Monday, February 24, 2014

Featured Author: Lindy Dale

CLP Blog Tours brings Lindy Dale here today to talk about her chick lit novel, Storm in a B Cup, published by Secret Creek Press. In the book, Lindy deals with the serious subject of breast cancer in a humorous way.


About the book:

“It’s my funeral. If I want you to play Bon Jovi as they wheel my body away to be cremated you’ll do it.”
The horrified look on Brendan's face says he'll do anything but. “People will laugh.”
“I want them to. I want a funeral where everyone stands around and remembers the funny things I did, and then they get really pissed."

Sophie Molloy has breast cancer. She didn’t think it was cancer to begin with, she thought it was another cyst. She also didn’t think it would be the catalyst for a series of life changing events, none of which involved chemotherapy. Within months of her diagnosis, Sophie loses not only her right breast but her boyfriend of three years, her house and her best friend. Her life spirals from great to bad, then ugly. Nothing can make it better, not even the crazy care packages her mother keeps sending from Melbourne.

To make matters worse, Sophie fears she’s developing a crush on the plastic surgeon that will be reconstructing her breast. Dr. Hanson has the bedside manner of an angel and the looks to match. He’s so caring and compassionate, Sophie begins to believe he cares about her in a most non-doctor-patient kind of way. But he doesn’t, of course. He’s merely her doctor. Or does he?

A fictional tale, based on the author's medical journey with the disease, Storm in a B Cup is a warm-hearted glimpse into the world of a breast cancer sufferer that will have you laughing out loud.


Other books by Lindy:


The Taming of the Bastard (Bastard Tales #1)
The Bastard Takes a Wife (Bastard Tales #2)
Perhaps… Perhaps
Heart of Glass
Angel’s Bend
Daisy Darling Meets a Man
A Cupid Kind of Day
It Started with a Kiss

All books are available on Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes &Noble, Amazon

Interview with Lindy Dale: 

What’s the story behind the title Storm in a B Cup?

Storm in a B Cup is fairly obviously about boobs. As it’s a breast cancer story, I wanted a title that would reflect the fun side of the book. I didn’t want readers to think it was one of those sad breast cancer books all about doom and gloom and medical procedures because it definitely isn’t. It’s a story about breast cancer, obviously, but also about turning negatives into positives and having a good laugh. I think the title and cover represent the contents very well.

I do too! Do you have another job outside of writing?

Yes. Three days a week, I’m a teacher. I teach Year 1 & 2 students who are experiencing difficulty with literacy. It’s really rewarding teaching kids to read, especially when they start to make comments about books and show a love of books. I also have a writer’s group for kids. It runs on a Saturday morning. At the moment we’re plotting fantasy stories. Not every kid wants to play footy.

How did you create the plot for this book?

It was pretty easy, really. The medical side follows my own journey with cancer (right down to being in ICU for a week and having 10 surgeries). Most of the funny events actually happened to me, though I may have embellished a little for comedy’s sake. The plot, itself, just came out of my head. I made it up.

I knew it had to be a romance, with a happy ending, but I wanted to show the bad side of cancer too, the one that doesn’t have anything to do with treatment. Also, I’d read a lot when I was ill and talked to other breast cancer survivors about their journeys. They had some funny stories, which I included.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

Lots of them. In Storm in a B Cup, the characters came from people I met along the way. They’ve just been exaggerated to make it funny. There’s a lot of me in Sophie, more than in any other character I’ve ever written. My editor thought, in parts, Sophie was not angry enough or sad enough but that’s how I dealt with my disease.

The Bastard series has a lot of characters invented from people I know too. In fact, my husband is convinced that Sam, the main character, is him (which he is, but I will never tell him).

In Daisy Darling, the characters were inspired by a dream I had about Jon Bon Jovi and a blue baseball cap. Daisy is a bit like me, too, living alone on the farm (my hubby works away).

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

One of my favorite scenes in Storm in a B Cup is when Sophie and Brendan are discussing her trip to hospital for the mastectomy and he’s cross about the amount of money she spent. Sophie likes to be prepared for any eventuality and because she can’t control the cancer, she wants to control the things she’s able to - like how she looks, what she’ll wear. She’s paranoid that people will judge her when she’s unconscious on the operating table if she’s not fully waxed, manicured and had her hair done. There’s also a bit about what will happen if she dies and the consequences if Brendan doesn’t fulfill her funeral wishes.

What song would you pick to go with the book?

Sophie’s song for her funeral: "Have a Nice Day" by Bon Jovi
“When the world gets in my way, I say, ‘Have a nice day!’” 
 
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Wish Upon A Star by Trisha Ashley on my Kindle. Ninety-nine percent of my reading is on Kindle. Since I got it three years ago, I’ve hardly touched a paperback. When I was sick, my son bought me a book to read and it felt really strange holding a book after such a long time. I tried reading on my iPad but the glare hurts my eyes.

I don’t claim to be an expert on writing, but there are some writing techniques (or mistakes) that stand out to me when I read (e.g. when an author switches POV mid-scene). What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?

Oh. My. God. I hate misspelled words and words used incorrectly! E.g.: were - we’re. I am meticulous about proofreading my work and not having spelling errors. Once, a reviewer gave me one star because the book was ‘riddled with mistakes’ but it turned out she didn’t get that I write in UK English not US. She never changed the review though, and I was very upset. I can totally handle if you don’t like the plot or the characters (it’s your opinion and we all have one) but to say my work is poorly presented or badly written devastates me.


Do you have a routine for writing?

I’m a binge writer. I’ll write for weeks on end, sometimes a whole novella in a week and then I have to rest for a month or so. Being disciplined and writing a little bit every day doesn’t work for me.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Anywhere, anytime. I write on the plane (it’s a long flight from Perth to the East coast), I wrote while I was in hospital. I write in my lunch hour at work. I also write in front of the TV.

Where’s home for you?

I’ve lived in lots of places in Australia but whenever I go home to Hobart, where I was born and grew up, it always feels like home. I don’t know if we’ll go back. It costs so much money and our children would be so far away.

Neil Gaiman said, “Picking five favorite books is like picking five body parts you'd most like not to lose.” So…what are your five favorite books and your five body parts you’d most like not to lose?

Books:
1. The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley
2. Lady of Hay - Barbara Erskine
3. The Witching Hour - Anne Rice
4. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
5. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
6. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
(Weird how none of them are chick lit, I just realised that! Well, except Austin.)
I am a huge devourer of chick lit authors, mostly UK ones.

Body Parts: Well, I’ve already lost two and that didn’t worry me much, but I don’t think I’d like to lose my sight or hearing, even though they’re not technically body parts. It would be very hard not hearing music and laughter or being able to read a book. And because so much of what I write comes from what’s around me, I think writing would be difficult for me.

What’s your favorite candy bar?

By candy, I’m assuming you mean chocolate because that’s what we’d call it in Australia. And I have a million favorites. In fact, I would live on chocolate if it didn’t make me look like the side of a barn. My absolute favorites are anything peppermint, like Aero. Also Kit Kats and Cadbury Twirls but you can put any chocolate in front of me and I’ll eat it. (As long as it’s not that cheap $2 shop kind. Ick!)
 
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I looove to spend time with my kids. They are adults now and live away from home so I don’t see them often. Likewise, I like to be with G, my man. He works away from home and is only at the farm on weekends. Being together is a big priority since I was ill.
I like going to Zumba and walking, and I spend a lot of time listening to music and going to live gigs when I can. I’m passionate about rugby, so we go to lots of matches around Australia. Oh and I read. Of course, I read. Every night before I go to sleep.

What are you working on now?

I’m finishing the first draft of my new novel The Cupcake Guy. It’s about a guy with a cupcake shop and a girl who falls in love with him but finds herself unable to be with him because she’s addicted to cakes.


Excerpt from Storm in a B Cup 

About an hour later, Brendan arrives home late from squash to find me surfing the net on the new TV. Having located the last stash of chocolates — which I’d hidden so well even I couldn’t find them in the first search — I’ve demolished the lot, washing them down with a bottle of red. I’m feeling a little bit tipsy. Or it could be a sugar rush.

Raising his eyebrows at the coffee table, which is littered with wrappers and bearing a couple of wine rings, Brendan screws the papers into a tight ball and takes them and the empty bottle to the kitchen. He returns with a sponge, which he uses to wipe the table before returning it to its plastic bowl under the kitchen sink.

“Are you drunk?” he asks, returning to the room.

“Possibly.”

“Is that wise?”

“Probably not. I’ll have a massive hangover in the morning.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“I realise that.”

I glare at him. Since the first traumatic days of my diagnosis, Brendan appears to have returned to his old self. Yes, he’s sporting a lot of new ties and at odd moments, I catch him studying me with a sad look on his face, but I think he’s trying to support me as best he can by acting as normally as he can. Which would of course, include chastising me for drinking too much and making a mess on his coffee table.

He walks around the sofa and flops down beside me. His body is clammy from his game of squash and his hair is standing in jagged spikes on top of his head. Somehow, he still manages to look devastatingly handsome.

“What’s this?” Brendan picks up my To Do list.

“A few things I need to sort out.” I try to snatch the list away but he holds it at arm’s length and begins to read.

“You’re planning your funeral? Jesus, Sophie!”

“You don’t think I’d let you be in charge do you?”

With the piece of paper in his hand, Brendan gets up and heads for the fridge. He pulls out a bottle of water and drinks half before wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. He slings an arm over the open door. “Why are you planning your funeral?”

“In case I die on the operating table.”

“You’re not going to die on the operating table.” Shaking his head, he finishes his water and takes a three point shot at the recycling bin.

“I know, but in case I do, I’ve left you a list of requests.”

Brendan comes back to the sofa and picks up a second piece of paper from beside me. It has a heading entitled ‘Sophie’s Funeral’ and a page-long dot-pointed set of ideas. His eyes scan the page and he shakes his head again.

“I’m not playing Bon Jovi at your funeral, Soph.”

“It’s my funeral. If I want you to play Have A Nice Day as they wheel my body away to be cremated, you’ll do it.”

“But it’s a rock song.”

“I know. I want people to be happy. That song makes me happy. Speaking of which, I want U2 as well. Walk On.  And P!nk, Bad Influence while you do the photo montage.”

“People will laugh.”

“I want them to. People shouldn’t cry because I’m gone. They should have a wake where everyone stands around and remembers the funny things I did and then they get really pissed. I do not want crying and I definitely don’t want you to sprinkle my remains in some tacky rose garden somewhere.”

“Where will I put you then?”

“In an urn on the mantel. Then I can heckle you when you put the moves on a new woman.”

He looks horrified.

“Joke.”

He takes another look at the list. “They can’t sew your boob back on after you die.”

“Why? It's no good to anybody but me. The surgeon’s going to sew me up anyway, so I don’t see the difference. It doesn’t have to be neat sewing. It just needs to be there so I’m complete and look nice in my death outfit.”

“Maybe you should discuss that with the doctor next Thursday.”

I snatch the pieces of paper from him. “All right. I will. I might get a sensible answer from her.”

“Hmm.”

I put the list aside and glancing at my watch, I pick up the phone. I scrawl another item while I wait.

Eyebrows.

“Hello? Anna? This is Sophie Molloy. I was wondering if you could fit me in for a full body wax, mani-pedi and an eyebrow wax and tint before next Thursday?”

Brendan’s mouth has hit the carpet. “You’re going to hospital, not the Oscars,” he hisses.

“Shhh!" I hold my hand up and turn away so I can't see him making faces at me. "One o’clock will be great. Thanks Anna. Yeah, see you then.” I hang up the phone and calmly scratch an item off the list.

“Sophie.”

The only thing I need now is luggage. I really need luggage.

“Sophie!” Brendan snatches the remote from me and turns the TV off. I can see he’s getting annoyed, so I try to give him my attention.

“Yes?”

“How much have you spent? So far?”

I do a quick tally. “Roughly eight hundred.”

“You do understand that’s two plane tickets to Melbourne?”

“Says the man who spent a small fortune on technology the other day.”

He gives me the look.

“I’m going to hospital. I need to look my best. People are going to see me naked.”

“I’m pretty sure they’ve seen naked people before. They won’t care if your toes aren’t buffed."

"I know, but I will. If I’m going to be unconscious in an operating theatre with a bunch of people I don’t know, I won’t be giving them any excuse to talk about me, except to say how pretty my hair is.”

My lip starts to wobble when I hear how incredibly shallow I sound and I collapse into Brendan’s arms. Sobbing.

“It’s okay. I understand. You can’t control the cancer, so you’re trying to control everything else in your life. You don’t like not being in control.”

“Are you saying I’m a control freak?”

He pauses for a minute, knowing that his sex life hangs in the balance here. If he says the wrong thing, I could cut him off. For a very long time.

“I’m saying you like to be organised and this has thrown you for a loop. You can’t orchestrate this part of your life. You have to let the professionals do their job.”

I understand what he’s saying and he’s perfectly right. I am an organiser. But I like things to be a certain way. That’s me. I reach up and peck his cheek. I feel so much better now I know I’m not having some sort of pre-op breakdown.

“Brendan?”

“Yeah?”

“If you don’t play Bon Jovi at my funeral, I’ll come back and haunt you while you’re having sex.”

“That sounds kinky.”

“Don’t bet on it.”

About the author:

Lindy lives on acreage in country Western Australia where she spends her days teaching, writing, walking and looking after orphan lambs. (See Daisy Darling)
She’s a hopeless U2 and Bon Jovi fan - as judged by her collection of tour t-shirts. She’s also rugby union fanatic, coffee and champagne lover, chocoholic, over-exaggerator, trashy TV, music and iPhone addict.

Lindy has been writing in the genre of Chick Lit & Women's Fiction for the past ten years but has also tried her hand at a paranormal romance in the book, Angel’s Bend. Chick Lit remains her main love.

Connect with the author:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon 

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