12 Dec 2015

Wrestling icon releases debut romantic novel

Cauliflower Heart: A Romantic Wrestler
Diana Hart

Claudine Bellamy grew up in a strong family of wrestlers and married a champion fighter. 
She feels protected and cared for and she likes it that way. 
When circumstances change, however, Claudine finds herself unprotected and alone. 
First in the Cauliflower Heart trilogy, A Romantic Wrestler, introduces Claudine Bellamy, who thinks she has the perfect life. She has a superstar-wrestling husband, and her family enjoys all of the perks of celebrity. 
But when life grows bitter and Claudine’s husband needs help, will she be strong enough to save him? 

Guest Post
My new novel, Cauliflower Heart: A Romantic Wrestler is Book 1 in a trilogy. I think it’s fair to say that to write well, you write about things you know best. In this case, I feel I’m one of the few who can say they are or were involved in professional wrestling to the extent I have been. I was born into it, married into it, my son is wrestling now, and I even performed in it, alongside my father, brothers, husband and son, niece, sisters and brothers-in-law. I had unique and qualifying credentials to write about from a fictional point of view. Of course, the saying “art imitating life” is the case here. I couldn’t have found fuel to create my characters and develop a storyline if I hadn’t seen/heard about wrestling from a special vantage point.
Claudine Bellamy, the protagonist in Cauliflower Heart, is, like me, born into a wrestling family. She’s the older sister to her only brother. Her mom and dad run a wrestling promotion in England. It’s through wrestling that she meets the love of her life. He is adopted into her family and later becomes her little brother’s tag team partner. Claudine is emotional and sensitive, like her mother Louisa. I see parts of me in the mother Louisa and in little Claudine too, but, neither character is me specifically.
The character of her father, Billy Bonham was inspired a lot of my own father, Stu Hart, in the way they both felt about the wrestling promotions that they owned and operated. Billy was also inspired by the late Billy Robinson, one of the greatest, toughest grapplers in the world. Robinson came from the Lancashire area of England, not far from where my late husband (Davey Boy Smith) grew up. I remember Lancashire’s beautiful landscape, the weather, the way of life there, from all my time with my in-laws. It’s entirely charming. I’ll never forget it. Thus, I wanted to share those great memories in my story. 
Claudine’s brother, Toasty Bonham, is a combination of many wrestlers who I was either intrigued with or admired in my life. To be intrigued by them doesn’t always mean I liked how they behaved, but their character was unforgettable and rare. I sometimes felt sorry for them because they were their own worst enemies at times, when their passion for what they were standing up for got in the way of good judgment.
Drew Bellamy, is the young boy adopted into the Bonham family. His character also was inspired by many men I knew in my life. Like my late husband Davey to my own father, Drew is a really good-hearted, tough, generous man. He is a little naïve, however, and this gets him into trouble. Toasty, his adopted brother and partner, is more of a cut-throat thinker, and they have an amazing balance and partnership because of their strong difference personality differences.
The character of Louisa Bonham, Claudine’s mom, was inspired by great heroines I remember my mom telling me about. Women like Judy Garland and Zelda Fitzgerald, who suffered, undiagnosed with depression helped me create the sad, but courageous side of Louisa. Women Audrey Hepburn and my own mom, Helen Hart, also helped me shaped the Louisa’s demeanor.
In the next book Cauliflower Heart: Wrestling with Life, Claudine faces many more challenges, many outside of wrestling, and she really lives through much of the depression her mother Louisa live with.  She is really alone in Book 2, and she must find the strength to not give up. It still evolves so much around the wrestling promotion her family is involved with, but she is dealing with depression that she isn’t aware she has. She finds the strength to face life again, which is essentially what Book 3 pertains to. It evolves over her lifetime, so she is around 45 by the time the end of the trilogy begins. She is just a young girl in Book 1. Claudine’s struggles are really very much in sync with what women in their forties might have also faced. I think that makes Claudine a sympathetic character who many can relate to.
The idea of the Cauliflower Heart Trilogy was inspired by the actual cauliflower ear. At the beginning of my book, I define a cauliflower ear; I write that a cauliflower ear is an acquired deformity or hardening of the ear to which fighters are particularly susceptible, cause by trauma; for some fighters, a cauliflower ear is considered a badge of courage and experience. That, to me, is a good description of a well-worn heart, which has been broken; has loved, cried, laughed, and lived, because it was doing what it was passionate about, regardless of the pain. I felt it was an appropriate play on words, especially since this is a love story based around professional wrestling. 

Here is what some well-know celebrities are saying about the book: 

"With Cauliflower Heart Diana Hart Smith allows us to not only to enjoy the lines of her fine first novel, but to read between those lines to get a better feel for what it was like to grow up with the wrestling business as essential to life as the air she breathed.”
- Mick Foley, New York Times #1 best-selling author, Member of the WWE Hall of Fame

"There’s no doubt the Cauliflower Heart trilogy carries more than a grain of truth."  
- Patrick Lennon, Fightin’ Talk Editor, Daily Star, UK

"From wrestling royalty comes this insightful, emotive tale of the true, human costs of ‘the bizness’." 
- Billy Corgan, TV Producer, Author, and lead singer and guitarist of The Smashing Pumpkins

"… an authentic and poignant journey of a wife and mother who comes from a respected wrestling lineage and tells the unique tale of courage and love from a place of deep understanding." 
- Gail Kim, Former WWE Divas Champion and former TNA Knockouts Champion, Pro Wrestling Illustrated 2012 Top Female Wrestler in the World 

Former WWF performer Diana Hart, the wife of the late British Bulldog and sister to Bret Hart and the late Owen Hart, has released her debut novel ‘Cauliflower Heart: A Romantic Wrestler’. 
The book is set in England and follows the character Claudine Bailey, who grew up in a family of wrestlers and married a champion fighter. Drawing obvious comparisons to Diana’s own life, the book has a real, honest feel to it. Trainer, writer, and artist Diana Hart Smith was born into Stu and Helen Hart's legendary pro wrestling family in 1963 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 
Diana studied Fine Arts at the University of Calgary before performing in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), then known as The WWF (World Wrestling Federation) alongside her late husband Davey Boy Smith (The British Bulldog), late brother Owen Hart, and brother Bret 'Hitman' Hart. 
In 2001, whilst based in Tampa, Florida, Diana's autobiography Under The Mat made Alberta's top ten non-fiction best-seller list. She has two children, Harry, who wrestles all over the world as Davey Boy Smith Jr, and Georgia, an actress and voice over artist based in England. Diana now resides back home, in Calgary. 

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