Friday, 9 November 2012

Author Hot Seat - Juanita Kees

The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of today's popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into four sections - About your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, others may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering. Still, they all answer.

Today Juanita Kees has volunteered to sit in the Hot Seat. For those of you who don't know about Juanita here's what her bio tells us about her.

Juanita is a freelance writer and writes blogs, web content, advertorials, newsletters and business documents.  Having recently graduated from the Australian College QED, (New South Wales, Australia) with a diploma in Proofreading, Editing and Publishing, she proofreads and edits manuscripts, manuals, standard operating procedures and other business tools. You can find out more about Kees2Create Writing, Proofreading and Editing services at

Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing romantic fiction. She conducts interviews with fellow authors and writes book reviews, as well as the odd blog about the frustrations and delights of being a writer.
When she’s not writing, editing or proofreading, Juanita is the cleaning fairy and mother to three boys (hubby included, his toys are just a little more expensive). Her not-so-miniature Daschund, Sam is her critique partner and keeps her company while writing.
Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to enjoy her writing journey with her at:
On the Web:

Thanks for being with us today Juanita, I hope you enjoy yourself. If you'd like to sit in the Hot Seat we'll get started.
About your writing:

How did you get started as a writer?

I started out writing song lyrics, music and poetry before starting to write Fly Away Peta at 16. I penned the story in the back of my Maths book during class. I was a terrible student except in English classes where I loved debating storylines with my English teacher.

Why do you write?

Because I can’t imagine NOT writing. It’s a great emotional outlet.

Have you ever had a day you wanted to quit and never write again?

There were many times when I had to put my dream aside, but I never gave up on it.

Do you feel lucky to be doing what you are doing?

I think ‘blessed’ is a word I’d choose. Blessed that I’ve been given the opportunity to do what I love most.

Tell me how you got to where you are today?

I held on to my goals and aspirations no matter what life threw at me. It took me twenty three years, a career in administration and customer care, two children and two countries to achieve those goals. One day, I decided it was my turn. I signed up for an editing course and worked hard for my diploma. The day I held it in my hands was the day I went from 9 to 5 to being a freelance editor, proofreader and writer.

How do your family/spouses react to your work as an author? Do they know what you write? 

They thought it was hilarious until I was offered a contract J It took a while for me to admit to them that I write romance novels but I think the gorgeous cover won them over.

 About you:

What are you passionate about in life?

Everything! I believe in giving all or nothing, so I address life and its challenges or celebrations with enthusiasm and passion.

If you had to give a thank-you speech at the Oscars, who would you thank and what would you say?

“To my parents: thank you for attending that New Year’s Eve party in 1966. Nine months later you gave me the gift of life and creativity, gifts I will treasure always.”
What are the three most important life lessons you’ve learned that might make life easier for others?
       a)      Always show kindness to others, you never know what they may be going through.
       b)      ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.’ I learnt that this is not always true. A true friend will stand by you no matter what.
       c)      A smile can stop a frown wherever you are.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. Whom would it be and why?

Ooh! A hard one…Princess Catherine. I wish I had her wardrobe and I’d love to see what the Queen is like when she’s off duty.

What's the worst thing you did as a kid?

Mum, I hope you’re not reading this! Mum used to buy unwashed potatoes in a 10kg brown bag straight from the farm. I used to lick the sand off the potatoes! Eeeewww.

What do you do to have fun?

I go to Friday night karaoke at my local pub. Hilarious, especially when I get up to sing!

Share a funny incident in your life.

Ooh, another hard one! Umm…okay, how’s this for fate? Two women give birth to sons:  one day apart, in the same hospital, delivered by the same doctor but their paths never cross. Twelve years later, 8000km across the world, on an orientation tour of a high school for their sons, the two women meet. As they start comparing notes, they also realize that they lived around the corner from each other and rented from the same landlord. They also discover that, for the past five years, they’ve once again lived around the corner from each other. True story…now, we’re close friends.

Fun Stuff:

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Renee Felice Smith from NCIS Los Angeles J She’s small and feisty!

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?


What is your favorite color- food- song- movie?

Color: Blue

Food: Steak & Prawns

Song: Train – Save Me San Francisco

Movie: Sleepless in Seattle

What's the funniest pick up line ever used on you?

Will you be the cap on my beer bottle?

What's the one thing you can't live without?

The notebook I carry in my handbag. It’s handy for those moments of inspiration in awkward places J

And finally:

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:
                       -An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
                       -An old friend who once saved your life.
                       -The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
You can only fit one person in your car, who would you choose to offer a ride to?

The old lady; because a true friend would understand my choice irrespective, and the perfect partner and I will find each other again if we’re truly meant to be together.

Thank you for having me in the Hot Seat!
You're welcome, Juanita. I hope you had fun.
Now, to finish off our Hot Seat Friday post let's have a look at one of Juanita's Books.  
 Fly Away Peta by Juanita Kees
The time has come to face her worst fear and the clock is ticking…
Peta Johnson will go to extreme lengths to protect her daughter Bella. When the Bella is kidnapped, the search for her takes Peta back to the small Australian country town of Williams, a place she’d vowed never to return to. The town where her dreams were shattered and her nightmare began. Back to the place she’d been destined to meet two very powerful, yet very different men. One would break her heart, the other would destroy her soul. Both would change her life forever.


Peta snatched the photo from his hands and put it back in her purse. Her spine was ramrod straight. Ice dripped from her tone. “How magnanimous of you, Jaime. I’m quite capable of taking care of my daughter financially.”

“Yes and by keeping your mouth shut, you endangered her life and your own!” Jaime regretted the words the moment they left his tongue. He saw Peta flinch as the shutters descended in her eyes. He felt her retreat. The flimsy bough of peace was broken, destroyed by his angry words.

The door opened as they both stood, facing each other angrily. Tension sprang between them like a coiled snake, ready to strike at the smallest provocation.

“We didn’t have much luck with the tape of his call.” Mark didn’t notice the tension until he looked up from dropping the room key on the table. “No background noise, nothing to identify his whereabouts.” He watched as Jones bent to wipe up the soapy puddle on the floor near the kitchen sink, then looked at Peta and Jaime curiously…and spotted the still damp patches on their chests. “World War III or just a minor disagreement?” When they both glared at him, he continued, “Okay, then, on to the plans for tonight. We’re looking at putting a substitute in Peta’s place for the drop off…”

 Peta dug her heels in. “No!” she said. “I go or the deal’s off.  I’m not putting Bella’s life at stake any further.”

 “Peta, he’s unstable. Who knows what he’s likely to do? The drop off could be a trap. It’s too risky. He knows there’s no way we’re letting you go in there on your own. He’ll be ready for us...and you.”

Peta looked at them, chin raised, her stubborn expression leaving them in no doubt. “It’s my daughter’s life at stake here. I go tonight or you don’t get the evidence either!” She held up her hand as Mark began to protest. “It’s me he wants. I know how to handle him. I did it for ten lousy years! I’m done being scared.”



  1. Hi
    Looking forward to reading this.

  2. Hi Fiona :) Lovely to see you here. Thanks for coming over and thanks for having me here today, Jan.

  3. What? There's another Fiona around? I live in the Midwest around Chicago in the USA, and I've only met 2 in my life! I guess I've got to get around to more British websites, eh?

    But I'm not giving up the Princess Fiona title! I'll share it, but not give it up!

    Loved your answers, Juanita. Unlike you, I can't sing at all! My friends and family beg me to stop if I even hum along with songs! Good luck with the new book,

    1. Thanks Fiona :) I have been known to shatter glass on the high notes - although that's everyone dropping their glasses and running away, LOL. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  4. Thanks Juanita,

    I was so happy to have you on my blog, I loved your answers to the questions I posed. It appears there are a few Fiona's around that like your work :) I also have an Aussie author friend called Fiona Archer so it's not an uncommon name for me to hear and use.

    Thanks for the comments :)

    1. Thanks Jan. I had great fun answering your questions. Loved my moment in your hot seat. Yes, I know a few Aussie Fiona's. It looks like I might have to name one of my characters Fiona ;-)