Basically I’m terribly ordinary. My children (aka Thing 1 and Thing 2) would agree. I tried to think of ‘fun facts’ about me and came up with this rather pathetic list.
I can make my eyes shake. How’s that for a party trick? No double-jointed Circque du Soleil yoga moves for me. Nope, I can make my eyes shake until people run screaming. My brother and I used to do this for hours. Clearly the smart gene didn’t roll the Manning way.
I’ve watched every season of Deadliest Catch. Talk smack about my crab dudes and I will take you down. I have no love of crustaceans and I’m not the boating type. It’s the dude’s. All that testosterone. Yum. I swear there’s more drama on Sig’s Northwestern than between the feuding Abbot’s and Newman’s on daytime TV.
I suck at writing plots. If there was a plot shop I’d be roaming its aisles tucking plots under my arm. I love writing characters. I know them inside and out. I know what they had for breakfast, what they stole from a supermarket when they were seven and what their dying wish is. Get them out and into the world and, you know, taking life’s journey, zip. I sit and stare at my computer. A strange sound eventually comes from my throat that scares the cat. I then have to wander the streets, muttering to myself looking like I’m in need of medication and a medical facility where they don’t let you have shoelaces, trying to find a plot.
A conversation with my gorgeous, talented editor will go like this. (Why she puts up with me is a mystery Agatha Christie couldn’t solve.)
Ed: How’d they get into the room. What are they doing? What’s the point of the scene.
Me: Um, teleported? They are thinking they’d like to bang each other senseless, get married and bang each other senseless for the rest of their lives. I’ve just finished the book on page one. There really isn’t a reason they’re both staring out the window in deep reflection like they’re in church praying for souls.
See, I’ve bored your readers to death. Actually I’m off for a nap, I’ve bored myself to death.
(Mandi sneaks in to say she is laughing too hard to fall asleep)
Mason is dark, broody, intense and carries around guilt from his past. This makes for a very sexy romance hero. Give us some insight into writing his character. Did you have some fun making him suffer? *wink*
I love me a broody male. Except if it was Hub’s where I’d promptly tell him to get over himself. I love a tortured hero. All that angst wrapped in a ripped wall of male muscle makes me all shivery everywhere. I loved making Mason suffer! When I was writing his four thousand page dossier, I wanted him to be tortured and living with unbearable pain. A man driven to work like a madman so he doesn’t sleep, so he doesn’t remember. A man who once had everything only to lose it in tragic circumstances. A man who doesn’t believe he needs roots and love again. (Wipes tear).
Throughout the book, Mason (with his personable self) calls Billie "Number Forty-Two" (the number of assistants he has had) instead of her real name. So Billie decides to have some fun and calls him a new name pretty much every other page. Did you have fun coming up with all of these names?
I had a ball. I have a new-age baby names book that has names like Squall, Jagger (not the Mick variety) and Mercury, alongside your Simon, Grover and Bob’s of the world. I chose the names by opening the book and pointing. Honest, I cried with laughter at some of the names. Olaf being one of my favorites.
This book is set in your homeland of New Zealand. Tell us your favorite three things about setting a book there.
Fun Fact 1. I was born when Moses roamed the hills. Dad would hitch the camper to the car, stuff the family in, and we’d drive six torturous hours to this huge beach and spend our summer there. Hub’s and I took Thing 1 and Thing 2 there for a holiday. To my delight it hadn’t changed and still has a population of a couple of hundred people. Voila. Footsteps Bay was created.
Fun Fact 2. We speak the same language but have different words. In New Zealand we have an entrée followed by a main. We often call dinner, tea. We don’t line up, we queue. Periods are full stops. We happily say ‘well bugger me.’ A biscuit is a cookie. We don’t have cookies unless he’s of the monster variety and is hanging out with Big Bird. Cookies are biscuits and biscuits are scones. Awfully confusing. This made for some hysterical conversations with my Ed.
Fun Fact 3: I love small towns. I’ve lived in London, Los Angeles and currently I’m in Sydney. Basically I’m a fraud living in a big city with her nose pressed against the glass, not fitting in. I’d be happy living in Footsteps Bay with Ethel the goat as my lawn-mower. I know this town. Know these characters and love their quirky New Zealand ways.
What is up next for you?
I’d really love to write Sarah’s story from Winning the Boss’s Heart. I’m writing a book about a kick-ass female detective and a hot bounty hunter. Well, that’s the plan. I have a few stories on the go which I have to get out into the world, one excruciating word at a time. There are days when I’d rather chisel the impressive stalagmites from the oven then write. If only someone would open a plot shop, I’d be in heaven.
Hayson Manning writes fun and flirty romances with alpha dudes and sassy woman. She lives in the bush in Sydney with her lovely sloth children, infuriating but much loved shoe-dropping husband and a tubby opinionated cat (as if a cat doesn’t ever not have an opinion). There will often be a foster dog parked on the couch waiting for their forever home. She loves a good glass of wine, dreams of winning the lottery, cries while watching Antiques Roadshow and cannot speak she’s sobbing so much by the end of Undercover Boss. She is also an expert at finding new and inventive ways to avoid exercise.
Thanks Hayson! Today, Hayson is offering up FIVE digital copies of Winning the Boss’s Heart to five random commenters. To enter, just leave a comment. Open to all through October 25.