I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Aussie author Lana Penrose to chat to her about her latest book Kickstart My Heart. Kickstart is a ‘carnival of dating disasters‘ and is her second book.
I found Lana to be a brave woman opening herself up to the world penning her experiences of being a complete love-spaz; for Lana writing everything down was a cathartic process.
Like so many women, Lana has a blazing international career complete with travel and glamour, but her love life is in tatters.Â Kickstart explores her attempts to rebuild her self-esteem and self-image after crawling from the remains of a broken relationship and is a fresh and comical look at romance for the single woman in her thirties!
To write a book was always a far-away dream for Lana even though she wanted to be a school teacher when she grew up and in a way she’s still following that path because she hopes that by sharing her story (very embarrassing at times) she will help others on their journeys too, show them that they’re not the only ones messing up.
Kickstart is the follow-on to Hellas & Back and as a journey, it’s one that most of us can relate too, seriously who hasn’t searched for love in all the wrong places?Â I know I certainly have, I’ve gone out, gotten drunk and hooked up with some random guy just for the sake of it and of course totally regretted it in the morning, it’s a rite of passage I say even though it feels shit at the time!
For Lana, the most important thing she has learnt about herself is that she knows she will never be in a situation that she can’t handle, even though it might be really really tough, she knows she’ll get through it.Â Her most cherished experience was working with the ‘popstar’ (Darren Hayes) and right now if she could go back in time and change anything she says she wouldn’t move to Greece, but I know that in time that perspective will change because she will see the catalyst that Greece was in pushing her onto her ‘true path’ and being where she is now, it’s only up from here.
Q & A:
If they made a movie of Kickstart Your Heart, who would you love to play yourself? Jennifer Aniston
Who is your celebrity crush? Russell Brand
Your favourite place in the world and why? Sydney (my home) because my family are here
Describe yourself in five words:Â sensitive, deep thinker, funny, semi-creative, prone to bad decisions
What’s your life’s motto? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
What are you working on/juggling now? I’m a full-time writer now and I’m working on my third book and a secret fourth book.
What five favourite things can\’t your live without? Chanel Lip gloss; really good hair cut (Brad Ngata); Mac computer; massage and wristband accessories
Your favourite fun & girlie thing you like to do? Dancing with my girlfriends
Who would you like to have at a girl\’s night in and why and what would you do? You might not know who she is, but Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & the Banshees was always a hero of mine. Â I’d also invite Mother Theresa and Oprah. Â And spiritualist Betty Shine. Â It would be a rather eclectic gathering!
Lana’s openness and honesty is so touching even when you’re cringing at some of her antics and shaking your head at the hilariously dysfunctional bedmates, you egg her on from the sidelines willing her to step off the merry-go-round and get it together.Â Lana is back in Australia (she lives just down the road from me) and is still trying to pull it all together and I can’t wait to read her next book because I know she will find that happy ending.
Penguin Kickstart My Heart RRP$32.99 and Hellas & Back RRP$24.99.