An injection of real life by Jen Silver (plus two FREE books)

Congratulations Kathy and Alice!

Look! My friend Jen Silver is with us today! Yes, y’all should be as excited about that as I am, especially since she’s giving away two signed copies of Calling Home. Drop a comment in the space below to enter the drawing and I’ll select the winners on Friday, August 31, 2018.

Good luck!


I’ve had eight books published in just four years with a ninth due out in February 2019. This astounds me.

It’s been a wonderful journey. As well as writing the stories, I’ve attended conferences, taken part in readings, panels, and generally had a wonderful time meeting so many authors and readers both in real life and on social media.

So, why have I written that in the past tense? Well, since the end of May when I submitted the manuscript for my ninth book to my publisher, Affinity Rainbow Publications, I haven’t been writing. (Apart from a few blogs.)

And I feel like part of me is missing.

It’s been a great few months for other activities. With the hot, dry weather we experienced in the UK from the middle of May (it started to rain in August), I’ve enjoyed playing golf, especially seeing the ball run and run on straw-like fairways. In archery, I’ve completed the three rounds I need to receive a Bowman classification badge for this year. My wife and I have visited a number of interesting places around the area so she can obtain photos for the 2019 calendar she is creating to send friends and family.

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Other highlights of the summer have been the week-long Happy Valley Pride Festival in Hebden Bridge featuring the Lesbian Writers Read evening and the inaugural European Lesfic Literary Conference in Bristol. Great opportunities to once again mingle with authors and readers in person.

But while I have enjoyed all this, niggling at the back of my mind is the thought, why am I not writing? Where have the ideas gone? I have the name for a new character but she has no friends, no job, and no identifying features. I tell myself to be patient. Ideas will come. However, I also know nothing will happen unless I actually sit down in front a blank page and start writing.

That’s the way it’s always happened, so far. I’ve never been a plotter. Maybe my writing muse has taken a holiday because she’s fed up with this casual attitude. Maybe if I try writing an outline, she’ll come back from wherever she’s sunning herself. (I suspect she’s in Tenerife, a favourite location!)

Calling HomeCalling Home, my latest book, was actually inspired by someone I met while we were on holiday in Tenerife a few years ago. One of the first things this woman told us when we met up for a drink after our round of golf, was that she always switched off her phone on arrival at the resort, placed it in the safe, and wouldn’t switch it on again until setting off on the journey home. She wanted a complete escape from the demands of her job and an elderly mother who phoned her every day.

On the plane home I wrote a few notes developing this theme on my StorySkel app with the title, ‘The Lonely Vet’.  It was almost two years later before I looked at these notes again and saw the potential for a story. Another StorySkel file held the name of a character with only a name and no background – Berry Fields. When I started thinking about these two characters and how they might meet, the details slowly started to emerge.

That’s all it takes sometimes…a random meeting, a name, and time for ideas to percolate. And sometimes, an injection of real life is a good thing for a writer.

Sarah Frost enjoys her dream job as director of the Frost Foundation making her home at one of their writers’ retreats, The Lodge on the Lake. The general manager of The Lodge is Berry Fields, an old childhood friend.

Galen Thomas arrives at the island to fill the post of handy person, taking an extended break from her vet’s practice to help her decide how to shape her future life and career.

When the next group of writers arrives for their two-week retreat, along with Sarah’s grandmother, tensions start to surface. Magda Frost doesn’t approve of the appointment of the “vet” and still questions Sarah’s decision to hire Berry.

The island idyll is soon undermined by the revelation of events from forty years earlier, threatening the lives and loves of Sarah, Berry, and Galen. Calling home and what they now call home—all are affected by the disturbing legacy from the past.

 

If you wish to win a signed copy of Calling Home, please leave a comment here to be entered for the giveaway.


jen_happyAfter retiring from full time work, Jen thought she would spend her days playing golf, shooting arrows, reading, taking part in archaeological digs, and enjoying quality time with her wife (not necessarily in that order). Instead, she started writing and had her debut novel, Starting Over, published by Affinity Rainbow Publications in 2014. Jen now has eight published novels to her name, a number of short stories. For the characters in Jen’s stories, life definitely begins at forty, and older, as they continue to discover and enjoy their appetites for adventure and romance.

Check her out at www.jenjsilver.com. Also to be found on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

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30 comments

  1. I’m not familiar with your work but this story does sound like a great read so please put my name in the hat. I hope that inspiration, your muse, taps you on the shoulder or nudges you with an idea or three while you’re out enjoying all these other activities you mentioned. Congratulations on all your published work so far. 🙂

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  2. I enjoyed reading Changing Perspectives and have yet to begin Starting Over (which I purchased a month ago but life keeps getting in the way). I am very picky about what I read because I am old and can pick and chose as I wish! Calling Home sounds like my kind of book so am thrilled to have a chance at getting a signed copy of it. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  3. I have read a couple of Jen’s books, and have completely enjoyed them. This sounds like another one that I would enjoy.

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  4. I hope your muse comes back from vacation soon. Missed seeing you this year at GCLS. Maybe next year in
    Pittsburgh? I look forward to reading the new book.

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  5. Jen’s book sounds like one I would really enjoy. Would love to read it and would appreciate being entered for the free copies! Thanks a bunch for sharing! And for all the hard work on your novels!

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  6. Jen, What an amazing accomplishment in writing nine books in four years. Many writers would love to complete that feat. Sometimes we just need a break to replenish our souls and enjoy other aspects of our lives. I have no doubt you will sit down one day soon and the words will flow from your fingers with great ease. In the mean time, enjoy your break.

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  7. I’m sure that Ms. Silver will get back into the swing of things. I have no doubt she will iron out the issues with her muse. This book sounds like it’s on par with the rest of her books. She seems to have quite a bit of drive so I have no doubt it will be another hole in one.

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  8. Ah…perhaps your muse is on sabbatical, and will return soon. In the meantime, oh a short paragraph here and there to stimulate the senses…haha

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  9. Sounds very interesting, I still haven’t the opportunity to read one of your books, but this is a good one, thank you for sharing

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    • Not sure I could cope with the pressures of NaNoWriMo, Andi. However, I’m pleased to say my muse has started to make herself known again and a few ideas are percolating for another novel.

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