Monday, June 04, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Authors of Sister Pact, Ali Ahearn & Ros Baxter

I read SISTER PACT earlier this year and totally enjoyed the escape, I loved Joni and Frankie and adored Des the ferret. I'm thrilled to have Ali and Ros on my blog and hope  everyone enjoys the interview as much as I did ... this has been one of my favourites. Thanks girls for taking the time to answer my questions and I look forward to reading more about Joni & Frankie :)

1. Can you give readers a description of Sister Pact?

Two very different sisters, estranged for seven years, forced to play nice on a Survivor-style reality TV show to inherit an obscene amount of money from their grandmother’s will. There’s jungle. There are humiliating challenges. There’s a ferret called Des.

And a little bit of romance along the way.

Sister Pact is IN HER SHOES meets DEAD FAMOUS.  It will appeal to all women who love to laugh and cry in the same book, and who realise that only those who know you well can hurt you like you never imagined.  And to everyone who likes a really happy ending.

2. Why did Aussie sisters choose to write about British sisters in an Australian setting?

We knew we wanted our characters to be tried and tested by the challenges which would be thrown at them.  We had both lived and worked in the UK, and felt we had some understanding of life for young British women. Mostly, we liked the inherent comedic value in throwing some Brit chicks onto a jungle island at the other end of the earth, and also liked the possibility of broadening the appeal of the story beyond an Australian audience.

3. I loved the characters, Joni’s irreverent sense of humour and potty mouth and uptight Frankie’s determination. Any similarities to your own personalities?

Again, we knew we wanted our characters to be different; to have unique perspectives and quirks.  In many ways, this was easy for us because in many ways we are different.  As our joint bio says:

Ali and Ros are sisters who are as close as they are different. Ali married the first boy she ever loved. Ros tried to remember the name of hers the other day and gave up and had a chocolate bar instead. Ali thinks everything will work out. Ros thinks everything will get found out. But for all their differences, they are fiercely close and desperately proud of each other. Nothing feels real until it has been spoken aloud to the other. They both love to talk, laugh and write preferably over a bottle of bubbly and something coated in chocolate.

But it’s definitely not as simple as “Ros is Joni and Ali is Frances”.  Joni has green hair, a suspect love life and disastrous career prospects, while Ros has a PhD in law and is about to give birth to her fourth child with her gorgeous husband.  Similarly, Frances shares with Ali that they both married their childhood sweethearts, but it didn’t take a swim across a shark-infested ocean to teach Ali to swear!

For all that we are different, we also share so much in common.  Our mother, who passed away recently, was a very strong influence in both of our lives.  She instilled in us the same sense of humour, family and justice.    She was so passionate and loved books, reading and writing.  She was also a real citizen of the world, and cared about so many causes.  So much of who we are and what we believe in is a legacy of this remarkable woman.

hugs to you both

4. Any sisterly bickering while writing? How did you decide who does what? Any challenges?

The writing process consisted of joint plotting and planning (over some very nice bubbly as I recall) and then each individually writing alternating point-of-view chapters.  We came together to calibrate from time to time; had lots of tune-up discussions and edited jointly and thoroughly at the end.

Our beloved mother was so worried we would end up at loggerheads, but in reality the whole process was very smooth.  We thoroughly enjoyed reading each other’s chapters as they would whizz into our in-boxes.  It was like Forrest Gump’s “box of chocolates” - even though we knew the plot you truly never knew what you were going to get!  And we both loved how (just like women’s conversations) the plot took some great and unexpected tangents, which turned out to be some of the best bits of the story.

5. What’s next on the table for Ali? Ros?

Ali – We’ve just completed the second Frances and Joni story where Frances is kidnapped by a cult and Joni comes to the rescue. I’m working on my next Medical and RIVA/Presents for Harlequin and I’m also very excited to be diversifying some more and working on a romance for Entangled Publishing which is scheduled for an August release.

Ros – Maternity leave from my day job – baby number four.  And working on some revisions on a single title manuscript that I’ve had some great feedback on from our publisher.

sounds great, do you have a release date for Frankie and Joni's next installment? 

6. What are you reading now?

Ali – oh dear, how I so wish I had time to read more!
Hmm, let me see…the last big book I read was Carol Marinelli’s Putting Alice back Together – loved it, loved it! I also snuck in the latest Kelly Hunter the other day when I should have been writing because I made the fatal area of reading the first page and that girl always sucks me in at the first line! I have Sarah Mayberry’s self pubbed book on my iPad waiting [im] patiently for me to get to and I really want to read Rachael Johns, Jilted which also sits on my iPad!

Ros – I am a literary omnivore – read and love almost anything.  Currently reading Deadlocked, the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel by Charlaine Harris.  I love this woman, for pure indulgent escapism and making me break my rule about vampire books/films! AND
The Slap, which I have been meaning to get to for ages, and am really enjoying, albeit in a less escapist, indulgent kind of way.

Ali – read The Slap at the beginning of the year. Amazing book!

7. If you could be dropped into any book as a character, who would you be and why?

Ali –  any of Jennifer Crusie’s books because I always feel like her community of characters could easily be my friends and because she gives good hero.

Ros – Definitely Sookie, because as shallow as it is, she has gotten to make out with three of the hottest men (ok, vampires and werewolves) I’ve ever read.  Hey… I’ve got (almost) four kids.  I need to get my thrills somewhere.

great taste girls! and congrats Ros on (almost) number four :)

8. 3 must have items if you were stranded on a tropical island

Ali – iPad. Supply of toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. My sister.

Ros – A Kindle with wi-fi access. Frances’ man Nick who can shear a sheep, slay a dragon and (most importantly) erect a shelter. My sister.

9. Describe yourself in 3 words

Ali – Pragmatic.  Kind. A plodder.

Ros – Insane (gotta be a little to have four kids), Dogged (don’t mess with me), Blessed.

10. Which 5 people would you invite to a dinner party and why?

Ali -
My mother - so I could see her one last time and she just dazzled in any crowd
Michelle Obama - amazingly high achiever, a true powerhouse in her own right
Margaret Whitlam - the stories she could tell
Nancy Wake - a true heroine, inspiring, courageous
Prince Harry - do I need to explain why?

Ros -
My mother – so she could get her copy of the book (she would have been so cross about missing out) and so I could smell her and ask her all the things I forgot to
Nelson Mandela – because I want to know how to get me some of that Zen (27 years on Robben Island and he still came out seeking peace – I hold grudges about parking tickets!)
The Super Nanny – so I could ask her if she ever pinched a really naughty kid when no-one was looking
Clive Owen – because I’d like to see if I could make his voice go all deep and crazy male
Germaine Greer – so I could call her up and say I’m revoking the invite after she made that crack about Julia Gillard’s arse. 

Sister Pact in the wild ~ Dymocks Brisbane

Check out the awesome SISTER LIT. website ~ So not the Bronte sisters 
Add SISTER PACT to Goodreads
Find SISTER PACT @ Amazon

I'm excited to offer readers the chance to win a signed copy of SISTER PACT and it's International!!!

Just leave a comment for Ali and Ros and don't forget your email address.

You MUST leave a comment on my review of SISTER PACT to be entered in the giveaway.

+2 tweet giveaway and leave a link

Giveaway ends 18th June and the winner will be announced on my blog. Good luck everyone :)


  1. What a great interview!! I loved reading who they would invite to dinner! Clive and William -- I am with you on those!! Sounds like a fab read! Thanks for the chance!!

    1. Thanks Julie. We had a great time writing this book together and v glad you enjoyed hearing our thoughts about it. x

  2. I loved this interview! I would love to have lunch with them. that is a title I will have to look up! Thanks for the giveaway!!

    1. Yes lunch is a great way for women to chat! Hope you find and enjoy The Slap. x

  3. Awesome interview! They should like really funny ladies! Haha.

    1. Thanks Ellen, and thanks for reading the interview. x

  4. Sounds like a fun read -its great that you wrote it together and avoided bloodshed! I'd love to win!

    Twitter link:

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
    book.dout at gmail dot com

    1. Yes def no bloodshed - bit of wine spilled though... ;)

  5. Great interview ladies, thanks for bringing them to your blog Sheree. I'm adding this one to my 'to read' list as it sounds like it would be a great read and I can always do with a laugh. Having four children myself I'm sure I can relate to Ros' insanity lol!

    1. Oh thanks Karen, love hearing about people with four kids - makes me feel so comforted! Two days and counting... x

  6. Hey Julie - thanks for dropping by!

  7. Hi Stacy - its The Slap in case you do go looking and its a riveting read! Not light and funny like ours :-) but very very good by a great Aussie writer.

  8. HI Ellen - we're hilarious :-) Well, we crack each other up anyway :-)

  9. Hi Shelleyrae! No blood shed just laughter and a few tears!

  10. Hi Karen - I hope you enjoy it! A mother of four needs a little something for R & R methinks!

  11. Hey Mystica - thanks for stopping by!

  12. Oh Sheree, you asked us if we had a release date for the next installment of madness and mayhem that is Frances and Joni and we don't - early next year so watch our website and FB pages for updates!

    1. Thanks Ali, I'll keep an eye out. I found your FB page and got the Sister Lit website from Anna Campbell LOL. and I've updated post to include your website :)

    2. Thanks again for the post and the support. x

    3. Yes thanks Sheree! Would love some Goodreads and Amazon love if anyone's game :-)

  13. Firstly i would like to thank you for not only a fantastic book giveaway but also for a most insightful interview, that looked behind the creating of her novel & its foundations. As an amateur writer myself i am always intreged by the process of how the author creates thier work up until publication. I am a huge fan of this particular genre and would love to be able to read 'Sister Pact'. Thank you! x
    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

    1. Thanks Lucinda - I love your name by the way. It's like the name of a heroine in a book (will try not to "borrow"it...). x

    2. Ooh, I have a Lucinda coming up in my Pirate book too! So snap x 2 :-)

  14. Hey Lucinda - pleased you enjoyed a peek behind the scenes!


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