The lovely Mae Archer joins me today to talk about her new release “Hollywood Dreams” and her journey to publication. Welcome Mae!
What was it about this story that compelled you to write it?
This has been a story that started out as a daydream and the eternal ‘What if?’ question. What if a woman fell in love with a lovely, ordinary man, but he turned out to be a movie actor. Over the years the part of the male love interest was based on my celebrity crushes. After watching Gladiator, Russell Crowe played the part. Then I went to see Blood Diamond and it was Leo, only Leo. But who wouldn’t sigh over Ryan Gossling in Crazy Stupid Love. Yum. And then I watched This Means War and it became all about Chris Pine. So ultimately Chris is the inspiration for my character Tom Calvert, a slashie model turned soap actor, who wants to move to the big time and so embarks on his method acting gambit as Beau Tennant, a war hero with a disabling injury. In the end I was compelled to write this story because the idea just wouldn’t go away. After all that thinking the story just poured out of me and it felt like it wrote itself.
Can you tell us about your writing journey from idea to published manuscript?
The first novel I ever wrote was my romance novel Return to Me, but I was too hesitant to submit it. It took me three years to finish it and I lost all perspective and started thinking that perhaps this novel was my ‘practice’ book to learn the skills I needed. I also started feeling self conscious about becoming a romance writer.
So I put the manuscript away in metaphorical bottom drawer and kept writing. Over the years I kept thinking about Return to Me and getting other ideas for romance novels. I revisited Return to Me and depending on how I was feeling sometimes I would read it and think it was good, other times I would think it was bad, so it remained in the bottom drawer a few more years. Eventually I had developed a thick enough skin that I didn’t care what people thought about romance writers, or whether it was rejected and so I finally submitted it to my agent. She submitted to two publishers and I got an offer from both, and the rest is history. So if I have any lessons to impart from this process it is to just spin the wheel and submit. To paraphrase Tennyson’s famous quote “Tis better to have submitted and lost, than to have never submitted at all.”
What do you love/hate the most about being a writer?
What I love most about being a writer is that I’m never lonely and bored. I always have an internal world going on in my imagination as I think about my current work in progress.
I hate the fact that I don’t make a living from my writing and have to work at other jobs, but hope springs internal that one day it might happen.
Tell us about the job(s) that have sustained you while pursuing your writing career.
I was a public servant, waitress, receptionist, administrator, and designed databases. Now I’m a high school teacher and it’s the first time I love my day job.
Who is your favourite romantic lead in a book or movie and why?
My favourite romantic lead in a movie is Ryan Gossling as Jacob Palmer in Crazy Stupid Love. He is a playboy who has all the smooth moves, and then he falls for the Hannah who isn’t impressed by him. My all time favourite scene is when Hannah, Emma Stone, asks Jacob for his big move. He tells her that he works the conversation onto Dirty Dancing and then does the lift, which he then demonstrates, sans shirt of course. I’ve watched that movie numerous times and I always love that scene.
Can you share a motto or inspirational quote that has helped you achieve success?
‘It’s not what you do, it’s what you get done.’ This quote has provided me with much comfort over the years while I’ve been working in various jobs and writing on the side. It meant that even though I was fighting to become published, the fact that I was writing regularly and dedicating myself to the craft then I could call myself a writer.
Former soap star Tom Calvert dreams of making movies that matter. To get the part of a lifetime he becomes a method actor, living as Beau Tennant, a war hero with a disabling injury. While in character he meets Maree Reynard, a costume designer, and takes her on a date. But when this practice date becomes all too real he realizes that he’s made the mistake of a lifetime. Will he be able to get Maree to fall in love with Tom Calvert?
Maree Reynard’s father is an actor and she has grown up on a studio lot. She has no illusions about the artifice of the movie-making business and has vowed she would never date an actor. When she meets and falls in love with Beau Tennant she knows that she’s found her dream man who is genuine and real. But when Beau disappears from her life she is heartbroken. She meets Tom Calvert on the rebound and sees their flirtation as a way of recovering her shattered confidence. Will Tom Calvert be able to convince her he is the real deal?
Mae Archer knew she wanted to be a writer since she was a child. She loved listening to her grandmother’s war stories about English maidens falling in love with handsome Yankees while England burnt under the Luftwaffe’s blitz. When she discovered romance novels as a teenager she soon realised that her dream job was to be a romance writer. After many career twists and turns she’s making her dreams come true. Her real life is like one of her grandmother’s stories. She met a foreigner who travelled through Australia and it was love at first sight. She married him six months after they met and every day since has been an adventure. She lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. She is the author of Return to Me and Hollywood Dreams.
Mae loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through her website, www.maearcher.com.