An Interview with Author Savannah Blaize

Savannah Blaize is based in Melbourne, Victoria, and has been a member of the RWA and Melbourne Romance Writers Guild since early 2014. She had had two short stories published in MRWG Anthologies in 2015 and in 2017, and self published her first novel ‘From Paris To Forever’ in 2017.

As the Coordinator of the MRWG, she takes great pride in acknowledging the wealth of talent and experience the members share within that group. Savannah is thrilled to be included in a box set of Twisted Fairytales, written by a few of the MRWG members, releasing on 29th of October 2018. Her version of a modern day Cinderella, entitled ‘If The Shoe Fits’ is part of this set.

Savannah is also about to self publish her second novel ‘The Class Reunion’.

Cinderella Cover

Q. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I don’t know if you would call them literary pilgrimages, but I try to attend writing retreats, and the RWA conferences, held in a different Australian city each year. I love to connect with friends and authors I admire. I also try to soak up as much writing information and positive vibes that I can.

Q. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing does both, depending on the manuscript. Sometimes the scenes flow, but sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get words on the page. In the past I have had short stories, which have practically written themselves. But I have also had books which have taken all my energy to finish.

Q. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Procrastination. It is amazing how much time flies out the window when you check social media. When writing those more difficult and challenging manuscripts, I find it so very easy to procrastinate and find a chore to do rather than tackle the problem.

Q. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Yes I have. I usually have a few books going at the same time. I have one I am reading in my kindle, one I am reading on my iPhone when I wait for my grandchildren, and one physical book on my bedside table I sometimes read at night. Sometimes I have to pull away from all three, especially if I am having a good run writing my current story.

I find I read more than one book at a time AND I often write more than one story at a time, depending on which characters are talking to me.

Q. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I write the story that pops into my head. I don’t write to market. If readers requested something from me I would try to produce it. For example I have had more than one request to write the brother’s story as a sequel to From Paris To Forever. And I have already started that book. It has been set aside for the moment as I have deadline with a Box Set I am a part of.

From Paris to Forever

Q. What do you expect form an author when reading a book, short story or article?

I would expect an author to read for enjoyment. Knowing about show not tell, head hopping, POV and internal POV, means an author will judge a book by the craft as well as the story. Sometimes the story is so captivating that you forget about the writing faux pas. Sometimes the writing is so inventive and the story so beautifully written that the author’s ability to create their world and their characters stands out more than the storyline.

Q. How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

My only “request” is that they enjoy the story. I would like to think I take care of the reader by producing a book in which they can step right into the story, and see and experience the images that I see and experience when I write.

Q. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

No I don’t do that. Sometimes there is a private joke that a friend might find amusing or some scenario or fact that I have taken from real life. But it’s not planned.

Q. Do you travel? Tell us about the most romantic place you’ve ever visited.

Yes I love to travel. I have travelled to Scotland, Wales and England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Majorca, North America, Hawaii, Canary Islands, Africa, New Zealand, Thailand, Dubai, Bali and Vietnam. I have also travelled to many destinations all around Australia. When I think of romance I think of Paris and Tuscany. I have visited both. I have enjoyed some sultry warm evenings in Nusa Dua in Bali, in Dubai and in Vietnam, which could have fantastic romantic appeal. However I was not with a special someone to test out my theory.

Q. Has it (your travels) added to your inspirational well, or taken from it?

Travel had added to my inspirational well. I could set my stories in many of the locations I have visited.

Q. Do you have any expectations of your readers?

I hope they enjoy my stories, and can easily enter the world I have created.

Q. On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?

The lowest and most frustrating point would be when I was in the middle of a manuscript and my characters were not talking to me. I was stuck for a couple of months. I am a pantser, which means I write by the seat of my pants. I do not plot out my story. The story idea appears in my head, and I sit down to write whatever comes to me. I see the scenes, like a movie scene rolling in my head. Sometimes I will think of scenes when I am not at my Laptop, and sometimes I write down notes. I find if I plan out a story completely, then it is as if it has already been told, and I am not as enthusiastic writing it, and less likely to complete it.

Q. When your not writing, what are some of your hobbies?

Well, let me tell you about my Leina Broughton Journey..Savannah

I was first introduced to Leina Broughton in July last year, and I bought 2 dresses to wear to the RWA conference in Brisbane. They are all Australian made, ship internationally, and cater to women from size 8 to size 22. They have developed their brand over the years, and are now jersey specialist.

I adored them so much I bought more. Connecting with people gives me joy, so I eagerly joined their community. I was encouraged to share my pictures and my styling ideas with my own various accessories. Lovely friendships have been formed through the LB website, and I was asked to write a short story for their Blog and their Mother’s Day release earlier this year.

I made it my goal to meet as many of the LB ladies that I could. I organised a meet-up in every capital city I was travelling to. In my home town of Melbourne in March, ten lovely LB ladies joined me for lunch. In Perth in July, after my writer’s retreat, half a dozen ladies joined me for dinner and drinks. I had several meet-ups in August, and met more than a dozen LB ladies over the few days I was in Sydney and attending the RWA conference. And in November when I am in Queensland, I will stay an extra few days as more LB ladies want to meet up for lunch and drinks on the Sunday. The key aspect to these meeting is that we all wear our lovely LB dresses, and we each try to wear a different style. It has been named ‘The Savannah Blaize Australian Tour’ by the LB group, and that makes me laugh.

In July I was selected, out of hundreds of customers, to be a Customer Supermodel. LB has chosen 9 customers selected to be models in groups of three, over three separate months. They will be flying me to the Gold Coast for a photo shoot, with two other Customer Supermodels, in mid November. To say I am excited by the prospect of being a customer model and wearing dresses in size 16 at the age of 67 is an understatement. It is a testament to the beautiful fabrics and well-designed garments, that a woman of my age can feel stylish and elegant in their creations.

After only fifteen months I have a wardrobe full of Leina Broughton dresses, pants, skirts, shirts and jackets. I only wear LB now, when I leave the house, as her clothes make me feel beautifully dressed for any occasion.

This book is my latest completed manuscript, and is about to be published. It is called The Class Reunion. Here is the opening scene.

The Class Reunion

Lauren Taylor regretted this trip back to her hometown with every mile she drove. Despite the pleading, cajoling and begging, if Sarah, her childhood friend, had not gone through such a horrific time and survived cancer, she would not be making this trip. Excuses had already been formulated in her head for an early exit. Her fingers tightened on the steering wheel. The minute the reunion weekend ended she was out of there, like a bat out of hell. Distracted by an old song on the radio, she allowed her mind to wander back to the last phone call from Sarah. Tears welled in her eyes when she thought how close she had come to losing her only remaining friend in Clearwater Springs. A friend she had not kept in touch with as often as she should have until the last year or so. Regrets. Yeah, she had a few. Not that she cared about the town. No siree, it could disappear off the face of the earth for all she cared. Along with her so-called high-school “classmates”. They were never “mates”, more like enemies. Treated her with distain because she came from a broken home and hadn’t two cents to rub together through high school most weeks. The car coughed and slowed a little on the road, making her sit up straighter and pay attention. A shudder, a loud bang, and the gradual loss of speed finally brought the car to a halt on the side of the road. Lauren switched off the engine and yanked out the key. The black night engulfed her.

“Goddam piece of junk! You could have at least got me into town.” She thumped the steering wheel, and slumped forward till her head rested on the cold metal. Bone tired didn’t begin to describe the way her body responded to this new depressing situation, in a seemingly never-ending run lately of bad luck.

Pelting rain had seeped through her shirt and jeans before she had taken two steps in the direction of the trunk. She struggled to find the lock in the inky darkness. The toolbox tucked into the corner contained a set of jumper cables, a flashlight and assorted tools, all of which looked completely foreign to her. She remembered a conversation she had with her father when she bought her first old bomb of a car; or rather, a lecture her father had given her, warning her of the dangers of not servicing your vehicle regularly. Why didn’t I pay attention, instead of hoping a knight in shining armour would sweep me off my feet, marry me, and take care of mundane things like car repairs. “Yeah, right. You’re doing it on your own, sister.” She shuddered. Her voice sounded eerie even to her.

The flashlight had difficulty illuminating anything in the storm, she had no idea what she was looking for, but she had little choice. Onward and upward.

Lauren wrenched up the hood and propped it open as she inspected the dark and murky interior. Everything looked normal. Or as normal as an engine could look to someone who was not used to poking about in the belly of the beast. No loose or protruding twisted parts that should could see, no flames. That had to be a good thing, right?


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