I live in Melbourne, Australia, with my wife, our son, three cats and a dog. I started writing interesting observations of life, literary articles, poetry, creative non-fiction, and personal essays, and eventually they were all sort of smooshed together in a giant author-y blender and out popped a book. But I didn’t experience a childhood with a pen in my hand and notebooks filled with stories. I came to storytelling quite late. I mean, I’ve always written, but it was mainly curriculum and report cards and whiteboard instructions on next week’s English assignment. It’s rather tricky being creative in any of those endeavours, although report cards can be works of art.
If someone wanted to read my books, I recommend they start with Coming Home. It gives a very clear insight into what my writing style is like, which, I’ve been told, is kind of unique. My other books are still me, but I chuck other stuff in, like magical realism, women’s football, dream sequences, or short stories. Coming Home, and now Change Of Plans, are the most traditional contemporary romances I’ve written.
My novels are all set in Melbourne, but probably only that aspect and some of the language structure makes them particularly Australian. We do have a tendency to drop words at the beginning of sentences in dialogue, so that we end up speaking in phrases. My main character’s external and internal discourses follow that pattern. It confuses the heck out of my editor. Beyond that, I do have a unique author’s voice. It’s probably more to do with the lyrical aspect of my writing. I use long sentences that paint pictures. I’m very fond of imagery and metaphorical analogies, and I intersperse these with short, snappy dialogue.
A perfect example is in Art Of Magic. I’d wondered if love could be so powerful that it could be ‘seen’? I initially researched synesthesia, which is the phenomenon where someone can taste sounds, or hear colours, but then I pushed the idea further. What if two people who fall in love realise that they’ve found their person because they can see their love as a stream of colours? What if the only way to activate that phenomenon is through trust? When I finished Art Of Magic, I realised that it had become a fabulous metaphor to explain the interconnection between love and belief.
I’m a staunch advocate of the romance novel. It distresses me greatly that society views romance novels as low-brow, less intelligent, and something to be hidden. I’ve lost count of the number of times a romance novel is labelled a ‘guilty pleasure’. But that warm fuzzy a reader has when the characters overcome their life hurdles and fall in love? That needs to be celebrated.
KJ is a best-selling author who lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her wife, their son, three cats and a dog.
She started writing interesting observations of life, literary articles, poetry, creative non-fiction, and personal essays, and eventually they were all sort of smooshed together in a giant author-y blender and out popped a book. Then another. The blender is currently in use for KJ’s next novel.
She will be reading as part of ‘Romance, Part I’ (Reading A4)
Check out the full schedule HERE