Guest Author: Joan Kilby

With a new book out this month, TWO AGAINST THE ODDS, the third in her Summerside series, please welcome fellow Superromance author from Down Under – Joan Kilby …

HUGH JACKMAN IS MY NEW NEIGHBOR!

No, really, he is! Or at least he might be soon. Which is probably why Helen invited me to blog, so she could get to know him, too. J

You see, Jackman was in my town recently looking at a waterfront property for sale. Okay, it’s not right next door to me but it’s walking distance. And he was spotted having coffee at my favorite café!

Swoon.

But there’s a downside. What if I ran into Hugh while picking up a quart of milk at the store and I was wearing my baggy track pants? With my hair all frizzy?

I can’t take the stress. I may have to move.

Seriously, the whole thing got me thinking about story ideas as I toil on a new set of proposals. (Yes, there is a connection. I’m not just name-dropping.) The setting for my recent trilogy, Summerside Stories, is a small Australian seaside town eerily similar to the town where I live.

So I imagined going to my editor with this idea for a new Summerside story. “Hugh Jackman is living next door to the heroine, see…” (I am, of course, conveniently ignoring the fact that Hugh has a much-loved wife and two kids).

“No, Joan,” my editor would undoubtedly say. “Wouldn’t work. It’s not realistic.”

“Why not?” I whine. “Hugh’s a real person. He’s Australian. He has to live somewhere. Why not in Summerside? Why not next door to my heroine?”

Okay, by now Jackman’s wife and kids are getting in the way of my fantasy. I’m not a home wrecker. And of course I can’t write about real people. I might get sued.

But here’s an interesting coincidence. Hugh Jackman’s wife, lovely Aussie actress Deborra-Lee Furness, is 13 years older than Hugh. My heroine in TWO AGAINST THE ODDS, the third book in the Summerside trilogy, is 12 years older than the hero!

When I began writing TWO AGAINST THE ODDS I thought the age difference would be a major obstacle–in the heroine’s mind, not the hero’s–due to her fears about aging faster than him. But as the story progressed I realized that their lives were out of sync in an even more fundamental way. She desperately wants a baby because her biological clock is ticking. He has plans, things he wants to do with his life. By the time he would be ready to settle down, she would be too old to have a baby. The story ended up evolving in an unexpected way, even to me, who thought I had a rock-solid outline. My hero and heroine (and I) had to work really hard to get to a happy ending.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on older woman/younger man relationships, either in real life or in fiction. Do they work long term, or are they doomed to failure? Does love conquer all, including wrinkles and sagging skin? Is it fair that we don’t bat an eye when the man is ten or more years older but we do when the woman is significantly older?

I’m giving away signed books to three lucky winners; either TWO AGAINST THE ODDS or the other books in the Summerside trilogy. Winner’s choice. Just comment for a chance to win. The books, HER GREAT EXPECTATIONS, IN HIS GOOD HANDS, and TWO AGAINST THE ODDS, stand alone although a subplot runs through them. (For more information on the Summerside Stories, go to www.joankilby.com)

Before I go… I had a little fantasy the other day while grocery shopping, of reaching for a melon and hearing the clash of steel as Wolverine’s claws shoot out and a gravely voice says, “Would you like me to slice that for you?”

It could happen. If Hugh Jackman moves to my town.

Since that flurry of excitement a couple of months ago I haven’t heard whether he bought the house he was looking at. But if I see Hugh at the supermarket I’ll keep you posted.

P.S. By all accounts Hugh (42) and Deborrah-Lee (55) are still deeply in love after fifteen years together. That’s what I call a happy ending! Or maybe a beginning…

Joan

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About Helen Brenna

Helen Brenna is the RITA award winning author of romances for Harlequin's Superromance line. Three more books in her popular Mirabelle Island series will be release in July, August and September of 2011. For more information, check out her website at www.helenbrenna.com.
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21 Responses to Guest Author: Joan Kilby

  1. Laney4 says:

    I think it depends on priorities. I am lucky to live with a guy who thinks nothing of the fact that I rarely wear makeup. I figure that men don’t (usually) wear it, so why should I? That being said, if a man’s priority is the way the woman looks, then it is up to the woman if she wants to date that man and maintain that look or not, so to speak. I hope this makes sense.
    My husband can look past my fat/rolls and see the beautiful me, both inside and out. He appreciates the good, the bad, and the ugly. (This works both ways, of course.)
    My husband is also ten years my senior. Before we wed, I made a list of why I wanted to marry him, why I wanted to be married, why I didn’t want to marry him, and why I didn’t want to marry (as I was 21 and we had only dated four months when he proposed). The number of reasons NOT to marry were four times longer than the reasons TO marry, but I realized it was the quality of those reasons that mattered more than the quantity. We celebrate our 30th anniversary this summer and love each other more now. I have been scrapbooking all of our old photo albums recently and am up to 1991 – and every single couple whose marriage we attended (other than those of our family members) up to that time – whether close in age or not – have all divorced – and we attended well over a dozen weddings since 1981! What I guess I am saying is that you can divorce at any age difference or you can enjoy your marriage at any age difference – it is up to the couple how they treat their marriage.

  2. CrystalGB says:

    I am older than my husband and we have been married 8 years. It works for us. 🙂 Your book sounds great.

  3. Minna says:

    I don’t think age difference alone makes or brakes a marriage.

  4. Pam Keener says:

    If there is love, trust, understanding and a mutual need to work at the relationship, I think age has nothing to do with it.
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam

  5. Stonehawk says:

    Its a tradition in my family for women to marry men younger than they are which has happened for awhile. I don’t know if this would happen to me. Still single anyway.

  6. Joan Kilby says:

    Hi Everyone, it’s great to be here. And thanks to Helen and the others for bringing me along as a passenger 🙂

    CrystalGB, congrats to you and your hubby. I love to hear stories like yours.

    Minna, I agree, age alone won’t determine how successful a marriage is. It’s a question of maturity, too.

    Pam Keener, you’ve mentioned necessary ingredients for a lasting relationship regardless of age.

    Stonehawk, interesting family tradition! It’s obviously working for you.

  7. Joan Kilby says:

    Laney4, your man sounds like a real keeper! I draw up lists of pros and cons, too, when I have a life-altering decision to make. Then I always go with my gut feeling. There’s a French saying that goes something like, ‘The heart has reasons that the mind knows nothing of.’ It sounds better in French but you get the gist. It’s that kind of deep down belief and commitment that stand the test of time.

  8. lois greiman says:

    Cute blog, Joan. Thanks for joining us.

  9. Joan Kilby says:

    Thanks for having me here, Lois!

  10. Helen Brenna says:

    Hey, Joan! Thanks for coming today!

    Statistically, women live longer than men. Doesn’t it make a lot of sense for women to get involved with younger men?

    I’d take Hugh. But then I’m sure I’d have to fight half the female population to get him!

  11. Lynn in Texas says:

    I think it depends on the couple and how deeply committed they are to each other. My mother is older than my dad, and they recently celebrated their 60th anniversay!

  12. Hellion says:

    I’m sorry, I read the words “Hugh Jackman” and I sorta blanked out for the rest of the post due to mid-afternoon daydreaming. What was the question?

    Oh, age.

    Well, I don’t know. If it works, it works; if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I think in the long run, it’s not your age that makes or breaks a couple. Common ground, commitment, respect, and laughter matter much more than age. And sex doesn’t hurt either.

  13. Joan Kilby says:

    Hey Helen! Thanks for inviting me! Good point about women living longer and therefore needing a younger guy to stay the distance. 🙂

    Lynn in Texas, congrats to your folks on their anniversary! 60 years is awesome.

    Hellion, I had a photo of Hugh to go with this blog. Maybe it’s just as well it didn’t get posted. We’d all be drooling for the rest of the day instead of working.

    I love that no one thinks age is a barrier to lasting love. I guess older woman/younger man relationships are a bit ‘flavor of the month’ but as portrayed in popular culture the women so often seem to take on the ‘cougar’ persona which I really dislike. It seems so predatory.

  14. Betina says:

    Joan, welcome to the convertible! And what a story! We’re all green with envy and glassy-eyed with daydreams. Wow, imagine seeing Hugh at the supermarket. I loved the image of him extending his wolverine claws and offering to slice your melon. sigh.

    Thanks so much for the great post and for introducing us to your part of the world!

    • Betina says:

      Oh, and another vote for the older woman/younger man romance. . . I’m all for it. Yes, cougar sounds predatory. . . but there are male and female cougars, the way I see it. There are men (of a certain age) who fish for company in much younger age groups. What do we call them? Oh, yeah: dirty old men. I think I’d rather be a cougar.

  15. Joan Kilby says:

    Hi Bettina, you’re right, there are male as well as female cougars and I’m not fond of either. But honest to goodness true love – bring it on.

    Hugh Jackman’s mother-in-law lives in my town already so that’s probably why he’s looking for a house around here. Maybe he’s already bought and it’s being kept hush hush. LOL, there’s no end to the fodder for day dreams.

  16. cindy gerard says:

    Hey Joan
    Welcome to the vert! The book sounds great — so does the possibility of your new neighbor.
    And Wow – i just returned from Sydney and the ARRA conference. There were so many wonderful Aussie authors there … you missed out on a great time!

  17. Joan Kilby says:

    Hi Cindy, I was sorry I didn’t get to ARRA – it would have been fun to meet you! – but I’ve been away most of March, traveling in Malaysia and Cambodia. I heard the conference was great. Glad you enjoyed it.

  18. Joan Kilby says:

    By the way, a review for TWO AGAINST THE ODDS has just gone up today over at Dear Author http://dearauthor.com/

  19. kris says:

    the hugh jackman story sounds like a winner….i’d buy it! 🙂
    i don’t think an older woman/younger man should be a big deal.
    your new book sounds good, definitely going on my wish list.

  20. Helen Brenna says:

    Nice review, Joan!

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