In the spotlight: Helen Chilcott

14 03 2008

Morning Glory by Helen Chilcott

Helen was always a writer, yet it was the first of two disabling road accidents that made her succeed at her craft. Confined to a wheelchair for a time, she wrote Last Flight from Pentagon

 Ending a career in corporate management, the second accident gave rise to Conway’s Women. Helen has since written The Trunk in the Basement. 

Helen’s genre for these works, Psychological Thriller, comes from an intense interest in the human psyche following her own life-or-death experiences. In 2005 Helen ventured into Erotica/Romance. The novella Waiting for Misty is her first work in this genre and Morning Glory her second. Ten Thousand Brides is her current work in progress. 

Helen’s writing achievements to date:

Published works:

  • Conway’s Women, 2006 (limited run of 100 books now out of print)
  • The Trunk in the Basement, 2006 (limited run of 50 books now out of print)

Publishing Contracts:

  • Morning Glory

– Mardigras Publishing 2007

Note: from1 September 2007 Mardigras Publishing no longer operating as an ebook publisher, therefore Morning Glory never released.

– eXtasy Books September 2007 – released December 2007 

  • Waiting for Misty

– Mardigras Publishing, 2006 – released March 2007

– eXtasy Books, October 2007

The Trunk in the Basement

– Mardigras Publishing, 2006 – released June 2007

– eXtasy Books October 2007

Dog Woman – 5000 word short story

– eXtasy Books October 2007. (This contract is a blanket contract for all shorts submitted.)

  Awards:

  • WritingRight 2006 Robert Redford Star Award: Writer with Most Potential
  • WritingRight 2006 Connections Star Award: Making Great Connections
  • WritingRight December 2006 – Toughest and Best Year

Competition Places:

  • Alan Marshall Short Story Competition 2002: Shortlisted from 500 entries for Grisham’s Gauntlet
  • Donard Publishing Novel Writing Competition November 2004: Finalist for Conway’s Women
  • Tom Collins Poetry Competition 2004: Highly Commended for Good Ol’ Aussie Rools
  • WritingRight Short Story Competition 2005: 2nd Place for Daddyll

 Further Education:

  • 2 year Professional Writing Course, Northern Metropolitan Institute of TAFE, 2000-2002. Pass with Higher Distinction

Editorships:

  • Managing Editor of Comic Edge, monthly news magazine for the Australian Cartoonists’ Group, 1993-1995
  • Co-editor of Hogwash, monthly news magazine for Harley Owners Group – Ringwood Chapter, of which Helen was a Charter Member, 1994-1996
  • Managing Editor of Broadcaster, Disability Justice Advocacy’s quarterly news magazine, 2002-2005

 General:

  • Mentor for writers through WritingRight, 2005 – present
  • Cartoonist and writer of The Australian Motorcyclists’ Dictionary featuring her characters Slick Hogg and the Road Rats
  • Produced dozens of single-frame cartoons and a strip-cartoon series featuring Philbutt, a hapless caveman with a bent for the modern
  • Founded and runs a successful Acrylic Nail business – creating the most distinctive and beautiful nails on the planet, 2000 – present
  • Dedicated Cat Mother, with three feline charges, Edmund the Gingerbread Man, Samba Lady Dance, and Kitty Micino

“With so many plots already in my head I know I can make a career in writing. I want it. I can taste it. I can feel it in every part of me.”

Links:

my blog: http://ozwriter-ozwriter.blogspot.com

link to Morning Glory at eXtasy Books: http://tinyurl.com/2oa9hf

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Getting to know Helen:

Tell us about your latest book and what you think readers will get out of it. 

First off, thanks, Raine, for the opportunity to tell your readers a bit about myself and my work. 

Released 15th December 2007, Morning Glory is an erotic romance novella set in a contemporary Australian farming district. Apart from a real glimpse into Australian life, readers will become intimately acquainted and be able to relate with my characters. This fast-paced story has tragedy and humour, love, loss and hot sex. It also has lust, betrayal, revenge and more. I think I deliver these elements in realistic proportions, which can be hard to find in reading today.
****

 Can you describe your characters to us? Do you pattern them after anyone you know or is it pure imagination?

 Because I want readers to meet and form opinions of my characters, I will tell just enough about these people to whet readers’ appetites. Widowed Vivica, hardworking farmwife, teenage Lizette’s mum, sole breadwinner, has a utilitarian exterior and an interior of pure red lace.

Growing up without a dad, Lizette is mature for her 18 years, loves and trusts boyfriend Jarratt, and adores her mum.

Vivica’s husband Dylan was born and bred on the farm and also adored Vivica before his death 12 years ago.

Jack McEvoy, Vivica’s sex partner and boss, is untrustworthy, disloyal and as shifty as an outhouse rat.

Talbot Tasman, widower, Vivica’s neighbour is her best friend and secretly worships her.

I dare to say any character developed by any writer has elements of people known to the writer, elements of the writer themselves, and mine are no different.  While I do use mannerisms and sometimes sayings and habits of people I know, no character in this story is modeled on anyone in particular. I find it best not to model characters on people but to let the character develop as the story unfolds. This way I always have a few surprises up my sleeve, and don’t we all love surprises?

****

 What genre have you not done but want to in the future? 

My fave genre is psych thriller and the mind-journey on which I embark with my readers. For 14 years my mentor had been trying to persuade me to write romance as it has the biggest market share. Over 54% of all fiction sold is romance. But I am neither romantic nor erotic and I have never bought a romance story. 2 years ago my mentor dared me to write a 5000 word romance short, and that evolved into my first erotic romance novella, Waiting for Misty. Because I was not comfortable writing sex and love then, I tried to keep the story as far from these 2 things as possible. The original version was pretty bad. I have reworked Misty several times, and it waits in the eXtasy Books queue to be edited and probably rewritten again. I’m not afraid of rework, because it makes my work better.  

To answer your question, probably none. I really LOVE writing psych thriller with or without paranormal undertones, and have a few erotic romance plots stewing in my mind.  I’m unsure if it’s a good idea to spread ones self too thin over several genres. That’s just me. No doubt others will disagree.

**** 

Tell us about your most erotic romantic fantasy. If you could have a 24-hour romantic fling with anyone you wanted, anywhere you wanted, where would you go, what would you do and with whom would you do it? 

As long as Sean Connery and Richard Gere are alive in this world, so will my fantasies of me with them remain alive. Few people really turn me on that way.  Not a good answer? Okay, sex fantasy from the mind of a logical, non-romantic, non-erotic, single 54 year old woman: Connery in First Knight with me as Guinevere, then along comes Lancelot Gere and there you have it. Let your mind make the image. I don’t need to explain it. I think Connery is the sexiest man on the planet, and the older he gets, the sexier he becomes. He only has to cock that eyebrow at me from the little screen and I am putty in his paws…

**** 

If you could have one special super or magical power, what would it be? 

To become invisible. The places I could go, the things I could see. Think of the fun I could have sneaking up on Sean Connery and pinching his bum…or perhaps pinching something else…

****

Who is more fun to write about: Bad boys or perfect gentlemen and why?

Oh, bad boys for sure.  Gentlemen are limited by their gentility. Bad boys can have many faces and voices. Anyway, aren’t all boys just a little bit bad?

**** 

Do you watch reality tv and if so, what is one of your guilty pleasures? If not, what do you prefer watching?

Because I run a very busy business I rarely watch daytime or reality TV, but I have been known to take a squizz at Judge Judy because people are so petty, Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. I can’t sing or dance for nuts. But I write well…

 ****

If you could visit any time and place, where and when would it be and why?

Poienari Castle, 1450 AD. My WIP is a vamp epic and Vlad Dracula III lived there.

 ****

VIN Diesel or Gerard Butler? 

Oh God, please don’t tell anyone but I had to Google the names to see who they were. I LOVE bald men (“Let me run my fingers through your scalp, cherie…”) so Vin Diesel wins heads up. (For that matter, I have Jamie Hyneman’s pic on my desktop.) Gerard Butler’s eyes have that smoldering sexiness that makes me want to….Whew!!  Excuse me, thinking of all that testosterone eye candy, I need to go get a drink of cold water from the fridge. 

****

Where can readers reach you? 

If they want to email me my address is:   oz.writer@ozemail.com.au

***

Where are you published?

 eXtasy Books and proud of it! Link: http://www.extasybooks.com/ 

* * *

 Thanks for stopping in and I hope you enjoy yourself. J 

 

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2 responses

14 03 2008
rainedelight

Thanks for letting me spotlight you on my blog Helen. 🙂 I love the cover!!!!!

Raine

14 03 2008
Randy Nichols

Nice Blog. I like the layout you used. Did you make that yourself?

– Randy Nichols.

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