Annus Horribilis

At the lowest point in her life, Kirsten Smith wakes up under a lantana bush on New Year’s Day. Determined to reinvent herself, she vows to rise above her worst moment.

Throughout the year, Kirsten and her best friends are flung into a hysterical romp through life; their mishaps and adventures ultimately force them to question themselves and their perceptions of love, beauty, sex, men and even their friendship.

Hilarious and heart-breaking, Kirsten’s year of self-renovation culminates in an enchanting love triangle, an unexpected new family, and a surprising new career. (Warning: this novel is slightly naughty.)

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Reviews:

Ruth B. on January 28 2015
Five stars
– Riotous 
“This made me laugh! A little bit loud and inappropriately at times too! If you are after a light, easy read that is funny, politically incorrect, with a good story line and some inventive invective, this is the read for you. Roni, I enjoyed this read immensely. Made me snort several times….to the point of tears.”

Alicia H. on February 9 2015
Five stars
– Hilarious
“You have to read
Annus Horribilis if you have ever had an embarrassing moment…it will make you laugh out-loud, and mostly likely pee yourself in mirth! On top of that you will forever see you own personal misadventures as not so bad and funny to boot! Thank you Roni and Kirsten for showing us the lighter side of life even when its heavy!”

Lyne February 21, 2015
Five stars – Funniest book I have ever read
“I cried laughing reading this book! It is not only funny but has touching moments that will make you want to giggle and cry at the same time. This characters are hilarious and truly demonstrate loyalty in friendship. This story rollicks along at a snappy pace and is truly entertaining. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to laugh!”

Theresa Price  on November 2, 2014
Five stars – Brilliant
“Roni is certainly an eloquent writer… I was laughing the whole way through! Hilarious… brilliant… Highly recommend this!”

Q&A: The Guardian (would happily do it if I was asked…)

The questions remain unchanged from the original Q&A Rosanna Greenstreet (@celebQandA) did with Miriam Margolyes …

Life and Style > The Q&A

Roni Askey-DoranSM

“Just give me a second, I need to put my vibrator away.”

Q&A: Roni Askey-Doran

Born in Launceston, Tasmania, 48, never attended college. In 1978 she won a Grease Disco Dancing contest, was awarded Best Beachwear Design in a state Fashion Design Competition in 1982, and in 1999 was awarded Best Travel Writer in a Lonely Planet Writing Competition. She is a champion for Mental Illness awareness and writes comedy, drama and true life. She currently lives in Ecuador.

When were you happiest?
In 2009, I spent one whole year working on me, on my spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health. I didn’t work, I took a whole year off just to focus on myself, it was bliss.

What is your greatest fear?
That I won’t achieve my goal: to write books without ever having to wonder where my next meal is coming from.

What is your earliest memory?
Walking through an airport with my parents and seeing this sea of bare knees under the hems of short pants and skirts passing by my eyes. I was three years old when we moved from Adelaide to Sydney.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Anyone who has overcome insurmountable odds.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
A sense of lostness that sometimes creeps up on me and causes terrible lethargy.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Unkindness.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Years ago, I was giving a seminar and the mobile phone in my jeans pocket kept vibrating for almost the entire hour that I was speaking. As I was packing up my things, some people came over to talk to me and I said out loud, “Just give me a second, I need to put my vibrator away.”

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My fat thighs.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
Tasmanian tigers.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I don’t think I can say that here.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Leaving the toilet door open.

What is your favourite word?
Gobsmacked.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
When I was a teenager, everyone always told me that I was stupid. It took me ages to ‘unbelieve’ them.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I never feel guilty about things that give me pleasure, but my favourite pleasure is lying in a hammock with a good book and a bowl of chili popcorn.

To whom would you most like to say sorry and why?
To all the people who have suffered for my craziness.

What was the best kiss of your life?
It was a full moon… we walked on the beach….

Which living person do you most despise and why?
Tony Abbott, for his efforts to destroy Australia’s environment.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Frida Kahlo, Nelson Mandela, Gertrude Stein, Jack Kerouac, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
A bestseller.

What is your greatest achievement?
To stand tall and proud in the face of life’s challenges.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

How would you like to be remembered?
As a talented writer and an adventurous woman.

Where would you most like to be right now?
Scuba diving.

Tell us a secret.
I never use soap to wash my face.

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