Romance writers share the love

If you thought true romance only happened in novels think again.

“I’m the author but he’s the one who writes deeply romantic beautiful cards for me and I’ve got the whole stack safely put away,” says romance writer Kali Anthony of her husband Philip, her own tall, dark and handsome hero who she has been married to for almost 18 years.

Kali Anthony read her first romance novel at 14 and it didn’t take her long to realise that there can never be too many happy endings, and that one day she would write them herself.

It didn’t happen overnight but it did happen for Kali, realising her dream of a happy ending of her own in more ways than one. Kali has just finished her eighth book for Harlequin Presents/Mills and Boon Modern, firmly establishing herself in the genre with stories of steamy romances, alpha heroes, exotic locations and billionaire lifestyles.

“My husband likes to say he’s my muse, but unless we win that $150 million lottery, buy a yacht and start that billionaire lifestyle, I can’t say these stories come from my life. They are complete flights of fantasy,” Kali said.

However, her real life love story is the stuff that novels and movies are made on. Kali met Philip at university, were in the same group of friends and stayed just friends for 20 years, both had other relationships, and then they found themselves both single and in the same city at the same time and began to hang out together.

“Something just snapped. We had always been just buddies and never had any intimate discussions about what we wanted out of life and then we started talking and we realised how much we had in common. Then one night we kissed and that was when I thought ‘I’m going to marry you’,” Kali said.

The pair celebrate their love in their own unique personal way each year but it’s not on 14 February. “Philip hates the commercialism of Valentine’s Day but I always get flowers delivered to my office on 13 February which I think is absolutely delightful and incredibly sweet,” she said.

“I love happy endings. I get very involved in a book and it hurts me when terrible things happen to the characters. I like them to be uplifting,” she said.

Her latest book Crowned for the King’s Secret is out now and her next book Awoken by Revenge will be published in May.

Kali will be a guest at the Romancing the page author event at Logan North library on 15 February for a panel discussion with fellow romance authors Louisa Duval and Kendall Talbot.

Kendall will be returning to her roots when she attends the event.

“I grew up at Logan. I went to Waterford and Loganlea High schools. I lived at Logan Reserve, Chambers Flats and Woodridge. I was 16 when I met my husband there. He was my boss. Now that’s romance,” Kendall said.

She was the weekend casual in a jewellery shop and her future husband was 21. Although she remembers thinking he was pretty old at the time, they were both smitten from the start and five years from their first kiss they were engaged and a year after that, married.

“We knew form early on in the relationship that it was love. Even now after 38 years we can’t believe how lucky we are that we found each other,” she said. They always do something on Valentine’s Day but they don’t give gifts. Kendall’s partner Dean buys her flowers spontaneously throughout the year. “That’s more precious to me and I think more telling of a beautiful relationship,” she said.

“We have a beautiful relationship. I feel very blessed, although we do work at doing special things together. I absolutely know what love is and I’m able to pour this emotion into my characters.”

Dean can even take credit for starting Kendall on her journey to become an author.

“I have a bucket list and I had written on it that I wanted to write a book and every birthday and Christmas my beautiful husband gets out my bucket list to what he can tick off for me. When I was 39 he bought me a course at the Queensland Writers Centre and during that year I wrote my first book called Lost in Kakadu. I fell in love with writing and creating characters and stories and story arcs and so on and it took me eight years to polish the book before I started submitting it to publishers. It went on to win the Romantic Book of the Year. It changed my life.”

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