Having once made her living as a professional cheerleader, Ally Blake learned early on to live by the motto 'Smile and the world smiles with you'.
One way to make Ally smile is by sending her on holidays, especially to locations that inspire her writing. Her love of travel hit a special note when she married her gorgeous hubby in Las Vegas. (For those of you wondering how it's done, everything was organized that day! The chapel, the limo, the flowers, the restaurant, the hair and make-up - everything!) She continued to travel throughout the United States on her honeymoon, meeting Hugh Hefner and his bunnies, recent Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, and the darling Tony Curtis along the way. After being informed on the Sunday before Ally's wedding that she was getting married on the Wednesday, Mr Curtis leaned in and promised with a big wink, "There's plenty of time between now and Wednesday." Can that guy deliver a line, or what?!?!?
Ally grins from ear to ear every time she hits New York. She loves the length and breadth of Central Park, the colour and life of Times Square, the chance to gaze upon David Letterman, the scalpers on Broadway, the restaurants in Little Italy, every floor of Bloomingdales… Need she go on?
Last year she and her hubby travelled throughout Italy and found it scrumptious. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming from every city they saw and loved. Highlights were the Trevi Fountain by night, snow-covered Lake Como, the Ponte Vecchio and the David in Florence, and pizza in Sorrento so fresh the cheese still bubbled as she ate it. Ally even ended up setting one of her books in a gorgeous Tuscan villa inspired by one she visited in which she had enjoyed a very nice day with a bottle of Chianti Classico.
Another thing that makes her smile is the gracious city of Melbourne. She can be seen smiling at the MCG (when Collingwood is winning!), St Kilda beach, the French pastry shops on Acland St, Sale e Pepe restaurant on Lygon St, the Melbourne Zoo, the Queen Victoria markets, every floor of Chadstone Shopping Centre... Mmm, there is a food and shopping pattern fast forming here.
Now she can't leave out her grin-worthy miniature fox terrier Squiffy, lukewarm coffee, bowls filled with M&Ms, The Little Mermaid memorabilia, sleeping in, and Christian Bale movies. Wow! The number of ways to make her smile is endless!
And as for her career as a writer? It gives her a perfectly reasonable excuse to indulge in her undeniable stationery addiction. That alone is enough to keep her grinning every day!
Ally loves to hear from her readers at: firstname.lastname@example.org