The delightful Kaneana May with her beautiful new novel,
All we have is now.
When I turned the last page on my Kindle, whilst reading All we have is now, I was saddened to do so. I didn't want it to end. It was such a beautiful, heartfelt story that I felt compelled to message Kaneana and tell her so...and ask her if she would be willing to be stalked!
Her wonderful second novel contains so much emotion and deeply moving moments, which are handled with such grace and tenderness. I will definitely be purchasing a real copy to add to my favourites shelf.
Kaneana studied television production at uni, graduating with First Class Honours in screenwriting, later working as a script writer on the iconic Aussie soap Home & Away.
On her website Kaneana says 'Spending my days around the plotting table and learning from some of the best about story and writing was invaluable. I fell head over heels in love wit plotting episodes, talking characters and developing story arcs.' These skill most definitely shine through in her latest release.
Kaneana's debut novel, The One https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781489279491/the-one/ was released in June 2019 and described by Better Reading as follows: 'Set against the backdrop of a Bachelor-style TV set, The One is fast-paced, with polished writing and zippy dialogue. Kaneana May is an author to watch. A highly entertaining read.'
Growing up on the picturesque Mid North Coast of NSW, after ten years exploring Kaneana returned there to raise her family. And by the looks of the photos below, she is raising some authors of the future!
So without further ado I will hand you over to the lovely Kaneana.xx
Q1: What piece of advice do you wish you'd been given when working on your very first manuscript?
A: “Keep going – one day you will be published.” (But there’s no way I would have wanted to know that the manuscript I was working on, would be one of two that would never see the light of day).
Q2: If you could have written ANY book besides your own, what would it be?
A: One Day by David Nicholls https://www.hachette.com.au/david-nicholls/one-day I loved that book so much when I first read it.
Q3: What is the first book that made you cry?
A: Most likely one of the Little Sister books. (I loved this series which featured Karen Brewer – younger step-sister of Kristy from The Baby-Sitters Club). I imagine I would have cried when a pet died or she had a fight with a friend. I can’t even try to tally the number of times I’ve cried in a book since!
I do remember the first television show I cried in was when I was only about four years old – the heartbreaking scene when Molly died in A Country Practice.
In a related topic, I’ve been reading the Harry Potter series to my son. We started on his seventh birthday and have slowly been working our way through it together (he just turned eleven). We recently read the second last book when a very devastating event happens (no spoilers). I was so nervous about reading it – and watched my son as a tear fell down his face. I think there was hope that all would be made ‘better’ in the next chapter, but when things only got worse, he was devastated. He turned to me and said, ‘you knew this was going to happen when you started reading it to me?’ Oh, I felt awful! But at the same time, I’m so thrilled that he has connected so strongly with the books and the characters.
(Kaneana, I love the story of you and your son reading Harry Potter together.
I am blessed to work in a school library, as an admin. I love watching the kids who choose to sit in the ‘quiet’ reading corner, which is outside of my office, totally absorbed and lost within the pages of the story they are reading. It is pure magic. Shelley.xx)
'I have only very recently acquired my own writing space. In the beginning I would write at the kitchen table, on the lounge or in bed. For many years it was at a table in the corner of our lounge room - which was usually noisy with my kids! So here is proof that you don’t need a writing space to get your book written - just make it work, however you can.
Top row: This is a great contrasting photo of me holding Leo as a newborn then him sitting beside me only weeks ago - working on his own story!
Bottom row L - R: Writing with Minnie - Writing with Cherry.'
(I LOVE these photos SO much Kaneana. Just beautiful. Shelley.xx)
Q4: What is your favourite drink? Coffee, tea, wine or…
A: Oh, I love all drinks! I drink tea (English Breakfast) in the morning, the afternoon and the night! I also have two coffees a day. Luckily, I love water too – and easily have a couple of litres of that a day. Friday always calls for alcohol (some other ‘tough’ days do too). I have a soft spot for champagne, cider and gin.
Q5: What is the next book on your TBR (to be read) pile?
A: I have a gorgeous stack of books on my TBR pile including Imbi Neeme’s The Spill https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-spill-9781760893767
I’m guest-hosting on Lisa Ireland’s Book Club https://lisairelandbooks.com/
in May and we’ll be looking closely at that book.
I also have Rachael John’s May release How to Mend a Broken Heart https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781489276827/how-to-mend-a-broken-heart/ along with Kelly Rimmer’s upcoming release The Warsaw Orphan https://www.hachette.com.au/kelly-rimmer/the-warsaw-orphan I can’t wait to read them all! I’ve just started Nicola Moriarty’s You Need to Know https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460710531/you-need-to-know/
Q6: Choose one male & one female character from your novel. In a film adaptation, who would you love to see play them?
A: For someone who used to work in television, I find this question VERY difficult. I think it’s because when you work in a script department you are working with a ‘faceless’ character until they are cast. Sure, you might have a hair colour and face shape in your mind, but this can all be changed until the official casting is made.
I find that I still work this way when creating characters. I have pictures in my head of what characters look like generically. I know how they move and talk and what gestures they make with their hands. I know if they bite their lip or throw their head back when they laugh.
I did use these two pictures in the character development stage of married couple Elsie and Frank. This is what I imagine Elsie’s hair to look like (I focused on this feature rather than her face) and here’s the handsome guy she fell in love with.
I asked my mum (who has read the story over and over and over) and she said she would love to see Aussie actress Rachael Taylor play Elsie (and I agree – Rachael is brilliant and I’m sure would be amazing). But visually, I had been imaging someone who looked similar to Rebecca Breeds (but older!) I’d love to know who readers imagined when reading All we have is now.
'I used these pics of 'Elsie' and 'Frank' in the character development stage. Me signing my first book deal.'
Q7: Name one thing you couldn't live without?
A: Exercise. I’m really grumpy and I can’t sleep if I don’t do any exercise.
Q8: What is your dream holiday destination?
A: My husband and I went to the Greek Islands before we had kids. Right now, as the autumn chill sets in, I’d really like to go back there. (Clearly in this ‘dream’ I’m not taking the kids to the Greek Islands). If I were choosing a ‘family’ holiday location, my kids would honestly be happy with anywhere that has a pool and buffet breakfast!
Q9: If you had to choose a career besides writer, what would it be?
A: I’d work in film or television. I studied Television Production at university and went on to work in the script departments of various drama shows. I loved this! I also would have loved to have worked on set as a floor manager or in the production management side of things.
Q10: What's the hardest scene you have ever written and why was it so hard?
A: There are several scenes in All we have is now which were very hard to write. I won’t go into detail about which ones, as I’m sure readers will be able to identify the ones I’m talking about. I’ve had friends go through similar pains and trying to put myself into their shoes, so to speak, was very emotionally draining. I feel like I put a lot of pressure on myself to get the scenes ‘right’ too. Some would want to move through these scenes quickly, but I wanted to do the story justice and made not only myself, but the readers sit through these difficult times.
'Healing others is their calling, but what happens if they can't fix themselves? A richly nuanced and empathetic examination of life, loss and courage from a talented new Australian author.
Health and wellbeing brought Olive, Elsie and Bree together. After five years, their bustling wellness centre is demanding expansion. A beautiful federation house nestled among the picturesque backdrop of their small town is the perfect place to grow their business. But they don't count on their personal lives getting in the way.
Practical and pragmatic, Olive keeps her past hidden from her friends. But when an old high-school flame shows up, the secrets she's worked so hard to bury threaten to tear her carefully constructed world apart.
Bree is the fun-loving one, although family tensions lurk behind her free-spirited facade. The reappearance of her troubled sister Winnie brings Bree's priorities into sharp focus. Will she have to shelve her own happiness to save her sister?
Kind and maternal to all those around her, Elsie's role as the practice's counsellor comes naturally. But when tragedy strikes, her world tumbles down like a house of cards.
With everything they've built in disarray, their friendship is on the line...'
Thank you Kaneana for being my May 15th Author Stalker victim. xx
All we have is now is available through all leading bookstores and online.
If you would like to find out more about Kaneana, you can find her here: