Articles tagged with: Jill

One Week Until Launch

on Wednesday, 14 November 2012. Posted in Book News and Reviews

Would you like to write a book?

As the launch date gets nearer and nearer I am furiously uploading things on to Amazon and Kindle and all sorts of other websites.

It really is a great time to be an author. Lots of people say to me that they would like to write a book and I always reply ‘Go on then!’ Things have changed so much from the times when you had to send manuscripts off to publishers and hope for the best. Now you can write, publish and print very easily. You just have to have the confidence and the discipline to get on and do it.

Some time ago I read a book by Richard Branson. It was one of those Quick Reads that cost about 99p. The content was OK to a degree, a bit obvious to be frank, but the title was brilliant and has kept me motivated and in a state of action for years. It was ‘Screw it, Just Do It’. As a motivational speaker I have gifted people with that phrase written on a post it note and told them to stick it where ever they procrastinate the most (often that is in front of a screen – either the TV or the PC).

I started writing Beyond Fragile Boundaries because my husband said ‘Go write!’ So I did and here we are about to launch my first title. I took Richard’s advice and just ‘did it’ and stopped just talking about it.

People write in different ways. Some like to plan meticulously what they are going to say and their plot is all worked out. I don’t work that way. I just get my main characters, jot down some notes about their personalities, how they look, who their friends are etc. and then I just start page one.

My writing flows and I surprise myself. I quite often rush out into the lounge and say to John ‘You’ll never guess what Adam has done now’ or ‘You were right about Carla. She did do that’. It’s as though the characters are out there somewhere living their lives and I’m documenting them.

I know. Mad! But there it is.

So, just a week away now. The printing press is churning away as we speak and Beyond Fragile Boundaries has now been formatted by my friend and mentor the Famous Jo Dodds. Next job is to upload it to Kindle. It’s a process.

The few people who have read it so far are just about to add a review on Amazon, so now I just need to tell the whole world that it is out there. Simples!

BUY Beyond Fragile Boundaries here.


on Tuesday, 23 October 2012. Posted in Jill's Rants

Chop Chop Busy Busy Work Work Bang Bang

With reference to yesterday’s blog, Monday Chat, I have been reliably informed by daughter number 2 that ‘drive bys’ include a degree of firearm usage, so we are all hoping that I got that bit wrong. There is a strong chance of that.

It’s been a busy start to the week, as usual. I paid another visit to the famous Jo Dodds yesterday who is assisting me on the preparation of my book and it’s presence in the world. She is a maniac! How much knowledge can one person hold in their head! Amazing. Thanks for all you do for me Jo. I know you think I am quite crazy at times, but I also know that you love me for it. Mwah!

I have a PR and Marketing company called Xposure. One of my favourite clients James phoned me yesterday and asked me to send him an invoice for November. I have my clients so well trained. James is a World Food Traveller and World Award winning cook book writer. He comes from Northern Ireland and has the most amazing accent, of which I only understand 50% of what he is saying. We’re a good team though, despite the communication issues. I am very proud of him as he has just been recognised by Farmers Weekly as their Ambassador for British Food for 2012. He has a great blog and a great sense of humour, the bits I can understand are really funny. Have a looky!

Book cover is now finished. Excited! Thanks Jerome at Awake Designs – hope youir man flu is better (sigh). We used images taken by the lovely Kevin Francis, Ubiquitous Images. Quite tame for some of his stuff – have a look.

Following a frenetic Zumba session this morning I was still buzzing throughout a meeting with Fitness Frenzi Chris Hillary. We were ON FIRE today. Must have been the Double Whammy Coffee! Listen, if you have not tried Zumba – YOU JUST HAVE TO! Take it from me, it’s the most fun I have ever had standing up! Top tip – don’t bounce too much. Plays havoc if you of a certain age (shocking!).

Monday Chat

on Monday, 22 October 2012. Posted in Jill's Rants

What was your weekend like?

Had a really great weekend and seemed to fit so much in.

Hysterical! Saturday morning, Sam (son and heir) took me shopping! I felt about 92 as I sat next to him and he drove me to Aldi (don’t judge – I’m careful with my money). As I sat there with my handbag on my knees, trying not to scream every time a corner was negotiated slightly faster than I was comfortable with, I realised what it must be like to get older and have things done for you. Mind you, it was Sam who dropped a jar of Marmalade which smashed into a million pieces all over Aldi’s floor. Everyone looked. They all thought it was me I’m sure, but hey-ho.

My afternoon treat was a 2 hour session with Marcus. Humph! One of my favourite boys who every four weeks fights with my barnet to make me look like Halle Berry. Enough said.

Then in the evening our friends Chris and Natalie came round and we had cheese on toast and home made apple pie (made by my amazing husband). Now, Chris and Natalie are the same age as our eldest daughter, Amy. She thinks we are trying to replace her by having them as our friends but I have explained that they like to hang out with us, ‘cos we is cool! Standard.

Anyway, the next day John and I trundled off down to Zumba in Smarty Pants (our huge car – think about it) and threw ourselves in an ungainly fashion around the village hall for an hour, after which all good intentions of housework and such like evaporated out of the window as we both collapsed on the sofa in exhaustion, to watch the rugby. Thighs!

Sausage and mash with Amy and partner Philip and of course Sam (who manages to fit us in around his busy social life of ‘drifting’ round corners and doing ‘drive bys’ or something like that at Lakeside) and our day was pretty much done. Apart from my weekly dose of Downton. Lush.

So, all in all, a pretty busy couple of days. Onwards and upwards!

Getting the Message Out There

on Wednesday, 17 October 2012. Posted in Archive

IFC Holland Conference

It’s very rare that I go to an event and not know anyone at all. I’m here at the International Fundraising Congress in The Netherlands and apart from Gavin, who asked me to attend and speak, I don’t know anyone. It’s quite refreshing actually as I am using all of my networking skills to motor on in on other people’s conversations. As yet, nobody has punched me. Always a good sign!

The workshop I am delivering is ‘Getting Your Message Out There’ which is interesting as this is what I am doing right now with my book blog. It’s an international audience, although I have not met anyone yet who doesn’t speak English, but many do not have English as a first language so I need to be mindful of that when I am speaking.

Also, there are people from all sorts of organisations, big and small, from all over the world. As you can imagine, it is quite tricky to be able to suit everyone. My philosophy, however, is to keep it really simple, but set an expectation at the beginning of the session that I will be asking all of them to identify one thing they will be taking away from the workshop.

I have done hundreds of presentations and workshops over the years. I still get nervous though and I am glad I do, because it keeps me on my toes. I get a real buzz out of doing them and love that moment when you are talking and everyone in the room is quiet and totally into what you are saying. It’s almost as if you are just having a conversation with them. I tell stories to illustrate points.

Maybe that’s why I love writing. It’s just telling stories but to a bigger audience. Wish me luck!


The Heat is ON!

on Tuesday, 16 October 2012. Posted in Archive

Launch Date - 21st November

Promotion for Beyond Fragile Boundaries is now fully underway!

I knew that I needed some help here so I have called on my friend and Social Media expert, Jo Dodds (also known as The Famous Jo Dodds – follow her here)

Digital media now means that there are so many options for authors these days. You do have to be prepared to do the research and put the hours in online, but the ways of getting your book out there are endless. It’s very exciting!

So now the team is ready.

Frances, Editor Extraordinaire is still busy working with me on the edit and we happily chat about Carla, Adam and their family and friends as though we have known them all for years. I have to say, I did not realise that when you write a book, your characters come to life. I miss them now that the main writing is finished, so I love talking about them with Frances and developing their presence in the literary world.

Yesterday was a day full of editorial and marketing meetings. We also are now working on the cover design and our designer, Jerome, has sent through some interesting concepts for us to chose from. It’s all coming together nicely.

We are heading for a launch date of 21st November. Not long now. I can’t wait.

I am off to speak at the International Fundraising Congress in Amsterdam for a few days. There are a thousand delegates and my session is called ‘Getting Your Message Out There’. How very apt!

My New Best Friend JK

on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Archive

Wishful thinking?

Okay so it may be a bit of wishful thinking, but I really would like to sit down with the great JK Rowing and have a chat. I watched her being interviewed on the Culture Show the other day about her new novel, The Casual Vacancy. It is really interesting to see how authors write. I am not an expert (yet) but I would think that everyone does it differently.

JK took 2 years to write her book. I would imagine there was a lot of editing going on as well. I have been surprised at how intense that can be. I sit there with my editor and we discuss the characters as though they are real people, and you know what, they have become so!

In Beyond Fragile Boundaries, all of my characters are unique people in their own right. They are not based on anyone I know. I am not sure I could have written about them if they had been. It would have been restrictive.

No, they are their own people. I can picture them in my head. I feel their emotions too. It is really odd to write a page, then read it back and cry or laugh! It has now happened to me quite a bit.

I miss my characters now that I have finished actually writing the book itself, so it is lovely to sit and discuss them at great length with my editor and work out how they would feel about a certain action or tone of a conversation. You actually do get very possessive over them. I am really lucky that I have an editor who totally understands me and knows exactly how I tick. She’s an absolute gem!

If all goes to plan BFB is going to be ready to buy in print and on Kindle around mid November time. I am looking for speaking opportunities, so let me know if you have any ideas.