with Marion Lennox

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Marion Lennox

Author

A legend in the romance-writing world, Marion Lennox, has won two of the prestigious RITA™ awards and recently completed her 118th novel for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Marion’s novels are sold in a hundred and thirty countries and translated into over thirty languages. She no longer attempts to keep all the copies of her books as there’s not enough room in her house! Recently Marion has published her first long novel, Home to Turtle Bay. Marion’s honest and forthright answers made this a compelling interview and one which breaks many of the stereotypes attached to romance fiction.

Jennifer Kloester

Host

Jennifer Kloester is an Australian author of Young Adult, Biography & Historical Fiction.

Her first novel, ‘The Cinderella Moment’, was published by Penguin Australia and Swoon Romance in 2013 and was followed by the sequel, ‘The Rapunzel Dilemma’ in 2014.

Jennifer has given talks around the world on Georgette Heyer and the Regency, and is a passionate advocate for women writers, books and reading.

Read the transcript

Music

Jennifer:
[0:07]Hello and welcome to the book cave today I’m delighted to be interviewing best selling author Marion Lennox Marion welcome to the book cave.

Marion:
[0:15]Thank you very much.

Jennifer:
[0:17]Wonderful to have you here now Marion Lennox is an internationally famous author having written over 100 novels for Harlequin Mills and Boon,
Marion a long and illustrious career.

Marion:
[0:30]Thank you.

Jennifer:
[0:32]Yes indeed but quite a journey to I think.

Marion:
[0:35]It has been a journey and a really enjoyable when it’s been a whole lot of fun along the way.

Jennifer:
[0:40]That’s fantastic now you began writing back in the late 1980s is that right?

Marion:
[0:45]I did yes I was a teaching statistics at our local University,
I was I knew what life is all about I’m so serious about and was raising children but I was on family with my second child,
I have always loved writing but it’s been a fun hobby,
I was brought up in a rural community you’re born on a dairy farm you didn’t,
become a writer as a profession haven’t saqr to became teacher or a nurse or maybe you got a job in a bank no that was so that really,
the hot of respiration but I was good at maths at school so I was steered absolutely into my Sciences so that’s a direction might talk but when I was on,
to live with my second child I went to playgroup Monday and somebody knew someone who Britain and Northern burnt and I thought,
that’d be fun but I also was quite scopping I said that would be just money for jam,
and I said put your money where your mouth was so it started as a bit and I went home and thought I can ibis,
potato of the kitchen floor or I can put my hand to writing a romance and it started from there really.

Jennifer:
[2:06]Wow now the phrase Mills and Boon this is a fairly loaded phrase isn’t it.

Marion:
[2:13]It is a fully loaded phrase it’s it’s,
it’s quite odd the way it’s become a title and sometimes quite a derogatory titles and burn started in the First World War as a publisher they published,
all sorts of Fiction,
because of the shortage of paper they were forced to concentrate on one particular genre so they decided that the most profitable was romance so the brothers for nothing,
the young people have found the organisation decided that they would just focus on short romances those romances just took off they’ve been enormously popular Mills and Boon with then taken over by Harlequin,
which is an American Corporation which is,
but it’s International Corporation now and that’s acting now been taken over by harpercollins the Mills and Boon books are known as Mills and Boon in the UK and Australia,
they’re known as Harlequin in the US and then owners,
all sorts of things every different country that they’re there if you buy now go into over 120 countries in 30 languages,
so they have different soda known as under a different title wherever they go.

Jennifer:
[3:34]Ok so,
sort of idea that you know even when you were beginning someone sort of said all they knew someone who written a Mills and Boon there’s a sort of intrinsic idea that that’s something that’s not only a bit derogatory but,
it’s easy it’s something that I will you can sort of just flick that off,
I had a friend once who said her sister was going off she was going away for Easter,
four day weekend and she was going to write a Mills and Boon her first Mills and Boon she never in one before but she was just so there seems to be this idea that this is something that’s very easy to do and anyone could do snd that there’s something about a formula of.

Marion:
[4:15]Well I started I guess I was the same I thought the same I had a few but not very many I’ll admit and,
I had the idea that it was basically plug the man and woman in start,
a page 5 I had to have a ton of excitement first kiss on page 30 maybe an argument on about Pager,
as well getting risque maybe 65 up a 250 and it wasn’t until I started seriously looking at them.
And realising how different each book was,
but I did hit me the first of all these books were totally,
unique each one was unique and the second thing that hit me was that it was hard to write a good Romance.

[5:10]You the readership for Romance Is Fast and crosses and in,
totally all social demographics my books come out in but I come out in Hebrew they come out in Arabic,
they come out in the Philippines I come out in Thailand Thailand in Iceland women the world over.
Really really enjoy a good run as I say that about half about 2% of the worlds fiction market is Romance,
having said that the the demographic for reads them.

[5:48]Is there you have politicians who read them you have people who know top-siders to read them you have 13-year-old girls who read them you have 90 90 year old people in Rome in nursing homes for radar Farm,
they are fabulous fantasy their design to give you time out just to give you a break from the real world and,
have fun,
escape the chair escapism it’s just come on in here and have a Rockin good time become a heroin for for the time because also Pages that’s right forget the world and just give yourself,
maybe have a glass of wine have a good have some chocolate.

Jennifer:
[6:36]So ok so what then because surely isn’t it the same for a lot of people who read crime fiction or science fiction.

Marion:
[6:44]Absolutely the same but what I didn’t get when I first started was at Howick,
has to have its own unique character and readers within the romance genre,
are incredibly choose either Tuesday or Thursday like the stories how can it recognises that date they actually separate books as much as I can so the Mills and Boon is most familiar with,
would be this type of so.

Jennifer:
[7:18]This one’s obviously a Christmas one.

Marion:
[7:20]That’s right so but if you if you start writing for them you can actually look and see,
what particular type of romance you like so if you want a really sexy romance then you would pick up a harlequin deer,
you wanted an inspirational that meant it that’s a 8 a.m. church bass faith-based,
romance then Harlequin has been print for you if you want a longer historical book if you want a longer romance no maybe a nice pic meeting,
romance if you want a Western romance if you want crime anything you anything you want as long as it’s got a man a woman happy ending,
there are actually if you were so I paid does it expanded we have two women and a happy ending two men and a happy ending Howick on themselves don’t write a romance is,
there are lots of publishers out there who do and that’s Incorporated into the vast Romance.

Jennifer:
[8:22]That’s part of that whole row man.

Marion:
[8:23]How to get hot women.

Jennifer:
[8:25]Industrie ok.

Marion:
[8:26]That’s right it’s just two people finding each other I think that’s actually a universal dream is to eat near universal desire to find.
Somebody who will always be in your corner someone who will love and respect you make you laugh
and make it sometime I’m would be wonderful and I think that crosses all national borders all political borders it’s just a universal.

Jennifer:
[8:53]Well that’s a surely just a basic human need it something we’ve evolved into wanting surely so why then,
does it get this coughing sort of attitude from side of your wires how is it that Mills and Boon has become a kind of shorthand for,
not very good,
writing easy formula when it clearly from what you’re saying it isn’t any of those things it’s actually something quite other and actually something that seems to me particularly in this,
quite challenging world that we live in something that’s actually quite,
useful to people something that sounds hopeful and light-hearted and and happy and perhaps as you say is an escape so why then the denigrate.

Marion:
[9:41]Easy to denigrate women writing for women,
too much having fun how do you reset an easy it’s an easy even for women for women who wish to be seen as,
intellectual equal if you like intellectually superior an easy way to do that is to a cheese scoff at,
your own 6 writing for your own 6 because your centre slightly better your writing for the entire,
for the entire massive audience out there not just concentrating on something which is,
pretty much lots of men who read Romance,
but the vast majority people who read romance is a women so I think it’s actually very easy to scoff at something to make yourself seem slot and superior I would never,
number 2 Mallard Ave.

Jennifer:
[10:45]Which makes it a little hard to see how they can judge.

Marion:
[10:48]How they can judge all they red one and you can and that’s why I didn’t and the number of bad crime fiction or science fiction.

Jennifer:
[10:59]Literary fiction.

Marion:
[11:00]All the prediction that I’ve actually read and thrown away in disgust because of it’s made me miserable I just spent it to really badly written or it’s just totally,
yep totally set a paint by numbers type thing.
If you read one Mills and Boon out of the millions that I’ve been over there over the years and say that is a total rubbish and then you say OK I will now can,
event hire publication I will pan every woman who Falls who loves this just happened.

Jennifer:
[11:29]Right and every person is it a region 1.

Marion:
[11:32]We also didn’t help ourselves.
I believe how cold it helped it 5 publishing in the 80s the bodice ripper became a thing,
and that was really,
a whole a just a bit I do have some streams as for the whole it was a dream within the whole genre which was,
which was really glorifying the alpha male so.

Jennifer:
[12:02]The alpha male being the strong domineering man who assumes that a woman wants to be subjugated or you know taken.

Marion:
[12:12]That’s right in the hair.

Jennifer:
[12:13]That’s not a marriage or in a relationship vehicle.

Marion:
[12:16]The heroine in those books tended to be feeling weak tended to be waiting for the hero to turn her into something of worth,
so she worth it does it of typical waiting for the night on white charger to come and sleep over often I got very close,
the rape really should have known.

Jennifer:
[12:37]No means yes.

Marion:
[12:38]No ment really try harder you know.

Jennifer:
[12:40]Right right.

Marion:
[12:41]So no answer yet and I meant to push me harder.

Jennifer:
[12:44]Because it’s interesting the term bodice-ripper din dacia come into being until the nineteen eighties I think it was 1984 or 5 and yet it’s been overlay Dover books many books written before the term at you came into being,
find interesting.

Marion:
[12:59]Stuck in it was a very very easy labelled to denigrate an entire genre and we can’t escape it and in terms of,
our perception by the public I believe we were just trying we were just starting to come out on the other side,
myself in terms of respect for what I did we were actually just coming out on the other side of it,
when 50 Shades of Grey Pub City big time it was one of which was just somehow caught.
The public imagination caught the media’s imagination,
and hold us back to the nineteen eighties I believe in terms of perception of what we do and what all romances about how one book can do that,
I believe it was for me I think it was a son of a gut wrenching. And in publishing history.

Jennifer:
[13:55]Gee that’s really interesting because that book certainly did,
capture the public imagination in incomplete the unforeseen ways cause it’s not a I don’t think it’s a great work of piece of writing clearly it had some kind of it was something very compelling about the story.
Funny thing is there’s been plenty of erotic Romance,
written before that and after that hasn’t had that same impact which I find quite interest.

Marion:
[14:25]I think lots of people,
there was a people who actually enjoy that book for what it was and not you can still find a bottle strippers out there there are still a subset of the population who enjoy that type of that type of book,
in the same same way as notebooks it’ll be out there and it is all sorts of strange weird books out there and,
Oswald so big but there was always at a subset of a community who look for them and love them.

Jennifer:
[14:53]Submit what you’re saying is it it’s it it’s obviously very difficult as an offer to simply be tarred with this sort of one brush when in fact that’s not what you’re doing it all and not want a lot of your fellow authors are doing.

Marion:
[15:05]That’s right my books I have a lot of fun with my book but my hero and heroine are always equals,
this does always,
whenever waiting for a romance to turn into whole people they are completely independent characters they’re fun and feisty and the romance certainly a Burl Ives,
you always have the feeling that baby getting on getting on fine beforehand and that get on fine afterwards but hang on the some great there’s some great fun to be had during the during the romp.

Jennifer:
[15:47]But then hang on are you one of these offers who to pick sex or you are.

Marion:
[15:52]I am I am I have always been when I right I am in my heroines head so for the period of my book,
I am I am my hair and I very much enjoy that having.
Really graphic sex within the pages always feels to me a bit like,
having sex with the kids outside the living room and the bedroom door open I just it just feels,
uncomfortable in public and feels like I’m Myself and I,
do it so I get up and close the bedroom to apologise to my readers but my bedroom door size pretty much,
shut occasionally occasionally for the storyline it has to open I had I wrote a book.
Recently where I had a couple who had twins and their early on in their marriage,
and they lived up in the Blue Mountains.

[16:59]And I’m not coming home for Christmas when they twins were quite small he fell asleep at the wheel and the twins what were both killed so the story opens 4 years later,
as bushfires are threatening the Blue Mountains and both of these make my couple of actually gone off,
to do their own thing that separate to the grief from losing their twins has just completely separated them but the house in the Blue Mountains has to stay because night of them compared to just come back,
2 it is really become a sort of a Shrine to the other children,
and it’s stay there in the back of their minds and hearts but they’ve gone with the lies and completely different directions Nana bushfire start stretching the Blue Mountains and they were everybody’s being evacuated.

[17:51]Come from different directions to actually pull out the things that are most meaningful both of them said thinking,
the teddy bears that bird toy trucks or whatever they can’t be burnt so they come back and then of course it trapped in the house so this is always answer the first chapter they’re actually,
in the house and seeing each other again and heightened emotions or whatever and they are still married but they’ve,
I said for your separation and they come together in just mutual need because that lasts that desire and underlying love,
is still there so they have so that’s actually quite a as a solid and Fila graphic sex thing because it needed to be it needed to do the whole thing of escalated into the fact of these two people we need each other then of course,
all the other complications are reason why they haven’t been able to stay together.

[18:44]Come back and I have to have the rest of the story really to try and resolve to try and figure out how they can actually go on from there,
so that’s because one that’s why I actually had to write a sex scene in it was very difficult I had to basically my eyes closed.

Jennifer:
[19:01]So there must have been an evolution though in the sort of the graphic nature of of sex,
in these will certainly when they began specialising in the late 1930 early 40s and then through the fifties and sixties
you weren’t able to hasn’t been also you certainly weren’t able to do a lot of things you can clearly do now so you been writing since 1980.

Marion:
[19:25]My Facebook was my first book a published in 1998.

Jennifer:
[19:29]Right written in 88 so you’ve been writing for 30 years,
wow that’s amazing so have you seen an evolution has what it the changes that have occurred.

Marion:
[19:42]I’ve have seen an evolution I think with the evolution,
is solid lead to the woman having to be independent feisty,
even in the really even the books with the really Alpha Heroes.
Be a hero comes across as totally masculine totally overpowering,
the the heron still absolutely has to have her own career has to have at least somebody has become increasingly important increasingly important to the readers,
the heroin that they can identify with is of worth without the hero because or more I think,
women do identify with hit the books a design so that women can identify with a heroin and I don’t believe that women now can identify with being just somebody who looks after the house and the kids and a doormat,
the biggest evolution.

Jennifer:
[20:48]So in a way then you could actually say that Mills and Boon novels from their Inception to now are really a kind of cultural artefact they really reflecting,
surely social mores in current social values would you say.

Marion:
[21:05]I now that lovely thing about it is it because we totally cross-cultural lines.
No worries that we’re actually espousing are in fact becoming worldwide,
my books published in the Middle East in their published in Israel and.
In a sense of values that I spells and that I hold dear something,
just messaged thrill to know that they are at you being read and talked about in so many different in so many different cultures,
I know you’ll be even,
it’s the little things that you put in a book never pressure we don’t become political or whatever but there’s small things that we can bleed in which are important to us as also you can actually bleed in and become I’m in,
small nuts and environmental concerns,
women have a right to say no the fact that the hill hero can be put in their place so whatever that’s it seems to me an important and wonderful thing that that message can it she go out.

Jennifer:
[22:26]Because also you you have specialise in the medical romance line is that.

Marion:
[22:31]I write half and half ok I tend to I started my first my last my first book was my heroine was a doc.
And that was actually,
but later on the on the editor’s desk just as they were starting to rethink their medical line their medical line back in the 60s 70s were doctor nurse Romance.

Jennifer:
[22:56]Yeah yeah yeah.

Marion:
[22:57]Where you had an overpowering doctor who made every nurse basically for Scrubs.

Jennifer:
[23:05]Swoon over Dr dreamy.

Marion:
[23:07]Exactly where is.

Jennifer:
[23:08]Grey’s Anatomy.

Marion:
[23:09]Anything you could wet.

Jennifer:
[23:12]Yes that wonderful joke what’s the difference between God and the doctor God doesn’t think he’s a doctor.

[23:24]I think that was pretty much say I’m just finding some Wonderful old pictures.

Marion:
[23:29]At the time my my my husband was a doctor so I never actually had that misconception.

Jennifer:
[23:36]So we had dumped on call sister this is from 1958 black and white photo but you know very much the doctor and the nurse and then staff nurse.
The old fashioned um nurses outfit with the.
Veil of relief so you’ve obviously moved on a great deal from there I’ll Mills and Boon certainly.

Marion:
[24:00]First book lands on mate I made this desk Justice starting to rethink those in my heroine was it a Doctor Who just gone in to a login camping in,
Tasmania and we’re setting up as a doctor in an totally all male environment so it was quiet,
different for them and a bit of a shock and and very fortunate because I would just say that as things have to change and maybe I’ll have to build it to propel at so that’s lovely.

Jennifer:
[24:30]Do that.

Marion:
[24:32]15 I’ve also written a whole lot of straight romances without without medicine.

Jennifer:
[24:37]Right ok.

Marion:
[24:38]Must be because I get bored I’m writing I’ve been writing about 45 books a year so I’m from well I’m up to 116 book so so you’re writing medicals every,
Robert.

Jennifer:
[24:52]But not boring for the reader one.

Marion:
[24:54]If I can’t beat that absolutely can’t be if my books.
If my book become stereotypical first of all they bore me and drive me crazy and I can’t go on and then they land on my editors desk and they bought her and she Boomerang from straight back.

Jennifer:
[25:13]So if you’re writing 3 4 or 5 books a year what’s your writing methodology how do you actually achieve that.

Marion:
[25:20]It’s my job it’s what I do and it’s fun I love my job so I get that for the biggest import,
but I do have contract so I,
do right I do use a fair amount of discipline they have to be a lot of self-discipline involved if you don’t arrive at the pasted I do and that is I get up every morning and I write 1000 words,
and then my day starts so so if I can write I just.

[25:50]I left the afternoon as for my story permeating for me having fun for me to just to the move on with myself and figure out where the story is going and then I get up in the morning and I’m fresh,
how do I take disappear into my fantasy world and just right just right and when I get up to a thousand words then I can stop,
and a daisy mine all mine so I can take my kayak out I can walk my dog I can’t work in the garden or I can just play it,
and have that time just to let I need that time to let the story settle a bit then the next morning because I’m contacted I write those thousand words,
if I’m really enthusiastic I will write more or let yourself go more but I try and not I try to stop myself by lunchtime I’m because I can burn my I’ve learnt over the years that I can actually burn out if I push yourself too far I’ve written,
you may be 7000 words in a day,
and maybe can write that for 3-4 days and then you basically have to take a month off because your head,
burnt when you say am I still we sustain,
if I start writing it that pace in my stories do become the same I haven’t got that time to be fresh and to make up,
new fabulous interesting plots that a completely different.

Jennifer:
[27:14]Fascinating so if you’re writing 1000 words a day at the average Mills and Boon is there a sort of word length.

Marion:
[27:19]For the for the lines that I write for a round about 50000 between 8:45 and 55000.
200 Pages.

Jennifer:
[27:30]Ok right and that must take you three month.

Marion:
[27:33]Text me about 3 by the time I can I write them faster than editing time and once I go to my data I sent back.
The story has great potential would you like to just.
I feel like potential my may be doing this may be due.

Jennifer:
[27:54]You don’t mind those that are good.

Marion:
[27:56]She’s really right.

Jennifer:
[27:58]So do you write a draught and then rerun or is it pretty much as you go how does the editing process work for you.

Marion:
[28:05]Summarises kind of make a plan.

Jennifer:
[28:09]Oh ok you’re not a plotter.

Marion:
[28:10]I’m not I’m not a platter I hate plotting I’m at Panther I think.

Jennifer:
[28:15]Panther is it what we.

Marion:
[28:17]Fly by the seat of my pants which sometimes gets into trouble but I just have a start off with a couple of characters ahead,
and I launch from straight into the middle of trouble set up this enormous conflicts which all the,
Belinda by the end of the book going I’m starting to be bored so already that my next story starting permeate so got time I finish your book I’m raring to go on an ex,
so then I generally just,
launch into it get about 70 Pages into it and I’m having the love I’m just problem after problem after problem huge conflict,
while made it is reading the last book,
she then sends me back for potential but has to be I work on that and then I go back to my,
original my book and I looked at 70 pages and I think they are in such trouble I how the heck am I going to get them out of there,
which kind of a good way to work it’s fun so I do spend the next 130 Pages racking my brain’s trying to figure out how they can actually get a reasonable resolution that’s not going to switch my readers.

Jennifer:
[29:28]So it sounds like actually the thing that really keeps you motivating going is the conflict,
find me two carriages in creating these conflict because you say that you know when you’ve written sort of 170 page what are you getting a little bored and that’s because I guess things are getting resolved and you simply just have to write that happy ending,
and tell us all the lovely stuff it’s going to have.

Marion:
[29:49]For me there’s nothing more boring than happy ending but I love it and I do get notes from way to the same you just cut off too short come and give them a give you a red as a good one.

Jennifer:
[30:01]So you have to give them the really full on happy ending.

Marion:
[30:04]End of the story I thought I know with all my heart I know that they’re going to have three kids and their go to travel on their going to have a fabulous life and things are going to be really,
great for them in the wedding’s going to be absolutely gorgeous and they go to bring all these minor characters back in and little threads are going to be tied up I know all that but I’d so I need to at your discipline myself,
salmon tarator now.

Jennifer:
[30:25]And write it to the Happy Endings very today always always get married have kids that I mean is that the universal happy any obvious you’re a people out there who don’t have children or don’t get married or but still have happy life.

Marion:
[30:37]Universal ending is that they going to stay.
Forever I mean that the marriage not the stereo the kids not there sound the kids might already happened in the last book,
10 years ago or whatever so so it’s not a prerequisite and certainly not a pre mix it for the general but,
the implication at the end always has to be a long time future together if you write romance for young adults,
doesn’t necessarily have to be employed either but there still has to be an implication that the next couple of years ago we really good.

Jennifer:
[31:13]Outright for the younger.
So much can change,
so do you actually believe there is someone out there for everybody that you find your soulmate.

Marion:
[31:24]Obviously it would be obviously I would love if it buddy to find somebody who can just always be in the corner,
but for some people of course it’s not going to be possible for some people I found it to fit mate and then something awful happened them things have happened or whatever for me I’ve been incredibly lucky in that I celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary,
amazing,
I did there has to be there is somebody out there maybe if there’s not maybe maybe a book for a little bit of a comfort.

[32:08]Why you wait and why things are or or even if you’ve decided that,
no solid I’m I’m not going to have it I’m not at the happy ever afters not going to be me I can still hop into her romance and have a couple of a couple of hours of really good rump,
and feel good about it,
interesting the demographic reads that the really sexy books compared to the demographic for who reads the the tenderer sweeter books you would have thought,
but maybe the sexier books were the younger readers and the more tender books,
the older readers and in fact small surveys that have been done would actually indicate the reverse.
Young if you’re if you’re in your twenties and thirties or whatever and yet you’re here on the dating scene or whatever,
sex is pretty easy to obtain so having buying buying a romance for sex,
is not really necessary but what you want is what you want to learn about what you would indulge that is the fantasy or is the hope that there is you make this The Tender that touching the contacts or whatever as you get older.
Maybe the tender is there maybe you have a mate who’s just.

Jennifer:
[33:35]Solider not reliable.

Marion:
[33:36]Or maybe you’re a weirdo n and you’ve got grandkids or whatever or maybe you’re in a nursing home and you’ve become even slightly more isolated,
but you still got the tender in the loving you got your big family around you on your whatever.
Weather sex pick up.

Jennifer:
[34:00]Maybe people just like reading about sex I mean it’s a fairly universal human.

Marion:
[34:05]Absolutely.

Jennifer:
[34:06]Motivation and needs it.
Set the pages of Mills and Boon so ok so what inspires you how do you come up with ideas I mean you’ve written 116 book that’s going to be mind boggling for quite a lot of people out there,
how do you where do you get your ideas is a common question that everybody always wants to know.

Marion:
[34:26]Common question that an impossible to answer because they just there my mum said I used to make up stories in my cot and I always thought that everybody could,
it really wasn’t until I had kids of my own,
and they get the bed but not inside Tom is doing I tell him I saw a nice to work sleepy and I’d say make up a story you’re right just under the covers and be a pirate be whatever you know go off on the sailing adventure and look at me totally blank,
as if I was there my husband would do the same what do you mean you make up stories new hit but you’ve got to it in your head,
they’re always there waiting to be put down one of these days I might run out.

Jennifer:
[35:13]Oh I don’t think that’s likely really but also are you inspired by people you know like do you put you know the people who know you are they a little afraid of you because perhaps I might end up in a Marion Lennox Romance.

Marion:
[35:27]I probably need to say that no be safe from me in for me because,
if there’s anything fun anything warm and tender anything,
real life just makes it’s way into the pages of my book always carefully always carefully concealed of course,
the names of change to protect the innocent but my family,
people recognise my dog’s people recognise the seen that the places that I’ve been to the a wonderful time a couple of years back I oh I went on the Ghan up through the centre for straight and then I took a,
a cruise from Darwin around to Broome and we just got off every day and work out with the most amazing amazing time and I came home,
and set to,
feel the astonishing book fair state romance is where very very exciting things happened on the on the Ghan and very very very exciting things happened happened to Kimberly,
so that we’re drug Smugglers and people being thrown overboard and crocodiles and heroes and it was a lot of fun but.

[36:46]Based on things that happened on the cruise seems that happen the train and people who were on the cruise and on the train,
with me would have actually raped actually recognised real events that have happened but they certainly wouldn’t recognise real people,
or a real criminal something suit I do need.

Jennifer:
[37:06]Saluki whoever North you must have to be reasonably observant I mean ok we’re not writing literary fiction here but
you obviously are successful writer who must have some Powers to compare your readers to keep coming back to your novels and you said you began with characters to characters that you you think up,
so they must come across as real people to your read it.

Marion:
[37:30]People talk about the author having a third eye and that third eye is always operating she said no be safe but it’s always,
I find myself.
I’m awake I’m almost conscious of it as my third eye no matter how rim the situation or how exciting or whatever.
Even it seems like a funeral for something else for somebody who I love there will always be.

[38:01]A third eye that somehow absorbing emotions and absorbing,
in a terrible circumstance for read things in the paper would ever visit third eye,
watch full all the time about about how people react to certain things and finding things like under was it I remember nautical in in a Western Australian newspaper and are staying over there for a while,
and a guy had his some,
oh some torn off so the surgeons are there wasn’t North Philly bratich for the radio accidental waiver and surgeons headwreck to remove his toe and sohne is thumb on,
and I claim my daughter reading it back and I’m reading it going,
or operator all the time which makes my books,
real app I believe I get my book so I guess it’s an offer I am known for,
books that even in there even when they’re fun and Fantastical there’s at the core they are my characters that are quite believable.

Jennifer:
[39:13]A real well I have to say I’ve been reading reunited with her surgeon Prince I gather you don’t do your own title.

Marion:
[39:19]I’d like to not do my untitled 08 I used to struggle to,
makeup book makeup titles that were appropriate to and fun enough to and there was always this always a,
a conflict between,
the title and I think I’d like and the title at Harlequin thinks will sell 230 countries 30 languages or wherever that’s it and in the end I’ve just said what you know what air Newmarket better than I do so,
for every now and then I just get a bit stigmatising.

Jennifer:
[39:56]This is one of these wonderful sort of fantasy romance is where there’s a Royal Prince,
he’s about to become the king of a small kind of European state Falcon Stein did I say it correctly and,
and of course that part of the story is completely found in its Fantastical and and and fun you know but what I find so interesting is
actually the dialogue and the relationship and the people come across as very real you know they obviously there there been dropped into a completely unreal in terms of
genuine human experience for most people situation but they still have depth of character in their reactions and feelings come across very real.

Marion:
[40:40]And I like going back and forth in the Fantastical for this one he’s suddenly and unexpectedly become the king,
and you have to wait to confess but he’s already,
been married and he didn’t he in fact has a child by,
by that by that first marriage with never told anybody about and it was from when he was really very young then he’d made it at that very quick trip to Australia and fell in love and she got pregnant,
I married in real life holding my stuffed impossible she had tyres and he had tire so had to go home to an end,
the child has been raised in Australia and suddenly this child who has been completely out of line like is now the heir to the throne,
so have to come to Australia to the little Outback town where she’s working and then suddenly becomes totally immersed into her very real very Nitty Gritty world,
how many has to try and talk her out of her in some how to come across and accept his fantasy.

Jennifer:
[41:51]Yeah yeah yeah.

Marion:
[41:52]The conflict between the two of them I found out it was fun to do.

Jennifer:
[41:57]Yeah yeah well that comes across very strongly in the book I must say so this is a made up well but many of the worlds of your book so real world’s you know obviously but you sent them all over the place is that right.

Marion:
[42:10]I sent them I suppose if I’ve been real close then I have to be in there it’s quite hard to do it if you haven’t been there.

Jennifer:
[42:20]So have you been to Antarctica then.

Marion:
[42:22]Effective,
ok I haven’t read like that if I confess that one but I had a friend who spent 12 months over there and he was no sooner off the boat then then I was basically tumble tell me all,
all his photos and magazines and his age research from the time that he was over there I had the best,
the best fun with that book and then I had him proof read it for me which was totally essential.
You make stupid mistakes if you haven’t been there and because I got such a vast readership somewhere in the world we’ll we’ll just,
give my edit a hard time and she’ll give me a hard time.

Jennifer:
[43:05]Cause you got something wrong.

Marion:
[43:06]I think this was like I’ve been the story I had him put in his boots on and when wrong proof ready said they don’t wear boots so we’re really till my cycle big woolen socks,
boots with is completely slide from under you anything.

Jennifer:
[43:24]Only ice ok.

Marion:
[43:25]Sorry said to put his boots on a timer.

Jennifer:
[43:29]So what sort of pot you come up with friend tactica.

Marion:
[43:34]You want to have a.

Jennifer:
[43:36]Oh really oh yeah absolutely I think we were think we’d love to hear about it.

Marion:
[43:39]Wait I forgot that was a bit early and it was during the AIDS.

Jennifer:
[43:48]Crisis yet.

Marion:
[43:49]The age crisis. And I remember thinking would it be amazing if my heroine,
thought that she might have aids that would be such a good popped bicycles in my head is crazy yourself.
I’m then I’m thinking ok so I threw all of these things in the first few patent few chapters and then I have to get them out of trouble so I have to figure out how the heck,
can’t you figure out she’s got,
potentially think she’s got eyes so I had her over there as a medical reporter and he’s a sign of the hero heroes are scientists and I didn’t want the thought of you.

[44:28]Yeah Court babe by sharing needles or whatever I want so I thought I needed it and I caught a nice way,
fuck oh dear that’s better than the bit so I hear a minor character also research,
I was doing work it was intense the important but he’d,
had a blood transfusion early before the Ides of being taught as a problem and he was HIV positive but of course he hadn’t confess that to anybody or he would have been allowed to offend taken it cost to the attack,
so he kept it completely quiet and while my friend was over there and leopard seal had actually attack,
somebody under the eye today just actually the ice and under technology,
leopard seal,
found out and research that’s actually so I had my minor character in my heroin walk across the ice and my lip is still launched herself out and attacked and my mum was injured,
and my heroine bracelet she was launched into save him and and and.

Jennifer:
[45:46]O blood.

Marion:
[45:47]Blood.

Jennifer:
[45:48]Okra.

Marion:
[45:49]So my minor character had to eat you confess to my heroin but she.

Jennifer:
[45:55]Veitch I’ve get HIV.

Marion:
[45:56]But please don’t tell anybody about it cause it’s going to destroy my research but you can’t you can’t be tested anyway for a tooth for 2 months windows so you won’t be able to be tested in till you get home so there’s nothing next couple of months,
she was stuck down the Antarctic with by the time her totally in love hero,
but she wasn’t allowed to let him nearer and she couldn’t tell me why so don’t even kiss me no and I can’t tell you why.
Work really really well as a pop device.

Jennifer:
[46:29]It without him being a sparkly vampire.

Marion:
[46:31]That’s exactly but however then I send it across to England to my editor and had a phone call late at night to say,
Marion have you just infected the entire leopard seal population,
I might you readership ago to worry that you just Cinemas environmental disaster.

Jennifer:
[46:54]Introduced HIV Aids into the entire you know penguin leopard seal.

Marion:
[46:59]Exactly.

Jennifer:
[47:00]Whale population.

Marion:
[47:01]Could I could I please reassure have my hero reassure the readers you know by reassuring the heroine that,
but you have to find out but that was,
ok that that was real so I have the doctor so I gave me and it was on the end of the phone so I should be racing should David away Comfort David can live with seals catch aids.

Jennifer:
[47:26]Is that a speciality.

Marion:
[47:28]1800 all overgrown how can I do this how can I figure this one out so I rang the age,
who.

Jennifer:
[47:46]Really they must have thought you were a little unusual.

Marion:
[47:50]When they finally stop laughing they put me they gave me the number of a Lucas who is the head of her than he does Infectious Diseases at Fairfield Hospital.
So what is agile thinking this is a bit of a touch a man respond so I rang up and was put in put through to his receptionist.
And I thought she might give her a message and ask her and let her know but when she stop laughing she’s no no this calls going through just calls going straight,
and he was fantastic you are so generous but in,
when he finally stop laughing he actually was able to tell me that the great green monkeys were the only animals soon ethically close enough to to humans to carry of the AIDS virus and they actually don’t get sick,
so how is 8 way here I was able to say knowledgeably to my heroine no no don’t worry it’s fine.
Las brisas refit.

Jennifer:
[48:52]Sara Lee.
Possible that someone with HIV Aids that she beat you know bit invited.

Marion:
[49:00]Wouldn’t mess with my pop.
Irie 34 best fun.

Jennifer:
[49:07]So is that book still available the last even OK I’m going to have to go and look for it cause it is it one of your favourite.

Marion:
[49:14]It probably is just because it was fun it did take me a lot longer than normal to write Book 2 because I haven’t been there because I didn’t have it feeds it into my consciousness I had to reset.

Jennifer:
[49:27]I hope the leopard seal features largely on the cover with your heroine heroine.

Marion:
[49:34]Husky not another Story 2.

Jennifer:
[49:36]We love.
Another confession.

Marion:
[49:41]Favourite people are people who love stories my books are edited out of England and there it is a really carefully and,
mistakes are really found on because we get such a lot of dye feedback
however I was away on holidays when this book came out so I didn’t get a chance to look at the cover art when it was done and the cover art is done because we’re an international company the cover art is in fact done in Canada so my,
cover artist had a brief look at the story and thought attack yes,
OK I can do this she did me the most beautiful paintings of of my hero and heroine in there an erection someone in the ice and they just look fabulous and in the background she put two ready great polar bears.
No polar bears don’t live in the Antarctic and I am still in later they still getting a letter saying she did you know that.

Jennifer:
[50:40]The Arctic Circle not the Antarctic.

Marion:
[50:43]So all my work.

Jennifer:
[50:44]I guess the Canadian just didn’t have the Antarctic.

Marion:
[50:47]Antarctica.

Jennifer:
[50:49]Oh that is so fun I’m going to have to find this book now The Last Eden I definitely want to get a copy for myself.

Marion:
[50:56]Well I don’t your find it in and paid back but you will fine doesn’t need book it might have to go in the kennel now he won’t have a cover.

Jennifer:
[51:01]But then it won’t have a cover with oh no ok I’m going to make this a lifetime mission.

Marion:
[51:07]I talking to come I think.

Jennifer:
[51:11]Ok alright that’s alright that I have to have a look cause I mostly have you.

Marion:
[51:14]I did actually get the copy of it from the art frame.

Jennifer:
[51:18]I feel quite discombobulated.

[51:23]When our married before we go and it’s been wonderful wonderful talking to you thank you so much for your generosity and all the marvelous stories we always ask Carol for the three book.

Marion:
[51:41]Free books love author.

Jennifer:
[51:46]Any offer an easy the book that you would put into a virtual Time Capsule that you would basically give to the world to read a thousand years from now.

Marion:
[51:55]Free books that I just love off the top of my head.
50 is Anne of Green Gables without without a doubt because that book launch me into thinking.
Writing is magical reading is magical that book has been read by me over and over again,
it was given by my my grandmother read it you read it she gave it to my mum my mum gave it to me my daughter is in fact Anne with an e,
so that book is just it is just such a love book.
Another book that I have that I’ve actually found and loved.
Would be an approved the shipping The Shipping News,
that’s a very very different book but I believe that book is such the most amazing book of the power of redemption it’s a very very different type,
I guess in a sense it’s a romance very very different type of romance it is,
it just spoke to something deep within me and as well as that she’s built such a world the town that they that they moved to the the island the old,
health on the Bleak Rocky Shores on someone I have I have I go back to that book again.

Jennifer:
[53:25]Visceral book.

Marion:
[53:26]It is very forceful.

Jennifer:
[53:27]Very Basalt do you ever find it extraordinary that this ability to put little marks on paper or on a computer that then translates into these extraordinary experience.

Marion:
[53:39]That’s right that you can actually move into that book on you that you feel it.

Jennifer:
[53:42]And you feel the,
spray in the water and I still find it extraordinary that you that the words made up of these little letter that are made up of those lines and Mark,
can do that to a human to the human mind that it can create,
whole Falcon there no kingdom of falkensteiner or the extraordinary you know Newfoundland.

Marion:
[54:08]It is that book Lismore.
And finally if nothing for fun it would have to be Georgette Heyer’s The Unknown Ajax.
Simply because that I am in ore of Georgette’s power of plotting.
That book in terms of shear fun,
was a total frolock from beginning to end it was a hero is here at die for,
the last couple of chapters for her plotting just left me gas now how did she do that how did she how did
she have so many characters doing going all sorts of directions she built up to such a climax it was.
Lose me laughing.

Jennifer:
[55:04]Even just thinking about it makes me laugh I must say I have to say it that book is really a masterclass,
in character arcs and plotting because every character in the book even the minor characters and up,
changing from the beginning of the book to the end of the book they’ve all learnt and change it evolved and it’s quite from your bit the imbroglio ending,
is just extraordinary and the way she pull that off and just leaves you gasping and laughing it’s quite remarkable there’s a fantastic,
audible have done a brilliant rendition with a bugger call Daniel Philpott and he’s actually from Yorkshire so he’s able to do the Yorkshire accent,
superbly and it’s really Lee and I brilliantly acted and I must say having read that.
Many times that hearing it on this I actually listened to it 3 times because I never quite appreciated the genius of that of the plot in there.

Marion:
[56:02]Can he do an article really uh.

Jennifer:
[56:05]He was brilliant as I really oh my goodness me oh my gosh lady Aurelia who comes in and says you know I is Amy of woman,
you know she’s the most powerful person in the room and the 11 Earls here after the age of stone obilor daughter.
Makes you laugh it’s just wonderful there is a three magnificent contributions to our virtual time capsule.

Marion:
[56:31]I prefer but I already there at some.

Jennifer:
[56:34]No no no one no one has selected those three.
We have many wonderful books in the time capsule.

Marion:
[56:40]I’ll take a look at whatever else is there.

Jennifer:
[56:42]Indeed a great eclectic mix in fact well Marion Lennox what a pleasure.

Music

Jennifer:
[56:49] Well Marion Lennox what a pleasure, revelatory and inspirational I have to say thank you so much it’s been a pleasure having you in the book cave.

Marion:
[56:56]Thank you Jennifer.

Voiceover:
[57:06]Recorded at the manse with the assistance of 94.7 FM Geelong and produced by Cornershop Studios JAMLAB and Creative Geelong.

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