Christmas Awards 2011

Monday, 9 July 2007

Interview with Helen Ravell

We reviewed Helen's book on here, and thought it a good story, well worth reading.

Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a writer, (I love being able to say that), an English teacher who will defend to the death the validity of romantic fiction, a mother, a wife, a skier and sailor. Oh, and an ex-motorcycle racer and mechanic. I live on the shores of Australia’s largest coastal lake, and really can’t imagine ever being away from the water for long.

What do you write?
I write romantic comedy and romantic suspense, but even there I’ll try to put something in to make you laugh.

Why do you write?
I write because I have a compulsion to know that something I’m doing is making people feel good. I could have tried being a doctor I suppose, but I just can’t get past the pain thing. If anyone’s hurting I don’t want to be there. Also, the truth is, I love making up lies.

What are you writing now?
I’m working on a story, Best Before. It examines one woman’s fight against the way society ignores women when they reach a certain age. (I don’t know what on earth can have prompted that, but the next person who mentions the words 50th birthday DIES) Of course, since I am the author, and therefore all-powerful, the older woman gets the hot young hunk, the fantasy job and is publicly lauded for her everlasting beauty. Did I mention that I LOVE fiction?

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
No frills, no fuss. Nothing that I’m going to mourn if it gets ruined. I never did manage to be the blue-eyed blonde angel my mother wanted. I grew up a tom-boy and it’s still reflected in my clothes. I do lust after boots. Purple ones, red ones, high heel tart ones. I don’t care. I want them all.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
When I was 20 I met a man at a New Year’s Eve party. Everything screamed classic romantic bad-boy. Black leather, hot body, long hair. I was gone. We married four months later, (it took that long to get our parents to agree to sign the papers). My mother says it will never last. Who knows? Maybe she’s right because it hasn’t been long at all yet, only 30 years or so.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
See above. I swear the sight of a man on a motor bike with helmet and leathers still makes me go all weak at the knees in remembrance.

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Mashed potato. So sue me. It is my comfort food extraordinaire. I guess it’s just plain ordinary too.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
I love good comedy, especially Monty Python. It makes me cry that I can almost recite all of The Holy Grail.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I write. I have a full time job and two kids. When am I not working? I do, however, always make time to get in some snow skiing in winter.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
Besides intelligence and a sense of humour, I have a thing for voices. It partially explains my fascination with Alan Rickman. That voice. Yum.

What do you hate about life?
Life, I love. People who make judgements about those who enjoy different aspects of life, I don’t love. If it isn’t actually hurting you, but you don’t like it, look the other way. Let it go. Let people get on with their own lives. Violence and condemnation is never the answer.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
When my children are grown and healthy and happy, that will be my greatest success. In my writing, one day I want to see someone reading one of my books. I’ll ask, “Do you like that?” If they say “Yes”, I’ll be able to say, “I wrote it.” That will feel good.

What are you going to write next?
A note to explain why my sixteen year old son is late with his History assignment I suspect. He was creating a Gothic style manga story instead. I don’t understand it. Where does he get this tendency to sit around writing when he should be doing more serious stuff? Excuse me, I have to go. My daughter just Instant Messaged me from upstairs to inform me that apparently children have been known to starve to death when their mother hasn’t done any grocery shopping for days.

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