AAAANNNDD! The winner of an ebook copy of Jane’s book is:
Thanks, everyone, for playing!
Lookit this! The coolness continues with our guest blogger today, Ylva author Jane Waterton, who joins us from Down Under to talk about her new release, Times of Our Lives.
What’s it about? OMG, the awesome!
Set against the backdrop of OWL Haven, Australia’s first exclusively lesbian retirement community, an irreverent cast of residents share their lives, hopes and dreams together. Join Meg, 65, and her best friend Allie as they decide to move to OWL. Then there’s Sparrow, who’s been left with a broken heart until she meets the women of OWL. And let’s not forget Pat and Bella, who have been together for nearly 50 years, and Daphne, who’s always been a loner. OWL offers something for each of these women. Join them and find out.
Through laughter, tears, and joy these woman prove that no matter what your age, you’re never too old to fall in love.
And YOU, dear readers, can actually enter a drawing to win an EBOOK copy of Jane’s book! OMG! Just leave a comment below and that automatically enters you. Do NOT put your email address in the comment body, but do include it in the comment fill-out form. Nobody but the merry elves (and us) in the back see it, and we totes protect it, for realz!
So enter your name and we will do the drawing on Monday, 22 February at 10 PM EST U.S. Time! So get in on the fun!
So I’m going to turn it over to Jane, now. Welcome, Jane!
My first book, Times of our Lives has been published. It seems to be selling quite well and after everyone’s hard work, I am basking in the glow of publicity and congratulations from readers. Just as I am relaxing and feeling very proud of myself, someone asks the dreaded question: ‘when’s the next one coming out?’
I plead exhaustion to the first 10 queries, but as the enquiries grow, panic sets in. Of course I’ve thought about the next book, but in a ‘I’ll think about that next week’ sort of way. I have lots of ideas, but none that really grab me. I realise I have to start thinking seriously about what I’m going to write. I go through the ideas I have and look at all kinds of scenarios, rework ideas and reluctantly discard them.
Writers around me are telling the world they have ideas for their next fifty books and the panic inside me gets worse. Maybe I’m a one-hit wonder. Maybe I’ll never write another book again. What if it takes me another decade to write the next one? I make another cup of tea, even though I haven’t finished the first one. I know I have another book in me; I just have to find the damn thing.
Readers keep asking me to write a sequel, but it feels too soon to go back into the lives of the women from OWL’s Haven. They were with me for the sixteen years it took me to write it and I think we all need a break from one another!
Then a casual conversation with a friend starts a train of thought and before I realise it, a nascent story is forming in my mind. I grab my big pad and start mapping characters and timelines. I daren’t get too excited, but I’m starting to feel that this might be the one, the idea that is going to become the next book!
I start doing some research, and the story begins to develop a firm shape. Ironically, my partner and I are in the process of watching our house being built and both processes feel very similar. The slab is down on both projects, now for the structure.
There was still something missing from the story, something I needed. The first chapter was proving difficult. I knew what I wanted to say and I had a pretty clear idea of where the characters were going, but I couldn’t find the key to introduce the story in a way that would grab the reader.
Feeling frustrated, I decided to experiment with tips I’d read from other writers. I tried starting in the middle of the story, but that didn’t work. I tried writing the final chapter but only got to the third sentence (how can you write the last chapter when you haven’t written anything else?). I knew from experience that I just had to wait and let it come. I prayed that Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers, wasn’t taking a sabbatical and could hear my pleas. Of course these brainwaves rarely happen between convenient waking hours and sure enough, at 1.00 am just as I was about to fall asleep, Francis threw something my way.
I lay there completely still, going through the idea in my head, prodding it, poking it, seeing how it would fit. I felt the excitement blossom and I smiled in the darkness. This was my Eureka moment, what I had been waiting for. Of course the chance of sleep had entirely vanished, so I quietly crept out of bed, went to the office and wrote the first chapter. As I did so, I realised what else this idea had given me – the first line in the book, one that might just catch a reader’s eye. Once that was bedded in, everything else seemed to flow. I have no doubt that the chapter will change, but for now that was all I needed; something to use as a springboard.
So if, like me, you are a new writer and the ideas for the second book aren’t falling from the skies, relax. It just takes a little confidence, patience and as a last resort, a conversation with Francis.
And there you have it! From Jane (and Francis)!
Jane Waterton is Sydney born, Adelaide raised, until the ripe old age of twelve, when her mother relocated them to the UK where she was promptly placed in a ‘good Catholic boarding school’. At the age of 21, desperate not to have to endure another London winter, Jane returned home to the sun and surf of Sydney where she followed in her mother’s steps and joined the honourable trade of bookselling. When told on her first day of work that management wanted staff who read so they could recommend books to customers, she knew she had discovered the best job in the world.
Waterton had never contemplated writing a full-length novel, a very funny lunch with friends prompted the idea for Times of Our Lives. Encouraged by her partner to write it, she did.
And though a true beachcomber by preference, she and the family moved seven years ago to the beautiful red desert region of Western Australia, where Jane is happily working in the field of alcohol and drug counselling.
Happy Friday, happy weekend!