Congratulations to Deb and Louise! They won their choice of book from Jody Klaire!
It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and I’m headed outside to do some work before it gets too hot. Before that, though, I have a treat for y’all! Author Jody Klaire stopped in to share her journey to becoming a writer. Oh, and to give away a couple of books! On Friday, June 12, I’ll draw two winner who both get to choose an ebook or paperback copy of Blind Trust or La Vie en Bleu. Yes, so many choices! Leave a comment below to get in on the awesome! Standing in the Spotlight By Jody Klaire Silent moments stood gazing out from my unseen position in the wings. The buzz of an expectant crowd. Musicians run through their final checks. The scratchy roll of the snare drum, a bass note. The plectrum is in my back pocket. I check, again, if it hasn’t fallen out. I always use the same plec. It’s my show, my music. Ultimately it all rests on me. It’s on me to make it worth the time and the money. It’s more than just a show to me, more than another performance. I’ve never worked that way. Every time I walk out, I give it everything. It’s about connecting souls, connecting to the audience through music and every emotion I hold deep inside. The spotlight fades up illuminating the centre stage. The piano plays the opening strains of my first number. Energy pulses through the air, throbs through me. One quick breath and I step out and let the music flow. The power of the show depends on my voice, my ability to entertain and my courage to stand and let every secret in my heart free. It is to be vulnerable, exposed and yet strong. To know that I am gifted with the chance to reach another. I’ve worked tirelessly for years to earn this moment, this opportunity to win the hearts of the audience in front of me. Flash forward two years and I’m in bed. I can’t get up. My music career is a memory but then so is my health. Sitting next to me is a card advertising a writing competition. My mum thinks it’s a good idea to try writing a short story for it. I spent so many years locked in a room alone composing, telling stories through song that it seems plausible. I don’t know a lot about fiction writing, I don’t even know what makes a sentence. I never did well in English. Writing was for journalists and college professors. I’m sick of being stuck staring up at the ceiling. The card keeps catching my eye until I open a new document and start to write… It becomes a passion before I realise, an obsession that grips me. I can’t do what I spent so long working towards so that pent up frustration, that pain, it fuels me. So I begin to study. I am lucky to find an incredible mentor, a wonderful agent and another in a course tutor. It drives me to believe I can do better, I can almost grasp how to let it out but I have to work harder. I create characters, stories, places that I see so vividly in my mind. I connect to a character called Aeron. Her voice flows out. The study I put in, the books read, the thirst to learn how to bring my stories to life mixes into her book. The Empath ignites that feeling. I stand isolated in the spotlight once more. Perhaps it’s an escape, something to focus on but it feels right. I recognise this place, it’s that precipice of connection. I can’t see the audience, I just have to be exposed, vulnerable and find strength in that. Music was competitive, writing the same yet more welcoming. Authors, agents, publishers are still there to be a business but there’s an acknowledgement of the process undergone, the desire to create, the work that goes into a book. They understand. Yet that spotlight means I can’t see the audience reaction. I hope that they are there, they take a chance on a new name, they are curious enough to listen, to read. It’s my opportunity to earn their trust to entertain them. My chance to tell them a story a different way. The Empath found friends, support but it meant changing and adapting. Like before I had to learn how to package myself and my work. It also meant letting go of the past. To my delight, readers gave me a chance, they enjoyed it enough to ask for another story. That meant more than I could have expressed through words alone. I bring with me a drive and ambition. I want to create stories that stay with a reader, that they can relive over and over if they wish. A connection on a different level which forces me to lay bare my emotions through characters to make it breathtaking. That’s what I want to do, I want them to be moved, to laugh, to join the character on a journey which leads the character and reader to become friends. I hope each word shines with it. Now, I’m in the wings once more. I’ve got another chance to tell a story. This time it’s Aeron’s second adventure. I’m nervous, I was the first time. It’s strange to me because I was never nervous performing. Most artists around me talked of nerves. I felt at home on stage, I felt at ease there. In the silent moments, I have the memory of how the physical problems crept in. In the back of my mind is the last live performance, an exam in front of a live crowd. Peers, artists, world class musicians. I could no longer stand, I couldn’t breathe yet I began to sing. That moment when I looked down, my left hand was stuck. It wouldn’t move no matter how hard I tried. I relied on my voice to pull me through. The audience loved it, they were moved, they never knew. The examiner did. No guitar. No Excuses. Can or can’t. Music career vanished. The burning agony of cold hard words. Thank God my mother was there to help me out of that office. Ironic that on my way out, a member of the audience that evening found me to tell me how much they’d loved it. Things have changed in many ways since then, writing fulfils me more. I have more time with a reader, more scope to tell a story, I just have different tools to do it with. This summer, I will do it twice. Aeron’s second adventure the first of two book releases. Blind Trust builds on her adventures in The Empath. A thriller/mystery series, it shows how being different, being true to who you are helps you to shine. I hope that resonates with all who read it. Sometimes things go awry but there’s always a way. Never give up. The second book is a romance. Yes, I’m a thriller writer but I spent seventeen years caressing each word with aching, with longing. Each song telling of loves lost, won, found and dreamed of. Romance is ingrained within. La Vie en Bleu is filled with my passion, my love for France and its people. My hope is to entice excitement, joy and vibrancy of falling in love, finding love from the reader. I hope to make them smile, laugh, celebrate just like I did before. I want it to count. I want the reader to connect, to feel, to enjoy. One summer, two books. Two chances to earn reader’s hearts and leave them wanting more. Here, now, in the wings, the fluttering of my heart makes me smile. I’m terrified. Forget nerves. There’s a whole lot of well-known and experienced writers out there who must wonder who this crazy person is. Who let her in through the stage door? Yet, when the audience filters in, the house lights dim and that spotlight fades up. The reader will open the cover and meet either Aeron or Pippa. Their stories. I hope that the reader feels it’s worth the money, worth their time. I hope that it is breathtaking, that it resonates, that it moves them. I hope Aeron and Pippa become the readers’ friends. I hope so. All I can guarantee is that I’ve given it my best shot.
Jody Klaire is an author with Bedazzled Ink and a massive tennis fan. At the grand old age of 31, she has been everything from a serving police officer, to recording artist/composer and musician until finding her home in writing. She lives in sunny South Wales in the UK with a ‘lively’ golden retriever called Fergus and other furry friends. Oh, and she has a slight affection for cake… Her books: The Empath [Above & Beyond Series – Book 1] her debut novel with Bedazzled Ink. Runner up at the 2014 Rainbow Awards and Finalist for the 2015 GCLS Goldie Awards. Blind Trust [Above & Beyond Series – Book 2] Out May 2015 La Vie En Bleu – A romantic comedy that takes the English and French love/hate relationship and throws a canoe at it. (Out July 2015)
Blind Trust – Above & Beyond Book II
Aeron Lorelei finds herself part of the mysterious Criminal Investigations Group and is looking forward to catching up with Commander Renee Black after being locked in bootcamp for six months. However, something isn’t quite right with Renee and Aeron can’t figure out why she is pushing her away. When mother nature puts a mountain in their path (literally) and Renee does the unthinkable, it is left to Aeron to clear Renee’s name. Stuck in a small Colorado town with only a few days to solve a mystery, Aeron needs some ‘spiritual’ support.’ Saving Renee involves using the burdens she loathes and every ounce of belief she has. It looks bleak for Renee, and when the danger lurking in the past snakes its way into the town, it is up to Aeron alone to stop it.
La Vie en Bleu
My name is Pippa Saunders and I have a BIG secret. You see I am engaged to Prince Charming, AKA Doug Fletcher, (Well unless it’s a golf day,) and my best friend and I, Rebecca (The one with the terrible haircut) live in our pokey little flat and are wonderful underachievers. My life is pretty simple, I go to work in an office, go out to dinner with the handsome Doug and enjoy girlie DVD nights with Rebecca. It’s how I like it. Simple, uncomplicated and… well… Rebecca says boring. Unfortunately I’m not quite as boring as she thinks. I’ve been holding a secret since I spent a year in France when I was nineteen. And, thanks to an odd series of events that involves a trip to the local Italian in my pyjamas, I have ended up back in the very same country I’ve been trying to get out of my head. Not only that, Doug, (bless him) thought it was a great idea to bring me right back to the actual town. Oh, and he’s hired a stonemason called Berne Chamonix. The very same mysterious, intriguing, gorgeous… ahem… well she’s the same… well… person that I’ve been trying to forget, (without much luck) for over a decade. You can imagine how funny Rebecca finds that, can’t you? Not that it matters because I’ve promised Doug that I’m going to marry him. It doesn’t matter that the thought of breeding a rugby team terrifies me or that I can’t seem to stop gawping at the beautiful, strong, enchanting… anyway… you get the idea. So I’m stuck in France with my past about to take a chisel to my well built up façade… …In a word… oh, Merde. La Vie en Bleu takes the English and French love/hate relationship and throws a canoe at it!