Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Excerpt, Author Interview & Giveaway - Chasing Chris Campbell by Genevieve Gannon

Chasing Chris Campbell

by Genevieve Gannon 



Violet is saving money: living on rice and beans and denying herself chocolate eclairs all in the name of saving for a home deposit. Once they save enough, she and Michael can buy a house, settle down and live happily ever after. But when Michael does the unthinkable, Violet is forced to rethink her life choices.   

A chance encounter with Chris Campbell (first love, boy-next-door, The One That Got Away) spurs her into travelling to exotic locations she never dreamed she'd explore - Hong Kong, Vietnam, Varanasi - on a quest to catch up with Chris and lead a life of adventure. Armed with hand sanitizers and the encouraging texts of her twin sister Cassandra, will Violet find true love before it's too late? Or will the nerve-wracking experience of travelling send her back to Melbourne in search of safety and stability? Can she work out what she really wants before she is left with nothing?



When I first moved in after the motorcycle fiasco, I only planned to stay at Mum and Dad’s for a few nights to cool off. But after the big bust-up at the Tanner house party the weeks had passed in a blur of bars and hangovers. Soon I was several weeks into the new year with nowhere else to go. 

One Saturday night, when I couldn’t face going out again, my fourteen-year-old brother, Zach, came into the room and lay on the end of my bed. 

‘Cass, why is Vy sad?’ he asked my sister who was watching me from my bedroom door. 

‘It’s nothing Zachman,’ I said. ‘I’m just sleepy.’ 

Cass joined Zach on the end of my bed. 

‘Cass, what am I going to do? For the past few years my plan has been to start a life with him.’ 

‘Make new plans,’ she said gently. 

‘My whole life I’ve been waiting get married. To have children. It’s all been a waste.’ 

Cass didn’t say anything. 

The past weeks had been stereo chaos. In between late night parties, I’d somehow managed to unshackle my life from Michael’s. In a haze of hangovers and tears I’d divided our books, our CDs, our crockery and finally our finances. Now, all that was left of my white-picket future was my couch, half a cutlery set, and $22,000. 

‘You should take a trip,’ said Cass. ‘You’ve never even left Australia. There’s plenty of time for buying a house and having children later. This is an opportunity to get out on your own. Figure out who you are.’ She opened her laptop. ‘What about a European adventure? Or Poland, Vy? You could visit Nan’s old town.’ 

I took the computer from her. ‘Maybe. I’d want to go somewhere hot.’ 

‘But we’ve got family in Poland. They’d take care of you.’ 

‘No,’ I shook my head. ‘I don’t know.’ 

After Cass had gone to bed, I went to my laptop and sifted through some of the travel pages she’d bookmarked. My room was dark and silent. The only sign of life was the glow of the laptop screen and the tap of my fingers on the keys. Pictures of spotless beaches flickered before my eyes. I imagined how the fine sand would feel against my skin. She had flagged pages and pages of suggestions. Next came tiny mountain villages full of houses with thatched roofs. Then the grandeur of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, its yellow plains pocked with the entrance of tombs. I put my face close to the computer screen, trying to see what lay beyond the tombs’ shadowy entrances. I looked around at my childhood bedroom. I was twenty-seven and it was one of only two homes I’d ever known. The dolls I’d nursed as a child still sat on top of my bookshelf. 

A bell heralding a new email rang out, making me jump. When I looked at it my breath caught in my throat. It was from I quickly clicked on it. The connection stalled. 

‘Come on, come on,’ I whispered. 

The email opened up on the screen:

Hey Vy,

Great to see you the other night, albeit briefly! Where did you run off to?

Shame we couldn’t catch up. I’m back in Hong Kong now. Working short term contracts while I try to find a real job. I do some hospitality shifts to make a little extra travel money – the Shangri-La and a few others places. Wherever they’ll have me. The night life is amazing here. You should visit some time. You’d love Asia. Come to Asia!



My hands were shaking. Chris Campbell had written to me. He had wanted to spend more time with me. I read it twice. I thought about what he’d said to me and the opportunities I’d missed. I thought about Michael and his need to control everything, his jealousy and bloody-mindedness. I replayed in my head the way Chris had perfectly articulated the way I felt about him. He was the one that got away. But it wasn’t too late. I read the email again. Come to Asia.

Cass’s voice echoed in my head. Figure out who you are. I licked my lips.

Then I booked a plane ticket to Hong Kong. 

One way.


Talking with author Genevieve Gannon!

What is your writing environment?

I write a bit in cafes and at my own dining room table, but I probably get most of my work done propped up in bed with my laptop on my knees. I’ve just read Mindy Kaling does exactly the same thing, so I’m no longer afraid to admit that I write in bed!

Who is your perfect hero/heroine and why? 

Benny from Maeve Binchy’s Circle of Friends. I love her warmth and self-deprecating humour (Benny, you great fat article!) but also that she’s a woman who knows her worth.

What authors have caught your interest lately and why?

I’ve just discovered Curtis Sittenfeld whose book Prep I adored. I’ve also recently become enamored with Gary Shteygart.

What type of book have you always wanted to write?

I am working on two ideas that are more serious than my previous books. They’re both a long way off from completion – I have another romantic comedy I’d like to finish first – but I’m enjoying writing stories with a greater variety of characters and themes. One is a re-write of a manuscript I first wrote in 2010-2011. At the time I thought it was my masterpiece. But now, having been through the process of developing two books, I can see its flaws and completely torn it up and started again.

Top 3 things on your bucket list?

I’d love to see one of my books make it in to print (okay, I’d love to see one of them become a best-selling darling of the critics), I’d like to go to Japan and live for a stint in either Dublin, London or New York. (A bucket list is allowed to be totally selfish, right?)

How did you get the idea for this particular novel?

A lot of the anecdotes are from my own travel experiences, so the romantic comedy storyline became a vehicle for telling a story about a naïve traveler completely out of their depth in foreign countries they know nothing about. Violet and her journey are a complete fabrication, but many of the things that happen to her are versions of things that happened to me.

What is your favorite scene in your new release? 

Probably some of my favourite scenes to write were the ones where Violet finds herself in really uncomfortable scenarios. I had great fun evoking the revolting situations she faced. Other than that, I really love some of the scenes between Violet and a character named Harry. I like the easy, gentle, teasing nature of their relationship.

What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?

My current project is a long way off. I recently read and enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and have started Stephanie Clifford’s Everybody Rise, about the US upper crust, and the new project dips a toe into those worlds a little. The lives of the wildly wealthy are fun places to be and write about. I’m looking forward to more of that as I write book three.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?


What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?

I can write shorthand. I’m a journalist by trade and in my first year I had classes every Monday that drilled all of the shortcuts and quirky little squiggles that represent letters into our minds. It’s a strange, archaic skill. But I use it every day in my job. I sometimes use it when making notes on my manuscripts.

AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Genevieve Gannon is a Melbourne-based journalist and author. She wrote stories for music and fashion street press magazines while at university before moving to Canberra to do a journalism cadetship. 

In 2011 she joined the national news wire, Australian Associated Press, where she covered crime, politics and entertainment. Her work has appeared in most major Australian newspapers including The Age, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph. 

She currently lives in Melbourne where she is a court reporter. At night she writes romantic comedies




Genevieve will be awarding an eCopy of Chasing Chris Campbell to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.  Follow the tour HERE  

a Rafflecopter giveaway