My husband sings with the barbershop chorus, The Sounds of Aloha, http://www.soundsofaloha.org/,
While I am down under, I will stock up on Tim Tams - chocolate covered biscuits (cookies):
I will also look for three historical authors who rock - Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell, and Christine Wells.
Last summer, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Anne Gracie after the RWA National Convention in Washington, DC. She stayed a few extra days in the US with Mary Jo Putney. I joined them for lunch in Baltimore just before I moved to Hawaii. I was star struck by these two members of the Word Wenches, http://www.wordwenches.com/. But they were so warm, generous, and charming. Anne even laughed at a few of my "Lucy" moments as I traveled around Europe in the military. She commented that I was a story teller and encouraged me to write.
News Alert: We have a special guest - Australian actor Alex O'Laughlin, the hot star of Hawaii Five-O! He'll join me for the interview: *
* This is my overactive imagination at work.
Kim: What part of the continent do you live?
Alex: I was born in Canberra, grew up in Sydney, but I now live in Hawaii.
Anne: I live in the southeast corner, in Melbourne, the second biggest city in Australia. It's very civilized, a "foodie" place and currently ranks as the third "most livable city" in the world.
Anna: I live on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, a resort area about an hour north of Brisbane in subtropical Queensland.
Christine: I live in Brisbane, about half way down the east coast of Australia, within an hour's drive to the best beaches in the world. Not that I'm biased or anything!
Kim: If you could showcase one aspect of Australia, what would it be?
Alex: The Romance Writers of Australia, http://www.romanceaustralia.com/. Its members are creative, talented, and beautiful. I am available to be their cover model on future releases.
Anne: The Great Barrier Reef — it's stunning.
Anna: The wildlife. Even in quite built-up areas, the birdlife is amazing.
Christine: I think the Great Barrier Reef is something everyone who comes to Australia should see. Other than that, we have spectacular seafood. Try our Moreton Bay Bugs, which are like mini lobsters but tastier (IMO!) We have beautiful wines, too, so if you like a glass or two, make sure you sample some of ours. Oh, and stock up on Cadbury's chocolate while you're here!
Alex: The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant. I played the husband of the title character, a woman who was among the first of the British convicts sentenced to Australia in the late 1700s. This part garnered two nominations for Best Actor - Australia Film Institute Award in 2005 and Logie in 2006.
Anne: Probably Crocodile Dundee — when it comes on TV repeated for the hundredth time, it still gives me a laugh. As for favorite Australian book, (it's also a movie) I'm fond of My Brilliant Career (Miles Franklin) but my childhood heart was firmly captured by the illustrations from Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the gumnut babies.
Anna: Strictly Ballroom.
Christine: I think it would have to be My Brilliant Career or Picnic at Hanging Rock--both books and movies. They're classics and I think Judy Davis (MBC) is a brilliant actor. For more modern movies, Strictly Ballroom and The Castle.
Alex: I prefer surfing, which is popular in both Australia and Hawaii.
Anne: You've left off Australian Rules football, which is neither rugby nor soccer. It's fast, spectacular and gladiatorial, and in Victoria, the state I live in, it's practically a religion. There is a poem called "Life Cycle" which starts:
When children are born in Victoria
they are wrapped in club-colours, laid in beribboned cots,
having already begun a lifetime's barracking.
[Barracking meaning "rooting for." Rooting in Australia has um, questionable connotations ;) ]
The whole poem is here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081006131310AAwBeZF
Anna: Not really a football fan - sorry!
Christine: I prefer Rugby Union. I grew up going to the matches so I probably understand Rugby better than any other football codes. (This is a game where men tackle each other and pile on top of one another in a heap *without* helmets and protective padding:)
Kim: What is the correct way to eat Tim Tams?
Alex: Any way with you, Kim! **
Anne: There is no correct way. Tim Tams are a delight to be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Some like to do the Tim Tam Slam (drinking coffee or hot chocolate through them like a straw.) Not me. I like them crunchy and cold from the fridge.
Anna: I like to eat the classic Tim Tams (milk chocolate) the classic way - just grabbing a packet and making a pig of myself!
Christine: With a cup of strong, hot coffee. Warning: You can never stop at just one Tim Tam! For an occasional treat, try the Tim Tam slam, but honestly, room temperature Tim Tams are the way to go. Some people like them after they've been refrigerated, though, so the chocolate isn't so gooey.
** Overactive imagination is now in overdrive.
Christine Wells, http://www.christine-wells.com/, Sweetest Little Sin
I will randomly select one commenter to receive one book (thus three winners). To enter the book giveaway,