Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Making Headlines VBT

Blurb:
Working as a TV reporter has its challenges, but when Rachael Bentley decides to aim high and become a newsreader, she faces a whole new minefield of explosive scenarios.

Rachel's path sees her pitched against egos in the newsroom, office politics and corrupt politicians, not to mention rampant sexism, and a mystery stalker. Juggling a messy personal life doesn't help, nor does the emotional impact of reporting on life's tragedies and when it all takes a toll and Rachel starts partying too hard, she finds herself making the headlines instead of reading them.

Will she survive a world where dreams are shattered daily and will she find the man who can help her keep her soul?


Excerpt:
‘Then whack! He slams that cricket bat smack down on your desk, missing your hand by a whisker!’ Julia slapped her hands under Rachel’s chin.

Rachel jumped, vibrations ringing in her ears. ‘And this is the man you think could be our new boss?’ she said, spinning her chair around to switch on her computer. As she reached for a notebook a growing unease began to fester. Her fellow reporter had an uncanny knack of being spot-on with rumours.

‘Yep,’ grinned Julia, leaning back in her chair. ‘That’s Helmut Becker for you. Bit of a nut job, but they say he gets results. And it is all about the ratings after all.’

Beyond their desks the usual pandemonium reigned. Early-morning rush hour — TV monitors blaring, phones ringing and people shouting, and Rachel didn’t want the glue that held it together leaving. She stared towards the news director’s office. ‘I wish I could change Tony’s mind.’ It was like the plates beneath her feet were shifting. Too much change, too soon.

‘Fat chance. The media release is already out. And stop looking like that. Anyone’d think you had a boss-crush.’

Rachel turned back to Julia. ‘Don’t be ridiculous. I’m just sad he’s leaving. I mean, he gave me my big break and has always been so supportive. Are you sure this Helmut character is taking over?’

‘That’s the word on the office grapevine. It’s a hundred per cent gossip guaranteed.’

‘Damn. Just when I thought I had a career plan mapped out, a bat-wielding crazy guy comes along …’ She paused as a striking man with shoulder-length dirty-blond hair strode past their desks towards the edit suites at the back of the newsroom.

‘And don’t get hooked on him either.’ Julia rolled her eyes. ‘That’s the new head editor, Mitch. Really rates himself, and hates working with juniors, so steer clear.’

‘You crack me up,’ said Rachel, shaking her head. ‘You know I’m taken.’ She turned back to her computer, inhaling deeply. The editor had left a scent in his wake and it wasn’t aftershave. It was like he’d just shaken the surf from his hair after riding a wave into work. An absurd thought. Who’d go surfing in the middle of autumn? She snuck another look as he walked away, taking in his strong physique. As if feeling her eyes graze the back of his neck, he turned, giving a lopsided grin as he caught her out.

Embarrassed, she smiled back stupidly and sucked in her breath. Damn, he was good looking. She wondered what he was doing at work so early. Surely as head editor he could take his pick of the shifts and leave the early stints for the juniors? She shook her head. She had to stop this. No flirting. That’s what had landed her in enough trouble already.



TO HAVE AND TO HOLD – Or not?

Writing a book is a bit like a pregnancy. Often you think about it for quite a while before you get on with it.

Then there’s the long gestation period, the hard work you put in trying to make it the best it can be, and finally, the long-awaited arrival of your carefully nurtured baby. With the actual birth, there can be debate about the best way for this to happen. A c-section or a natural birth? An epidural or go natural?

Likewise with publishing, there are also plenty of options. However, it’s becoming more difficult to have a book produced in hard copy – REAL PAPER –  with publishers unwilling to take risks on untested authors.

With the eBook business booming, it would seem more and more established publishing houses are moving with the times and looking to the internet for success. Whether you like the book or not, E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey made it’s incredible leap to the top of global best-seller lists – selling more than 125 million copies worldwide – starting off life as an eBook.

Of course authors have choices. If you can’t find a publisher, you can always opt to self-publish – whether it be hard-copy or online. For myself, while I’d love a hard-copy version of my own book MAKING HEADLINES – to have and to hold – it seems for the moment, I’m going to be marching forth into the world as a new author – waving the PLATFORM PILGRIM flag.

(Thanks to my ever-encouraging writer friend Lisa Bigelow for coming up with that innovative tagline!)

Yes, thanks to Harper Collins Publishing, I am about to become a Platform Pilgrim. My eBook will be launched this Thursday, February 4. And that’s because I would much prefer my book be given the tick of approval from a recognised publisher that has a wonderful heritage as Australia’s oldest and one of the most respected companies in the business, than do this on my own.

Sure, in the long run I’d love nothing more than to have a REAL book in my hands – but for the moment, I still consider my eBook to be an achievement of which to be proud.

My biggest dilemma with becoming a Platform Pilgrim was deciding whether to host a book launch or not. Would people think it was over-the-top and silly – given they couldn’t leave with a signed copy of the tome itself?

In the end, after much debate with Fletch (mu husband) and friends, I have decided to go ahead and have a party. After all, it’s the end of a VERY long and arduous road and I think I deserve to celebrate my baby’s birth.

Harper Collins have also kindly agreed to provide ‘Book Samplers’ on the night of the launch, so guests WILL leave with a couple of chapters in a small printed mini-book, as a taste of what’s to come in the novel. So yes, there will be REAL PAPER given out on the night.

It’s taken many years AND tears to finish MAKING HEADLINES and I am so delighted and relieved that it is finally making its way into the world. All up, it’s more than eight years since I started thinking about this project. Now that’s one helluva long pregnancy.

Bring on the champagne!


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Author Bio and Links:
JENNIFER HANSEN is best known to TV audiences as the former co-host of Channel Ten’s 5pm news. These days Jennifer works in radio as part of Smooth FM’s breakfast show where she reads the news and chats with Mike Perso about all things Melbourne. In between media gigs, Jennifer went back to ‘school’ - taking up the ‘Professional Writing and Editing’ course at RMIT. That has helped her complete her first novel and two screenplays. Occasionally she remembers to look after her family - including husband Neighbours actor Alan Fletcher (aka Dr Karl Kennedy) and their two children, Veronica and Tom.

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