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 Noah La’ulu

*Age at the time of this novel

Character Profile: Jordan McMahon

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 third character profile!

Jordan McMahon
“New Girl in Town”

Full name: Jordan McMahon
Age: 24*
Date of birth: April 24, 1990
Star sign: Taurus
Height: Five-foot-seven
Weight: A lady never reveals her weight!
Hair colour: Dark, almost black
Eye colour: Green
Occupation: Full-time carer for my grandfather Joe
Notable physical features: I have my ears pierced, and I wouldn’t mind getting a small tattoo or two if they had a special meaning.
Hobbies include: I know it sounds childish, but I LOVE playing arcade games! You could leave me at an arcade, work 9-5, come back, and I will still be there. I love spending time with my immediate and extended family, and I love doing cute things with Jase.
One day I wish to be: A mother. What girl doesn’t?
Favourite food: I LOVE Mexican food. Have you ever been to Pablo’s? AMAZING. The spicier, the better. Also, choccy milk. Can’t go wrong with choccy milk.
Least favourite food: Seafood. Or strawbee milk. Who drinks strawbee milk over choccy milk
Favourite movie: Clueless. It’s a must have for every girl’s collection.
Least favourite movie: I can’t stomach horror movies. Blood and guts… yuck!
If I could be someone else for a day, I’d be: Audrey Hepburn!
Favourite musician: Ariana Grande
Favourite song: Bang Bang by Jessie J, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande
Favourite book: The Harry Potter series for sure! I’m in Gryffindor and my patronus is a flamingo.
Favourite TV series: Pretty Little Liars
Likes: Playing games, having fun, not taking myself too seriously! I love spending time with my family and extended family, and I love listening to my grandfather’s stories! That man has lived, let me tell you. Also… choccy milk.
Dislikes: I hate conflict! That is not to say that I won’t engage in some if it’s needed, but I think every situation can be resolved without the need of conflict. Plus, it just makes me uncomfortable watching two people fight. Oh, and strawbee milk.
Quote to live by: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself is ‘I’m possible’!” ~ Audrey Hepburn

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

– by Noah La’ulu

*Age at the time of this novel

Yes, I Am High-Maintenance and I Deserve To Be

Here’s how I turned an intended insult into a huge compliment.

For those that know me well, then you would already know the fact presented to you in the headline. And for those of you who don’t, let me catch you up to speed in the quickest way possible… I am precious: I physically cannot stay at hostels (3.5 stars are my absolute minimum for accommodation); if you don’t reply to my message within five minutes, I’ll be the first to complain about it, and will effortlessly flood your phone or inbox with messages until you do; unless it is cosplay or pop culture accessories (love my Harley Quinn Puddin’ choker), I refuse to wear jewellery that isn’t from Tiffany & Co.; and sometimes I call my father at work just to see what he’s doing.

I am high-maintenance af, and others have picked up on it. Some may intend it in a nice “but we love you anyway” kind of thing, but some people mean it as a form of insult, as in I need to change the way I am to suit them. I admit, being high-maintenance or needy isn’t necessarily a great quality to have, but I am proud of every intricacy of my personality, whether that is being bashful, loud, blunt, or high-maintenance.

As I sat down and thought to myself why others view me that way, I realised that when people call me high-maintenance, it is actually a huge compliment to my parents and their efforts in raising me to the best of their ability.

Thanks to two individuals, these siblings have lived a great life, including the addition of two sister-in-laws.

Contrary to what some may believe, when I was first born, my family didn’t have a lot. We usually wore hand-me-downs (FACT: I still have a jumper that my sister wore when she was in high-school so-and-so years ago), and we lived in a small three-bedroom house with seven humans and one canine, but I never saw the financial struggle that my parents must’ve faced, because to me, I had it all. I had somewhat loving brothers and sisters who each year grow closer and closer together; I had food on the table every morning, arvo, and evening, with plenty to spare for tomorrow’s leftovers; and we had a load of board games and a couple of gaming consoles that kept us kids entertained for days.

My father is Samoan, so we practice a tradition called “fa’a Samoa” (which you can learn more about at this link), which is loosely translated to “The Samoan Way”. I might not be completely familiar with the practice, but what I do know is that in this Samoan tradition, you give everything you have to family and friends, even the shirt off your back if you have to – especially in important times like funerals and weddings. While we weren’t rolling around in our riches, my parents often gave everything they had and much more to different family and friends, whom we often had over for dinner several days a week, to the point where I was accustomed to having up to 20 people at my dinner table on a weekly basis.

My father and mother raised me well, and gave me everything that I needed and most often, what I wanted. That is why, several years later as a 24-year-old, I can safely say that I deserve to be high-maintenance, because my needs were always met as a child, and my desires were given to me should I be deserving of them. My parents afforded me the luxuries of staying in nice hotels and enjoying the finer things in life.

So the next time someone tries to take a shot at me by calling me “needy” or “high-maintenance”, I am going to turn around and thank them for acknowledging the stellar job my parents did with me in raising me to be the man that I am today. And I am not ashamed of it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go straighten my seven-coloured-hair, because I can’t go out in public unless my hair is straightened and styled to the left.

– by Noah La’ulu

#NKinNA16: Part 6 – The Credits

Six weeks seems like a long time, especially for a holiday.

But when you’re travelling with the best travel partner and the most amazing group of friends, then that time will just fly by, and soon you’ll be sitting back in your home, typing furiously away at your laptop keyboard about your experiences because you refuse to let go of what once was.

What I would like to do now is write about all the people who made this trip incredible. Without you, I wouldn’t be writing this #NKinNA16 travel blog, because my experience would have been horrible and I would have nothing to write home about.

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The obvious starter for my round of shout outs is Kate: for six weeks, I got to wake up to you every morning, travel the great continent of North America with you, eat a rotation of cheese pizza and portabello sandwiches with you, and overall have the greatest time on the other side of the world with you. You are truly an incredible person, an amazing friend, and the best travelling partner I could have ever asked for. Thank you for snuggling me after our nights out with the group so we could talk about our feelings. Thank you for bringing me meatless Big Mac meals even when I didn’t expect it. Thank you for “taking walks” at the last minute. And thank you for being as selfless as one can be. This has been the adventure of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to take more with you.

To my family ElleNate and Aidan: thank you for taking Kate and I around Salt Lake City and being the best hosts ever. I can’t wait to see you guys again, when all three of you eventually move (back) to Australia. I’m not giving you a choice.

To my friends on the other side of the world who took the time out to see me, Emma and Nick: I love you both. Nashville was great because I got to see you, Emma, and reminisce on how totally not innocent we both were. Nick, thank you for bending over backwards to accommodate me in Cleveland, but next time, we have to spoon.

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To my original Mean Girls, Angela and Eliza: we clicked from day one, and judging by how much I miss you, it’s clear to see why. You girls were the best, plain and simple. As a Regina, I couldn’t have asked for a better Gretchen and Karen. And to your respective room buddies Russell and Simon, it was a darn pleasure getting to know y’all, and I can’t wait to catch up with all four of you some time in the near future. Perhaps Kate and I will join you for another round at Cheesecake Factory somewhere? #squadgoals (Somehow, somewhere, I will get a recording of you in Kanab, Russell, and I will hold it over your head forever)

Mike and James: I got along with the both of you very quickly, and always felt at ease when surrounded by one or both of you. If you’re reading this on your current journeys, don’t have too much fun without me. I’ll get jealous. Also, I didn’t get to sing Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me to you, so I guess that means I’ll have to see you when you get home.

To my bitches colloquially referred to as the “Adelaide Girls”, Courtney, Ashley and Georgia: keep Ashley in check. We all know how slutty rowdy she can get. I love you girls, and am glad I got to know you during the short time we had with each other. When I come to visit Kate, y’all better get Radelaide prepare for #CycloneNikki. Also just a sidenote to Ashley: shake shake shake shake shake.

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My two protectors on tour, Big Red and Micco: I could get away with 90% of the stuff I did on tour because I knew y’all were there to back me up if I needed it. Big Red, I loved my cuddles from you, and I think you’re a spectacular person that deserves the world. I just hate your grubby NRL team. I also miss saying “Big Red! Where are you? Aren’t you meant to carry me everywhere?”

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My rowdy Chicago taxi ride home crew Ally and Lauren: I miss y’all so much, and along with the boys from Melbourne and Eliza, missed you two the most from North by North East. Ally, we were destined to get along; after all, we are the Bottle Blonde Bitches together. Thank you for enduring the rape-by-water jet boat ride with me, and for being a vulgar nympho with me. Lauren, I can’t send you my sneaky pictures anymore for obvious reasons, but somehow I will keep our tradition alive.

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To both of my lovers on tour, Jacob and Esther: I love you both. Jacob, you are sensational in every sense of the word because you are not afraid to be true to yourself. You have this infectious personality that affects everyone around you, and people can’t help but want to be in your general vicinity. Esther, you are by far one of the most beautiful souls I have met. Your insides are as beautiful as your outsides (which is a lot). Can’t wait to see you somewhere in this small world of ours. Also, my mum is excited to meet her new daughter-in-law.

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My boys Brandon, Lochie and Rohan: catch you guys on the flipside. I loved meeting all three of you, and having the privilege of seeing you again after you got off tour. Lochie, you are one of the true gems of the world, and I will always love you for who you are. Rohan, I don’t know if you remember, but Kate entrusted a drunken Nikki to you one night in Boston, and you got me home safe and sound. I will never forget that. Brandon, McGregor is better than Diaz. Deal with it.

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My Grand Canadian girls Samantha, Jessica Lee and Ellie: all three of you are just great. There’s nothing more I can add to that. I will miss our bitchy messages to each other, Sam, but I think we’ll find a way to keep it going. Ellie, I will see your fine ass around. There’s no way a bond like ours can be broken by time.

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My breakfast buddies Ashleigh and Ashley: I apologise for not video chatting you when I had breakfast without you guys so I could keep our tradition alive, but lack of data got in the way. Alternatively, it was too awkward to do it in front of a bunch of old people. When I slather strawberry-flavoured cream cheese on my toasted bagel, I will think about our times together and smile.

To my Kiwi boys Johnny and Hadleigh: kia kaha. It was pre-determined that I would love you guys, and y’all didn’t let me down. Hadleigh – thank you for being mine and Sasha’s protector in the now infamous haunted house experience, and for being an all-around top bloke. Johnny – you stay true to yourself, because you’re a rare light in this dark world of ours.

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My Contiki Awards Committee 
JJ, Amber and Amy: I have no worries about you girls, because I know we’ll stay close friends in the future. I’m so glad I had the chance to get close with all three of you, and am happy about the experiences we shared together: from our near-death experience at Pie for the People, to mine and Amber’s “proposition” in Chicago. We truly lived Contiki with #noregrets.

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To the backbone of the tour Bree and Sasha: if you two weren’t on tour, I can guarantee it wouldn’t have been as near as fun as it was with you. Both of you clicked so naturally, and it was easy to see why; you both radiated this positive euphoric energy that was hard to miss. I’ll miss our intense grinding sessions on the DF, our late night hair dyeing sessions (Bree), and making seemingly-innocent-but-really-ditzy comments to the disappointment of others (Sasha).

469To the other members of the Thunder from Down Under crew Veegz and Tarni: it was such a delight having the opportunity to meet you and get to know the both of you. Veegz, stay as beautifully blunt as ever, and keep up your outspoken crusade against animal cruelty. Tarni, you’re just going to have to move to the east coast to catch up with those of us over here. It has to be done.

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To my handsome boys – whom I am now dubbing “The Three Musketeers – LukeMax and Jacko: getting to spend 14 of the 26 days with you boys was a pleasure. Luke, you’re a genuinely beautiful soul, and your girlfriend is lucky to have someone like you. Also, I need to mention the elephant in the room, which is your big, round, perky butt. Max AKA ‘Arry, probably one of the best people I’ve ever met. You’re an amazing guy, and I want to protect you from the world forever so you will never lose that smile of yours. Jacko, while we may have started off rocky (because you’re an asshole, but also because I’m a stubborn bitch), we ended up okay. I mean, we almost got married, so that’s saying something? As you may know, I’m a needy fiancee, so you’re gonna have to deal with that for the rest of your life. Soznotsoz.

To my true blue Aussie blokes Ben and Jeremy: we’re proof that polar opposites can still get along. I almost had nothing in common with the both of you, but grew to truly love you for who you were. Can’t wait to attend your 21st Jeremy, so you can introduce your father to the enigma that is Nikki.

Bec, Jess and Becky: thank you to the former two for teaching me how to play the wheel spinning game at Harrah’s. Bec, thank you for sharing your “experiences” with me so I could (happily) live vicariously through you. And Becky, you beautiful Geordie soul, thank you for giving me the most intense massage of my life, and for being a pure radgie like. Proper mint like you are.

The dynamic duo of Hayley and Mish: you girls were sent from the heavens to join this tour, and I’m glad I met the both of you. Hayley, thank you for helping me through my first experience playing blackjack at a table. Mish, thank you for dancing with me and promptly kissing me afterwards. It was great.

To my awesome Contiki leaders Phil and Ray: thank you for giving me the best Grand Northern experience I could have ever asked for, and for letting me be me. Even if Phil refused to play Clueless for me, I wouldn’t have changed anything about my tour. Plus, I will never forget to bring ma trash.

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And to my wonderful host and friend in LA Serena and your beautiful mother Beatrice: thank you for having Kate and I on our Contiki detox. You guys were the best and more than accommodating, and I’m glad that after meeting you last year, we were able to keep our friendship alive.

And to everyone else on tour who contributed to this awesome experience, simply thank you.

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Until my next adventure…

– by Noah La’ulu