Remember writing doesn't love you. It doesn't care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on. A. L. Kennedy

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.amazon.com/Melody-Hill-Other-Side/dp/B005P7ARNS/ref=sr_1_1ie=UTF8&qid=1317118328&sr=8-1Amazon UK:

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


  1. That was so funny!
    And I never knew Larrys were happy.
    Can't wait to post my review of Jessica's CD!

  2. A trul, fun breezy interview. And braving a new country for love is not "puke," it's being true to the best of you, Roland

  3. Alex, hi, I was happy as larry to hear you found it funny!

    Roland: I'm glad you breezed through it.


  4. Strewth luv, that was beaut reading this in the right lingo, refreshing like, hey. Great to hear you're havin a good nosh up with another Aussie shiela so far from Strayla. Hope you find a couple of pots of two to settle the dust like. It's a bloody ripper to have a coldie after scrablin round gawkin at tourist stuff, workin up a sweat and avoiding the old pinch on the bum. Have a beaut day. Sue

  5. Hahahahhaa! Thanks, Denise me gal pal! I had a right hoot!!! :o)

  6. Hi Jess .. I bet this took you back a few years .. and great to hear Denise's interview with you - Let's Talk Strine .. well one day - still working on my English.

    That was fun - and I do love Greece - spent time on Rhodes must do the rest some time!! I think your book will have a lot of travellers flying over ..

    If music be the food of love - Greece is it - cheers (I'm going to enjoy String Bridge) .. Hilary

  7. That was a really fun interview with a difference, thanks guys :-)

  8. I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. It was fun to do!

    All the best Jessica!


  9. Sue: You need an honourable mention. Strewth that was some come back! Probably hardly any of de folks could unnerstand a word o'it!


  10. Jessica: I hope the tour goes well! I downloaded your book last night and only stopped turning pages because I'm too old to stay up all night. It's awesome. It's obvious that the writer is a poet. So much visual imagery and metaphoric language. If I had a print copy I would be underlining something on every page. I'll be posting a review, mostly likely before you finish your tour from the looks of all that's lined up! Enjoy the ride!!! (And I'm also down for the Amazon Chart Rush on November 11th. Hope I can figure out how to get the material posted :-)

    And Denise: as always you are SO supportive of us bloggers. Hope YOU get a lot written this month!!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  11. Ann: Thanks youngster! I hate that feeling of screwing your eyes up, trying to read a bit more then having to give up?! I'll look forward to your review!


  12. Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! You have no idea how much I appreciate the support!


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