Today I am delighted to welcome Mel A Rowe to Behind the Pen, sharing with us a few of her favourites. Over to you Mel…
What is your favourite and why…
Character from your latest release, The Football Whisperer?
It’s Brendan Ward, the unlikely hero in The Football Whisperer. He’s such a likeable character who isn’t the alpha male at all. He bickers with his sister. Loves his mother. Hangs with the boys in his bachelor pad. Gets paid to play football and doing as he’s told by the coach. Basically, the guy is spoilt.
Yet, after suffering a career-changing injury, Ward is thrown into a whole new world. He realises how insular his world is as a professional footballer only seeing as far as the next game. I enjoyed this character’s goofy, humorous approach to life while facing his fears.
Scene from the Football Whisperer?
It’s the alley scene near the end of the book, not giving too much away… This highly emotional scene rushed from fear to fun in only a few pages. It conveyed many issues and emotions within their words and body language. Unlike the lush countryside or lighter scenes throughout the book, we’re taken to an ugly back alley. It’s so raw as the couple’s black-moment; do they break-up or make-up?
It has one of my favourite lines from the story in that scene:
‘… a newspaper page floated like a magic carpet on the wind, somersaulting across the pavement only to disappear around the corner. It was like a page of someone’s story, gone, but never truly forgotten.’
Movie of all time?
Titanic! I love this epic movie. I adore the costumes, the grandeur of the ship, and Rose’s story, watching her evolve into this strong woman in charge of her own destiny. Even if it is a tragic love story, it’s a classic.
Book you always keep a copy of and recommend to others?
Jumping from romantic movies to horror— it’s Stephen King’s, The Talisman.
He co-wrote this with Peter Straub and I’ve dragged my copy all over Australia since a teenager. It now sits safely on my keeper-shelf, where I’ll brush-off my dog-eared copy to revisit the magic between the covers.
As a multi-genre-writer, this novel brilliantly demonstrates the use of various genres. It blends urban fantasy, adventure, humour, and horror, in this epic journey of a young man trying to save his mother. It’s a story that has something for everyone.
Fashion accessory that despite having plenty of, you still keep collecting?
Backpacks—that’s a fashion accessory, right?
It used to be all about handbags in my life in the corporate world, and backpacks are still technically bags. I have overnight packs, expedition trekker’s packs, day packs, multi-day packs, wet packs, bike packs, camera packs, hydration packs, laptop tech-packs etc…
You can never have enough bags. (*cough—backpacks)
Treat you indulge in?
Home-made iced coffees.
You’ll find many NT locals love their iced coffee because fresh milk is rare. With no dairy this far north, our milk arrives in trucks or kept in boxes to live in the cupboard. So, having fresh milk, with dollops of vanilla ice cream, and a dash of Bickford’s Iced Coffee Syrup is my divine break from the intense summer heat we endure.
Place to be?
The Northern Territory. I’m biased because it’s where I live. Like my tagline: A writer & weekend wanderer, I’ve travelled the northern coastline and its many islands. I’ve visited many indigenous inlands and followed the escarpments, discovering ancient rock art or to swim in secluded waterfalls.
Here you can cross floodplains by air-boat that resemble inland seas. Only to return four months later and drive across the same terrain creating your own dust storm beneath your 4×4’s tyres. It’s such a dramatic, every changing landscape, few individuals will ever have the privilege to experience.
It’s a unique country of pure air, with no cars, no phone towers, no buildings, just lots of open space and the story of its people. The wildlife is amazing—besides the man-eating crocodiles—we have over 1/3rd of Australia’s bird population within this one region. Let’s not forget the spectacular stargazing, where you’ll never see a night sky so ginormous.
The Northern Territory is truly a magical, untouched, timeless wilderness that I describe, along with the unique culture, in my upcoming outback series set for release in 2019.
Season of the year?
As mentioned above, I live in the Top End of Australia where we have three seasons:
The Wet Season (Summer) where it rains for months and is the cyclone season. Everything floods. Roads are closed, and you can literally see the grass growing.
The Dry Season (Winter) where we get no rain for six months allowing everything to dry out from the Wet. This time of the year, you’re guaranteed blue skies and no humidity. It’s also when we receive thousands of tourists escaping the southern Australian winters.
The Build-up (Spring) Also known as, The Troppo Season or The Mango Season. It’s horrendous! With 36-40C days with 90% + humidity, it’s like walking around in hot soup. Rain turns to steam when it hits the ground, swimming pools become warm baths, and all you do is pray for rain.
And so, my favourite time is … (*drum roll*)
The change-over between the Wet and the Dry (Autumn) also known by the locals as the Knock-em-downs. Roads are re-opened. The intense heat and humidity have disappeared with the monsoons leaving everything green. The amazing array of colourful birds haven’t migrated yet, and they gather in the many abundant billabongs. Rivers are full of turtles, stingrays, even sharks, and the favourite fisherman’s trophy—the mighty barramundi. Oh, and, for some unknown reason—no flies that time of year.
You can check out my Instagram feed to discover how big and beautiful my backyard truly is.
If you enjoy quirky families, small towns, or want to know more about the rich life hidden within a cattle station in the heart of the Territorian outback, join me at: MelAROWE.com
About The Football Whisperer:
When life makes you play a whole new game…
In a spectacular career-threatening clash, professional footballer, Brendan Ward, is injured. Devastated and desperate to recover before facing risky surgery, Ward’s wacky family search alternative remedies that Ward refuses to try.
The local racetrack’s Reiki Master, Zara Phelps, specialises in thoroughbreds and won’t touch people—especially famous footballers. But Zara’s father, an avid fan of Ward’s Club, forces her to make that first house-call.
Ward is shocked-at-first-sight of meeting Zara, sparking a connection that is far too intense to ignore.
Zara, in turn, fights her attraction to Ward, who not only tests her professional ethics but also awakens her deepest fear—falling in love again.
But Ward has never let a man get away from him in a game, and won’t surrender what he feels for Zara, and in need of her help, he finds himself far from his fans, coaches, and his team. Stranded in the country, amongst ex-car-thieves and a stalking pit bull, Ward faces his biggest challenges while trying to heal. But at what risk – the love of his life or the life he loves?
If you enjoy quirky characters and witty dialogue, then you’ll love The Football Whisperer.