WOW! Has it really been 2 years since my first novel was published?
Today my publisher contacted me because they needed to renew the ISBN for each edition of the book. Although it isn’t a number one best seller I still get people asking where they can buy it. I often just give them one from my stash because then I can sign it, which I know is not good for sales but I still maintain it isn’t about the money it’s about the achievement. I renewed the ISBN’s for both paperback & ebook (not the hardcover) if anyone is still interested in helping out a trashy romance writer. In the meantime I’m working on a novel I wrote about 18 months ago, one that my beta readers say is my best one yet. I would like to follow the traditional route of publishing with this one, but we’ll see. This is not something you can hurry, & I’m willing to be patient & not give up.
My apologies for missing yesterday, my BFF has relatives staying with her at the moment & it’s proving to be very challenging. I went over with good listening ears in the hope that if she offloads enough I won’t be visiting her in jail!
Yesterday I popped next door to my lovely neighbour after an ‘over the wall’ conversation with her about how her kitchen makeover was coming along. I have been watching her over the last couple of weeks, cleaning, painting, sorting etc. probably prompted by the fact her stove of 25 years finally gave up on her. She also has relatives arriving from all over the world in preparation for her younger son’s wedding – probably the real reason for the makeover.
I’m not fond of my stove, I’ve used electric since moving here 12 years ago, but until then I’d always used gas – which I much prefer. It is top of my list of changes I would make if we ever renovate our kitchen, & now I’m wishing that it was sooner rather then later. My neighbours new range is beautiful, very shiny stainless steel,which frankly I never find to be stainless. It has a large double oven that if you open by the top handle you can only use the top third of the oven, but then if you open by the side handle you can use the whole oven. It thought this was pretty smart as I often don’t need a full oven. Then, on the front, there is a digital/computerized display with all the knobs & buttons, which is very fancy, but of course it was the burners that I was the most taken with. Gas of course, 4 main burners, 2 large, 2 small, & it even has it’s own cast iron stand for your wok! Then in the centre it has one large oval burner with a cast iron grill which can be used for searing or removed for to use you own griddle or large pan. It was rather fabulous & I must confess to being a little green with envy.
I then came home to my ‘used to be white’ regular, not very fancy stove that only my cleaner can get clean (I don’t ask how because I’m sure what she uses is illegal). I’m used to it & I’m a pretty good cook so I manage, but I do live in the hope that one day I will get to design & install my ideal kitchen… so if about a million people could buy my book that would be awesome – thanks!
I wrote a sequel to Bruises because it was simply a two-part story, & if I ever have it published readers will discover that it is actually a better book – according to those who have read it of course. Really both books needed to be put out there together but unfortunately that wasn’t possible at the time. I personally think that a lot of the trilogies out there today are dragged out, but people read them. I too am guilty of wasting away hours only to get to the end & think it could have all been packed into one decent sized book. Then, we have all read books that we didn’t want to end & one of my favourites is ‘Me before You’. I re-watched the movie again last week (twice actually because I love it), partly because it had just been released, & partly because I was reading the sequel ‘After you’.
I finished it yesterday & honestly it was a sequel that didn’t need to be written, in my opinion. Moyles should have just left us with the book hangover that we suffered when Me before You ended. Of course we all wanted know that Louisa spread her wings & used the potential that everyone saw, but we didn’t really need to read about it. I kept waiting for it to get going, but the plot was weak till the end. Yes there were a couple of storylines that had the potential to be interesting, but I won’t spoil the surprise in case you want to read it & make your own mind up. However, they became a bit far-fetched & frankly not very believable in the end, & don’t even get me started on the accident at the beginning – that was just stupid.
So why did I read it? I expected more of the same I guess, just different circumstances of course. It lacked the humour & chemistry that you experience between Louisa & Will. It felt like she was milking the previous success by knowing we would read it away, & therefore it didn’t have to be as good. I don’t think she really thought about the plot carefully, resulting in a jumbled up novel of mundane life events & completely ridiculous incidents. Sorry JoJo, you didn’t do it for this time some books just need to stand alone.
I would love to have the ability to write a book that captures every one of your emotions & leaves you absolute tatters, but feeling good about them all. Who knows, maybe one day I will. I do have a story already written that might fall into that category, but it needs some work before I can release it into the wild to be torn apart. I believe that it’s my best to date, that is until I write the story that is still a little too close to my heart to even consider putting it down on a page.
There have been several books over the years that have caught me some way or other. I think the first book I read as an adult that I couldn’t put down was ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis be Bernières. My husband always remembers when I was reading it, while on vacation in Africa. Stunning terrain & wild animals passed me by & all I could see were words on a page. Then there was the weekend we spent in Whistler. I stayed up till the wee small hours to finsh ‘Room’, & of cause one of my recent favourites, both book & movie, is John Green’s ‘A Fault In Our Stars’. They are all beautiful stories, but today I was reminded of another favourite. One more to add to the pile of emotional feel good books that just affect you in a way you can’t describe.
While in Chapters picking up the remaining novels on my book club’s reading list I noticed they were once again promoting JoJo Moyles. On closer inspection of the display I saw that ‘Me before you’ had an updated cover with real people on the front. Usually that only means one thing – it’s now a movie. Now I’m not normally a fan of books being turned into movies, very few of them are done well & often distort the story, or just don’t capture the soul of the author’s writing. I loved everything about this story, the way it was written & its sensitive nature was not only ambitious, but also very poignant. Moyles addressed an issue that will always make for heated, & often divided, dinner table discussion, & clearly turned it into a love story.
When I checked out the movie trailer it left me wanting more, even though I know the story well. So on this occasion I will have to get over my self & go see it. If it’s anything like ‘A fault In Our Stars’ I will not need mascara but a large box of Kleenex instead!