Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Writers' Wednesday - Carol Marinelli

The hidden truth behind todays blog is never to agree to write a continuity series which also features Natasha in it. She's finally twisted Carol Marinelli's arm long enough and hard enough to come over here and talk about the POWER OF PICTURES....

Welcome to the world of blogging, Carol!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year!!! One of my many resolutions is to embrace cyber land instead of being terrified of it – so thanks to the Pink Heart Society for letting me dip my toes here!

Last year (I can’t believe it’s already last year) ten fellow authors and I took some time off from the world and went on a writers retreat.

We rented out a bed and breakfast by the beach and spent a few magical days working, talking, working, talking, working, eating, working .... and err... collaging!

Some of the Retreaters Carol Marinelli, Fiona McArthur, Bronwyn Jameson, Barbara Hannay.

To read more about our retreat and how helpful it was pop over to where the fabulous Anne Gracie talks about our time there.

At the time of the retreat I was working on two linked books with sexy Russian heroes (in fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who, over the past year or so, who had put up with me wittering on about My Russians – I know I was unbearable – but you know what it’s like when a gal’s in love!!) The first of the two was for Modern Romance and is out this month – Expecting His Love Child.

The hero is called Levander Kolovsky. He is dark, brooding, and utterly delicious and from the moment he popped into my head I fell in love.

When we went on the retreat I was close to finishing Levander’s story and about to set to work on the second – a Medical Romance – where the hero is Levander’s brother - Iosef Kolovsky.

One night at the retreat it had been decided that Rita Award winner, Barbara Hannay, would talk to us about collage. For some of the writers there, it was a familiar subject and one they were looking forward to...

We saved up magazines for weeks beforehand and had been told to bring glue and scissors, then, while there we headed to charity shops to stock up our pile. Everyone was really excited – except me!!!!!!! Oh, I was too polite to say anything - but I just wanted to GET BACK TO MY RUSSIANS - and an evening sitting cutting out pictures and sticking it on paper seemed childish in the extreme for me – how was that possibly going to help?

Well after a couple of lime margaritas I cheered up a touch and we headed to the dining room where all the tables had been set up and Barbara pulled some examples of collages up on her laptop and spoke about it... I was intrigued. Then we set to work – my “camel face” that I pull when I’m less than impressed, was long since gone – I was too busy cutting out pictures, phrases, colours – as Barbara explained, it could be anything that inspired - anything that worked for your story.

I ended up with a huge pile of images, mainly, I confess, of gorgeous men, but there were beautiful women too - one image, for me, really captured Millie my heroine walking home late, the night they first met....

Here’s a peek inside my brain! Expecting His Love Child - Collage:

David Beckham wasn’t my idea of a Russian hero, but, he is so beautiful in the image on my collage, his lovely eyelashes, and hands behind his head... well that inspires doesn’t it, Barbara?

And Wentworth Miller with his perfect features... can I have him too please? Oh, then there were the perfume bottles and lipsticks and a stunning dress, not to mention Brad Pitt’s hand on Angeline Jolie’s thigh and a rather smashing pair of shoulders - to whom they belong I have no idea.. By the time I’d put it all together (and had another lime margarita), my story was so real I could smell it...

Sorry for doubting you, Barbara!

For me, completely unexpectedly, collage worked. It helped bring my story to life, helped me hone in on vague ideas in my mind and basically it just whisked me into my story.

It has worked so well that I now do a collage for each story I write. I take a photo of my collage and use it as a screensaver while I am writing that couples story. There is also the bonus that when proofs arrive, usually when I am deep into my next story, I can bring up the screensaver and, instantly almost, be back where I was a couple of months ago!

One other thing I found interesting was, though the next book is linked (Billionaire Doctor, Ordinary Nurse – Medical Romance) , and though it is Levander’s brother Iosef who is the hero – the two collages are completely different – I’ll show you it when that books out !

For anyone struggling with a story or about to embark on a new one – it’s worth giving collage a go.

Much love
Carol x

'Expecting His Love-Child' is available in UK shops right now and by clicking here. And in North America in Feburary.

Romantic Times Magazine says: 'Levander Kolovsky appears to have it all as the most eligible bachelor in Melbourne. But the outer trappings disguise his brutal childhood. Then he meets aspiring artist Millie Andrews on her last night in Australia. Levander isn't sure why he's drawn to her, but they have a fantasy-filled night together that neither is sure how to deal with. They part on uneasy terms and then Millie learns she's pregnant. As she gets to know Levander, Millie realizes that the man she's secretly in love with has completely turned off his emotions. Where will this all lead? Expecting His Love-Child (4.5) is an extremely poignant love story that runs the gamut of emotions. Carol Marinelli illustrates how life is full of surprises and you never know who will end up being your soul mate.'

Carol has yet to be persuaded to create a website but blogs regularly at She'll also be back here in April.


  1. Ha! Got you! Not painful at all, is it!!!!

    And I'm recently really sold on collages. Now talk to Trish about soundtracks.

  2. Great blog Carol.
    Never tried collage but I know I'm gonna have to sooner or later. Everyone who's ever done it RAVES about it and I know the collage workshop Barb took at the 06 Oz conf was amazingly successful.

    LOL about Becks being your inspiration for your Russian hero. That black and white photo of him is amazing and he looks very KGB/Gorky Park. But then he has to go and open his mouth....

  3. Carol, sensational blog.
    Guess what? I had exactly the same reaction to collage. I remember when Anne Gracie was raving about it and I was thinking, "hmm, doubt that is for me" BUT whenever I scotch an idea outright I immediately get this sense of guilt (yeah, I know, YEARS of therapy could be spent on that) that perhaps I was too hasty and I should give it a try. So I did, straight after the 2006 conference and I have been collaging every since and it really helps!


  4. Yes, Natasha - you got me! Ah, David - sigh - there is a saying (am not sure if it's a UK one or from Oz) - I need a bec's and lie down (i think it was a tablet)that has a whole new meaning now!

    Isn't it amazing how much it *does* help, Fiona - like a nice little ritual to start a book
    Carol Marinelli x

  5. Goodness, never heard of this, but it sounds very interesting — although I'd be a bit worried all my heros would end up being Johnny Depp or George Clooney.

    May have to start scouring my movie mags and Vanity Fairs for other inspiration. Sigh, what a tough job we have.

  6. That's fine, Heidi. Just have to find different mood pictures of Johnny Depp and George Clooney. :)

  7. Hey Carol - it was a Bex. It was a pink powder - phenacitin(?sp)I think - came wrapped in white paper, bit like cigarette paper. My Mum used to take it when I was a kid. Think it was carcinogenic :-)And yes, it certainly does lend new meaning. LOL.

  8. Carol - lovely post! And congrats on the fab RT review!

  9. OK, Carol, you've convinced me to collage. Since I'm beginning a new book (just at the "forming images in my head" stage) I'll give it a go.

    Now, where are my scissors ....

    Great blog!

    Lynne Marshall

  10. Thanks for the congrats Donna. Yes Lynne, get going - I am doing my first Sheikh and it has spared the study carpet from a sand delivery to get me in the mood! Heidi, yum to George Clooney - any day of the week!!!
    Carol Marinellix