Stalking Rock Stars …

… changing tenses when writing and my Aubrey Beardsley Art Nouveau lock screen just for the hell of it.

The four queens you see in my lock screen there look pretty pleased to have happened upon the lovely Lancelot. He’s just hanging out sleeping innocently in the garden. And what are they doing? Stalking him much? I think so, after all he was the gorgeous rock star of the Arthurian court.

Queenly stalkers aside, right now, in the romance genre first person point of view and, increasingly, present tense are popular ways for authors to write. Just to be different, both my rock romance books are written in third person past tense. Undeniably, there’s something satisfying in the immediacy and the flow of first person present that makes it incredibly fun to dabble in.

In Siren’s Wave I used it for the more poetic mystery-dreamer sequences. I enjoyed writing them so much that in book two I’m using a similar device—present tense third person—for Bran’s mystery stalker’s chapters. Here’s an example  … warning Australian spelling coming right up. This one’s called WATCHER.

EYES FIXED ON the movement of his shoulder blades, the girl stands hypnotised. Frozen, watching every ripple of muscle, angle and glide of bone. The perfect curve of his butt in faded jeans. The golden hair falling in messy waves around that face. Those sinful lips.

All of it hers.

All of him, hers. Well not hers quite yet, but very soon. Not that cow’s that he pampers like she’s some lust-worthy queen to be obeyed and bowed down to. Ava. What a cobwebbed-spinster-Aunt’s name.

He reaches the front of stage, eyes scanning the swarming crowd, and the drone rises, rushing at her ears.

It hurts.

To distract herself from the wildness, the zapping inside her head, she concentrates on his fingers turning guitar pegs, adjusting and feeling into the sound, like he always does.

Watch him. Watch him and don’t think of anything else. Especially not her.

“Hey!” he shouts into the mic, long and deep. “Y’all hot enough?” The crowd reaches fever pitch and he turns to grin back at Nate. His laugh stabs at her chest. An attack she has no desire to protect herself from.

The endless sea of fools all wanting a piece of him, scream. And scream. They lurch and push forward, fingers reaching and mouths gaping like black holes. Wanting to swallow him up.

She knows the feeling.

She stands motionless but for the head she nods in sync with the drum beat.

Up and down.

Down and up.

In a steady pattern, so she won’t look out of place.

And she watches.

Excerpt from Siren’s Wave Book Two.

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Hokusai’s the Great Wave now at the NGV!

Hokusai tattoos, coffee, and rock and roll love stories …

Right now I’m pretty happy to be drinking coffee and reading The Age newspaper. I’m getting all fired up to head to Melbourne’s National Gallery, the NGV as we Melbournians like to call it, to dream my way around the Hokusai exhibition.

I love all his work, but I can’t wait to see The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, undoubtedly, the most famous of the woodblock prints in his fabulous series Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji.

Meanwhile, in Siren’s Wave Book 2, Bran and Ava have already paid a visit to the NGV and checked out the print that inspired their tattoos. While there, Ava discovers something shocking that hits her exactly like a tidal wave. Something she’ll have to keep hidden from Bran or risk blasting their happiness into smithereens.

Spectrum Hokusai
Spectrum, The Age newspaper – ‘Riding the Wave’ an article by Kylie Northover. The NGV’s Hokusai exhibition runs from 21st of July until the 17th of October.

Grinning, he said, “What are you looking at? Wanna find a column to hide behind and make out for a bit?”

“No! God. Is there any place in the world you think unsuitable for getting it on?”

“That question’s rhetorical, right? You already know the answer.” Waving the catalogue at her, he said, “Hey, says here that Hokusai used around thirty different names over his lifetime. Mostly ones he made up himself.”

“Maybe you can use one of his spares when the limelight gets too stupid for you and you need to go incognito?”

“Huh. Maybe. How about Gakyojin? I think it suits me.”

She pulled the paper from his hand.“Um, lets see … that means ‘man crazy about drawing’.”

Trailing heat up her thigh, he ran his finger over the paper in her lap and asked, “Is there one for ‘man crazy about sexing up his girlfriend’?”

She laughed while he gazed at the art blazing bright against the dark-blue wall.

“What is it about that wave, Ava? I fucking dream about it. It’s weird.”

Bran and Ava at the NGV’s Hokusai exhibition – from The Wave chapter, Siren’s Wave book 2.