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  • Writer's pictureMaya Linnell

Kaneana May speaks about healing, motherhood and family

Family dynamics and friendships are at the forefront of the moving new novel from New South Welsh author, Kaneana May. All We Have is Now centres around a wellness business, Healing Hands, with the storyline switching between the perspective of main characters Bree, Elsie and Olive. I was quickly drawn into the dance between friendship and secrets, as the three colleagues face the biggest challenges of their lives.

Kaneana shines a touching spotlight on the toughest aspects of being a mother, sister and daughter. I had no trouble picturing the settings and the beautiful federation house where their wellness centre is set and felt strong empathy for the characters as they navigated heart-wrenching situations. All We Have is Now is out in eBook, audiobook and paperback with Harper Collins.

Keep reading for the interview with Kaneana, links to buy and your chance to win a copy.

Five Fast minutes with Kaneana May

Do you have a good luck charm or a special token that sits on your desk/in your office?

I have a special picture my daughter drew to replicate the cover of THE ONE. It hangs just above my desk and looking at it always makes me smile.

Favourite exercise to counteract all the hours sitting at the keyboard?

I do early morning exercise to make myself feel better for all the hours I sit at the desk. I switch it up between metapower, bootcamp, jogging and walking. But my all-time favourite is probably netball which I play one night a week with a great bunch of ladies.

What’s your go-to weekday dinner dish?

Lentil Bolognese. We’re not vegetarian, but we eat lots of vego meals. I love throwing all the lentils and veggies in the slow cooker at the start of the day and knowing that dinner is already sorted. It’s perfect if I know we have a really busy after school schedule! Best thing is that it’s super easy and everyone in our house loves it.

Which career would you choose if money wasn’t a factor and writing wasn’t an option?

I studied Television Production and still love all the behind-the-scenes stuff of film and TV. Ideally I’d work in production. (Which would make living regionally really difficult).

Favourite book from your childhood?

Definitely The Baby-Sitters Club and Little Sister book series. I think those books made me fall in love with reading.

Worst writing/book related injury?

Back/shoulder/neck from being at the computer from long periods of time. I also get a sore butt from sitting down for so long! I really must invest in a stand-up desk.

Which jelly bean do you eat first, and which do you leave until last?

I love black jellybeans! Problem is, so too do my kids! If all the blacks are gone, I might have one or two white, but I’m likely to leave the rest and search the cupboard instead for chocolate! (Cooking chocolate if it’s desperate times). NOTE FROM MAYA: I'm 100% with you on both these things, Kaneana.

Have you done anything special with any of your advances?

Yes, the advance from The One went towards a family holiday to Bali! Our kids talk about that holiday all the time. I feel very grateful that we were able to take them on an overseas holiday before Covid hit!

Spot where you seem to get the best bursts of writing inspiration?

Usually on a walk, brainstorming with my mum. Often when I’m driving or right when I’m drifting off to sleep!

Which book and ‘essential’ item would you pack if you won a week in the Whitsunday Islands?

I just finished reading Firefly Lane, so I’d take the sequel Fly Away along with my coffee machine.

Sounds like I need an endless bottle of champagne to go with

Aussie novel you’re most looking forward to in 2021?

There are so many Aussie novels that I’m looking forward to, but I’m super keen to read Liane Moriarty’s Apples never fall which comes out in September.

Best one-line sentence from one of your book reviews?

“I inhaled it in two days, because I just couldn’t stop reading.” – Ali Berg on THE ONE.

Share a quirky habit or something readers might be surprised to discover about you.

My name Kaneana is pronounced ‘Ka-knee-na’. It’s a North American Indian name which means the pool underneath the waterfall.

It’s also a Hawaiian name and years ago when my husband and I went to Hawaii, all the locals could pronounce it correctly which was quite a novelty!


All We Have Is Now

Healing others is their calling, but what happens if they can't fix themselves? A richly nuanced and empathetic examination of life, loss and courage from a talented new Australian author.

Health and wellbeing brought Olive, Elsie and Bree together. After five years, their bustling wellness centre is demanding expansion. A beautiful federation house nestled among the picturesque backdrop of their small town is the perfect place to grow their business. But they don't count on their personal lives getting in the way.

Practical and pragmatic, Olive keeps her past hidden from her friends. But when an old high-school flame shows up, the secrets she's worked so hard to bury threaten to tear her carefully constructed world apart.

Bree is the fun-loving one, although family tensions lurk behind her free-spirited facade. The reappearance of her troubled sister Winnie brings Bree's priorities into sharp focus. Will she have to shelve her own happiness to save her sister?

Kind and maternal to all those around her, Elsie's role as the practice's counsellor comes naturally. But when tragedy strikes, her world tumbles down like a house of cards.

With everything they've built in disarray, their friendship is on the line...

About the author

Kaneana May studied television production at university, graduating with first-class honours in screenwriting. She went on to work in the script departments of television drama programs and became a scriptwriter on Home and Away. She turned her attention to fiction writing and was shortlisted as the ARRA, 2019 Favourite Debut Romance Author for her novel, The One. She balances out her love for coffee, cake, cheese and champagne with early morning boot camp sessions or walks along the beach. Kaneana lives on the Mid North Coast with her husband, three children and their energetic Labrador. All We Have Is Now is her second book.

Find Kanena online


For your chance to win a copy of this fabulous book, simply read the interview and answer the questions on the WIN page. Entries open April 3. The winner will be drawn Sunday, April 11 at 5 pm. Newsletter subscribers and Aussie addresses only, please. Thanks to Harper Collins Books for the review and giveaway copies.


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