Character Profile: Colby “Coop” Cooper

To make The Heart Wants What It Wants a bit more accessible and interactive, I have constructed profiles on the main characters from this novel for your entertainment.

It is important to note that these picture bases of the characters are the most accurate physical portrayal of the character out there and not the actual character. Without further ado, here is the fourth and final character profile!

Colby “Coop” Cooper
“The Gentle Giant”

Full name: Colby Cooper, but please just call me Coop
Age: 27*
Date of birth: September 27, 1987
Star sign: Taurus
Height: Six-foot-four
Weight: 244lbs
Hair colour: I just thought it was blond, but apparently it’s sandy blond
Eye colour: Brown
Occupation: Risk management consultant… in other words, I clean up other people’s shit.
Notable physical features: I worked long and hard for this big beard of mine. I’m very proud of – oh, you meant like tattoos or piercings? Then no, I don’t have any.
Hobbies include: If you asked me a few months ago, I would’ve said drinking. But now that I’m a changed man, I like working out and getting together with friends.
One day I wish to be: The most sought-after shit cleaner in all of Australia!
Favourite food: I love all kinds of food. I love a good chicken parmy – because it’s a bloody parmy, not a parma -, I love steak and ribs… oooh ribs! I could go for some ribs right now, with a side of fries and mashed potato… I’ve lost my train of thought… what did you want to know again?
Least favourite food: Not that I hate salad, but I will never understand why people eat out at restaurants and order salads. You can make that at home!
Favourite movie: The entire Godfather film series. Oh come on! Who doesn’t?
Least favourite movie: Marley and Me. If you can sit there and say that you can watch that movie without crying, then you aren’t human. Or you’re a bloody liar.
If I could be someone else for a day, I’d be: Marlon Brando, either when he was young and handsome, or old and the Godfather.
Favourite musician: Jason Aldean.
Favourite song: The Highwayman by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. Did you know that this was the song that made them become the Highwaymen? I guess it’s kind of suggested in the song title…
Favourite book: The Godfather by Mario Puzo… oh don’t act so shocked.
Favourite TV series: Mad Men. Always had a bit of a thing for Jon Hamm.
Likes: I love eating, because you don’t get this damn big by eating a salad. I love spending time with my friends and family… I’m a self-admitted mummy’s boy, and we go on dates every now and then. Hey! I’m a gentle giant! I can’t help it. Did I mention I love eating ribs?
Dislikes: I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but once I had this client who was adamant that I hadn’t done my job properly, even though I got them out of debt and put them back in the positive. If I wasn’t a calm gentleman, I swear I would’ve punched this moron in the face… oh, I guess that means I dislike stupid people.
Quote to live by: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” ~ Don Vito Corleone

To purchase The Heart Wants What It Wants, click this link here for several e-book purchasing options.

– by The Black Widow

*Age at the time of this novel

Kindle… Schmindle

I don’t trust you Kindle users. I’ve seen you around and to be honest, I look at you askance. Askance, and with something akin to pity in my eyes. Or maybe it’s just thinly veiled contempt.

Books come in all shapes and sizes, they have nice covers, you can flick through them and even write in them. Unless it’s a library book… you can’t write in a library book. Book rhymes with “nook” and “cook” and “rook” unless you happen to hail from Yorkshire in which case it rhymes with gobbledygook.

Kindle… dwindle… swindle… schmindle.

The word Kindle, meaning “to set light to” or “to set on fire” seems an ominous sort of  name. Are they suggesting some metaphorical book burning is in order to clear the way for their electronic witchcraft? I remember another chap who didn’t like books and in fact used them as kindling for other books and by all accounts he couldn’t write worth a shit either.

There are books out there I have searched for years to find and to no avail. I’ve trawled through bookstores and op-shops with the vain hope that I might find a second-hand copy of some Kurt Vonnegut title or other. And when I found it, away I would steal, like Roald Dahl’s BFG off to the Land of Dreams… Surely you’ve seen the Quentin Blake illustration of the famous giant? Ah, you read it on a Kindle. Tough titties.

'You is never doing anything unless you tries' BFG (SOURCE: Global Panorama's Flickr photostream)

‘You is never doing anything unless you tries’ BFG (SOURCE: Global Panorama’s Flickr photostream)

When I arrive home with my brown paper bag crinkling against my tweed weskit I slide my papyrus trophy to nestle against her fellow brothers and sisters of the printing press. And there may she wait in silent, bookish contemplation until finally reanimated by human curiosity.

“Do you accept Kindle’s terms and conditions before you continue?’

“Nay, damn you I accept neither. Nor your right to demand any such acceptance, you swine.”

You may laugh at me moving house, weeping with the effort of dragging box after box of words. Me, forcing the unyielding bastards into the back of the car, whilst you charge your Kindle with the cigarette-lighter in the front. Your laughter will turn to bitterest tears when your flimsy Kindle is trapped between a box of my literary heavy weights and a George Foreman grill (he’s so proud of it he put his name on it).

Have you even considered the humble librarian? Proud literary custodians since days of yore. Where’s your sense of mystery, your sense of occasion? Where’s your sense of common human decency? Have you even considered the librarian at all? For shame…

The librarian is a bibliophile first and foremost. They care for all the books from Douglas Adams to Markus Zusak (who wrote The Book Thief not “The Kindle Swindler”). They care for them all without passion or prejudice whether it be Jane Eyre or Edward Cullen, Harry Potter or Beatrix Potter, Dorian Grey or Christian Grey. The librarian abides. However I like to think that when the stoic chronicler is confronted with the image of you squinting at Dan Brown on that spineless auto-cue you call an “e-book”, they shed a single tear. What was it J.M Barrie said? “Every time a child reads a Kindle there is a little librarian somewhere that falls down dead.” Something along those lines anyway.

Before you try to get smart with me, I wrote this on a type-writer before sending it by pigeon to an alchemist who transformed it into this format. You may well call me a Luddite and  I very well may be but were I alive in the days of Neil Ludd I’d be on the side of the workers and you’d be a “Fat Cat” trampling us and starving our families in the name of profit and progress. You’d probably have gout.

Bloody kindles…

– by James Andrews

Unthoughtful Gifts for Christmas

It’s real simple, when you’re so close to someone that you decide to buy them a Christmas present, don’t half-ass it. This is a little list of what you shouldn’t get people if you actually give a hoot about them. By all means, if you hate them, use this as a shopping guide, or just buy whatever cheap crap Kmart has on its first display shelves.


And they're always the daggy, long, white type.

And they’re always the daggy, long, white type.

How cute, little Johnny got his dad some snuggly socks for his cold Christmas feet, dad must be so touched by his generous offering. No Johnny, he’s not. Your dad hates you, and I hate you. Every time he puts on those socks he’s going to think of what an awful child you are. Anything, absolutely anything would be better than socks. What’s that Johnny? You drew a cute picture of yourself and dad? Good, frame that shit and give it to daddy, and next time you think of buying socks make sure that they’re for your feet only.

Exception: Buying this gift as a joke for a friend with no feet.


Wow! With all this soap I won't be so smelly anymore!

Wow! With all this soap I won’t be so smelly anymore!

It doesn’t matter what shape it comes in: bird, fish, tiny love hearts – it’s all shit. Keep in mind that people are typically very good with their hygiene, and they will use their own preferred brands rather than the two dollar, coffee-scented, cat-shaped soap you thought really reflected this person’s interests. Guess what – Personal hygiene is everyones interest, or at least it should be.

Exception: Buying this gift for a smelly, inanimate object.


Mmm.. Smells like Coles brand.

Mmm.. Smells like Coles brand.

Now this one is a bit tricky because a genuinely good candle will be used and will last long, and picking a scent that is personalised to your loved one is a nice touch. A general rule would be, if you’re getting someone candles (which is a pretty lazy present, but I’ll forgive you), get it from a boutique candle store. Make sure it’s a good brand, because much like soap, if you get it from any dollars and cents store in one of those value bundle gift packs, this person will regift it and give it back to you next year, you heartless monster.

Exception: Buying this present for a person with a phobia of running out of candles.

Self-help Books

Thanks, but I like my reasonably terrible life the way it is.

Thanks, but I like my reasonably terrible life the way it is.

It seems dumb, but I really do have to spell this one out: If you get this for someone their going to think that you assume they need some sort of help in their tragic life. This gift isn’t so much unthoughtful but just downright rude. Maybe if someone has expressed an interest in starting a hobby or learning more about x, then you can get them a book about x. When it’s something like Understanding Men, or Microwave Dinners for One, then it’s very unlikely you’ll be getting a present back.

Exception: If this gift is for yourself and it’s titled: How to not be a dick on Christmas.

Beauty Bundles

Such beauty... so cheap.

Such beauty… so cheap.

Geez, if you’re getting into this territory you’ve just given up. We all know that these packages of makeup or nail polish are the first things we come into contact with while Christmas shopping. They’re obviously cheap, impersonal and surprisingly rubbish – The nail polish comes off within an hour and the makeup is the consistency of chalk. Shame on you if you’ve ever purchased this for a loved-one you genuinely love.

Exception: Buying this gift for any child under the age of eight with a strong passion for budget beauty.

Anything Christmas-themed

No no no!

No no no!

Christmas is for one day – one day out of three hundred and sixty five. This gift will be useful for maybe the week surrounding Christmas, but after that it will be considered pointless. It’s especially bad if you get it on Christmas day or later, because it’s something you won’t get to/have to use until another year has gone by, and by that time you would have thrown it out anyway. For the love of Santa, don’t get anyone a Santa.

Exception: If you’re an elf who gets paid in Christmas ornaments.

Perfume / Aftershave

*Heavy coughing and spluttering*

*Heavy coughing and spluttering*

It doesn’t matter if you get the cheap shit from the chemist or the classy celebrity-labelled brands from David Jones – in the end it’s just cliché smelly stuff, and I don’t even know how that became a go-to gift. A perfume or aftershave is so personal, and people are very picky when it comes to their scent. You will either receive the brand you’ve always worn, which just means this person has been in your bathroom (not that they know you well), or you’ll get one that has about an eighty percent chance of making you ill. It seems nice, maybe because it’s a top-notch brand and this person has spent a butt-load of money on it, but the amount of dollars spent doesn’t make it a good and thoughtful present.

Exception: Buying this gift for someone who only has the sense of smell.

I’m not going to say this is the absolute definitive list, Even on top of the exceptions I’ve thought of there are many more. I just think more people should know that it’s really evident when no thought has been put into a present, and it causes awkward and unpleasant feelings in a relationship. It’s not always the case, but its possible that if you get someone an amazing and thoughtful present they will return the favour.

by Josefina Huq