An Interview with Alice Hope

What is your next project and when will it be released?

Having recently published The Long Road to Loving Grayson and Glass Ceilings as both e-books and paperbacks, I’m now working on my next novel, The Brande Legacy, the first book in the Brande series of soft paranormals.

I’m excited about writing this story—I love the Claire-Rose Brande character, and look forward to having her take me on many a spooky, mysterious, and romantic adventure as we travel through this series of tales. As to when the first instalment, The Brande Legacy, will be released, I’m hopeful of having the e-book published by the end of the year, and as a paperback by early 2013. And then it’s onto book 2….

Do you have critique partners?

But of course! I couldn’t survive without their generous, honest and uber-valuable input. My sister, Jill, an author herself, is an invaluable collaborator on all my stories, as is my husband, Frank, who provides the all-important ‘bloke’s’ viewpoint for my heroes. I’ve also gained a lot of useful feedback through entering writing competitions.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

I’m an author, so everyone I know / see / hear about, is a likely candidate for my stories!

Grayson in The Long Road to Loving Grayson is based on a number of characters I worked with in remote north western Queensland, including one engineer whose wife actually did choose the departure lounge of Heathrow airport to tell him she was leaving him!

Claire in Glass Ceilings is based on my loyal friend Gail, who worked with me in a Western Australian alumina refinery. But, unlike Claire, I’ve never known Gail to get blotto on champers! And she’s luckier in love than Claire is, in this book at least—watch out for Claire’s story, which I’ve been asked for by readers.

Give us an elevator pitch for your book.

In Glass Ceilings, ambitious career woman Verity shatters the glass ceiling of a multi-national mining corporation, snatching the job of CEO from the waiting hands of ruthless corporate nemesis Royce, only to find herself in danger of losing more than just her tenuous hold on the job. Her carefully shielded heart, and even her life are at risk. But like glass ceilings, some things are meant to be broken, and when someone determined enough shatters the glass, look out everyone below!

Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.

I develop detailed profiles for all the important characters in my stories, and even family trees where historical details are important, as in The Brande Legacy.

Royce James, the hero in Glass Ceilings (who I picture being played by Gerard Butler – mmm mmm!) is … well … I’ll let the heroine, Verity, tell you.

‘I thought I had his measure—the typical hard-nosed, ruthlessly ambitious executive, with his eyes resolutely focused upwards as he squashes everyone else beneath his boots. But then I glimpsed a very different picture. I saw a kind angler who shares his catch without asking anything in return, a gentle dog owner who spends quality time with his old pet, and a man who’s been using his career as a crutch against loss and regret. And it became clear that the man I thought I knew, wasn’t the real man at all. But what I do know … is that for some reason, he’s never far from my mind now.’

Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Verity Parker in Glass Ceilings, (who I picture played by Emily Blunt) is bright, kind, intelligent, and capable. But she’s also wary of love, having suffered a nasty marriage break-down. Fiercely protective of her love-scarred heart, she shields it with a toughened glass ‘ceiling’.

Verity’s best friend and co-worker, Claire, made these observations about her:

Taking in her friend’s damp hair and freshly scrubbed, makeup-free face, Claire wondered if Verity ever looked plain or ordinary. Like I would if I’d had a late night, she thought enviously.

With no rouge or eyeliner to accentuate her fine bone structure and dark eyes, Verity looked, if anything, more youthful and vibrant than ever. The smooth skin of her face had a translucent peaches-and-cream quality, and her naturally sweeping brows made a perfect foil for her brown eyes; eyes that held great warmth and laughter, but which could also be disarmingly direct and unnervingly shrewd. Her choice of fitted linen suit emphasised her slim waist and trim figure, and a pair of classic patent leather courts fine-tuned the outfit.

Claire took a quick peek down and frowned at her own slightly lumpy proportions, clothed in practical but unspectacular corporate wear. She glanced back at her friend and acknowledged that Verity certainly did look like executive material.
I’d bet my bottom dollar some of the ‘powers that be’ have noticed it, too, she thought. But still, isn’t it presumptuous for her to try for the company’s top management position, ‘la grande fromage’? Everyone knows Royce James has dibs on that title.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I’m a member of Romance Writers of Australia, and the North Queensland Writers chapter, along with a number of online author groups. I’m also a past member of the Queensland Writers’ Centre.
I’ve received inspiration, knowledge, guidance, advice, feedback, support, and encouragement from every one of these organisations, and especially from RWA. My writing has improved by huge degrees through my involvement with them all. But since becoming an indie author, I’ve found the online groups provide me with the practical information and support I need at present. Without their input, I would never have made it this far down the publishing path, and I’d recommend to anyone considering taking the indie path, to join a group or two. Therein lies your salvation! 

I’d like to give someone a copy of my e-book The Long Road to Loving Grayson, downloadable in all formats from I hope he/she enjoys it, and I’d welcome a review!


Alicia Hope, author, bass player, scuba diver and bird lover, has an appreciation for espresso coffee, fine chocolate, and good food. She lives in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, surrounded by rainforest, rare birds and butterflies.
Stories have always been a big part of her life; reading them, listening to them, telling them, and writing them. She composed stories, told stories, daydreamed stories (when she should’ve been working at maths!), and won prizes in story competitions, always certain that one day this would be her ‘job’ – and now it is!
Hers are feel-good reads. For optimal, all-round corporeal enjoyment, she suggests accompanying them with a side-serving of barista-quality espresso and a generous slab of fine chocolate.

Are you tempted yet? 

Excerpt from Glass Ceilings:

Royce James’ sardonic gaze swept over the crowd of executives and their partners like he was assessing thoroughbreds before the Golden Slipper race. He turned towards the bar, smirking a promise to himself that these senior staff dinners would be more exciting in future, once he was CEO. His left eyebrow arched lazily.

A soft hand on his arm interrupted his thoughts. Kerry Stowe, the CEO’s executive assistant, was standing close beside him. He noted that as usual, Kerry was the most glamorous woman in the room. As he bent his head to speak to her, her tantalising fragrance rose to meet him, and he observed once again how enticing she was.
‘Having fun, Royce?’ Her voice was low and throaty, and beneath the words lurked another, more primal question.

‘I am now.’ His nonchalant smile and deep voice gave nothing away, although close inspection would have revealed faint traces of mockery in his eyes.
But it wasn’t his eyes that most interested her.

She watched as he raised his wine glass and sipped the chilled Margaret River chardonnay. His firm lips rested against the glass’s rim as he savoured the wine’s crisp woodiness. Thick lashes cast small shadows on his tanned cheek and veiled his intense, dark eyes briefly. For a fleeting moment, his face lost its usual stern and often arrogant expression, and then his calculating gaze fell on her again.

With a dazzling smile, she moved her hand from where it had been discreetly caressing his arm to press it against his chest, and felt the strong, regular thud of his heart under her fingers. Her own heart was racing as she leaned closer to him, her thigh brushing his gently. His tall frame, accentuated by the charcoal grey, double-breasted Armani suit, towered over her.

Royce always makes a startling contrast to the usual assortment of podgy executives at these ‘doos’, she thought smugly to herself.

As though knowing it was expected, he allowed his eyes to take in her firm, curvaceous body, in the tight burgundy gown with a plunging neckline she was using to full advantage. On their way back up, his eyes took in the smooth skin of her exposed cleavage, and the points of her ample breasts pushing against the silky fabric barely containing them.

His mocking glance flicked to her face. ‘Where’s Jim?’

Kerry squirmed. Was it contempt she saw deep in the deliberately nonchalant darkness of his eyes?

‘You know how to spoil a mood, don’t you Royce?’ Her mouth, tinted the same luscious colour as her gown, grew petulant.

He gave a deep laugh and raised a scornful eyebrow, once again lifting his glass to his lips. This time he took a good mouthful of wine and let it linger on his tongue while he thought about Kerry’s husband. Jim Stowe was one of RCL’s senior executives and a genuinely nice guy in Royce’s estimation. He wondered why their marriage lasted. But as he looked down at Kerry, stunning in her expensive finery and oozing sexuality like a ripe plum longing to be picked, he could hazard a guess. And he was sure she’d be very unwilling to part with the pampered lifestyle her marriage offered.

‘Jim’s feeling anti-social again, or should I say still, so I’m here on my own,’ she said, with an affected sigh.

The throaty purr on the lower registers of her voice seemed to resonate along his spine, and he conceded, cynically, that she had a talent for seduction.
‘And of course you’d never consider staying home and playing the dutiful wife, would you, Kerry?’

‘If Jim wants to shut himself away with his laptop, that’s up to him,’ she mewed. ‘It doesn’t mean I have to be boring too. I can make my own fun.’
Royce felt her press even closer against him.

‘Oh, I’m sure you will. But you’ll have to excuse me, I see a lady I want to talk to.’

With a dismissive bow of his dark head and a smirk in his eyes, Royce drew away from her and strode across the room, leaving Kerry drifting rudderless in the social sea like a piece of abandoned flotsam.

She watched him take a seat beside Mrs Galloway, the aging CEO’s wife, and bitterness rose to fill Kerry’s throat. How she hated herself for wanting him … and how she hated him for not wanting her.

How often have I pictured his face on a pillow beside me, and those dark eyes gazing at me as though I’m the gateau and he’s the cake fork?
Too damn often, Kerry acknowledged bitterly. No matter what I do, it seems Royce James laughs at my efforts to seduce him, when most men would jump at the chance.
Scowling at the thought and forcing herself to look away, she rested her perfect teeth on the rim of her scotch glass for a second. When she lifted them off, anyone watching would have sworn she was snarling as she breathed the words, ‘Well, you’re running out of chances, Royce. One day you’ll realise I’m not someone to be toyed with….’

13 thoughts on “An Interview with Alice Hope

    • It’s hard to choose just one, Roxy, ‘cos I’ve received so much advice, both critical and supportive, over the years. But if I had to choose one piece of advice, it would be this – to allow my own writer’s ‘voice’ to develop by writing, writing, and then writing some more – and then to treasure it.
      Thanks for visiting me here at Cindy’s place!

  1. Love all your books! Your writing flows so smoothly and your characters are so compelling, it all draws me into the story completely.

    Glad to hear you say you depend on your critique group and other methods of improving. A couple of days ago a friend sent me a quote from Facebook saying writers shouldn’t associate with other writers, seeking their advice, but should spend that time honing their writing alone. OMG! If I had followed that advice, I’d still be writing unpublished cr**!

  2. I found this book “hard to put down” once I started reading it. In fact I didn’t get much else accomplished until it was finished. What a great read! I too am looking forward to seeing a return of Claire in a new book.
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview.
    Well done Alicia.

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