Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Mexican Kimono: the inspiration behind the book and the title by Billie Jones

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I have this huge framed kimono next to my bed. It’s gorgeous, all those golds, and bronze colours shine under the dim lights of my room. When I wake each morning, it’s the first thing I see. I originally thought I’d write a love story about two people who meet while travelling, but from the very first line, it seemed my character, Samantha had other ideas.
Instead of writing an emotional tale, it ended up being more a comedy, an over-the-top satire. I had so much fun writing a character that isn’t the norm. She’s shallow, and self-obsessed, but that’s kind of the point of the book.
When she buys an antique kimono at auction her life begins to spiral out of control. I wanted to make the kimono a feature of the story, so after some researching I stumbled on a plot device that would make the Japanese Kimono morph into a Mexican Kimono by the symbolism along the hem. Here is an excerpt:
We each took our glass of wine and walked down the dingy hallway. My bedroom was the size of a small shoe box taken up with a huge king size bed and an inadequately sized walk-in robe. I fumbled for the light switch and turned it on.
“Ahhhhh!” we screamed in unison.
Kylie clasped my arms and dug her nails into my skin. “It’s alive!” she screamed.
The kimono was hooked over the curtain rail and was radiating an eerie ruby red glow. The silk rippled and its arms looked like they were reaching out to grab us and suck us into a vortex of terror.  “Please tell me the balcony door is open, and that’s where this gust of wind has come from,” I whispered to Kylie.
“I opened your balcony door to let some of the noxious air out, but I doubt a gust of wind could carry all the way in and go around a wall and down the hallway.”
The arms of the kimono undulated like they were beckoning to us. “It’s like some kind of kimono hypnosis! It’s trying to get us to move closer, isn’t it?”
“Yes, to suck us into the next world! It’s possessed. You’ll be possessed! Are your ears ringing?”
“Yes! Ok, it’s going in the wood fire pizza oven at Luca’s,” I said. All of a sudden the wind stopped. The kimono lay as limp and as flaccid as, well, I won’t name names, but let’s just say he works in Accounting.
“That was weird. Do you think it heard you?”
I tried not to get waylaid with thoughts of an impotent penis and said, “Maybe, if so, we know how to stop it in future.”
Kylie was clutching at my waist and trying to pull me backwards out of the room. I shook her hands off, looking around for clues. Someone must have hung the kimono on the curtain rail – I certainly couldn’t reach that high.
“I think your Mum is right, that kimono is bad luck!” Kylie’s eyes were as large as the time she was jailed for tax evasion.
I was a little petrified myself, but Kylie can smell fear so I played it cool. “Don’t be ridiculous! Next you’ll believe that paying tax is compulsory!” She was so gullible.”

So the story went from being titled Kimono, to Mexican Kimono. And Sam then had a huge obstacle in her life that she needed to solve. But nothing comes naturally for poor Sam, as she does her best to offend most of her friends.

Thank you for having me here, Simona!

About the book
Samantha knows what she wants from life – and she’s got it!

1.A loving family. OK, her Mum’s plan to marry her off to the world’s most metrosexual man might not be ideal… but it’s only because she cares!

2.A great job. Or at least: a job that leaves plenty of time to update Twitter and shop for designer bargains online…

3.A credit card, with a very generous limit. So generous that she’s just spent over $10,000 on an antique kimono…

But suddenly Samantha’s charmed life starts to fall apart! From a hair-related fire to losing her job, Sam’s facing bad karma – and it all started when she bought that kimono…

Sure, it’s ridiculous. How could a piece of silk ever bring bad luck? But it can! Because, whether Samantha likes it or not, someone wants to teach her a lesson: it’s what’s inside that counts.

But will Samantha slow down long enough to listen?

About The Author
Billie Jones is a writer from Australia who enjoys imaging herself wrestling
killer crocodiles and swimming with great white sharks. She thinks she may have
to attempt base jumping so she can write about it and Bungee is on the list
too. You can find her either in front of her computer writing about her
fictional adventures or at the beach searching for the next perfect wave.


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