Tess Woods September Newsletter
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Tess Woods Newsletter September 2016

Hello lovely people and welcome to the September edition of my newsletter. If you’re one of the people who signed up at my Melbourne launch, thank you and I hope you enjoy the newsletter.
This month’s features:
- Beautiful Messy Love – the sequel to Love at First Flight, contract signed and a release day set.
- Sharing the Dignity charity gets a new writer - me!
- Book club news – I’m now visiting book clubs in person and via Skype. Book me to come to your next book club evening!
- Love at First Flight upcoming ‘in person’ events – come and meet me!
- Lizzie Reaches the Rainbow up for pre-order – my children’s book is about to be released and you can order a special edition hardback signed copy!
- Love at First Flight September Book Tour highlights
September Newsletter Subscriber Winner – Oxfam Fair Trade Stone Angel and Organic Chocolate.
- Marketing Tip – How to make your author newsletter mail-out a hit.
- Authors a la carte – Rowena Wiseman’s A Clockwork Orange Balls
- Book review – Husband Hunters by Genevieve Gannon
- Quiz – Who is your ideal man?
September was another big month for me, but as I sit to write this now, it’s school holidays and my promotional tour for Love at First Flight is over so things are finally slowing down.
We’re heading away tomorrow down the south west coast to one of our favourite places, Preston Beach, for a week of no internet – bliss! Last time we went away we all got really sick with the flu, so fingers crossed for a happier and healthier experience this time.
I have two big bits of exciting news this month. Firstly, I signed my contract with HarperCollins Australia for the release of the sequel to Love at First Flight called Beautiful Messy Love. I LOVE this book so I’m over the moon that HarperCollins did too and I can’t wait until you get to read it when it’s released on August 1st 2017. With the contract signed, we are heading straight into the editing phase now.
And my second bit of exciting news is that I’ve become a new ambassador for an amazing charity close to my heart called Share the Dignity. The wonderful founder of the charity, Rochelle Courtenay, was motivated to take action to help women and children affected by homelessness and domestic violence. Share the Dignity needed a writer to write media releases, appeal letters and Facebook posts for their various projects and I’ve come on board because homelessness is a cause I’m passionate about. Many of you know I founded my own charity group, Meals by Mums, that’s been going since 2013, cooking nutritious dinners for the homeless that are individually frozen and left at drop-in centres so for me, joining Share the Dignity, was a natural extension of my passion for social justice. I’ve already done lots of work this month for Share the Dignity in the lead up to us bringing the first ‘Dignity Vending Machines’ to Australia in October - where women and girls can access free tampons and pads when they otherwise couldn’t afford them. I would love you to support this truly fantastic charity (where none of the members are paid, we are all volunteers) by liking our Facebook page so you can be kept up-to-date of the amazing new projects that will be undertaken!
Here’s the link to the Facebook Page-
Now that my book tour has come to an official end (although I will continue to do library talks around Perth for the next few months), I want to say a huge thank you to anyone who was a part of it in any way. It’s been a truly phenomenal experience.
My gorgeous talented son made this little video for me with all the highlights of the book tour and all the amazing ‘shelfies’ you guys sent me. So lucky to have the one and only Sydnee Carter lend her voice to the video too. So click on the pretty photo here (sent to me from New York by the beautiful Engy Neville), turn up the volume and take a look - it’s so awesome!
Celebrating Love at First Flight print release
Enjoy the newsletter and I hope you all have a great October. If you’re on school holidays, be safe and have fun and I’ll be back with my next newsletter at Halloween!
Tess x.
Book Club Visits:
Do you want me at your next book club get together?:)

If you live in the Perth metro area, I'd be happy to pop in for a chat at your book club and to sign your books so long as everyone in your book club has bought a copy of Love at First Flight.

Email me at or send me a message at Tess Woods Author on Facebook and we can sort out an evening around my children's six billion after school activities ;)

If your book club is interstate or overseas I'm happy to schedule in a chat via Skype, FaceTime or Messenger video chat.

I look forward to catching up with you soon!

Up-coming in person events for October:

If you live south of the river in Perth, I'm heading your way to talk about my journey to publication, answer your questions and sign copies of Love at First Flight (which will be available for sale at each event).

Cannington Library: Thursday October 13th 10am – 11am.

This is a free event but you need to book your tickets by calling the library on 9229 9540 or by booking on this link:

Belmont Library: Thursday October 27th 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm.

Again this is a free event but you need to book by calling the library on 9477 7150 or by booking on this link:

Looking forward to meeting more of you at these events! If you know people who would be interested in attending who live close to these libraries, please pass on the details to them.
My children are releasing a children's book!
Here's the cover and pre-order link:

I'm very excited to share with you all the gorgeous cover of the book "Lizzie Reaches the Rainbow" that my daughter, Lara, wrote last year as a twelve-year-old and that my son, Tom, graphically illustrated based on Lara's sketches. And it's now up for pre-order!
All pre-orders will receive a special hardcover edition signed by Lara and Tom! Pre-orders for this special edition are available worldwide right here by clicking this link:

Once Lizzie Reaches the Rainbow is released on November 1st, it will also come in a soft cover edition and will be available at selected bookshops as well as online retailers such as Booktopia and Amazon. But if you want the special edition autographed hardback copy you need to pre-order with the above link.

This sweet and vibrant story, aimed at four to six-year-olds, is about a little girl who uses her imagination to find peace and joy whenever things get tough in real life.

Lara and Tom, together with their wonderful Australian publisher 
Serenity Press are donating $2 from the sale of every book to Starz Dance at Dance etc. Lara is both a dancer and an assistant teacher at Dance etc, under the guidance of the amazing Kate Buchan who created and ran the Starz programme with her own private funds and no sponsorship for many years. 

Starz Dance is a wonderful initiative that gives children and teenagers with special needs the opportunity to shine with specialist dance teachers and occupational therapists designing individual dance programmes for them. I'm a proud mama that my children wanted to share their earnings with other children and our family is also grateful to the generous Serenity Press for jumping on board and opening their hearts to Starz Dance too.

As well as the Starz Dance connection, Lizzie Reaches the Rainbow is special in another way too because it's launching the Serenity Press schools initiative of the KiddyInks Programme for "kids writing for kids". 

Next year the KiddyInks programme is being rolled out to primary schools across Australia to nurture and inspire children to write and illustrate. School children between Year 3 and Year 6 will have the opportunity to compete in both writing and illustrating categories with a winner in each category being published by Serenity Press just like Lara and Tom! If you know teachers who would be interested in registering their school for the programme please let them know. I think it's an amazing opportunity! Here's where educators can find out more about the KiddyInks initiative:

Thanks to everyone who orders the book supporting the Serenity Press' KiddyInks Programme nurturing young local talent like Lara and Tom and thank you also for supporting the Starz Dance Programme. The publication of this very special book is an example of community spirit at its best!
September Book Tour highlights and News:

Tuesday 6th September - Melbourne Launch.

This was such a special night in my old hometown at Williamstown Library. I was surrounded by family, friends, readers and writers and it was just perfect!

My beautiful and brilliant publisher Mary Rennie flew down from Sydney just to be there for me and my equally beautiful and brilliant literary agent Jacinta di Mase joined us for pre-launch drinks with my gorgeous author friend Sunni Overend before we all went to the launch together.

And that’s where my gorgeous and super talented friend Alli Sinclair was the most warm, natural and wonderful MC for the event.

The lovely ladies from 
Book and Paper Williamstown  were the booksellers on the night (and did a roaring trade!)

And what I had imagined would be a few quiet drinks at the pub with friends after the launch was anything but when my very naughty high school friends gave me the biggest surprise in my whole life (unplanned babies notwithstanding!) with a massive after launch party at the beautifully Love at First Flight themed decked out Prince Albert Hotel.
Melbourne Bookstore Visits 5th-7th September

I had loads of fun zipping around Melbourne independent bookshops including
Dymocks MelbourneAvenue Bookstore, and Readings with the divine Michelle Bansen, the Melbourne sales manager for HarperCollins. And I also popped in and signed books at both Perth and Melbourne Airports. Booksellers I think are the nicest breed of humans right alongside book bloggers.
Love at First Flight gets a second month at front of store at all Australian airports at WH Smith stores!

I was thrilled to learn that Love at First Flight was on the the Fresh Talent stand on a half-price promotion at the front of WH Smith stores  at all the major airports throughout September after already being featured in August - how lucky am I?
Even though the promotion will be over in October, Love at First Flight is still in stock at almost all the airport bookshops around Australia, so if you're flying anywhere and looking for a copy, you'll be sure to find one at your nearest airport. And if you're going to be at Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide airports any time soon and buying a copy of Love at First Flight from WH Smith, NewsLink, Relay and Watermark stores - odds are your copy will be one that I signed! 
Booktopia Interview:

Thank you to the fabulous Anastasia Hadjidemetri at 
Booktopia who featured me on the website with 10 Terrifying Questions. I particularly liked sharing with Booktopia readers who I think the bravest authors in the world are (question 8 if you’re wondering!). Here’s the link to the interview:…/tess-woods-want-aspiring-wr…/

Live video interview on “Making Time to Write” with Natasha Lester - Author:

This was SO much fun! You may have seen the outtakes on my Facebook page and now here’s the full video (just shy of 20 minutes) of my casual chat in my own home with my very close friend, the amazingly talented author Natasha Lester. If you didn’t get to meet the in-the-flesh me on tour, here’s the next best thing in this link.
KidSpot Feature:

I was stoked with this absolutely hilarious and fabulous feature of Love at First Flight on the very popular site KidSpot. If you're a married mum, this review is going to give you a laugh:
September 21-22nd, HarperCollins Author Day:

I had an absolute ball heading back to Melbourne for HarperCollins Author Day.  It was a wonderful opportunity to learn from industry professionals and spend time with our gorgeous team and the added bonus of my world beating agent Jacinta di Mase being there too! The night before Author Day I enjoyed a fun night out with HarperCollins authors at Madame Brussels rooftop bar (a far cry from my suburban school mum existence in Perth!)
September Newsletter subscriber winner:

Congratulations to Jessy Joseph, who has won this month’s subscriber member prize. Winners are drawn each month from the subscriber email list. The prize is a beautiful hand crafted stone praying angel and a block of organic chocolate from Oxfam’s Fair Trade shop. Check your inbox for my email coming to you today lovely Jessy!
Good luck everyone for next month’s subscriber member prize draw. I’ll announce what next month’s prize will be on my Facebook author page

Writing/Marketing Tip:

How to make your author newsletter mail-out a hit.

Asking for advice about how to have a successful newsletter is one of the most common emails I receive. Here’s how I keep growing my list and why I have such a high open rate. Hope you find the article helpful and that it encourages you to start your own newsletter. Click on this link for the article:
Authors A La Carte!
Rowena Wiseman’s A Clockwork Orange Balls:

Healthy never tasted this good! Give the insanely talented Rowena's gluten free treats (that she invented) a go and you may just become addicted to them!

Rowena is one of my gorgeous 
HarperCollins stable mates and aside from being an author, she's an incredibly talented photographer, a fashionista, a blogger, a curator, you name it - creativity simply pours out of this chick, including when it comes to food. Just look at her food styling in this photo!

Plus she's absolutely beautiful inside and out and I loved spending time with her on a night out in Melbourne last week. <3

Check out Rowena's delicious recipe and find out about the health scare that led her to trial it in the link here and enjoy xx…

Book Review: Husband Hunters: Genevieve Gannon

Gen Gannon is a HarperCollins author and one of the very first authors I connected with when I first came on the scene. She took me under her wing and shared what she knew and all her contacts with me and my instant love for her developed! Then I read her book and I LOVED it! I’m a fussy chick-lit reader – I often don’t finish chick-lit books if I find them too formulaic but not this one!

Gen and I have become great friends over the last couple of years and earlier this month we shared an evening just the two of us, curled up on couches at the Park Hyatt bar in Melbourne having cocktails and chatting until it was way past bedtime. Gen is a warm, sweet, caring person and a very, very talented author. I hope you enjoy my feature on Gen and her fabulous Husband Hunters. And keep your eye on my Facebook page in a couple of weeks because I have five digital copies of Husband Hunters to give away!

Clementine, a psychologist specialising in couples counselling, is reeling from the discovery that her boyfriend is married. Annabel, an ex-model, only seems to attract men who want her as a trophy. Daniela, a civil engineer, is stuck in the friendzone.

Abandoning the romantic notions of true love that haven't worked out for them, the three decide to use their considerable professional skills to find a partner. This isn't about hearts and flowers; it's about being practical.

Warm and witty, Husband Hunters is about what happens when you try to engineer love.
My review:
Loved it! From page one I was drawn into Genevieve Gannon's fresh and funny narrative voice. Loved all three of the used and abused husband hunters - Clem, Annabel and Daniela who all won their way into my heart. This is chick lit at its very very best - it's warm, wise, sentimental, romantic, trending, gives a great social commentary and above all is laugh-out-loud funny. Lots of big ticks from me! I'm a lover of chick lit but sometimes I find this genre just a little too silly and so light the book could fly away. Not here though, there's enough sentiment to keep you hooked in amongst all the laughs and mishaps. One of the most enjoyable books I have read all year (and I have read many!). Bravo.
About Genevieve:

Genevieve Gannon is a Melbourne-based journalist and author. She wrote stories for music and fashion street press magazines while at university before moving to Canberra to do a journalism cadetship. In 2011 she joined the national news wire, Australian Associated Press, where she covered crime, politics and entertainment. Her work has appeared in most major Australian newspapers including The Age, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph. She currently lives in Melbourne where she is a court reporter. At night she writes romantic comedies.
You can connect with Gen on Facebook
and Twitter
An interview with Genevieve Gannon:
Can you tell us briefly about your book? 
Husband Hunters is a rom-com about three successful, single friends who reunite at a wedding where they hatch a plan to use their professional skills to find husbands. It sounds retrograde, but I wanted to twist the chick-lit formula of the strong independent lady who ostensibly doesn't need a man but who somehow spends the entire book in a flap over a guy. These women start out saying they would like to find love but as their scheme to snare a husband unravels they learn that perhaps pinning their happiness on matrimony was a bad idea. 
Which Hollywood stars would you like to see play the lead roles in the movie version of your book? 
I did a photo gallery of this recently! I thought Amy Adams would do a great job as the cynical, red-haired psychologist Clementine Crosley. Clem specialises in couples counselling but finds herself having a crisis on conscience when she learns her boyfriend is married. January Jones would be perfect for Annabel Summers, the blonde bombshell with brains who is single after leaving her over-bearing, investment banker boyfriend because he didn't support her business. And for the role of Daniella DeLuca I would cast Cristin Milioti. Dani is an Italian engineer whose mother flies into fits of hysteria at the site of her masculine work clothes. Cristin Milioti not only looks perfect to play petite Daniella, but her warmth and sense of humour is a match for the character.
Where is the novel set and why did you choose to set it there?
The novel is set in Sydney, which is where I was living when I wrote it. I think ostentatious Sydney is the perfect backdrop to the ladies' mad-cap scheme. 
Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
There are a few scenes that I really love in particular any scene Mirabella appears in. She's sort of the villain of the piece - vacuous and superficial and completely OTT. Her wedding (number two) is where the husband hunters reunite, and there are a lot of eccentric wedding guests who were fun characters to write. Each of the women have professional triumphs at one point or another that were fun too. Dani, dressed in her steel-capped boots, faces off with some haughty, sexist executives who run the property development firm that employs her. The juxtaposition of the pampered, fat, old men and Dani, young, scrappy and passionate, was really satisfying to bring to life. Of course there are also a few sexy scenes what were great fun too!
Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination? 
I didn't really use any real-life stories. There were one of two tiny real incidents that I included but that was more as a sly nod to my friends, than to inform the characters' motivations, or inspire their actions. My second book, Chasing Chris Campbell, borrowed heavily on my time in India. The main character, Violet Mason, finds herself in a lot of situations I experienced first-hand. Like getting huge, bulbous burns on the inside of my leg after riding around on a motorbike. But for husband hunters I just let my imgaination run wild.  
Where did the inspiration for this book come from? 
The book was inspired by an interview I did with John Gray, the author of Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus. We were discussing romance, and he said women should be more pragmatic when choosing a mate. What he said made sense in the context of the discussion about unrealistic expectations, but I decided to take this to its extreme and the concept behind Husband Hunters was born. Once I had that, the rest of the story flowed naturally. While there is nothing in the book directly based on real life, the dating history of my friends and my own experience in the romantic trenches definitely inspired some of the things that happen to the husband hunters. 

What song would you pick to go with your book?
Definitely Shake it Out by Florence and the Machine. You can watch the clip here:
How long did it take you to write your book? 
This is the question I'm most commonly asked! It's hard to answer because I started it, scrapped it, went away and did something else, came back to it and started again. After it had been accepted for publication I had to undergo so much rigorous editing that it felt like I was basically writing the book from scratch. I can say the original article I wrote that inspired the book was published in June 2011 and the book was published in December 2014. But over that period there were huge periods of time when I wasn't doing any work on it. In fact, I stopped completely and wrote my second novel, Chasing Chris Campbell, and so was able to sell both of them to my publisher HarperCollins at the same time. Although, to say I wrote Chasing Chris Campbell within that three years is a bit deceptive too. The first time I sat down to write CCC was in 2007 when I was living in Canberra. At that point it was set in Europe - not Asia. 
How did you come up with the title? Did you have alternative titles? 
With Husband Hunters the title was almost the first thing that popped into my mind. I felt like it was the only option for the book. I like it. I think it reflects that characters well. Some people might be a bit embarrassed to brand themselves "husband hunters", but the ladies in my book are confident and unafraid to go after what they want. 
How did you go about researching the settings and scenarios in your book? 
I spent a lot of time in the Melbourne University library searching for books on social psychology. I wanted Clementine to be able to talk convincingly about human behaviour, so I did quite a bit of reading. I wanted to feel confident the few terms I casually dropped into the text were in the right context. For Dani, I relied heavily on my friends. She's an Italian engineer so I asked an architect friend an Italian friend to do a final read-through to ensure my research was accurate. Annabel was a little easier. As a journalist, I feel like I have a working knowledge of how the PR world works. Though, to be perfectly honest, her job probably doesn't really exist. She's sort of an branding consultant blended with a PR exec.  
What are you working on at the moment? 
At the moment I'm about to do another re-through of my third novel. It is about an artist and a lawyer in Melbourne who get married after a whirlwind romance. It follows their first year of marriage which coincides with turbulent times in both their professional lives. That's a bit of a dry description but I don't want to give too much away just yet!
What is the best piece of writing advice you have received? 
I have a mentor who once told me the most important thing to remember when writing fiction is to f**k up your protagonist. It's important your main character faces challenges and obstacles - otherwise, why would people bother reading about them? They'd just go and find another book about someone who is doing something interesting. 
Fun Bit:

Finally, in honour of Gen Gannon and her three girls who are Husband Hunting, why don’t we find out who your ideal man is? I got the suave man – maybe not the first word that springs to mind when I think of my country boy hubby but he does look good in a suit ;) . What about you? Take the test and see.
Love at First Flight is in stores now...
or you can buy it online as a paperback or eBook here:
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Tess Woods- Author · Doubleview · Perth, WA 6018 · Australia

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