Available NOW!

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US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

1 comment:

Majanka Verstraete said...

Good luck with all your endavors in 2016. Sounds like it'll be a busy year.

Majanka @ I Heart Reading