Heart to Heart podcast

Check out my new gig hosting Destiny Romance’s new podcast.

2014 Heart to Heart logoThis is probably my most fun project so far. The lovely folks at Penguin Australia have asked me to host Heart to Heart, a monthly podcast for their romance imprint Destiny Romance. Two episodes have been released so far. Hope you enjoy these!

Episode 1: Interview with Sarah Wendell

Episode 2: Interview with Anne Gracie

Addicted to Love

This interview for The Big Issue was doubly exciting because it was written by one of my favourite authors, Toni Jordan.’Addicted to Love’ was the cover story of the issue, and it include quotes from Anna Cowan, who I think is one of the most exciting new authors in romance. This is what I had to say:

Kat Mayo is not a Fifty Shades fan, but she understands the reasons behind its success. Mayo, who blogs at bookthingo.com.au and also edits Romance Buzz, the romance newsletter for online bookseller Booktopia, believes that classic genre romance is popular for two reasons: the unashamed focus on the concerns of women, like domestic, family and career issues; and the satisfying emotional payoff of a guaranteed happy ending.

For some readers and critics of literary fiction, it’s this ‘guaranteed happy ending’ that’s most problematic about romantic fiction. Mayo argues that literary fiction is not a byword for ‘realism’. “We have a lot of literature that deals with death, suicide, infidelity, paedophilia, depression – literature runs the gamut of emotions,” Mayo says. “The optimistic ending is no more or less realistic than any other kind of ending. They’re all fiction.” She believes this well-defined sense of how the story should end offends certain literary sensibilities. “That’s an ideological standpoint,” Mayo says. Continue reading

BOOKS+PUBLISHING (Issue 1, 2013)

Shelf Talk

BOOKS+PUBLISHING magazine asked me to write a brief article on upcoming romance fiction titles for their Shelf Talk section.

BOOKS+PUBLISHING (Issue 1, 2013)I talk about upcoming romance titles in the magazine’s first issue for 2013.

If you’re a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Psy-Changeling or True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse series, it’s going to be a great year of reading!

My new gig – Booktopia Romance Buzz

My first solo issue as Booktopia’s new romance newsletter editor.

I’m so excited to announce the first edition of the Romance Buzz that I put together all on my own! The Romance Buzz is the romance fiction newsletter put out by Booktopia, Australia’s largest online bookshop. My first featured author is Patricia Briggs–I know! How exciting, right? You can check out the March issue here.

Why Mum is still the best cook in the world

I wrote this for PINOYexpats, but this article was also the starting point for a similar piece that I submitted to the Australian Filipina magazine.

My extended family has produced some excellent cooks and my mum is one of the best. I, on the other hand, avoided the kitchen for as long as I could.

Cooking seemed to me a messy, laborious and thankless chore. When I moved out to an apartment with a brand new kitchen still gleaming in its stainless steel glory, I vowed to turn over a new leaf. Who better to experiment with than my new husband, who promised to do the washing up? Continue reading

Beyond the Accent : Why learning a second language is more difficult than it sounds

This was the first article I wrote for PINOYexpats as part of the theme Buwan Ng Wika. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever written, but I’m so glad I finally found a copy so I can post it here.

A new immigrant, Lola was gardening when a neighbour greeted her with a jaunty, ‘Good day!’

‘Thank you,’ Lola replied as she fluffed up her hair.

Two weeks after arriving in Sydney, my family was at my school for an interview. ‘How was your flight?’ the principal kindly asked my parents.

‘Oh, we’re living at my sister-in-laws’ house,’ Mum replied.

It turns out that Lola thought the neighbour was admiring the colour of her hair dye, while Mum thought the school principal was asking her about our flat. When these stories are recounted to friends, we discover similar anecdotes around their first contact with colloquial Australian English – or what many people jokingly refer to as ‘Strine.

Language fluency is not just about the ability to remember words or put together grammatically correct sentences. Language is as much a cultural construct as it is a cognitive skill. The ‘English’ we learn back home sounds, feels and evolves differently to the ‘English’ of the Aussies, Kiwis, Poms and Yanks. Continue reading