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Guest Blog: Christine Betts

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In the lead-up to Christmas I like to make a concentrated effort to promote my fellow creatives and entrepreneurs. I am honoured to introduce to you my good friend and writing comrade, author and businesswoman Christine Betts. Christine and I met about a year ago at the Gold Coast Writer’s Association monthly meeting, and instantly clicked! Ever since, we have endeavoured to support one another’s writing projects in any way possible. Christine is warm in character and a passionate and talented storyteller, and I feel truly blessed and honoured to call her my friend and writing companion.

Christine Betts

Author of Hotel Deja Vu and Paris in a Day

Where to find you: http://www.writerpainter.com @WriterPainter1 on Twitter and @writerpainter on Instagram!

What got you interested in writing?

I was an early reader and it seemed like a logical step. I wrote my first book at 10 although I don’t think it made it to the fridge, let alone the best-sellers list.

How long have you been writing? All my life, but seriously for about 2 years.

Do you have any goals/projects in the pipeline?

So, so many. I have goals coming out my butt to be honest. I’ve had to make my Top 5 list to stay focused. This is done by writing a long list of every project you’d love to tackle, then honing it down to your top 5. You are not allowed to do anything with your creative time that isn’t working towards a goal on this list, preferable number 1 first. I did that this year and have managed to knock #1 and #2 off the list. #3 is getting sorted with Nanowrimo in November with my second draft of my next book although I have also broken my own rules by starting another new project for NaNoWriMo.

What do you like most about writing?

It’s quiet. I like the quiet rhythm of writing and want to stab people who interrupt my writing time. Must remember; stabbing is bad, must use my words.

What genre do you write?

I think you could call it women’s fiction even though that term makes me cringe. You don’t hear about men’s fiction, do you? I write historical and contemporary stories with strong female characters.

What draws you to this genre?

It happened accidentally. If you’d told me three years ago that I’d be writing about Strong, Independent women I would have laughed.

Where do you get your ideas?

I write non-stop and the stories just bubble up. I read a lot, watch a lot of movies and series’. I love stories and art.

Tell us about your process, how do you get into a writing mindset?

For years I was a commercial artist. We didn’t have the luxury of waiting for inspiration to hit we had to get on with it. So now, I just sit and write.

What are you working on at the moment?

My second full-length novel with the working title of The Circle. There are two Strong Female Main Characters and a host of supporting women as well. One MC is a paleoanthropologist in modern day England and the other is a Druid Priestess in 3500BCE.

Which writers inspire/influence you?

This year I have read more Australian authors (Dominic Smith Gail Jones) women authors (Gail Honeyman, Jackie French) and prize-winners (Andrew Sean Greer, Jane Harper). My fave books are Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The last Painting of Sarah De Vos by Dominic Smith, Eiffel’s Tower by Jill Jonnes…and so many more.

What else about your writing journey should we know?

Eventually I’d like to write a business book and a parenting book. My husband and I have done a pretty good job of both over the past 20 years so we might be able to share what we’ve learnt with others.

From my novel Hotel Déjà Vu You can read more here

5th Arrondissement, Paris. April 1944

The hunched figure shuffled along the pitch-black laneway; ruined arm pressed against her side. She had lost one shoe and the bare foot throbbed. For a moment, she imagined the bloody trail she was leaving for the police dogs to follow but part of her no longer cared who might come for her. Would tonight be the night they finally put a bullet in her back? At least death would end the pain and her father would no longer need to worry about her. Still, she shuddered at the thought.

The heat was spreading through her body as she stood disoriented in the dark. One of her father’s favourite sayings echoed in her mind; ne paniquez pas, organisez vous. She calmed her breathing…un, deux, trois, quartre…don’t panic, organise…

She stood rigid, listening for any sound, eyes closed – they were useless in the inky blackness. Again, she thought of her father and the last time she had seen him. They had argued of course, they always did, but this time the words were not barked at each other, a smirk playing at their lips, their familiar jousting. War was no time for games. Instead they whispered urgently behind the closed door of his clinic. He had begged her to stay home.

‘You are most certainly being watched, Ana…’ He was tired but there had been an edge of anger in his voice that she had never heard before.

You are putting this whole house at risk…’

She had raged inside, but then calmed herself knowing that dramatics and hysteria would not convince him of anything but her immaturity. Still, she spoke with force, the anger pulling her lips taut across her teeth.

You can find my work by searching Hotel Déjà Vu by Christine Betts on Amazon or by contacting me on my website www.writerpainter.com.

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Blog

A Exotic History: The Moulin Rouge

The second industrial revolution saw a time of frivolity unfolding in Paris. With electricity being rolled out across the city, cabarets like ‘Le Chat Noir’, ‘Le Miriton’ and ‘Les Folies Bergères’ were established and offered a place for aristocrats and workers alike to relax and enjoy themselves.

These venues generally settled in Montmartre, at the centre of Parisian nightlife. Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler chose the name ‘Moulin Rouge’, meaning ‘Red Mill’, for their new theatre. They also gave the nickname ‘Le Premier Palais des Femmes’, meaning ‘The First Palace of Women’.

The two founders claimed that the Moulin Rouge would soon become ‘a temple of music and dance’.

The Moulin Rouge featured circus acts, theatre and musical performances, with attractive dancing girls and tableaux vivants. Tableaux vivants- meaning ‘living picture’- were a group of stage models thoughtfully posed and theatrically lit. Throughout the duration of the display, the models did not move or speak, and their presence on stage was intended to imitate art.

The Moulin Rouge quickly gained a reputation for being a place where men could view young Parisian girls with unique and amazing dance skills, most notably the famous Can Can. A French term meaning ‘tittle-tattle’ or ‘scandal’, the Can Can dance became an opportunity to undermine Victorian-era morality, and was part of a growing movement for change.

Paris oozes sex, glamour, indulgence and hedonism, and to this day the area of Pigalle continues to uphold the city’s raunchy reputation. Once a bohemian neighborhood of painter’s studios and literary cafés, today Pigalle plays host to many sex shops, theatres and adult shows on Place Pigalle and the main boulevards. Adult stores proudly flaunt their wares in large window displays, and exotic dancers greet potential customers at the entrance of their clubs.

The Moulin Rouge continues to run a nightly show for adult audiences featuring more than one hundred performers and extravagant costumes laden with feathers, rhinestones, and sequins.

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two is available now for pre-order for release on July 20, 2018.

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