Hi Jennifer and welcome! First of all, Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live in Manchester with my husband, our two daughters, two rabbits (Cinnamon and Leah) and mad puppy, Luna. I’m a writer of romantic comedies as well as a book blogger. I also likes crafts, Twitter and tea.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I’ve been scribbling down bits of stories for as long as I can remember! I loved reading books as well as creating characters and stories of my own, so when I was around ten and a teacher took us to the library for an author talk, I decided that was what I wanted to do too.
Your novels are self-published. Why did you decide to follow this path?
It was never my plan to self-publish. I wanted to go down the traditional route of getting an agent and then a book deal but it didn’t happen. When I wrote A Beginner’s Guide To Salad (my first self-published book), it received some positive feedback from agents but nothing came of it. I absolutely loved Ruth and her story and I couldn’t bear the thought of shelving the book as I had with previous novels. So that’s when I decided to self-publish. I thought about it a LOT but in the end I decided to go for it and put Ruth’s story out there on my own.
Tell us a bit about your latest novel Everything Changes But You:
It’s a ‘be careful what you wish for’ and ‘the grass isn’t always greener’ kind of novel. Ally is a bit fed up of her life and wants a bit more excitement, so she makes a silly birthday wish – and it comes true!
Where did you find the inspiration to write this novel? If you could change one thing from your life, what would it be?
I took great inspiration from films like Big, 13 Going On 30 and Freaky Friday, as well as The Wizard of Oz (there really is no place like home, after all). I love films with a fun, magical element where the characters go on a journey and discover that they quite like the life they had all along.
If I could change one thing in my life, it would be to have an agent and a traditional book deal. I’m so glad I self-published, but the dream of being traditionally published is still there.
Which 3 words would you choose to describe your books?
Fun and romantic (does the ‘and’ count?)
How are your publishing days? Do you celebrate in a particular way?
I’m usually on Twitter more than usual because I’m so excited I want to tell the whole world (or the world that’s on Twitter, at least), in between working on my next project. When I published A Beginner’s Guide To Salad, my husband arranged for some flowers to be delivered, which was lovely. Then, when I published Everything Changes But You, he had a cake delivered with the book’s cover on it. He isn’t sure how he’s going to top that for the next book!
Are you working on a new book? What can we expect?
I’m working on a festive novella for later in the year as well as a sequel to A Beginner’s Guide To Salad, which I hope to release early next year.
You also review books on your blog and for Novelicious, do you think this has helped you in your writing process?
Absolutely! I review once a week for Novelicious, as well as a couple of books for my own blog a month, so I have to make time for lots of reading. Reading helps me as it inspires me with my own writing and spurs me on when I read a fantastic book and I also see what works for me as a reader, as well as what doesn’t.
Any tips for new authors thinking about self publishing?
Hire an editor! I believe that self-publishing should be done as professionally as possible. Also, Google is your friend. I had quite a bit of trouble formatting my manuscript so that it would work on a Kindle, but I managed by Googling anything I didn’t understand.
And finally, what is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
Having children! I have an 11-year-old and a 6-year-old and while they can be pains in the you-know-whats (think pre-teen hormones and the terrible twos that has stretched on for an extra three years), they make me laugh most days.
Thanks so much Jennifer for stopping by and answering my questions. It was lovely getting to know you a bit more.
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Haven't you read Coming Home to You yet? What are you waiting for? Here is a bit more about it:
Ally Richmond is dreading turning thirty and bidding farewell to her youth. And when her husband says he wants to start a family, she begins to panic.
Is this all that life has to offer from now on? Popping out babies and growing old gracefully? She wants a life crammed with glamour and spontaneous adventure, not one full of dirty nappies and night feeds.
When Ally makes a silly birthday wish for a new, exciting life, her wish is granted.
But when Ally is presented with the freedom and opportunities she craves, she soon realises this new life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that there really is no place like home.