Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 51 Ally Blake

I have a very special reason for posting today's Guest blogger on August 1st (who would have believed when I started this back in June that we would still be partying as August dawned?!). But we'll come to that in a minute. For now, let me introduce you to Ally Blake.

As Ally describes in her post, she and I first met at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Coogee Beach in Sydney. The BM and I were invited to a fabulous lunch by the management of HMB Australia and for me it was like my own personal idea of heaven with some of the most famous - and my most favourite names in romance writing in the same room. I was there with my friend Anne McAllister, I sat next to Emma Darcy, laughed with Marion Lennox, laughed some more with Trish Morey, and met Miranda Lee for the very fist time. And on the way back to the conference hotel, I shared the taxi with lovely Ally Blake.

At that stage Ally was just starting out on her career as a published author - she's come a long way since then! Now she's into double figures for published books, she's busy creating her own brand new hero or heroine and looking forward to the birth of her baby later this year - and together with Trish Wylie she's one of the founder members and editors of the fabulous Pink Heart Society.

And this is where I get to make my personal special announcement - and that is that as from today, I'm thrilled and honoured to be included amonget the newly-appointed Pink Heart Columnists. I've always thought that the PHS was a brilliant idea, and I've supported it from the start. So I'm delighted to be officially linked to it from now - and I'll be posting regularly over on the PHS site.

But let's get back to Ally Blake:

When Ally was a little girl she made a wish that when she turned twenty-six she would marry an Italian two years older than her. After it actually came true she realised she was onto something with these wish things. So, next she wished that she could make a living spending her days in her pyjamas, eating M&Ms and drinking scads of coffee while turning her formative experiences of wallowing in teenaged crushes and romantic movies into creating love stories of her own.
The fact that she is now able to spend her spare time Googling pictures of handsome guys for research purposes is merely a bonus!
Ally's Post:
Fifty books. Fifty books. I am in utter awe of such an achievement. Especially when I can’t quite believe that my current release is my tenth.
Ten! I can’t have possibly written ten books, can I? Did Kate really say fifty?
Anyhoo, moving on… I’m one of the lucky ones who has not only been able to get to know Kate through the web, through her constant encouragement of new authors at eHarlequin and doing so much for us over at the Pink Heart Society blogazine, but I shared a taxi with her once.
Her and the BM. Beat that!
It was my second ever Romance Writers of Australia conference, only a few short months after I had sold my first Harlequin Romance. Kate and her hubby were in town as special guests, and we all met up at the Harlequin Authors lunch; always a posh do at a lovely restaurant overlooking the water. Think dressing up, champagne, laughter, catching up with friends you only get to see once a year, and lots of industry gossip.
Needless to say I was a tad overwhelmed being included in such a stratospheric bunch. Anne McAllister, Marion Lennox, Helen Bianchin, Emma Darcy. All there. All clapping and whistling madly as I received a crazy huge bunch of flowers as congrats on selling my first book
.After a blur of a lunch we all headed back from the gorgeous restaurant to the conference hotel and when the time came, Kate, the BM, my flowers and I managed to squeeze into the back of a cab.
What I remember most about Kate was her generosity. She was so encouraging, so excited, so lovely, so smiley. She made the excitement factor of that sale, those flowers, and a career to come feel like something very real and very possible.
And the next day she showed a room full of us a larger than life-sized picture of Hugh Jackman in a towel… Yep, I was actually there at the unveiling.
And what a moment!Thanks Kate! For the encouragement. The creative excellence. And Hugh topless.Here’s to another fifty!Love Ally
GIVEAWAY QUESTION – Okay, now I’m looking for the perfect man on whom to base my next Harlequin Romance hero. Hugh Jackman in a towel aside, which actor, of any era, do you think is the epitome of the charming, tall, dark, handsome stranger?
My fave answer wins a signed copy of Getting Down to Business, my first Modern Extra Sensual novel, not yet released in North America! And if I’m impressed enough, may even get their man a guest appearance in a Harlequin Romance novel!
PS from Kate:
- What the heck - any excuse . . . . .


Annie West said...

Ally, it's lovely to see you here. I remember that conference so vividly - I was near the front of the audience when Hugh was unveiled. However, I wasn't at the Harlequin lunch - a little before my time. It sounds like enormous fun!

In answer to your question, the word 'charming' inevitably brought to mind Cary Grant. He really made the role of tall, dark, handsome charmer his own.

Congratulations on your 10th book. It may not be loo long before you're emulating Kate and having a 50th blog party!


Jenny Haddon said...

Hi Ally

Stewart Granger in the 'Prisoner of Zenda'. Charming, level headed, heroic, witty and doomed in love, too.

Gosh, those were the days!

juliemt said...

Richard Armitage from North and South. Brooding, dark, compelling, smouldering and absolutely irresistible.

Kate Hewitt said...

Jeremy Northam in anything. It doesn't get much better for me than him :) --especially in Enigma or The Winslow Boy.

Kate H.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ally

Sean Bean in the early Sharpe series. That green Rifle Brigade uniform sure does flatter a man like him. And that character is fabulous: tough, resourceful, courageous, and very sexy with it.

Mind you, I could be sold on Juliemt's Richard Armitage, too. As Guy of Gisbourne, in Robin Hood, he steals the show. Smouldering to the point of going on fire.


Anne McAllister said...

All of these guys are great, but I'd have to go with Robert Fuller who brought Jess Harper to life (and who lingers in my mind 40 odd years -- yikes! -- after the fact. Not to mention that I ogled before I googled and it isn't only the looks, it's The Voice and the angst and the moral dilemmas and Honor and Being True to Oneself and rescuing people in distress and getting shot and thus needing The Care And Love Of A Good Woman (me). That he also looked great in a towel goes without mentioning.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Ally! Congratulations on your tenth book! That seems a lot to me. I can hardly believe I've got a second one coming out!

Had to laugh. Read your post and dove in to rave about the fabulous Richard Armitage. And found I was definitely among friends (well, unless we were all fighting over Richard). That kiss scene from North and South gave me goosebumps.

Does that win me a book? ;-)

ilona said...

Sean Connery as Bond - that voice and the rugged good looks always made me weak at the knees :)

YvonneLindsay said...

Ally, my pick would be Christian Bonello. I think he's a current Guess watches model? Seriously delicious. No idea what he sounds like or whether or not he has the morals of a saint or an alley cat but the man sure is easy on the eye! Of course, the beauty of writing these guys is you can make them as charming, or otherwise, as you like!

Cherie J said...

I think Pierce Brosnan has charm and sophistication. Although Hugh Jacman sounds like a winner to me as well. :-)

jennybrat said...

Christian Bale. He looks so cool in Equilibrium.

lidia said...

Hi there Ally!

I am going into the past. I think that Tyrone Power and Gregory Peck would make fabulous heroes.

Now for one that is alive, I think George Clooney. To me he is not necessarily the best looking guy around, but there is just something about him. He has this "naughty" look in his eyes, yet can be a perfect gentleman.

Someone already mentioned Pierce Bronson and I agree with that choice.

Ally Blake said...

Hey Annie! Wasn't that a memorable moment. I feel so lucky to have been there right back at the beginning ;).

Jenny, Stewart Granger is a great choice. Now we add Annie's Cary Grant, Ilona's Sean Connery, Lidia's Tyrone Power and Gregory Peck... I am thinking going back in time a bit is my answer.

Kate, believe it or not, Jeremy Northam was the inspiration behind the book I am giving away as my prize!!! I adore him in "The Winslow Boy". Check out his commentary on the DVD if you can. Delightful.

Richard Armitage. Seriously, you lot must get onto Natasha Oakley who would talk about him forever and a day if she could. Ana, I haven't seen North and South (ducking so I don't get shot). One Fiona Lowe did promise to lend it to me, must get onto her!!!

Anne: you and Jess Harper. That is a love affair for the ages ;).

Yvonne, you sent me googling, my sweet ;). I like very much!

Jennybrat: Christian Bale is my all time favourite ever. I've used him as hero inspiration twice. Do you think I can stretch it to a third? Hmmm....

Ally Blake said...

You guys have seriously given me some fantabulous choices!

Especially since a small germ of an idea came to me last night and I have cast my heroine. I am off and away to google some piccies and see just which charming gent might be "the one".

Watch this space!


Virginia said...

I think I am going with George Clooney. There is something about him, I am not quite sure what it is. He has a kind of wicket look to him and kind of sexy.

Liz Fielding said...

Congratulations on # 10, Ally!

I'm probably the last person in the world to have discovered Alexander Siddig -- I didn't watch the Star Trek thing, or the medical thing, but I just caught him in Syriana and ... wow.

And actually, I thought George, overweight and seedy, was pretty damn fine in that too.

But Alexander was just ... heroic. Dark, handsome, serious, honourable. So if I get to choose, I'll take him, please. :)

Minna said...

David Boreanaz. He's great both as Angel and as agent Booth.

Jan Jones said...

Does the fact that no-one has mentioned Viggo Mortenson mean I can have him all for my own?

Pretty please?

2paw said...

Dear Ally, I think it should be David Tennant. He is charm personified: that Scottish accent, that smile, and he is so nice. I know nice seems such a terrible cliche, but he was absolutely charming and devestatingly handsome on Parky last week. He made me sigh so much, I think his name is David Tennant, Sigh!! And after all, he was Casanova too, and the excitingly bespectacled, all-singing police detective in Blackpool. I have a bit of a thing for men in glasses, and he wears glasses when he is The Doctor as well!!!

Monica said...

Some great choices already listed but personally, I'd go for David Boreanaz as Special Agent Booth in Bones. I didn't get the whole DB thing during Buffy but I get it now!

Ally Blake said...

Mmm, I'm getting ideas. Big juicy ones! Kate, sorry to say but I'm coming back here for every book.

Liz, I knew who you meant once I saw his piccie. He was quite light in Star Trek but I've seen him in things since and he's been far more imposing and fabulous.

Jan, Viggo, eh? Entirely a possibility. That voice huh?

And a couple of votes for David Boreanz. I was always a Spkie girl myself, but he's very cute and very charming in Bones.

I've googled all sorts of lovely new hero types, which is fantastic. The old ones who've been hanging around in my computer, lovely though they are, were getting a bit stale.

Fresh blood!

Now to pick a winner...


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Anni West. When I think tall, dark charming hero from the past the first name that pops in mind is Cary Grant.

Okay, second choice would be Sean Bean. I LOVE the Sharpe series. It's one of my all time favorite series.

And thanks for the pic of Hugh Jackman in a towel. ;-)

Samantha Storm

ChristyJan said...

I would have to go with Sean Connery and Hugh Jackman too.
And how about Colin Farell, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, and Julian McMahon

Dena said...

Hi Ally,
Eddie Cibrian is Gorgeous and if you don't know who he is you need to look him up and feast on his handsome face,he has a great body too,yummy.


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