The Importance of Great Mates!

Today the very talented Shannon Curtis is visiting the blog. A fellow Australian Romantic Suspense writer, Shannon’s also a wonderful raconteur and I’m looking forward to interrogating her at this year’s RWA Conference on the Gold Coast!

Without further ado, it’s over to Shannon (and there’s a giveaway so join in the conversation to win!)

One thing I’ve noticed with this writing gig is that you make some really great mates.

For one, I joined the Romance Writers of Australia, and I’ve met so many wonderful people as a result. I found my writers’ group (known as The Writer’s Coven, on account of how much cackling goes on at our meetings).

Through the RWA I’ve also met been fortunate enough to meet other romantic suspense writers, such as Helene Young (thanks for hosting me!), Karlene Blakemore-Mowle, Bronwyn Parry and Sandy Curtis, with whom I get to share ideas, techniques and generally expand on my craft. I’ve also realised that the fellow authors at Carina Press are a collection of mates, who tirelessly support, promote, share and inspire.

It’s a very supportive industry, with the mindset that by sharing information and guidance, we lift the general standard, and promote excellence within the romance fiction industry.

Support. Friendship. Loyalty.

So it wasn’t such a leap to start writing about the McCormack Security Agency, a team of former Special Forces comrades who set up a security agency and work together on missions of personal protection, intelligence and surveillance – and maybe just a little black ops thrown in.

The series is set in North America, but the concept of mateship is universal – a loyalty and friendship that stands the test of time, that endures despite hardship, that promotes a dedication to honesty, friendship and honour, and is synonymous with courage and bravery.

In my first book, Viper’s Kiss, we met the members of the elite security agency, with a focus on Luke Fletcher – the geek of the group. When I wrote Viper’s Kiss, those guys pretty much took over the story. They were a group of mates with shared experiences that had forged a friendship both easy and complex, yet with a supportive strength that makes anything possible. It didn’t take me long to realise that each of these strong, wonderful men deserved their own story.

In my second book, Guarding Jess, my gruff, tough guy, Noah, is the focus, but the rest of his friends do tend to interfere with the story, in their own unique way. My characters have sacrificed a lot – they’ve fought for their country, with a belief in an ideal that defies oppression, they’ve loved and laughed, and suffered pain and terrible loss. By writing their stories, I try to honour the supreme sacrifice today’s servicemen and women risk, and am awed by their own displays of loyalty, friendship and bravery  – of mateship.

When have you been touched by the kindness of your mates? What act of mateship has so affected you?

To celebrate mateship, and the release of Guarding Jess, Helene will select a winner from the comments, and two beaded bookmarks will be sent to you – one for you, and one for your deserving mate.

Hmm, Shannon, that’s a difficult question!  I have some lovely mates who’ve stood by me through thick and thin. I’ll have to put my thinking cap on  – can I win the bookmarks myself??? Only joking 🙂 Thank you for a thoughtful post. I think Australians do relate strongly to mates and mateship.

So back to you guys now! Look forward to hearing your stories and choosing a winner!

Shannon can be found lurking here:




Twitter: @2BShannonCurtis


20 thoughts on “The Importance of Great Mates!

  1. Margaret, your hubby sounds wonderful! And changing into a dog person is a big ask so well done to him 🙂 I know many writers who are blessed with wonderful partners and I’m sure they find their way into our characters.

    Thanks for dropping by. I guess I have to draw a winner soon – might just wait until I hit ‘send’ tomorrow on my current WIP.

  2. Congratulations on the book: they sound great!
    As for the question, my best mate is without a doubt my husband Ron. His loyalty to me is beyond doubt, as is his support. He’s there for me, when ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ come my way. He’s there, when life’s small triumphs are to be shared.A cat person, he’s joined me in my love of dogs and now shares my devotion to our new baby, Chicki Rose.What more could I ask?

  3. Now that’s gold! I have a friend who knew I was in deadline hell and kept bringing food around to feed me. She’s a wonderful woman:-)

  4. I also had a very good friend who made me several dinners after the birth of my third child. Those dinners saved so much time, energy, and a lot of my sanity – I consider her a great mate!

  5. Imelda that’s so true. I have a couple of friends who’ve been part of my life for years. We don’t often catch up but when we do the time between chats is irrelevant. They are also the one’s I go to when I’m really hurting because they’ve seen the best and the worst of me and have never judged. It’s a wonderful gift from a friend.

  6. Alli, Sandy and Cath, you all have similar threads too – mates push us to strive as high as we can be and bring out the best in us!

    And Cath, the Mother-of-the-bride’s maid sounds like a whole lot of fun! More champagne and less stress than any other attendant!

  7. Pardon my absence ladies! First there was a photo shoot this morning, then there was a milkrun to Brisbane. Have just landed in time to watch the end of the State of Origin while catching up on emails!!

    There’s a common thread in the comments about RWA and the mates we’ve all made through writing. One acquaintance of mine rather disparagingly said ‘But they’re on line friends, they’re not real friends.’ To which I could only smile. She has no idea the comfort, the support, the camaraderie that exists between romance writers. I’m sure there must be a couple of loners out there but I’ve yet to meet them!!

  8. I think the understanding in times of grief or shock is a wonderful part of having good mates. Not just people who help, but people who understand that, when you drop out of life for a while, it’s not aimed at them and are willing to pick up again where you left off. They’re good ones to have!

  9. Wow! It’s so good to see so many people with supportive friends! Thanks so much for the well-wishers, I’m so pleased with how Guarding Jess is going.
    I loved hearing about the ‘cruel to be kind’ friend from Sandy, and I’ve never heard of a ‘Mother-of-the-Bride’s Maid’ – but it sounds like a great gig, especially as some weddings can be so stressful.
    Thanks for the comments, folks!

  10. Hi Shannon, and congratulations on the release of Guarding Jess. LOVE the cover. That’s one sexy hunk you have there!

    I am sooo with you on the power of the RWA. I’ve met so many wonderful people and the friendships I and others have forged within it are incredible. Where else would you find writers supporting each other like they do in the RWA? It’s a unique organisation and one I cherish.

    As for what act of mateship has affected me…hmm, I’m like Helene and have some dear friends who’ve been there through good and bad. How to choose one act is hard!!

    Good luck with those sales, Shannon, and enjoy that release-time thrill.

  11. Hi Shannon and Helene,
    Great idea for a bunch of stories, Shannon. Good luck with the guys taking over! 🙂

    I moved to another town almost 4 years ago but my mates “back home” keep in touch. The other week I was the Mother-of-the-Bride’s maid for my friend whose daughter was getting married. I hadn’t seen her in ages and we had such a fun weekend. I took her tea, she sent me back a friendship plaque saying, “a friend is one who brings out the best in us”, and that’s so very true.

    I think that’s why RWA is so good. We all work to bring out the best in each other.

    Nice blog!


  12. You’re so right about the great mates, Shannon. My CP and I have become fast friends.

    LOL with your characters taking over the story. MY CP was just saying the other day how wonderful it is to speak to someone who doesn’t think you’re crazy when you admit your characters are getting hard to handle. Especially the secondary ones who try to take over the book.

    One of my mates encouraged me to join the RWA. Then once when I was at a low and considering giving up. Did she console me? No! She did what I needed, told me to get my darn butt in the chair and fingers on keyboard and keep typing. 🙂 That’s good mateship.

    Shannon, that’s a lovely picture of you, by the way. 🙂

  13. Congrats on the books Shannon–and what gorgeous covers! Like you, I am blessed with the friendships I’ve made since I started this writing business a few years ago. I am touched by the kindness, generosity, and overwhelming support by people in the writing community, especially RWA members. Without my mates, I wouldn’t be this far into the writing journey. I believe the best mates are the ones who challenge us, even if we don’t like it at the time. They’re the ones who push us to be the best we can possibly be–now that’s mateship.

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