I’ve been tagged in The Next Big Thing by Alison Stuart (no relation but it would have been cool). I’ve known Alison for a few years through Romance Writer’s of Australia and our mutual love of all things historical. Alison’s next book Secrets in Time is coming out with Lyrical Press at the same time as mine in April! Two great books for you all to read!
According to the instructions, I have to tell you about my next book and then tag a few other authors so they can tell you about their next big thing. What a fun way to share the love and new releases!
What is the title of your next book?
Behind the Courtesan comes out in April 2013 with Carina Press and I am beyond excited! I don’t have a cover yet though. Not a super long read at 74,000 words but I hope it will be memorable.
Where did the idea come from for this book?
Unlike my last book Scandal’s Mistress, I actually do remember where this idea came from. I was wondering what the best kept courtesans and mistresses of the ton did when their gentlemen were off hunting or spending time with their families. Did they party with each other? Did they take the time to follow their own pursuits and what of their own families? It wasn’t like you could dial up your mother and ask her how she’s been. And then I started thinking about how these women ended up in their chosen occupations. Some were run-aways like Sophia and most had terrible pasts.
Sophia ran away from home at the tender age of fourteen after being savagely raped by the then Duke. When her brother asks her to attend the birth of his first child, she decides it’s time to go home and face the demons of her past and the men she left behind. The story is sad and a little twisted but I like depth in my characters and love stories. It always makes the happy endings so much more satisfying and deserved.
What genre does your book fall under?
Miss Anna Campbell is known in some circles as the Queen of Regency Noir. Mine fits in there. It’s regency but so much darker and emotional than most others.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m not someone who visualises an actress or actor for my characters. I see them in my head and they’re just there. But. In this one, I totally saw Gerard Butler for Blake. Big and buff and awesome. Can you tell I have a little man crush?
And I love the images of Amy Lee from Evanescance for Sophia. Think wild dark curly hair and big blue eyes only a little more historical and a little less make-up.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
This will be my second release with Carina Press and I still could not be happier. My editor is amazing and pushed me really hard to get Behind the Courtesan as perfect as I could, pointing out my plot holes and too modern language. Everything is so fuss free with Carina, just the way I like it!
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I have no idea… I like to work on a few different manuscripts all at the same time but I would say about six months. I work a day job and have two full-on little girls so not a huge amount of time left over sometimes.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I absolutely love Anna Campbell and until I read her debut novel Claiming the Courtesan in 2007, I didn’t even know this kind of darkness ‘fit’ into regency. I’d always stuck to the Stephanie Laurens’, Eloisa James’ and Julia Quinns of historicals. To say I was amazed would be an understatement. I am completely addicted to her stories now.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Mostly the above but once I started, I had to tell Sophia’s story. I have a very close girlfriend who suffered three miscarriages over a number of years due to the lack of folate retained in her body (very long story there too). I also once read an article about a woman who had nine miscarriages due to the same issues. When I needed a little extra torture for Sophia, I knew it would fit into the story perfectly. I think we tend to not think about what we conceive as modern problems and how they would have been faced in those periods. Women lost more babies then than they ever would now. At the time, I wanted to show that if Sophia could beat the odds, then so could my girlfriend. She now has a bouncing boy. While Sophia doesn’t have a baby in the story, I like to think it all would have worked out okay for her too.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I like to think my voice and story-telling ability would be enough to pique interest. Perhaps the fact that my courtesan is involved in a tug of war between a peer of the realm and a tavern owner? Or the fact that she has more demons in her closet than you could poke a stick at?
Please check it out! I promise you won’t be sorry!
I'm coming in at the end of the month so here are the next four authors who are going to reveal or have already revealed their Next Big Thing so make sure you take a look!
Thanks for coming!
So I know you're probably sick of me flogging my book but I have an exciting idea I would love some help with. It only takes a few minutes on your part and then I'll do the rest.
In Australia, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and for those who know me well, it's a cause I'm passionate about. In fact, all women's health issues are close to my heart and, I hope, close to yours as well. So from now until the end of October, I'm going to run a bit of a fundraiser. Here's how it's going to work.
Step one - Purchase the book from any e-outlet, I'm not fussed where.
Step two - Like my author page on Facebook - Bronwyn Stuart Romance Author.
Step three - Here's where it gets complicated. If you post a pic on the wall of you holding my book on your chosen device, I will donate a dollar to Breast Cancer Research. You don't even have to have your face in the pic if you don't want to, don't worry about make up or back ground mess. Alternatively, you can email me a copy of your receipt and I will donate 10% of your purchase price. The dollar works out much better and in some cases, depending on where you buy it from, it's almost 100% of my royalties (from some third party retailers) so it's all coming out of my pocket too. My email address is bronwynstuart2001 at yahoo dot com dot au
Here's where you can keep an eye on how much I've raised or even if you want to donate. Every single dollar counts!
And this is the link if the top one didn't work -
www (dot) everydayhero (dot) com (dot) au/bronwyn_stuart
(sorry about the dots but I'm getting slammed by spammers at the moment)
As you upload your photo, I will donate as we go. That way you can see where all the hard work is going.
Thanks so much in advance! From women everywhere, Mwah!! xx
While I was at the Romance Writer's of Australia conference, Kate Cuthbert (Managing Director of Harlequin's news e-line, Escape) told our session not to leave book reviews. She said you can't be honest about it so don't leave one to start with. Well, needless to say, I disagree. I think you can be honest without being outright nasty. I think as authors, we need honesty. It helps us see where we went wrong because we sure as hell can miss it even when it's staring us right in the eyes. It's why we have amazing editors *waves at Krista*.
This is going to be a 'let me start by saying' kind of post. I grabbed the ARC for this one off Netgalley after seeing it was the best book someone had ever read. Ever.
So let me start by saying, I love Samantha Kane's voice and I love the cover and title. Sometimes I judge by a cover, I'll admit it. Here is the blurb for A Devil's Thief.
The daughter of a reformed jewel thief, Julianna Harte knows a thing or two about stealth. When the foundling home she provides for finds itself in dire financial straits, Julianna is forced to do the unthinkable. In a bit of misguided Robin Hood derring-do, she slips through the window of a wealthy rake to search for a treasure she knows is there: an invaluable pearl. But when the towering and very naked occupant of the moonlit bedroom ambushes her with a bargain—a night in his bed in exchange for the pearl—Julianna doesn’t know if it’s masculine heat or sheer desperation that makes his terms so tempting.
Alasdair Sharpe had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain. Planning to offer his little cat burglar carte blanche instead, he promptly loses himself in the delights of unexpected pleasure. But when he awakes the next morning to find his family heirloom gone, fury quickly replaces sensual languor. Of course, Alasdair is more than willing to use seduction to reclaim his stolen pearl—and find the key to Julianna’s heart.
She has a great premise here and I'm jealous I didn't come up with it. It starts off with a smoking gun, literally, great move. What I didn't like was that the hero didn't have to work for anything. He was a bastard through much of the book and to us he had some redeeming qualities but to Julianna, she should have punched him in the nose and still stole his pearl and then kicked dirt in his face.
Then there was the friend, Hil. Was he supposed to be a mind reader? A super sleuth? Alasdair asks himself several times how Hil knew so much about Julianna. Well, we ask ourselves the same question. Then there's the fucks. The three men, Alasdair, Hil and Roger, they stand around talking about fucking Julianna (in the literal sense, not the 'she's annoying' sense). Then as the book goes on, I believe Alasdair says it a few times to Julianna and she just wants him more? Then at the end, in the black moment I won't give away, the group says it about fifty more times. Using language like that where it isn't needed is jarring and loses impact in a Regency.
The other things that made me roll my eyes were when Alasdair gave us an accounting of his relationship with his cousin who had barely got a mention up until then. There were a few characters thrown in for future books and that is annoying when it's so obvious.
Two thirds of the way through, Julianna thinks about how she has hidden behind a dowdy exterior. You can't throw that in two thirds of the way through. That should have been clear GMC to start.
Then when she is trying to steal back the pearl so she can live happily after with Alasdair (after he nearly rapes her), she remembers exactly which steps squeak and which ones don't? She remembers things that no girl in her right mind would remember after only two visits to what is essentially a pawn shop for stolen items.
I do want to say that even though I was put off a few times and skimmed heaps, I did read through to the end and it was a really nice love story. It took a while to get there, but I will definitely pick up Samantha's next book. (That is the truth, not just a way to sugar coat the review)
So I know I’ve posted a few times before on pitching and writing query letters but with the Aussie conference just around the corner, I wanted to go over some key points again. Let me tell you this is just from my viewpoint and not fact and will not guarantee you a request but I promise it will help.
For pitching (and in no particular order);
1 – The person you’re pitching to is not going to sprout horns and send you to the pits of hell for stumbling over a word or not knowing what your protagonist hates most about the mother-in-law’s pet dog’s new coat.
2 – Sometimes they are just as nervous as you are!
3 – They gain absolutely nothing by upsetting you and therefore won’t. If you can’t handle the word no though, you’re in the wrong job and shouldn’t have taken a pitch appointment. More often than not, the no comes because they either don’t represent or publish the work your trying to sell, or they don’t believe you have a finished book (you should always pitch finished work if you’re not published), or they don’t think you believe in your own book. If you can’t sell it, they can’t either.
4 – Dress the part. Most women feel more confident when they know they look smashing. You don’t have to wear a ball gown or a power suit but put on some make-up, change out of your trackies and ugg boots and front up. This is kind of like an interview and you should treat it like this person will one day employ you. In the case of a publisher/editor, they will be your boss.
5 – If you do get a no, take it like a man and don’t slap their hand away and storm from the room. Ask them why first. Not in a defensive, am I not good enough way. And then thank them for their time. You have to be courteous.
6 – This should have been the first point... Make sure you do a little research or cyber stalking before the day. You need to know what their tastes are for the moment, what are they reading and loving? Who do they represent or publish already? The best way to piss a publisher/editor/agent off is to know absolutely nothing about them. Would you go to a job interview and not at least know what the company does? They could be selling baby orang-utans to the local Chinese store for all you knew before you sat down. Research!!
Query letters only change a little bit but are mostly the same.
Here’s a chart I worked up.
Now that we have that straight and you understand (even if you don’t entirely agree) let’s see a few examples of actual pitches and queries that I have sent out into the world.
Dear Such and Such, (get this right! Spell their name properly!)
(add a greeting and maybe where you saw they were taking queries)
Scandal's Mistress is a 94,000 word Regency romance that borders on the edge of noir about the stranger in the mirror finding his true self in the arms of a fallen woman. (Tells them that is slightly dark and that hero doesn’t know himself)
Love. It’s the cruelest mistress of all. When you have it, it hurts. When you lose it, it nearly kills you. But what if he doesn’t believe in it and she doesn’t want it…
Italian opera singer, Carmalina Belluccini, has refused insulting offers from the supposed gentleman of society for years not wanting to be squeezed into the mold the ton have created for stage performers. But when a man who is no angel offers her an affare, dignity and desire start to battle within her. She is no courtesan and certainly not mistress material, only, when her beautiful voice fails, she finds herself in a position too difficult to refuse Justin Trentham’s protection. But what is he hiding and why is he so desperate to create the scandal of the season?
Scandal's Mistress is a finalist in Charter Oak's Golden Acorn contest and came third in Chicago North's 2010 Fire and Ice. Also finaling in the Golden Acorn is my almost completed manuscript, Behind The Courtesan, which recently won the Linda Howard Award of Excellence. I am a proud member of Romance Writer's of Australia, South Australian Romance Authors (SARA) and several other small groups. (Incidentally, I came first and second in the Golden Acorn with both novels =))
Behind the Courtesan - 80,000 word Regency (coming out in April with Carina Press)
When Sophia Martin returns to the village she once fled, she knows it won't be all sunshine and happy reunions but she also didn't expect the name calling and insults to come from her childhood friend. Blake Vale just can't accept the decisions she made, the courtesan's life she leads, or the fact he once loved a girl who no longer recognizes her true self. Plain old Sophie Martin has to be inside this hardened woman somewhere and he's determined to bring her out and make her see she doesn't need rich dukes to be happy and that the future has nothing to do with her past. (You can read this from a card or memorise it and use it as your verbal pitch. I did!)
Mixing Business with Pleasure – 55,000 words (sexy contemporary about to be submitted to Carina Press)
When you find yourself naked except for your shoes and backed up against a cold wall mounted mirror, stuck between a rock and very, very hard man. Do you;
A: Remember that your life is threatened and you need this modelling job so you don’t end up a Jane Doe on the six o’clock news…or;
B: Do you throw caution to the wind and let him lick away your protests like the candy shell around a chocolate centre and decide that Mixing Business with Pleasure sounds like a whole lot of fun.
Don’t forget that this isn’t the three page synopsis. You want them to want more. You want them to ask questions because everyone’s perception, how they hear, how they listen, how they take in the words, are all different. You want them to ask questions so you know you’re all on the same page. At this stage, if you’re at a conference and you’re pitching to someone who definitely publishes/represents your genre, you should at least get a partial request. If you really blow them out of the water, you should get a full request. This is the other reason why a completed manuscript is a must. You have to be prepared for them to ask you on the spot if they wanted something to read that night, all lonely in their hotel room, thousands of miles away from home, that you could dial up the net and press send. At the very least, it looks good to have it in their inbox by the time they fly home.
Now that I’ve scared the crap out of everyone who has never pitched before, I want you to do a little exercise. Think about if your pitch needs to have both characters involvement. Generally in a romance, someone has more to lose or does more than the other person. If you think your pitch will be too long with both, pick one, write down their motivation and how they are going to set about it. Then do the same with the other main character. Do you see a pattern? Comes back to who, what and why. Who is doing what and why are they doing it. Simple?
Now for the contest part of this enlightening post J If you have less than a 3 page synopsis and would like some help with your pitch or query letter, leave me a comment on what scares you the most about pitching or submitting and I don’t want to see the word rejection in any of the answers. Just get it off your chest and I’ll pop your name in a hat for one of my girls to draw. I’m also offering an ARC of my debut novel out with Carina Press on the 13th August to a lucky commenter. If you only want the ARC, then comment with ARC. All comments for the pitch/query will also be entered. You might win both! Good luck and remember, don’t be nervous. Be professional. Smile, shake hands and say thank you.
There has been so much excitement this week (and thank God because I have the head cold from hell) and I wanted to share some of it with you. Not the cold. The good news.
First is that Scandal's Mistress is available for preorder on Amazon for $4.79 (I think that's US dollars) already!! It's beyond exciting to see my first book for sale for everyone to enjoy! Before you all rush over there and one-click away, I would ask you to wait - I now it's going to be hard - and buy it from Carina Press direct. Mostly because we all make more money and since I'm not going all 50 shades of grey bank account, the extra few dollars will make a big difference. I will let you know when it is available and post links etc.
The second amazing piece of news is that I have accepted a contract for my second Regency to come out with Carina Press early 2013. Want a quick run down? I thought you'd never ask =)
Behind the Courtesan
When Sophia Martin returns to the village she once fled, she knows it won't be all sunshine and happy reunions but she also didn't expect the name calling and insults to come from her childhood friend. Blake Vale just can't accept the decisions she made, the courtesan's life she leads, or the fact he once loved a girl who no longer recognizes her true self. Plain old Sophie Martin has to be inside this hardened woman somewhere and he's determined to bring her out and make her see she doesn't need rich dukes to be happy and that the future has nothing to do with her past.
If you're looking for a light and fluffy read, this isn't it. If you're looking for a book that delves right into the character's head to see their deepest emotions and darkest fears, then you'll be satisfied. I really loved writing this book and I'm so happy that Carina Press have picked it up.
That's it from me. I have to get cracking on the next book (I'm thinking a kidnapped pirate and a sexy as hell Duke should do it) and start planning for our August conference. Adios amigos!
Recently there has been so much hype surrounding a certain grey shaded book that I went trundling along to check it out on Amazon to see if it comes in Kindle (clearly I’d only heard half the news) and then I began to read some of the reviews. This isn’t the first time that I’ve decided to check out what people think about a read before I spend my money on it. Let’s go back to a week ago...
I was about to redo my roots (I’m getting married in two days and suffer greyage) and since my locks are black, I stay in the bathroom so not to drip dye anywhere and usually I read a book since I’m in there for a while. Anyway, I wanted something different (not historical romance) so I grabbed a book I got last year from the Romance Writer’s of Australia conference. A few pages in I was really enjoying the writing (YA angels and demons and whatnot) but realised that I wasn’t starting at the beginning. I grabbed my phone (also in the bathroom with me) and looked it up on Kindle (so I could start reading right away) but then I scrolled down to the reviews so I could try to work out where the series started. Anyway, the reviews were terrible. I was a little devastated. I need a book to read on my honeymoon next week and wanted an electronic one so I’m not dragging pages around everywhere. Anyway, I stopped. I didn’t end up buying the book even thought the chapter I read from the third book was great. I started to think maybe I’ll read the third and if I like it, I’ll go back and get the others. Then the same happened with the grey shaded book. I’ve been hearing about it for weeks but had only ever had a half-hearted look at it since I was snowed under with revisions and wedding stuff. A couple of my friends are reading it and were chatting away on Facebook so I went to buy a copy and join in (starved for attention I am) but then I made the mistake once again of checking the reviews. The first one made me laugh out loud and share the words with the husband-to-be who also laughed. It was the second book in a week that I didn’t buy because of bad reviews. Which then made me think, how many people do the same and are turned off? Do you buy it anyway because you have a mind of your own and want to come to your own decision? Are people going to turn away from my book if anyone leaves a bad review? (haha, please don’t) So I’m opening it up to you. Do you leave bad reviews if you don’t like something or do you not waste your time? Do you leave reviews at all and most importantly what turns you off a book if you previously wanted to read it but then something changes your mind?...
Oh my cover!
I have to say I love it!
Who wants a blurb? I know, right. This cover needs a kick ass blurb and then an even bigger kappow for the story and I know you won't be disappointed. Carina have done such an awesome job and my editor (hi Lynne) was fantastic with my modern wordage and fixing the few small hiccups along the way. It has been an absolute pleasure and honour to have my baby represented by such an innovative and author friendly publisher.
Justin Trentham, third son of the Earl of Billington, is determined to get himself disowned from his cold and unloving family. Despite his numerous affairs with questionable women of the ton, his parents continue to be dismissive of his ploys, but Justin spots the perfect scandal in the form of a beautiful, exotic Italian opera singer...
Carmalina Belluccini refuses to become his mistress, despite being tempted by his charms. But after losing her singing voice, she finds herself destitute. She agrees to be Justin's mistress for one month, until she has enough money to return to her beloved Italy.
She intends to keep their arrangement strictly business, but after witnessing Justin's vulnerable side, she finds herself falling more in love than in lust with him. Carmalina is having second thoughts about leaving England...but is their love strong enough to survive the scandal of the season?
Stay tuned for preorder info and then for the official release on the 13th August (and remember this is an ebook only so can only be purchased online).
Valerie Parv blogged the other day about 6 things she wished she’d known about being published. You can find that post here. It got me thinking. I’m soon to be published so I can’t outright steal her blog heading and add my own words (I could but I don’t actually really know how it feels to be published or the pitfalls, etc.)This is 5 things I wish I’d have known before I started writing... Well, this is the top five on the list, it goes on forever!
RWA – God, how I wish I’d known about RWA and SARA and all the other amazing writer’s groups out there in the wide world and on the www. When I look at how terrible my writing was at the beginning when I was going it alone to show the author of the book I’d just read that I could do better, I gasp! Yes, literally gasp at the awfulness. Over the years of attending monthly meeting and yearly conferences, having published authors around to answer questions when they came up, to have people who could honestly critique my work and tell me where I was going wrong. Wow! What a difference it makes. If you haven’t joined, are sitting on the fence or didn’t know, finish my blog post and then rush off and google to find a group near you.
Grammar and Punctuation – My recent revisions show me just how bloody bad I still am but I wish someone would have pulled me aside in High School and told me to stop mucking around and concentrate. Didn’t help that I had a teacher who gave out A’s for writing stories about cats. I learn more and more everyday but there’s still so much I don’t know. I nearly jumped for joy when I finally came to two pages in a row on my revisions that didn’t have any changes or marks. On the last two pages!
You are not alone – Writing is such an isolating job. I felt so alone and if it wasn’t for the support from my friends and my man, I would have given up long before I discovered RWA and Facebook. With the invention off Facebook and Twitter you are never, ever alone. If you have a question, want to rant or get stuck and need to talk out a scene, you can log in somewhere and someone will come to the party. I didn’t know this way back when either.
Ideas will wake you up in the middle of the night – You will never be without a pen and a pad ever! I thought it was bad enough being woken every few hours by the babies, try having an idea in your brain that feels like it is trying to manipulate your hand into picking up a pen. I can’t sleep without getting up and writing it down. Hence the notepad in every room, oodles of notes in my phone and scraps of paper with bits and pieces all over the house and car.
You need your own space! – had I known this particular gem, I would never have given our cubbyhouse a second look. Not only do I not have an office, I barely have a third of the dining table and a spare chair to balance my Flip Dictionary. If I want to get my sewing machine out, I have to unplug the computer which it like switching off my own life support. Then I war with myself over what I want to do versus what I should be doing. Like right now. I have a pinafore cut and pinned and I have revisions to do but here I sit tapping out a blog post while the man does the dishes I hadn’t got to yet...
Another reason why I stopped at five =)
I like to think of myself as a good mum, mostly because the alternative is just too hard to bear, but the challenges of being a good mum and a writer are uncountable (or is that innumerable?), some days even, unfathomable. So how do we do it? How do we juggle the kids, the house, the day job, the hubby, time for ourselves? The answer is that we don’t. Or at least I don’t.
My writing was just starting to take off when I stopped to have two beautiful girls and when they were little, I was still stuck in must-write-all-the-time land. We had a three metre gate across the kitchen so I could sit at the dining table and write but still see the kids as they sat in front of the babysitter. I was in the same room but often on another planet, in another reality. I know this doesn’t make me a bad mum, just a passionate writer. It was the first time my eldest said she couldn’t play with the little one because she was too busy that made me feel kind of crappy. How many times had I said I was too busy to read a story? How many times should I have been on the floor playing with them instead of nutting out a scene? But then how many times did I miss putting them to bed because I was at work five nights a week? Sometimes I beat myself up, other times I just put it out of my mind and did what I had to do. Sometimes the five nights a week were like a holiday that gave me some of my sanity back.
As authors and mothers I think we need to find our own line in the sand and then choose. Do you stay on the safe side and put your dreams on hold for the few years they are little? Do you live on two minute noodles so you don’t have to work just so you can say goodnight? Or do you ride the line? I think if each and every one of us sat down and took a look at the hours in the day, we could find a happy balance. My kids are now at the age where they know I’m writing love stories because that’s what makes me happy. They are okay with playing outside while I try to organise a scene. They’re okay with getting themselves a snack or a glass of water so I don’t have to get up and out of the zone. Does it make me feel good? Not really. What makes me feel good is when my four year old tells me she wants to write stories too. Or when they wake in the morning and the little one jumps in the big one’s bed so they can read together. I have two independent, well adjusted and very intelligent children. All those times I wondered if too much television as toddlers would hurt them and they rarely watch the idiot box now and when they do, it’s because I ask them if they want to. Otherwise they read or make craft stuff or run outside. I tortured myself for nothing. But on the other hand my first book comes out this year and my family all know just how important this is to me. They forgive a little neglect. They ride out the days I don’t do the washing. They love it when I make mac and cheese after forgetting to take something out of the freezer for dinner.
So the point, I hear you ask? I have the best family who even when I’m not, make me feel like the best mum in the world. I drew my line in the sand and I’m so glad they’re standing there with me!
Well, it’s international women’s day so I thought what better day to celebrate being a woman! Easier said than done for me as I recover from surgery that saw most of my women’s bits removed (I had to have a hysterectomy ten days ago). But my father in law gets squeamish when I go into the details so I won’t do that today.
Here a few things I love about being a woman...
1 – The ability to create life (well, before the surgery). Yes I know we still need a man but nothing made me feel more feminine than having babies. It is the right of women everywhere who want to, to experience how it feels to be kicked from the inside, to nourish your child at your breast and to know you are the bomb to a couple of little people.
2 – My girlfriends make me feel blessed to be a woman. We talk about everything and anything, they are there for me the same way I’m there for them and guys just don’t get that.
3 – Dresses. I would look funny wearing them if I had equipment and facial hair (no offense to drag queens or transsexuals). Dresses are so fun and feminine and comfortable.
But seriously, the point of international women’s day is, ‘International Women's Day is celebrated across the world on March 8th each year. The day is about celebrating the vital role women play in enhancing economic security for their families, communities and countries as a whole while recognising that significant barriers to achieving women's economic security and equality continue to exist.’
I’ve been working since I was fourteen and earning my way in the world even before that. I’ve studied and grown as all women should have the right to do. Apart from maternity leave after I had the kids, I’ve never been unemployed or bitten by the i-don’t-want-to-work bug. Just as we have the right to learn, work, and play, we also have an obligation to contribute to society. This starts by being the best mums we can. I know that sounds strange and for those who don’t have kids, you can still help with your friend’s and family’s girls.
My girls are only 4 and 6 years old but already I foster in them a sense that they can be whoever they want to be. I tell them they can be doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, teachers, or checkout chicks. When they get a little bit older, I’ll teach them the importance of each of these roles in society, I’ll show them what they can do to change the world. After that, I’ll try to give them empowerment to make sure they achieve all they set out to. It starts with self confidence. It starts with raising them up rather than putting them down.
Which brings me to the mothers and fathers of boys. Please raise them to be against the objectification of women. Raise them to be respectful and courteous, to treat the girls around them as though they talked and walked with their mothers. If each and every one of us start here, we can begin to change the world. If the men in the highest places stopped seeing us as manic for twelve weeks of the year and only half insane for the rest, we may get picked for top jobs. Two hundred years ago men saw women as heir carrying vessels and the attitude continues in every bare foot, pregnant and chained to the kitchen sink joke told today.
If they stopped seeing us as the weaker or fairer sex, we may earn as much as they do because they would see just how strong we are. When one of our women get through and hold an element of power, then we can look to the bigger picture.
Eradicate the slavery of girls for sex. Ban underage marriage in third world countries. Teach those men that their women should be schooled, should be given rights. I certainly haven’t seen Julia Gillard step up to exercise any women’s rights. Abortion, adoption, equal pay and jobs. The last huge fight I remember (before paid maternity leave) was if there should be GST on tampons and hygiene products.
A woman I have a lot of respect for is Oprah. She gave so much to women, in America and Africa and so many countries and circumstances around the world. If we all took a leaf out of Oprah’s book, we’d be on the right track... Another very important woman I love is my mum for giving me confidence. For showing me that women are strong and very capable! For doing a man's job in a man's world and giving them hell along the way.
I'm a published author but I'm still mostly stumbling about in the dark looking for the right paths so this blog is about that, though sometimes something will give the me the shits and I'll have a bit of a rant. I'll try not to be offensive but occasionally my mouth opens without asking my brain's permission so I'll apologise in advance.