ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

An exciting start to December! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Hello!

There are an exciting few days coming up for me, how about you? Today is the last day of NaNo. I've about 1500 words to go on my novel and I'm sure I can do that with my eyes shut, and they probably will be! Most of it's vomitus, but I'm really excited about the plot if not the writing. It was far too big a project for a month, as are most NaNo novels, so really the work is just beginning...Indulge me, Clarissa Draper says she always fiddles with a cover first to help focus her ideas for her current novel, so I had a quick play and whipped this up. After my previous post on debut novels I couldn't resist the tag at the bottom, lol!


E-book Boot Camp's over so I'll be sharing more later. I'm so excited about all the things I learned but there are so many decisions to make...

This Friday December 2, RomanticFridayWriters kicks off again with the first challenge of the month - response to this picture:



Everyone can have some fun! You can write prose or a poem up to 600 words in response to the picture. There needs to be some romantic element within. After you've written your entry, go to the RomanticFridayWriters website and link to your story. Any further questions, ask in comments.

The second challenge has been posted, due Friday December 16. The theme is Sparkle! What fun we can have with that one! Back to the 400 words or less limit again. After initial groaning, RFWer members have honed their flash fiction skills and enjoy the low-word limit challenge. Great for those editing skills.



So you are invited to join us for both our challenges and many more in the future.


Also on Friday December 2, Michael at ...in time is celebrating his one year blogoversary by giving away Amazon Gift Cards. He still needs 3 more followers to reach 500. Maybe you can pop over, leave a comment, follow Michael if you've not done so and win some Amazon e-money at the same time. How can you lose? Michael's site is fabulous. So many helpful posts.



There are also a lot of other blogfests coming up. I posted about them here. You can also check them in my sidebar - Madeleine's cliches and a group of bloggers got together to give us Deja Vu.

Hope the writing is going well. Don't forget you can try out excerpts of your WIPs using the RomanticFridayWriters themes. Nancy Williams is posting about critiquing today if you'd like to visit!





Saturday, 26 November 2011

Your first novel is not any good. D is for Discouraged? or D is for Determined?

Howdy friends!

I'm just checking in from e-book Boot Camp. Had an introductory session last night and there's two long days to go. Today we get to try various digital media and tomorrow we get to format/publish our own work using Pressbook. I have so much to share with you already, but you'll have to wait! Now to my pre-scheduled post...

Well seeing as many writers may be busily tapping away scratching out that first novel during NaNo or just for their own tortuous needs, I wonder where those first novels will end up? Seeing as they'll not be any good!

You agree? There's no use looking for an agent/publisher for your first book because you know that you're no good until novel number three, right? Well, I've heard this a lot and it has affected my attitude to my first two novels knowing that they probably aren't any good 'cause people in the know say so. Better just leave them languishing on my flash drive.

I was browsing through a Writers Digest magazine when I should have been penning a novel during NaNo (and it is likely to be pretty darned good seeing it's novel number three) when I saw an interview with Sue Grafton (of the alphabetical series of mysteries, you know. M is for Murder etc). She ended the interview by declaring that first-time novelists shouldn't bother fishing for a literary agent because they've only written one book and therefore, "you're not any good yet." Well she's allowed to have her opinion but it is pretty discouraging all the same.

Has Ms Grafton forgotten first-time novelists Harper Lee, Margaret Mitchell, S.E. Hinton or Alice Sebold and that's just for starters? How about all the successful blogger/novelists we know like, well, lots of you! Give me some names in the comments just in case I haven't read your debut novel!

After I read the first article dissing first-time novelists some time ago, I've made a point of reading many debut novelists, and man, they've been good. So much blood, sweat and beers, er tears, goes into that debut novel, and judging by some second and third novels I've read by best-selling authors, the first one is sometimes the stand out!  I'm just reading for the second time, 'The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul' by Deborah Rodriguez as part of my Afghanistan research project. You guessed it, a stunning debut novel. So I'm not Discouraged, I'm Determined. How about you?

BTW, I set myself the goal of reading 100 books this year! I'm well past 100 and it's only November. 


  • Do you know any great debut novels?
  • Do you agree with Sue Grafton? Should first and second novels be relegated to our own slush piles?




Saturday, 19 November 2011

Holiday season blogfests hotting up! So do you know of any blogfests to share? Ann Best's new memoir...

How're you doing? Not too ground down with all the writing projects? Just a short post before I get back to work. I want to share with you some up-coming blogfests and I'm hoping if you know of any more, you'll share with us all.

1. On December 2, Romantic Friday Writers have their first blogfest of the month based on this image: 


Challenge No 26 – post on Friday December 2nd

Response to image.

Write a 400 – 600 word (or less!) story/poem based on this image. You might write a Christmas tale, a spooky tale, a fairy story, a fantasy…the sky’s the limit! You don’t have to use all the details in the picture, but your story will reflect the image in some way…

Linky will be posted on Thursday December 1st .Go here on December 1st to submit your entry...

Good luck with your entry! Please post the image in your sidebar and spread the word.


2. Madeleine Maddocks of Scribble and Edit is hosting her cliched blogfest on December 5th.


Go here for more deets. You can join up with the linky NOW! 

3. The Insecure Writers Support Group posts for December will be on Wednesday December 7th. This, like RFWer is an on-going 'blogfest'. Go here for more deets and sign up. This is Alex J Cavanaugh's brain child.




4. On December 16, there is the Deja Vu blogfest. Love this as it's going to give everyone a chance to read a blogger's best (ITHO) posts. You know, those posts that you wrote maybe when you had 10 followers, you took so much care, yet only 2 people ever read it! Find this little gem, dust it off, and post it so we can all enjoy it! 


Go visit Nicole Duclerior at One Significant Moment at a Time for more deets! 


Onto books/blog tours/book reviews etc etc...

Many bloggers are getting impatient with posts pushing books, so I thought I'd include a little shout out with a post, rather than do a whole post. I understand the 'blog tour' fatigue that's hitting us, but I also understand that authors (especially our blogger-friend authors) need to get the word out, so...

Today I'm giving Ann Carbine Best's latest memoir a shout out. Ann is an inspiring 71 years old and after pubbing her first memoir through WiDo Publishing, she went it alone this time. She worked her way through all the e-pub formatting, published on Smashwords, then goofed with Amazon and had to withdraw it. Now she's figured out Amazon Kindle, so Imprisioned is available through both Smashwords and Amazon. I have read Imprisoned and can highly recommend it. I've posted a review on Amazon. Go Ann!


  • Now you have 4 blogfests. I haven't been visiting as many blogs as usual due to my commitment to finishing my NaNo first draft, (27,500+ words thus far), so I'm sure there's many, many more. Please leave a comment and tell us about it!
  • I've had positive comments about my Disqus comment system. Just a request...I hate filling out that 3-field thingy too - Name, email, blog link, but once you do it the first time it will auto-fill from then on. If you don't fill out the URL I can't easily visit your blog. Please...
STOP PRESS! - I just saw another blogfest for Dec 8-10 at http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/ 



Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Hello Barack Obama, US/Aussie history, then a Plot and Structure exercise.

Howdy my friends! How's everyone doing? 


Today Australia welcomes Barack Obama to our shores for the first time. I hope he enjoys his sneak peek of our beautiful country but he's not here to sightsee, of course, he's here to announce another joint military effort between our countries - a naval base in Darwin, our pretty much unprotected Deep North entry point. 


For those who might wonder why there is such an official bond between our countries it is because the only time Australia was ever threatened in a war (WW11) when the Japanese forces bombed Darwin and their submarines were cruising Sydney Harbour, nearly all of our army was fighting overseas. Other allies told the Japanese they could take Australia from Brisbane (((shudder))) north, but the Americans came to our rescue and did the Sir Galahad and today all of Australia remains Australia, not a Japanese colony, but has quite a lot of American military activity as a result of the 'rescue package'. Very useful for them to keep an eyespy on this part of the world. And of course we feel beholden to go fight the never-ending War on Terror.  


So, there you have a little insight into why we have such a strong tie with who we fondly refer to as the Yanks (their wartime nickname).


Well, now that I've mentioned the War... on Terror...




Thanks to PK Hrezco for sharing James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure. Here's a little exercise from the book for my NaNo story, A Peculiar Grace.


1. My lead is a drop out from Western society who joined the Hippie Trail and never returned home. Her objective is to subdue her demons by helping the unfortunate yet inspirational women of Kabul, Afghanistan.


2. She is confronted by dangerous political forces who oppose her because firstly, she is a woman, and secondly, she is an American whose armed forces have wreaked havoc on one regime after another.


3. The ending will be a knockout because many threads will be drawn together for a climax that will blow your sox off! 


  • Any opinions on my plot exercise? Have you done similar for your latest WIP? Tell me about it...
  • Anything else you feel to share, go right ahead...I think I'm trying a new comment system, so you'll be helping me see if I should delete it AGAIN or stay with it!




Sunday, 13 November 2011

Romantic Suspense Group (#43) Getting-to-Know-You Blogfest. Short and sweet.

I know the Campaign is over, but Joy Campbell has been trying to organise this blogfest for months, however publishing her books got in the way, which is all good! How is 'Hardware' going Joy? 


So, better late than never. The Romantic Suspense group (#43) in Rachael Harrie’s Platform  Building Campaign is hosting a Getting-to-Know-You Blogfest during the week of November 13-19. 

It’s in the middle of NaNo, which is why we’re giving ourselves a week to drop by each other’s blogs and cement the connections we’ve made during this Campaign. The Getting-to-Know-You Blogfest is fun and easy.  We just signed up in the linky list and from November 13 to November 19 we'll be posting answers in response to the questions below. 

If you're in The Romantic Suspense Group and missed the email or forgot about it, there's still time to join up here and participate


This is what Joy asked us to do:


  • 1. Name two [romantic suspense] authors who inspire you.
This is difficult, choosing only two. However, two inspirational romantic suspense authors are: Nora Roberts and J.D.Robb. Nora, especially, writes many genres, of which romantic suspense is only one, but she is an awesome writer, not to mention prolific. 
  • 2. How did you start writing in your genre?
I like romance, but I also like a lot of suspense. And I adore crime thrillers so thought why not link crime and romance? 
  • 3. You've landed a meeting with your dream agent. Write a one paragraph pitch to sell your novel to him/her. (No more than four sentences)
This sounds like a lot of work during NaNoWriMo! Okay, let's go...here's my 'elevator' pitch for my second novel, In Search of the Last Cowboy.


Shakira Pearlman sets out to avenge her rape, but she's confronted by a police force crippled by inertia and a Senator father who's afraid a court case will hurt his chances of retaining his Massachusetts seat. Shakira refuses to accept the status quo as she's discovered she's not the rapist's first victim and fears she won't be his last. She pursues him across America following the trail of the honeybees. Her quest intensifies when she meets Detective Byron Bredemeier and falls in love. Together they must find the rapist before he strikes again.

  • 4. Sabotage or accident- which would put your female lead through and why?
Sabotage. It sounds way more interesting, but, on the other hand my protagonist above does meet with an accident... 
  • 5. Plotter or Pantser? Who are you?
Pantser. I try to be a plotter, but that comes along once I've got my idea, a few characters and a bit of a start. I'm at 12,000 words on my third novel, this one set in Afghanistan. Now the characters have all come by, we've had a getting-to-know you party, sorted out our cultural differences, and now I can sit down and get plotting or maybe I'll just go along for what's going to be a wild ride.


1.The Character Depot2.How Many Days In A Year?
3.Chris Eboch's Write Like a Pro! blog4.Kris Bock: Ordinary women. Extraordinary adventures.
5.Tara W.6.Kerrin Hearfield
7.Mynr Whitman Writes8.L'Aussie
9.Tina DC Hayes, Author at Large


Click on the names above if you'd like to read what they have to say.


  • I'd appreciate comments from one and all, especially regarding the pitch. Re-reading I think it's a bit clunky. What do you think? Does it interest you?




Friday, 11 November 2011

Jessica Bell's String Bridge Amazon Chart Rush! If you're going to buy the book, please do so today. Go Jessica, go!


Today is THE day to help Jessica Bell's debut, STRING BRIDGE, hit
the bestseller list on Amazon, and receive the all-original soundtrack
Melody Hill: On the Other Sidewritten and performed by the author herself, for free!

All you have to do is
purchase the book today (paperback, or eBook), November 11th, and
then email the receipt to:


jessica.carmen.bell(at)gmail(dot)com

She will
then email you a link to download the album at no extra cost!

To purchase the paperback:

To purchase the eBook:
Amazon UK



Buy Jessica Bell’s debut from Amazon today & receive the soundtrack 4 free! http://amzn.to/nnidEW or http://amzn.to/t3nGmK #StringBridge.

To listen to samples of the soundtrack, visit iTunes.

If you are
not familiar with String Bridge,
check out the book trailer:



Rave Reviews for String Bridge:

Jessica Bell’s STRING BRIDGE strummed the fret of my
veins, thrummed my blood into a mad rush, played me taut until the final page,
yet with echoes still reverberating. A rhythmic debut with metrical tones of
heavied dark, fleeting prisms of light, and finally, a burst of joy—just as
with any good song, my hopeful heartbeat kept tempo with Bell’s narrative.
~ Kathryn Magendie, author of Sweetie and Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn Journal

“Poet and
musician Jessica Bell's debut novel String Bridge
is a rich exploration of desire, guilt, and the
difficult balancing act of the modern woman. The writing is lyrical throughout,
seamlessly integrating setting, character and plot in a musical structure that
allows the reader to identify with Melody's growing insecurity as her world
begins to unravel …
String Bridge is
a powerful debut from a promising writer, full of music, metaphor, and just a
hint of magic.” ~ Magdalena Ball, author of Repulsion
Thrust
and Sleep Before Evening

Jessica Bell is a brilliant writer
of great skill and depth.
She doesn't pull back from the difficult
scenes, from conflict, pain, intensity. She puts it all out there, no holds
barred, no holding back. She knows how to craft a scene, how to develop
character, how to create suspense. This is an absolutely brilliant debut novel.
I look forward to reading her
next novel, and next and next.” 
~ Karen Jones
Gowen, author of Farm Girl, Uncut Diamonds and House of Diamonds

Please TWEET and/or FACEBOOK this post using #StringBridge!






Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Novel release and celebration giveaway - Joy Campbell's publishing up a Jamaican storm!

It is my pleasure to tell you about Joy Campbell's fourth novel, Hardware. I'm familiar with Joy's writing  and some of her novels as she often publishes extracts on RomanticFridayWriters to suit the theme of the week.  Her writing has a unique Jamaican flavour, with a big dollop of hot Jamacian culture.

I do love books where I can learn about an exotic culture while following a red-hot story. Do yourself a favour, read the blurb then decide if this is a book you'd enjoy reading.


Camille Moyston has managed to put the nightmare of a violent attack behind her. Having forged a safe, predictable life, the last thing she needs is a cliché, oversexed Jamaican male expressing interest.


For Quinn Mayhew, life is too good to waste time chasing a haughty, irritable woman who is too cautious to accept him for the man he is, but somehow she symbolizes everything he desires in his future.

When Camille's inner fortress finally starts to crumble, Quinn is arrested for murder and everything changes...


Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense/Mystery
Book Length: Plus Novel
Word Count: 93,188
Pages: 340


You can buy it here from Wild Child Publishing. Joy has several other novels published. Check out her website sidebar for more details.

Joy is giving away 5 copies of the e-book of Hardward. Go here and register for a chance to win your copy!

Joy blogs at The Character Depot. Pay her a visit. She's hosting Jessica Bell at the moment...

You can read an excerpt from Hardware here:





Saturday, 5 November 2011

The End is Nigh (of week one NaNoWriMo) - how far did I get with my new novel? Well, I did some research...

I've received one or two snide remarks about why I do NaNoWriMo every year, but I have one answer - I love to research! And every November I get all fired up about a story idea, then I dive in, finding out all I can. Well, this is my favourite part of story writing. How about you?

IMAG1575.jpg
First thing, I struggled home with two bursting library bags of goodies.

Then, I was helping one of my students do a Comedy assignment this week. We were looking for examples of one liners. I found a beauty - 'When we steal someone's idea it's called plagarism. When we steal a lot of ideas it's called research.' Don't you love it?

IMAG1576.jpg
Next, I spread the books out on the bed...

Unfortunately the research I'm doing for this novel  is depressing beyond words. You might see a woman in a blue burqa on the cover of the book in the foreground. Well, that's often how Afghani women are referred to: 'There go the burqas down the street.' And the war books, the journalist's reports, the soldier's blogs - "killing a hillful"...man, this is so tough!

But I've managed to get over 3,000 words written, way behind the amount expected. My research is changing my original premise. What I've written may be pretty vomitus, but editing can wait. That's what NaNo's all about. Get the words down, worry about that inner editor screaming at you later!





Thursday, 3 November 2011

NaNoWriMo is here - is your storytelling telling? Cause and Effect. A post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

If you're looking for Jessica Bell's String Bridge Blog Tour post, it's below this one!

For more posts, go here...
Nanowrimo  is here again! Wow! Day Three already!

This post is not about the 'showing vs telling' debate, this is about how to make your story un-put-down-able. I'm writing this as much for myself as anyone else as I wrestle with the premise/chapter one of my third NaNo novel. This post looks at cause and effect in our writing.

"I just couldn't put that book down. You must read it!"

Now wouldn't we like readers to say that about our stories? If they do it probably means:
  • the story followed logically - it moved forward naturally - cause and effect was in place.
You want your readers to be captivated by your story. If they're forced to think about why something happened, or maybe didn't, they're forced out of the story, they disengage while they try to analyse the plot. Maybe if you do it too often your book may languish, unread...

Example: You book is a thriller. Your MC is home alone. Your might write:

"With shaking hands she fumbled for the lock on the door. She could hear the killer outside, moving through the bushes."

Too much information? In a logical order? YES to the first, NO to the second. Your reader would be taken out of the story while he/she wonders why is she locking the door? Why didn't she already have the door locked, especially if she's a woman home alone, blah, blah...So he/she reads on, getting it. Yep, there's a killer outside, so sure, she should lock the door alrighty! 

If one sentence is there to explain what happened in the preceding sentence, it can be improved. Reverse the order - logic! 

Maybe your rewrite looks like this:

"She could hear the killer outside in the bushes. She reached out with shaking hands and fumbled the lock on."

CAUSE:  The killer lurks on the other side of the door.
EFFECT: She locks it.

Tip to remember today! 
  • When writing scenes, especially complex scenes, realizations and discoveries happen after actions, not before.
  • Always build on what has been said or done, rather than laying the foundation after the idea is built.
  • Continually move the story forward, rather than flip-flopping around with cause and effect. 
  • Each event should cause the one that follows it. 
  • Show your reader what is happening as it happens rather than explain what just happened, or what happened several sentences ago.
Like all general rules, there are exceptions, especially in section or chapter breaks. You might begin a section with:

"Why did you do that?" she screamed.

This would make the reader curious - who is 'she'? why is she screaming? who is she screaming at? This could be a good hook. However, if this happened in the middle of a scene, it would be wiser to go back to cause and effect - 

He slapped her, hard.
"Why did you do that?" she screamed.
  • can you suggest any other exceptions to the rule of cause and effect? Please share...
  • I know I like to be mysterious when I write and often blow the cause and effect rule. It's hard to know what works best. Interested in what you think...
Thanks to the Writers Digest for the ideas behind this post.



Wednesday, 2 November 2011

String Bridge Book Launch Tour (with a difference.) Jessica and L'Aussie conduct the interview soley in 'Strine...


String Bridge final cover_front.jpg
I’ve never been to Greece. Every time I’ve planned a trip in the past, disaster struck  - wild storms about to strike, Greece was burning, Greece was a riot. So for me it’s remained the Great Unexplored, the final frontier. But something happened recently that decided me – you’re going to Greece girl! A carrier pigeon dropped a note tellin’ me that a bonza sheila from Australia, (well, she nicked off awhile ago), has got a book in the works! Out in November! A good enough reason to trot over to Athens and see if her head hasn’t got too big to talk to L’Aussie from Down Under. I can only hope you can understand the interview seein' as when two Aussies get together they tend to speak Strine...


Berring! Berring!
Hellowe Jess! How ya goin’?
Bonza, Denise, how ya goin’ mate orright?
Goin’ great Jess. Right as rain. Now crikey, some galah was tellin’ me you finally finished that book you been workin’ on like forever and you’re up for a few interviews. Mind if I pop ovah an’ ask a few deadly questions?
Right on matey. I’ll meet ya at the airport. No trains runnin’.
Strike a light! Er, Jess, are there any disasters, or anythin’ happenin’ at the mo’? Like there always seems to be somethin’ goin’ down in Athens.
Just some demos about those austerity measures Orstralya doesn’t have ta worry about.
A quiet little Greek demo is it? Like no rubber bullets, tear gas or nightsticks?
Oh nothin’ like that L’Aussie. We just’ll have ta watch out for water cannons when we’re drivin’ by.
Gulp. Well I’ve heard it’s pretty hot in Athens. A bit of a drink never hurt anyone, did it, ‘specially an Aussie?

Denise: So Jess, hellowe maate. Get me outta here. Outta this crazy-nuts airport! I’ve nevah seen so many people in one place in me life!

Jessica: Get a grip, L’Aussie, matey. You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet. Wait till ya get in one of those canary-lookin’ taxis. You’ll be grippin’ the door handles so tight you won’t have no nails left.

Denise: You're a riot!

Back at Jessica's hangout...

Denise: Well, orright now matey, we survived the crowds (crikey all those people!), those scary canary taxis and water cannons, so after we finish skullin’ these drinks do ya mind if we get down to business?

Jessica: Hey L’Aussie where’s the fire? I don’t often get anyone here to talk to that speaks my lingo. Have to make do with re-runs of Kath and Kim. I was hopin’ we could hang awhile and chew the fat.

Denise: Fair dinkum Jess, I’d love to, but when I hit a place I gotta see the sights. Athens has one or two, but I especially gotta see the Acropolis. And that’s only one of the twelve hills, crikey! I could be here all day!

Jessica: Fair dinkum L’Aussie! Well you’ve already seen the big ‘un. It’s that big ruin up on the hill thataway. See, look out my window.

Denise: Are you true blue?

Jessica: I kid you not.

Denise: Crikey. How about we walk through the Plaka district, trot up the hill and sit on the steps of the Acropolis away from all the commotion, watch the sunset and drink a bit of Ouzo, nibble a bit of Greek Salad and watch some Greek guys in white bloomers dance while we take in the Aegean Sea. Whaddya think? A plan?

Jessica: Haha! You been watching that Shirley Valentine movie, haven’t ya? I think they can magic away  the crowds when they got a movie to shoot but they’re not gonna do it for us like. Seriously, you ain’t gonna get no quiet round here. Ya came to the wrong place for that! This place is always poppin’, especially up at the Acropolis. Actually, you might wanna put your mean face on if you got one, so you can tell off the dicky tourist that tries to sneak some ancient rock into ‘er handbag.

Denise: Do they really do that? Crikey! So Jess, is it because of the history, the ancient monuments or the culture, that you hightailed it outta Orstralya? Like, what has Greece really got that Orstralya hasn’t, right? Other than a head start of like 5000 years, ha ha…

Jessica: Sad story actually … I fell in love, and moved because my heart told me to. Puke!!! Never told anyone that part of my reason before ‘cause it is so clichéd, so count yaself lucky.

Denise: Lucky! You’re the lucky one! Livin’ in the shadow of the Acropolis an’ all. Crikey, how good is that! So what is it specifically about livin’ in Greece that you’ve used in your gorgeous book String Bridge?


Jessica: The chaos, the bureaucracy, the gorgeous sights, the lifestyle, the pollution, the enchanting atmosphere … you name it, it’s there, even if hidden between the lines.

Denise: In the blurb for your new novel you talk about ‘Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery.’ Crikey mate, is that about you, autobiographical like? Or are you happy as a pig in mud livin’ here up north?

Jessica: Nah, not about me. I’m as happy as larry, but I still do have my moments of frustration with the way this country works, or doesn’t work. I’ll never get used to having to stand in a line for eight hours just to renew my residency permit every two years … I mean, who has the freakin’ patience for that?

Denise: You. Just count your lucky stars Jess mate that they let you stay and don’t boot ya back where ya came from like some country we both know about, eh? Well, enuff politics, let’s get back to String Bridge. The more I read about Melody, your main character, I keep thinkin’ I must be readin’ about you? Am I? C’mon, spill it why doncha!

Jessica: Haha! Seriously, you’re not. There are elements of me in her, but I’m not her. For one, I do not wanna be a rock star. I wanna write. I do get depressed now and again though, which I think is common in us creative types, so it wasn’t hard to channel those aspects of Melody.

Denise: I can’t get these words outta my head from the Preface: ‘If music were wind, I would live in a hurricane. If it were a mother, I would sleep in her soothing womb. If were music, I would simply be me.’ Lovely, lovely, lovely. Who are you Jess? You can tell me.

Jessica: I’m just a girl who likes to play with words until they can sing on their own J

Denise: Nice one. You describe music as a ‘sixth sense’. Is that really how you see music ? Is it metaphysical? Do you have any stories to tell about music that explains this? Share...

Jessica: Although music is not my main focus, it does hold a very special place in my heart and I feel it comes from a bigger place than my imagination. You could say it’s metaphysical. I need it. But not all the time. I think I need it to excrete the angst more than anything.

Denise: So when did ya start writin’ songs and playin’ the guitar?

Jessica: I started writin’ songs when I was a little nipper of eleven or twelve. My mother had decided to sell her twelve-string acoustic guitar to get a bit of extra cash. First I knew it was sittin’ by the front door. I think someone was comin’ over to take a look at it. I remember openin’ the case and thinkin’ that it just looked so beeauutiful, and why would Mum be wantin’ to get rid of it? I think she was in the music room at the time and I interrupted one of her recordin’ sessions to ask about the guitar. When she told me she was sellin’ it, I asked her whether I could have it. She said that I could if I learnt to play.

Denise: Obviously you took up the challenge…

Jessica: Right on matey. From that day I had that guitar in my hands every single day till I moved to Greece in 2002. I taught myself how to play. The first song I ever wrote was played on one string and sung in a very high-pitched awful voice. J I hope that cassette never gets dug up!

Denise: Strewth that was amazin’ Jess. You're a deep one, gal pal. Now how about for a little light relief we grab that last bottle of Ouzo and head for the Acropolis? Bugger the crowds. I’m in the mood. I can taste that baklava already…maybe you can bring ya guitar little mate? After hearin’ that soundtrack for the book I’ve gotta hear you play and sing. That’ll be a right royal treat especially on the Acropolis steps with the boys in white bloomers stampin’ their boots. Maybe you cud bring a copy of ya book. You can do an author reading just for me. Howzat?

Jessica: I gotta have the last word. It’s my interview, right? Right! Just to say, this has been surreal…but thanks for comin’ over all that way and…

Denise: What’s that Jess? Can’t hear you! Boys in white bloomers are callin’!


 If after reading this interview you want to know more about Jessica Bell and her new novel, here are several links to follow:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MsBessieBell



Purchase links:

eBookAmazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/String-Bridge-ebook/dp/B005Y48DF6/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_mains=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1319369262&sr=1-1Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/String-Bridge-ebook/dp/B005Y48DF6/ref=sr_1_1ie=UTF8&qid=1319370801&sr=8-1
Paperback:Amazon.com: (Coming soon) Amazon UK: (Coming soon)Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/string-bridge-jessica-bell/1030101696
Soundtrack:iTunes:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?playlistId=465313522Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Melody-Hill-Other-Side/dp/B005P7ARNS/ref=sr_1_1ie=UTF8&qid=1317118328&sr=8-1Amazon UK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Melody-Hill-Other-Side/dp/B005P7G02A/ref=sr_1_1ie=UTF8&qid=1317118484&sr=8-1


Jessica's already had one Amazon Chart Rush in late October and will have another on November 11th. This is the time to buy her really, really, excellent novel, orright?


And this sheila can sing like an angel too! Whatcha think of this? It's a wonder I ever left Athens!





Here are the dates/places to follow Jessica's blog tour:



Tuesday, November 1st:
Dawn Ius ~ Review
Jim Murdoch ~ Review
Judy Croome ~ Interview
Leigh T. Moore ~ Review
Len Lambert ~ Interview
Sharon Mayhew ~ Review


Wednesday, November 2nd:
Cherie Reich ~ Review
Denise Covey (L'Aussie) ~ Interview
Jolene Perry ~ Review/Interview
Nicole Ducleroir ~ Review
Rachel Morgan ~ Interview


Thursday, November 3rd:
Bidisha Das ~ Review/Interview
Bish Denham ~ Review
Leigh T. Moore ~ Interview
Melissa Bradley ~ Review/Interview
Sangu Mandanna ~ Review
Theresa Milstein ~ Interview


Friday, November 4th:
Deniz Bivan ~ Review
Glynis Smy ~ Interview
Mary ann Gacayan ~ Review
Rosie Connolly ~ Interview
Talli Roland ~ Review


Monday, November 7th:
Amie McCracken ~ Interview
Cherie Reich ~ Interview
Jen Daiker ~ Review
JL Campbell ~ Interview
JL Campbell ~ Review (different blog)
Mason Canyon ~ Interview
PK Hrezo ~ Review


Tuesday, November 8th:
Dawn Ius ~ Interview
Jennifer Poulter ~ Review/Interview
Michelle Davidson Argyle ~ Review
Nicole Ducleroir ~ Interview
Will Burke ~ Music Review


Wednesday, November 9th:
Angela Felsted ~ Review/Interview
Christine Danek ~ Review
Clarissa Draper ~ Review
Laura M. Campbell ~ Review
Melissa Sarno ~ Interview
Samantha Verant ~ Review


Thursday, November 10th:
Gina Blechman ~ Review
Karen Amanda Hooper ~ Review
Kittie Howard ~ Review
Laura M. Campbell ~ Interview
Matthew McNish ~ Music Review


Friday, November 11th (Amazon Chart Rush Day):
Bonnie Wagner ~ Review
Geoffrey Cain ~ Review
Glynis Smy ~ Review
Holly Ruggiero ~ Interview
Jessica Hill ~ Review
Jo Schaffer ~ Interview
Mason Canyon ~ Review
Renae Mercado ~ Interview
Robyn Campbell ~ Review
Stephen Parrish ~ Review/Interview


Saturday, November 12th:
Phanee Manganas ~ Review


Monday, November 14th:
Amie McCracken ~ Review
Amy Saia ~ Review
Erica Spangler ~ Review
June Ash ~ Review
Katrina Lantz ~ Interview
Robyn Campbell ~ Interview
Sheri Larsen ~ Interview


Tuesday, November 15th:
Hart Johnson ~ Review/Interview
Len Lambert ~ Review
Matt Nord ~ Review
Sheri Larsen ~ Review


Wednesday, November 16th:
Alex Cavanaugh ~ Music Review
Emily White ~ Review
Mary Pax ~ Review
Pam Torres ~ Review/Interview
Raquel Byrnes ~Review


Thursday, November 17th:
Ellie Garratt ~ Interview
Emily White ~ Interview
Shannon McMahon ~ Review
Shauna Kelley ~ Review


Friday, November 18th:
Katrina Lantz ~ Review
Madeline Sharples ~ Review/Interview
Rosie Connolly ~ Review
Sherry Auger ~ Review


Saturday, November 19th:
Julie Musil ~ Review
Tessa Conte ~ Interview


Sunday, November 20th:
Chris Phillips ~ Review/Interview
Tessa Conte ~ Review