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Sunday, 26 July 2015

This time next week - Devon, alcohol and the 'why do hats make me look like the Human Cannonball' conversation

This time next week I shall be down in Devon!

It's fine to tell you this, by the way. No point in going round to try to rummage through my valuables because a) I don't have any and b) I'm leaving the house in the capable hands of my six-foot plus son who is armed with two loaded terriers and a big dog who will not hesitate to bumble over the feet of any would-be housebreakers, and cause them grievous injury with his tail.
These are the terriers in question. They are just finishing the burying of their last victim...

I am in Devon as a result of the Choc Lit competition held by Mel Hudson, where entrants could win a weekend in her lovely Devon cottage, with the added incentives of some writing workshops/talks held by Mel.  To prevent an inundation of applicants, there was the caveat that I would also be present, waving my arms about and generally being obstructive. 

Anyway. Two lucky but misguided people won, and will therefore be spending next weekend sampling Mel's hospitality, doing some writing, and trying to avoid me.  I'm going to be talking about 'character', unless I've had a few glasses of Prosecco, in which case I shall mostly be slurring about how modern-day pants are too thin and  I can't get hats that don't make me look like the Human Cannonball.

We shall also, hopefully - because they might all have locked themselves in the toilet, climbed out through the window and hitched a lift to Barnstaple to get away from me - be launching 'I Don't Want to Talk About It' with copious amounts of Prosecco and elderflower cordial.
Whereupon I shall start talking about pants and bad hats again.

I'm really looking forward to it. Not sure about everyone else, though...

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Two 'squee's, a Game of Thrones reference, and why I hope my books are hiding under your bed with a can of whipped cream.

I am never quite sure about squeeing. You know squeeing - those moments that make you let out an  inadvertent little noise, and I am not talking about bending down suddenly here. When something really good has happened and you can't help yourself but go 'squeeeee'. It's a noise I associate with broken dog toys and twelve year old girls seeing an unexpected One Direction clip on TV, and one person's squee is another person's shrug and continuation with cataloguing their telephone bills.

So, I have two things to squee about this week, but your milage may vary on the squee front. I am certainly not expecting you to squee along, unless you have problems restraining your squees in general, in which case I recommend you sit down and watch your way through an entire Game of Thrones box-set, which will pretty much sort out your squee-incontinence. Game of Thrones is Tena Lady for the upper larynx.

SQUEE NUMBER ONE:  It is less than two weeks until 'I Don't Want to Talk About It' is released. Please allow me to quote from just one early review...Sally Coles says...

'Winter and her twin sister Daisy definitely have the twin connection when Winter moves to a remote Yorkshire village to escape her ex boyfriend Dan Daisy is her confidant. Winter soon becomes part of the village and meets the gorgeous Alex, but Dan is on her tail and determined to drive the sisters apart....what is it he knows about Daisy A great read - definitely a cut above your normal chick lit and one not to be missed'

The reviews made me squee. Plus I always get a bit squee-ey when a new book is coming out.This particular book-baby is set further north than most of my Yorkshire series, on the bit where Yorkshire struggles with becoming Teesside, and the moors give one last hoorah before they give up and sulk their way down to the coast. The cover is beautiful and there is a link on the sidebar of this blog. That's a sort of hint, you see.
It's set in a place which looks, in part, a bit like this. Only with less ducks. It now strikes me that I haven't written a book with ducks in and immediately want to dash off and rectify this...

SQUEE NUMBER TWO:  Once Upon a Time. This, for those of you who haven't been subjected to my unaimed enthusiasm, is a TV series which I was persuaded to watch by a friend, and am now physically incapable of leaving alone. Look here. Just be careful. I only went in for a couple of episodes, and now look at me! Part of the allure is the truly fabulous Robert Carlyle, playing Rumpelstiltskin in a way that makes Machievelli look like Barbara Cartland.
And it's funny and dark and surprising and can make me shout 'I did NOT see that coming!' which is actually quite hard to do, unless you are hiding under my bed with an aerosol can of whipped cream and a bag of marbles.

I'd like my books to make that happen to other people. The 'not seeing that coming' bit, obviously, not hiding under your bed with whipped cream and marbles bit.

In fact, I think I can just fit in another couple of episodes before I have to...I dunno, wash, dress, eat, all that kind of thing...

Monday, 13 July 2015

Some pictures from the RNA Conference. During which I was haunted by a ghost-fridge.

Sorry, sorry, I know this is a day late, but I was at Conference over the weekend and only got back when the sun was so far over the yardarm that people were trying to force feed me gin. I never realised that when the sun actually is over the yardarm, gin is obligatory, but apparently it is. 

Well! What a weekend! There was also a week, that came before the weekend, but that was largely happening-free and nothing to report, and then conference happened, and here are some of the things which happened whilst conference was happening...
Me, on the bus which the lovely Lynda Stacey arranged to take a bunch of us rowdy Northerners down to that there London in style. I like to think that this picture embodies the style in which we arrived.
Some lovely people looking delighted that I had turned up. You would have thought that the wine would have cheered them up, wouldn't you?
I became fascinated with my feet, and haunted by a fridge that nobody else could see. It followed me all weekend - I like to think it was the ghost of a fridge that was ill done by in olden days, note its ghostly radiance. It contained wine that wasn't ghostly, and no spirits at all.
There was a lovely Gala Dinner, during which we all became fascinated with the books above our heads. The ghost-fridge can be seen hovering above us on the left. I'm only surprised its doors didn't fall open.
During the dinner, whilst the ghost-fridge lurked in the background, I photographed my lovely daughter, Vienna (who, despite this picture, has neither a permanent lean nor a fascination with staring at the wine bottle just out of shot) and the lovely Stephanie Cage. Also, a table full of things...
And when we got home, Corvo had decided to live in a cage. Maybe he can also see the ghost-fridge and is scared of it...

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Ta-Dah! Revealing my brand new forthcoming book! PS, I am sorry about your lions.

Apologies, my little bloggees. You know how I like nothing more than a great big reveal...particularly after that last time when I hummed the tune to The Stripper for ages before anyone noticed that I'd taken all my clothes off... I mean, good grief, what have I got to do? Anyway.  The whole 'book is coming out soon' thing sort of crept up on me, and then I had to spend this weekend in London and couldn't do the whole 'ta dah!' that I had planned. So here is my somewhat belated 'ta-dah!'  I am humming The Stripper again now, by the way.
That's it. That's the brand, spanking (I'll put my trousers back on for that bit) new cover for the new book.  And here... is the blurb.

'What if the one person you wanted to talk to wouldn’t listen?

Winter Gregory and her twin sister Daisy live oceans apart but they still have the ‘twin thing’ going on. Daisy is Winter’s port in the storm, the first person she calls when things go wrong …

And things are wrong. Winter has travelled to a remote Yorkshire village to write her new book, and to escape her ex-boyfriend Dan Bekener. Dan never liked her reliance on Daisy and made her choose – but Winter’s twin will always be her first choice.

She soon finds herself immersed in village life after meeting the troubled Hill family; horse-loving eight-year-old Scarlet and damaged, yet temptingly gorgeous, Alex. The distraction is welcome and, when Winter needs to talk, Daisy is always there.

But Dan can’t stay away and remains intent on driving the sisters apart – because Dan knows something about Daisy…

Now it might all sound very serious and everything, but please let me reassure you that there are chuckles to be had in this book, after all, you know me, you must do because you are sitting there reading this, and if you don't know me then, why? I'm actually a delight as long as I keep my clothes on and don't dribble - and I tend to write funny stuff. But the funny stuff is mixed in with lots of serious stuff as ever because that's life, although this book has more hobby horses than life generally does. Well, one. But that's more than my life has, I can't speak for yours. For all I know you are up to your knees in corduroy heads and broomhandles.

Should you find yourself crying 'but Jane, I long to pre-order this book, in fact, my lions ache with the need to possess you..ahem, I mean it, but please don't ask me about the lions thing, my shame is almost too much to bear', then you can order it here..