Friday, 25 July 2014

Answering Five Fun Questions

I've answered these fun questions

First lines are important in novels. What is the favourite first lines you’ve written and from what work is it? (provide a link if it’s published).

Nothing in her wildest dreams had prepared Doreen Wilkinson for something like this. But then, nothing had prepared her for winning the lottery either.
Several million. Several million. Eleven million, three hundred and fifty four thousand, two hundred and ten pounds and nineteen pence to be precise.
She had giggled at the nineteen pence. “Break the bleedin’ bank that will!” Sometimes It Happens…

If someone told you your characters were sitting in the room across the hall, would you walk across to meet them? Why or why not?

I most certainly would. All of them have left an impression on my mind, even the evil, Henry Bryant-Smythe from Satchfield Hall. Though I would love to meet Jane Leonard from Magnolia House so I could give her a hug and tell her how her story broke my heart. I would know if Doreen Wilkinson from Sometimes It Happens… was across the hall because her giggle would be filling the air.

If you could magically become one of your characters, who would it be?

Too tough to answer this one, but I can say I have walked in the shoes of every one of my characters. I have felt their pain, and shared their joy. We have laughed together and at times we have cried together as we travelled along the winding road of their journey.

What day of the week is your favourite for writing?

I write most days, but mainly in the afternoons (sometimes I have a little helper checking!!). Most mornings are taken up with other commitments. And I can be found from time to time away from my laptop at weekends!   

Compare one of your novels to a food item, drink or entré. (provide a purchase link)

Sparkling, bubbly and tantalising , champagne is definitely Sometimes It Happens…

Friday, 11 July 2014

The Importance of a BRAG Award for me!

Writing and publishing a book is just the beginning of a journey for an indie author. Once your book is out there, marketing and promoting your baby begins. These days there is a plethora of platforms where you can reach out to a wider audience. Book signing offers the opportunity to connect with readers.  Reviews play an important role in providing readers with an overview of what others think of you your book. These are all tools that can be used in your marketing plan, but one thing that does makes people sit up and want to learn more about your book is an award. 

There are zillions of books published and only a few of these will ever receive recognition or an award.  Receiving an award is an indicator your work has reached a high level. To be honoured with a BRAG award is a first class accolade on any scale of published books. My third published book, Sometimes It Happens… in 2012 received a BRAG award.

I was speechless when I learnt of the award because BRAG does not give out awards to any author. In fact more than 90% of books that pass through their hallowed halls are rejected.  So to have one of my books proudly displaying the BRAG logo, makes me feel humble and very proud. It has provided me with additional confidence to talk about my work and my award. But it does not end once the award had been made, BRAG continues to promote all of its honourees through their extensive programme, no one is excluded, it is an exclusive place to be and I am proud to be associated with an organisation that has a reputation for excellence.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Author of Jenna's Journey Julie Ryan is Sitting Round my Pool!

Long days and short nights. The sun high in the sky holidays at the top of everyone's list. Yes, it's summer time! How better to start the sunshine season other than talking to Julie Ryan whose wonderful books have you escaping to a sun washed Greek Island.

Julie, shades on, settle down on one of the sun loungers and take it away….

I’ve always loved writing – I was the geeky kid who preferred to stay indoors at break time to finish my story. Somehow though I never really thought that I would become a published author. In fact, my Greek Island Mystery series began life as a short story. It was only a chance encounter with a fellow writer that convinced me to develop it into the first book in the series, ‘Jenna’s Journey.’

During the 1980’s I spent some time working in Greece as a teacher of English and that was the start of my lifelong love affair with the country. Fast forward nearly thirty years and I’m now happily living in rural Gloucestershire with my lovely husband, gorgeous son and a dippy cat with half a tail. It’s the middle of a really bad winter and as I sit looking at the snow coming down I wonder how my life would have been different if I’d stayed in Greece. That was the beginnings of  my first book although I never expected that it would develop into a series. My goal at that time was just to see if I could actually complete a novel. Then my next goal was to see if I could publish it and now I have the second book in the series out, ‘Sophia’s Secret’. So, when people ask me how long it took to write ‘Jenna’s Journey’ I usually say that it took eighteen months with a gestation period of thirty years.

The second book developed naturally from the first, as there were still a few loose ends to tie up. Each book features different characters set on the same Greek Island so can be read as a standalone. When I started I had only a very general idea of where I wanted the story to go. Needless to say, my characters had different ideas. I love it when they take me on a different journey; for example, one character introduced his son. At that point I didn’t even know he had a son!! I then had to develop a back story to fit in with his new announcement. It also meant changing the title and the main character. I don’t make life easy for myself, do I?

At the moment I’m working on a third book in the series, provisionally entitled ‘Pandora’s Prophecy’. However, if past form is anything to go by, then that is also likely to change.

I love writing these books because it allows me to reminisce about the wonderful times I spent in Greece. I get the photo albums out and reread my diaries that I kept during that period – all in the name of research of course. I’ve bought Greek cook books all in the name of authenticity and even painted my house white with accents of Mediterranean blue. Now, if only I can persuade the family that we need to do a research trip, I’ll be a happy woman!

Author links
Twitter  @julieryan18

Thank you Julie, I hope you can soon persuade your family to take that research trip. In the meantime, continue to sell, sell sell! 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Fab Fun Posters

I admit, I love posters and nothing makes me smile more than finding new and innovative ways to include one of my book covers somewhere eye catching. Below are a few more fun posters from Gary Walker, at Look 4 Books,  Cathy Helms at Avalon Graphics and me!

Gary Walker


Gary Walker


Avalon Graphics


Gary Walker

You never know you just might see one of these down your street, in your airport or at your shopping centre!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Sunny Smiles

More sunny smiles to make your summer a sizzling happy one.
If you have a picture that makes you smile and you would love to share, then get in touch and your pic could be here!

Here are three to bring a smile to your face....

I hope these made you smile, now it's your turn to share a sunny smiley pic 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Shades On it's Official it's Summer!

What a great time to show off one of my summer promotion posters produced by Cathy Helms at Avalon Graphics than today, the longest day of the year.

Wishing you all a happy and wonderful summer solstice. Yay! Summer's arrived!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Yay! The End!

Today I typed those two immortal words, "The End" for 
In the Light of Day.

Of course it is not the end, rather the beginning of the next leg of the journey. Now with the first draft complete, the real work begins. Editing, re-writes, polishing and if necessary deleting those onerous words. 
But all good fun!

My editor is booked and we have a date for mid July so no time for resting on my laurels!

Thanks a million for stopping by and have a fabby day.
See you soon.