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Hayson Manning writes fun and flirty romances with alpha dudes and sassy woman. She lives in the bush in Sydney with her lovely sloth children, infuriating but much loved shoe-dropping husband, a tubby opinionated cat (as if a cat doesn't ever not have an opinion). There will often be a foster dog parked on the couch waiting for their forever home. She loves a good glass of wine, dreams of winning the lottery, cries while watching Antiques Roadshow and cannot speak she's sobbing so much by the end of Undercover Boss. She is also an expert at finding new and inventive ways to avoid exercise.
Welcome, Hayson. Please tell us about your current release.
Mason Christian, resident hottie and tortured soul, flips houses in New Zealand. A tragedy in his life has shut him down to the point he works insane hours. None of his assistants last long so he numbers them. Enter Billie, his 42nd assistant who makes him feel alive. More alive than he's felt in three years...
Free-spirit Billie has one dream: save enough money to finish her degree. That's why she's agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian--a man locked behind a wall of pain. The sparks fly between them as their desire for each other builds. Can Billie make Mason see love deserves a second chance, or will he only ever see her as his 42nd assistant?
What inspired you to write this book?
I love a boss/secretary trope and forced proximity. I love dark, wounded men and upfront, fun, women who know what they want and aren’t afraid to say so. I can’t stand woman who whine in books. If you want it go for it, I say. I love women who aren’t afraid to bring the wounded dark hero, sometimes kicking and screaming into the light. Lordy that sounds like a Dracula story!
There was also the added fun of setting the book in my homeland of New Zealand. We have different meanings for words which made for interesting back and forth with my editor who is US based.
We often call dinner tea. Periods are fullstops. We stand in queues we don’t line up. We say ohhhh-ahhhh in one long word which means a shocked no.
At the use of her nickname, Billie arrived back in the room with a thud. His eyebrows were raised. “What’s on your mind?”
She dabbed her mouth with her napkin to cover her lapse. “Well, Septimus, I was thinking about the periodic table and its positive benefits on mankind.”
For some reason he looked pissed off. Totally pissed off. “Funny, I didn’t take you to be the lying kind.” His eyes narrowed, and she had the distinct impression he’d just dismissed her.
Her spine straightened and her hands rested on the table. “You think I’m going to tell you everything that’s going on in my head at a given time?” She paused. “Actually, back that up. You think any woman is going to tell you what is going on in her mind whenever you please? There will be times she doesn’t want you to know what she’s thinking. Maybe she’d be thinking, ‘That guy standing over there, is one juicy specimen, and I’m mighty thirsty right now.’ There’s no way on this earth she’s ever going to tell Mr. Juicy she’s thirsty. She’d rather catch bubonic plague.”
His forkful of frittata halted halfway to his mouth. He put down the fork, sat back in his chair and regarded her. A smile spread across his face. Slow to start, it curled his lips, continued upward and settled in his eyes. It was the first time she could remember him looking approachable, real, and open.
“What?” she asked, obviously missing his joke.
“You think I’m juicy?”
What! “No.” Hell no.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I signed a contract with Entangled. Prior to that I kind of dabbled here and there. When my agent emailed me that someone actually wanted to buy my book, I promptly burst into tears and sobbed into the annoyed cat. Since then, I’ve become serious about writing and treat it as a job, which is hard at times when I’d rather be cleaning the stalagmites from my ceiling, or donning a Haz-mat suit to clean a teenage bathroom.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do at this stage write full time. I’ve gone through a shocker writers-block that nearly killed me. I lost confidence in myself as a writer and that’s been a struggle, but I gave myself a very stern ‘man-up’ speech and have broken through.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can’t work without a gazzilion cans of diet Mountain Dew or Coke Zero on my desk. I need vast amounts of caffeine. Mind you, that’s not really interesting. Actually I’m not at all interesting and the only quirk I have is I can make my eyes shake. That’s not really a quirk more than a genetic abnormality that can clear a room.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I grew up in a family of scientists and engineers so I fitted in like Hustler magazine in church. I dreamed of being a flight attendant. I’d see glamorous countries, preferably Bora Bora, a lot.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Life throws curveballs. Enjoy your day, love your life and those around you. Laugh, have fun because you never know when it will end. Jeez, that sounds morbid. I don’t mean it to. What I mean is live, have fun doing it and smile at a stranger. It’s how I met hubs.