Please say hello to Bridie Hall...
Welcome, so great to have you here with us. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve worked with books all my life. I studied literature, I work as a translator, every spare minute I either write or read. Apart from that, I love travelling and learning new things. I can give any four-year-old a run for their money when it comes to being curious and eager for new knowledge. I’m a foodie and I adore good wine.
Do real life events find their way into your stories?
I’m sure the things I write about are real life events in someone’s life, but I don’t usually write about something that has happened to me. That might be because nothing really exciting ever happens to me, so …
Do you ever mimic family members or people you know when you choose characters?
Not deliberately, no, but I suppose some of it seeps in sometimes. I will write a dialogue between two characters and on re-reading it realize one of them has a speech pattern that resembles the pattern of a friend or a mannerism of someone who stood in line in front of me at the post office last week.
Do you find yourself going back to the same inspiration for each story or is it always something different?
Inspiration is different for each story, although I’m noticing all my stories revolve around a few basic themes, such as love, finding oneself, the need to feel accepted and appreciated etc. But inspiration comes from various places. Perhaps the strangest one was when I read the word ‘apoptosis’ in a non-fiction book and then wrote a whole story based on that. It revolved around autumn foliage and corpses. I’m strange like that.
When do you write? Early morning? During the day sometime or all day? After the kids go to bed?
I write whenever I can get some peace and quiet and I don’t have any pressing tasks for my day job to finish. Most often, I write early (very early!) in the morning. It’s not my favorite time to write because I’m more of a night person, but that’s the quietest time in my house.
How do you feel about marketing your book?
I feel … surprisingly excited about it and thrilled to be doing this. I’m a shy person and I expected this all to be a burden that’s just a necessary evil when having one’s book published. But so far everyone’s been so nice, the book bloggers kind and eager to read Letting Go, I made new friends doing this. All in all, it’s been an exceptionally positive and entertaining experience.
What social sites do you feel work best for marketing?
Twitter is perhaps the most useful (or personal) when it comes to reaching the readers, if the author has a large following, of course. I’m new to it, unfortunately. Otherwise, book bloggers or reviewers are very good at spreading the word about new books through reviews and blog tours. It also helps that MG and YA authors are all very supportive of each other. That’s my experience so far anyway.
Do you like to pitch stories to your publisher or do you wait until you have written the story and have a final manuscript to turn in?
I like to first finish a book before submitting. My huge weakness is that I work on several projects at the same time, and that means that something that was started this year might not be finished until 2016 or later. I don’t think any publisher would be very happy with having to wait that long. ;-)
Is there any other genre that you would love to try writing? If so, what is it?
Is there any that I wouldn’t? But seriously, I like to stretch my writing muscles and try myself at different things. I tried writing poetry, short stories, MG, crime stories, dystopian novels … I think it’s important for a writer to step out of their comfort zone, not necessarily writing things for publication, but just as an exercise. I’d love to write humor because I think that’s one of the most difficult things to write and I’m not very good at it.
Do you always/ever see yourself as the heroine/hero when you write a story?
Never, but every time, inevitably, some of my characteristics or views creep in. It annoys me, because it makes it difficult to write interesting characters – it feels like all my heroines are the same.
Just for fun, I have a few personal questions,
1) Favorite Male Actor - I think I was in high school when I was last asked that. Hm, let me think … I don’t watch many movies, so I’ll go with a TV actor instead and say Jensen Ackles because he’s easy on the eyes and talented.
2) Favorite vehicle - airplane
3) Favorite way to relax – reading, a glass of wine (together or separately, depends on the company or lack thereof)
4) Favorite ice cream – depending on the mood, if I need comfort, then chocolate, otherwise more fruity flavors.
5) Favorite outfit – a swanky dress and a pair of kickass shoes
And for a bonus: If you could pick any place in the world to live, besides where you are now, where would it be? (Of course, without the hindrance of jobs or money needed)
Australia (Melbourne, preferably)
Where can our readers find you??Twitter: @BridieHall13
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bridie.hall.12Website/blog: www.bridiehallauthor.com
Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/bridiehall
Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it?
Letting Go by Bridie Hall
Isabella is left stranded at the airport, and her only chance of getting home is with her boyfriend's older brother, Harper. When this good girl and bad boy set off towards home, it turns out that maybe she's not such a good girl after all. And even bad boys have reasons for their bad behavior.
The road trip is full of shocking revelations and unexpected emotions, bringing the two of them closer than Isabelle ever thought possible.
Maybe too close.
Published by Evernight Teen, 24th January 2014
“I just want to get it over with. One hour, you said?” she asked breathlessly, trying to hide her nervousness.
He grinned. “You’ll ask for more, trust me.” He took off his jacket, so he was now in his short-sleeved t-shirt.
From a drawer in the cupboard to the left, he took out two black aprons with thin white stripes, handing one to her. She watched him put on his, admiring how good he looked in it. The apron suited him. She hadn’t expected that. He had boasted about being a good cook, but she didn’t take him seriously, not really, and she didn’t expect him to look so at home in a kitchen. Especially not a kitchen like this.
“What?” he asked when he noticed her stare.
“Are you and Missy …?”
“Huh? No. We’re friends, that’s all.”
“That’s a relief,” she blurted. When he raised his eyebrows, she blushed. “I mean, you two earlier …” She pointed towards the entrance and made a gagging gesture. When his astonished eyes refused to leave her face, she busied herself with her apron.
“Are you sure you’re not jealous?” he called after her. She marched into the kitchen as if she knew what she was doing there.
“Not even a bit?”
“I have a boyfriend, remember? You might know him? His name’s Jamie?”
“A tiny tiny tiny bit?” He followed her.
She turned to him. She couldn’t help but grin at his pleading expression. She liked how he was seeking her attention. It felt good. In a bad sort of way.
“I knew it,” he said, but she ignored him.
“Now what?” She looked around at the vastness of the place. “This looks scary.”
“I’ll tell you what this looks like—it looks sexy.” When she raised her eyebrows at him, he said, “I meant you in an apron.”
“Stop it, Harper.”
“What do you want to do?”
“I thought we would cook,” she said, confused, and jumped up to sit on one of the stainless steel counters.
“Get off,” he said.
“Wha—” She didn’t manage to finish as he grabbed her hand and pulled her off. “What was that about?”
“Never sit on the counters. This is a kitchen, not your bedroom.”
His statement struck her as hilarious. For a second, she couldn’t believe she’d heard right. He brought her here to teach her how to not worry about being proper and all.
She could see his shock when she suddenly laughed. She couldn’t stop. It was too funny, but she managed to mumble in between fits of laughter, “Prude.”
She stumbled back into a cupboard, leaning on it for support, still laughing.
“Cut it out,” Harper said next to her, but she could hear he was on the brink of laughing too.
“You gotta … admit … it’s hilarious,” she squealed, trying hopelessly to get some air.
“It’s not,” he said. When she stumbled again, he caught her. He was now laughing too, and they supported each other like two drunks. They were a heap of laughter. Isabelle had tears streaming down her cheeks and even when she managed to control the laugh, she still hiccupped with mirth every now and then.
“I thought I told you to stop,” Harper said, wiping her cheeks and clearing his throat.
When his warm fingers touched her red cheeks, Isabelle sobered. “I think your purpose here was achieved. I hadn’t laughed like that in ages,” she said and stepped away.
He let his hands that held her seconds ago fall to his sides.
“It felt good,” he said, subdued. “But we’re nowhere near done. Get a bowl and search for vanilla beans; we’ll be making panna cotta.”
“What’s that?” Her ignorant question stopped him dead in his tracks.
“You don’t … Never mind. You’ll see.”
“Why aren’t we making peas and cheese tart since you already offered to make it?”
He turned and walked back to her. “That’s for another time. We don’t want to get nostalgic and sad now.”
“I wouldn’t …”
“You’re underestimating the power of food,” he said, cutting her off, and then added, “We’ll make something sexy, instead.”
“Food isn’t sexy, no matter what this panotta is,” she countered.
“Panna cotta, Isabelle. Panna cotta.” He rolled his eyes at her, and she wasn’t sure whether it was because she didn’t know what panna cotta was, or because she thought food couldn’t be sexy.
Halfway towards the door with a ‘Storeroom’ sign on it, he turned, grinned, and said, “I never thought prudes could be sexy.” His dreamy eyes travelled the length of her body and stopped on her face. “But look at you …”
When he returned with two articles in his hands, she was still standing in the same spot. She hadn’t yet recovered.
“We’re strapped for time, so we’ll improvise,” he said.
Improvisation sounded bad, was Isabelle’s first coherent thought in the last five minutes. Really bad.
“Put two teaspoons of this—it’s gelatin—” he handed her the larger container “—into a small bowl and add four spoons of cold water.”
She held the container gingerly, following Harper’s moves around the kitchen with her eyes instead of doing what he’d asked. She had no idea what gelatin was.
“What?” He stopped in his tracks when he noticed she didn’t budge from her spot.
“Bowl?” she peeped.
“In that cupboard.” He pointed. He looked all business now. Relaxed, but focused. Isabelle couldn’t help but admire him. It was as if he had washed his sarcasm off of him as he washed his hands in the sink before he went to work. He seemed like he was enjoying this, like he felt at home in the kitchen. He looked sexy in his jeans, the black apron, his hair mussed and his defined biceps showing under his short sleeves.
She shivered, placing the container on the countertop. “I need to make a phone call,” she muttered.
One last thing before we let you leave us today. Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share? I like to cook and am always looking for new recipes to try and share.
Cottage cheese cake
8 leaves of gelatin
1 package of instant vanilla pudding (40 g)
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
2 1/2 cups of cottage cheese
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of mixed fresh berries
3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
Soak the gelatin in cold water for ten minutes. In the meantime, prepare pudding, using the pudding powder, milk and sugar, following the instructions for the pudding.
When the pudding is ready, wring the gelatin out and add to the hot pudding. Stir for the gelatin to dissolve. Put the pudding aside and let it cool. Stir it occasionally.
Into the cool pudding, slowly add the cottage cheese. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until thick and firm and then add into the pudding mix. Pour the mixture into a cake mold. Shake it a bit so that the mixture evens out. Put it into the fridge for three hours.
Carefully remove the rim of the mold and place the cake onto a large plate. Wash and dry the mixed berries and then decorate the cake with them. Dust it all with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!