Category Archives: Life story

The Next Big Thing: Sleeping People Lie

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I was delighted to be invited to be part of The Next Big Thing by Matthew Hirtes, author of Going Local in Gran Canaria and guru on all things Spain – way beyond the sun, sea and vino rojo. Matthew covers the Canaries for the likes of Condé Nast Traveller and the Independent. Check out what he is up to here:

http://matthewhirtes.com/next-big-thing/

Thank you for thinking of me, Matthew. Here we go with those all important questions on my very own Next Big Thing…

                       

What is the working title of your book?

Well first up, I am deliriously happy to announce that my book no longer needs a working title as it has just been published! My novel spent a long time being Dear Em, then it switched to NOT an Affair to Forget and finally went via Two Weeks in Paris to arriving at Sleeping People Lie. Oh – and it was The Hands of The Mistress at one stage but that awkwardly coincided with 50 Shades. It’s not ‘Mummy Porn’ so we lost that title quickly!


Where did the idea come from for the book?

Sleeping People Lie is a love story from two points of view – that of Nicholas, an artist and writer from Boston and Sloane, a would-be writer from Stamford, England. I wanted to examine the power of perception; how two different voices can influence the reader one way and then the other.

What genre does your book fall under?

Since my first novel, The Thinking Tank, found itself in the top 50 on Women´s Contemporary Fiction on Amazon, I am now confident that this is my genre. There is certainly a literary element to it but it´s a page-turning read, that´s never difficult. I always hesitate with the ‘Women’s’ Fiction idea though as lots of guys have read my first novel and loved it – so I really hope my gentlemen readers will also enjoy Sleeping People Lie, especially since, unusually, Nicholas, my male protagonist, has a voice in matters of the heart.


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If I were choosing actors for the parts of Sloane and Nicholas it would have to be Emily Blunt and I would need a younger Matthew McConaughy. Maybe someone could suggest who that might be!


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Sleeping People Lie is a compelling love story with a dark edge set between Paris and New York with themes of love, guilt, blame, lies and secrets – an ‘emotionally intelligent page-turner’. (Okay – I cheated with the dash!)
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Sleeping People Lie is published by Summertime Publishing without an agent. It has just gone live on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I am pretty disciplined about my writing and make myself complete a minimum word count of 1500 words per day. However, the words just tumbled onto the page and the characters just raced away with the plot of Sleeping People Lie such that the first draft took me from 17 May until the middle of July – two months flat.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

It´s difficult to compare my novel with any other since all books have their own flavour. One reader did remark that the shifting viewpoints put her in mind of Andrea Levy´s Small Island. We are in the realm of obsessive love, conscience, blame, lies, guilt and the effect our actions have on others. Sleeping People Lie has been described as a ‘haunting love story that keeps you guessing all the way.’ ‘Written with emotional honesty and in atmospheric detail, presenting the reader with a sometimes uncomfortable but brutally credible exploration of the dark side that lies within us all.’
Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Well now, I suppose I do have to tell… I guess it was largely inspired by how people took sides when my own relationship came to an end – how people judge and decide what happened without even a nod to the truth!
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I have woven in the story of Rodin and his mistress, Camille Claudel. Not in a high-brow way, but the story takes a look at the dark side of compulsive love and the effect it has on those involved and those around them. It’s certainly not 50 Shades of Jae but it does have its moments! Have you ever felt that frisson of all-consuming infatuation dancing through your veins? Nicholas and Sloane have too…

Now it’s time for me to hand the baton of The Next Big Thing on to my five chosen authors…

I am very happy to pass the torch to bestselling author, Janna Gray (http://jannagray.wordpress.com/ . Janna started her career as a teacher and part-time writer for magazines and newspapers in the Far East. Her debut novel Kilingiri, set in exotic locations, deals with the universal themes of love and loss and the healing power of forgiveness.

Lynda Renham (www.renham.co.uk) is the bestselling author of Croissants and Jam. Her latest novel Coconuts and Wonderbras is out now and guaranteed to raise a laugh. It’s a fun romance where diets are the order of the day and where love blossoms for literary agent Libby Holmes. Come with Libby on her romantic comedy adventure to see if love blossoms in the warm Cambodian sunshine or if, in the heat of the day, emotions get just too hot to handle.

Chris Edwards is author of Running In Corridors. His hero, Frankie, is a wise cracking, womanising, half Gypsy, he lives in a shabby caravan, on a dilapidated small holding in rural Shropshire, and scrapes a living breeding hens and doing odd jobs. http://www.amazon.co.uk/RUNNING-CORRIDORS-THE-GYPSY-ebook/dp/B009Y81FG2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1351612751&sr=8-4

Jack Scott (http://www.jackscott.info/perking-the-pansies.html) is author of Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey. This critically acclaimed debut book is a bitter-sweet tragi-comedy that recalls the first year of a gay couple in a Muslim land.

Elle Amberley (http://elleamberley.wordpress.com/) writes novels, ‘the result of too much imagination and constant scenarios playing in her head’. Although she is a British author, she likes to dabble in French too and is working on a French novel. Her latest read, Lost In Her Time, which is set in Paris, follows Natasha, when she clicks on an internet link only to find her life turned upside down by an encounter with a handsome French rock star.

Just to say finally – I would LOVE reviews for Sleeping People Lie on Amazon, Goodreads and wherever else you would like to post them. I always hugely appreciate my readers and never lose sight of the fact that they are the reason why I work hard to write what I hope others will love to read.

Jae XX

www.jaedewylde.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sleeping-People-Lie-Jae-Wylde/dp/1909193100/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351681380&sr=1-1

Sleeping People Lie – my new baby!

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Available from Amazon, Waterstones, Walkers and bookmark from mid November!

It may be raining this morning but that can’t dampen my spirits as far as my new baby is concerned! I love the design – thank you www.creationbooth.com who are the desgn gurus for Summertime. Very much looking forward to promoting Sleeping People Lie in bookstores from November onwards. Here’s a taster of what’s inside…

Paris, France and attractive and vibrant 26-year-old Sloane from Stamford, England, meets Nicholas, a writer and artist from Boston, USA, and ten years her senior. The attraction is immediate and Sloane believes that she has found the love of her life. But as the days pass, it becomes clear that things are not quite as they seem.

Christmastime in New York and Nicholas and Sloane are finally making plans. Their fixation, one with the other, is overwhelming to the exclusion of all else. But fate has a way of disrupting what they are certain is meant to be – and disaster is on the way.

Telling their story to ‘Em’, Nicholas and Sloane recount their first meeting, their thoughts and actions and the tale of their passionate and all-consuming affair, delving ever deeper into the dark and sinister side of compulsive love.

What is it that is driving them, why is it so urgent, what secrets must they reveal – and who is the mysterious Em?

Jae De Wylde explores the raw emotion of obsessive love and the power of perception in this poignant, compelling and splendidly-paced tale of secrets, lies, blame and guilt with its bitter, heart-breaking twists.

Must we like a character to love a book?

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The Thinking Tank is available at Amazon, in Waterstones, Walkers and Bookmark Bookstores. Please look out for my new title this November!

Must we like a character to love a book?

This is the question that has haunted me since I began my second novel, Sleeping People Lie/ Two Weeks in Paris – titles currently running neck and neck!

Yes, I do know the rules – but maybe it is time for a rule to be broken. Because not everybody is likeable all of the time; in fact most people are unlikeable some of the time – and some people are unlikeable most of the time.

Do we ever consider that if others could see into our ugliest thoughts, as if we had speech bubbles sprouting from our heads, the image we project of ourselves would be wrecked? And so it is with Sloane and Nicholas, the two main characters in my new title. We see in where others do not, but do we always see what we like?

 

I took heart though, from this 5-star review of The Thinking Tank. My character, Sarah, did not instantly appeal to the writer, but she was nevertheless drawn in. So, filled with hope for my Nicholas and Sloane, I have told their story, which demanded its telling, and I would love you to spend time with them in November when it hits the shelves!

Review of The Thinking Tank by Deborah Fletcher, Author of Bitten by Spain

Much to my own great surprise, I loved this book. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

When I started reading, I took an instant dislike to Sarah, the main character. Her introduction portrays a woman suffering from a degree of immobility and pain resulting from an old accident – petulant and irascible in turns, and clingy and manipulative with her long-suffering daughter, she is exactly the sort of character for which I have little time and much scorn. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to stick with it.

The acuity of Jae’s writing pulled me in, however. Her style is exceptionally clear, well-constructed and honest. And as I became more involved with the slowly-building picture of Sarah’s past, and her arrival in the `now’, my attitude changed, just as I feel it was meant to do.

As her journey of self-discovery continues, so does Sarah’s analysis of her relationships with those around her. This analysis is insightful, clear and sometimes brutally
honest, but beautifully written throughout. I particularly liked many of the short, sharp philosophies that were expressed, and found myself nodding in accord with many of them.

A fairly surprising journey by Sarah to Spain brought me to my home ground, and I read with delight the masterful descriptions of places and atmosphere that flowed from Jae’s pen.

The finale was just as it should be, because I like to close a book feeling content with the outcome. Impressed as I was, I have bought this book a number of times over to gift away. An exceptional first novel.

The Thinking Tank outsells Grey: 50 Shades of Hurrah!

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The Thinking Tank is available from Amazon, Walkers, Waterstones & Bookmark

It was one of those magnificent punch-your-hand-in-the-air moments when the lovely staff at Waterstones in Camberley sidled up to me on Saturday and said, ‘Guess what?’ ‘What?’ I said, as you do. ‘You have outsold 50 Shades of Grey – good for you!’ And we all did a little jig in the shop.

Have I read the rival novel? Well, yes I have. Do I agree with the slamming critics? Well, no I don’t. I like to try different genres and I don’t think the odd dabble into the erotic does any harm – and whatever you say about the style and all the other stuff, in my own humble opinion, it does do what it says on the can.

And the strange thing is that by not being über-critical on Saturday, I ended up meeting some delightful ladies and selling more copies of The Thinking Tank.

So how did that work? Well, I was standing pretty close to the stack of Grey matter as it flew off the shelf towards the cash point.  Had I read it, the ladies wanted to know, so it was good to be able to comment – and to own up to having enjoyed the read. Well, that got us chatting and one thing led to another such that in many cases, The Thinking Tank and 50 Shades went happily off to the till together.

Thank you too to the delightful customer and her daughter who popped off to Primark and bought me a hair clip I had admired – what a brilliant surprise! And to the lovely lady who bought the book, went to the hairdressers and took the trouble to come back to tell me that she was already on page 45 and couldn’t put it down!

The downside of the day is that Brad Pitt arrived to buy books just 30 minutes after I left. Can’t win them all…

Thank you to all the lovelies at Camberley Waterstones for the warmest welcome and for sharing my not-so-grey moment!

Log on to: www.jaedewylde.com

Bags more info and fab expat books at: www.expatbookshop.com

Follow me on Facebook & Twitter – would be lovely to see you there!

Book signing and online sales: is there a link?

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I don’t like watching ratings on Amazon. It can be exhilarating but equally it can be flipping depressing too. But it does help you to build a story about how what’s happening in your world is working with or against what’s happening with your online sales.

It’s not rocket science to work out that if you get some fab publicity in the media, it’s going to up your sales because people have a clear message to respond to. They are intrigued perhaps by your story and curious enough to want to read what you’ve written.

Recently, though, I’ve been watching what happens immediately following my book signings.

It’s a real blessing that I love chatting to folk. I know for some it’s a bit of a trial. You are putting yourself out there, and people do sometimes just blank you, which can be uncomfortable and unnerving  – but chatting does make a huge difference.

This weekend I sold 80 odd books by hand. But there were, of course, those who didn’t buy for lots or reasons – lack of money, wrong genre, on a mission…

But you just never know who might get curious once they go home and have a think – and check reviews – so I always offer my card with my website and purchase details.

Again, I am blessed, as Graham at www.creationbooth.com has designed me such a lovely, eye-catching card that it seems people don’t just shove it in their bag.

SO – here’s the thing…

I have followed it carefully for several months and EVERY time I go out and book sign, the following day my ratings have shot right up. They stay there for a day or two and then they trickle back to where they were – the same pattern as when there has been media attention.

So, book signings are wonderful for so many reasons, and I am hugely grateful to Waterstones, Walkers, Bookmark and Buy the Book for giving me the chance to meet new readers and, just as importantly, potential new readers who might just come along once the shops are closed.

All that said, it is vital that we support the bookshops – and I always say to those who ask if I am on Kindle – yes, but I can’t sign your Kindle for you and I’d love to support this lovely store we are in. They are kind enough to support me and we really don’t want them to close! And it warms my heart that many lovely customers agree and go on to buy the signed book.

www.jaedewylde.com

The Thinking Tank is available in branches of Waterstones as well as at www.waterstones.com and, of course, at www.amazon.co.uk

Bags more info and lots of fab expat titles at www.expatbookshop.com

110 and dancing on the beach! The back-story to Sarah & Stephen’s restaurant in The Thinking Tank…

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Okay, I am lying. I am not 110 and most likely never will be, but my story still holds the secret to an experience you may like to share.

Martin and I were about to turn 60 and 50 respectively and decided not to let this one go without a fanfare or two. Living as expats between Spain and Dubai with most of our friends spending the summer on Mijas Costa, for us, there was only one choice of venue: Triana is a little beachside chiringuito in Las Chapas, just off the main road from Malaga a few miles outside Marbella and as far into the village as you can go. When you see the sparkling waves, the boats and the odd nudist, that’s where you need to stop. It’s a Shirley Valentine type of place, where you can sit on a promontory, surrounded by bougainvillea with the sounds and smells of the sea mingling with the delicious tang of the best paella on the coast.

We celebrated with 25 friends, and being a bonkers kind of girly, I performed a belly dance, a skill I picked up in the Middle East and teach to this day. Francesca who runs the place was, and is, adorable, and her staff are outstanding in their attention to detail, flavour, presentation and the warmth of the welcome. This is the kind of place that makes a mark in your heart and your mind – a romantic sort of place that whispers to you to return and return and to make it yours. When the sun goes down and the moon comes up, the ocean sparkles and glows haunting green as the plankton moves silently with the ebb and flow of the waves.

Such is this place that I preserved its memory forever in my novel, The Thinking Tank, set between Spain 2003 and 1970s London. As Sarah and Stephen struggle to piece together fractured relationships of the past, they spend time at Triana, repairing broken dreams, their secrets still unspoken but pressing, needing to be heard.

Triana is a place for friends, lovers, families and the soul that wants to mend. It is also a place to share.

 

www.jaedewylde.com

www.expatbookshop.com

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The Thinking Tank is available from Amazon, Waterstones & Walkers Bookshops

The radio show sent chills down our spines…

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Being the guest on Suzanne Radford’s radio show in Dubai was no coincidence. How do I know? Read on to find out…

It was an amazing experience to be the guest on Dubai Today, Dubai Eye’s flagship morning chat show with host, Suzanne Radford and co-host, Richard Manson.  The two-hour show was punctuated only by commercial breaks.  We talked about The Thinking Tank and what inspired my story, writing, love, loss, grief, life’s crappy stuff but also life’s joys and blessings, and I was touched by the comments, empathy and stories, which flooded in from all over the UAE.

But when Suzanne and I discovered an incredible link between our two lives, we both felt chills down our spine. As we chatted, we realised that we had both lived in the same village in Rutland, and that Suzanne’s family home is just around the corner from the churchyard where my elder daughter, Rowena, is buried. Suzanne had even been to a party in the same house that we lived in, years earlier when she was a girl.

How extraordinary that I was there in that place so many miles from home with that link with the village that one of those closest to me will never leave.

Suzanne tells me that the messages she received following the show were uplifting and positive, and that we had touched hearts and inspired some who have been following painful journeys to seek a way to move on. That is a real blessing. Meeting Suzanne is another and we plan to have coffee together next time she is in Rutland.

But it would be wrong of me not to acknowledge that telling my story over the airwaves was in some way cathartic. With no idea who is listening, no particular person to talk to, that curious anonymity of being invisible allowed me just to be me and tell it as it was. How lovely when it works both ways.

The chat show is quite long, but if you fancy dipping in, please click below, which takes you to the page where you’ll find the radio link below (commercial breaks have been removed) or visit my website: www.jaedewylde.com and go to the news page.

http://www.jaedewylde.com/news-reviews-events-jae-de-wylde.php

The Thinking Tank is available on Amazon in paperback & Kindle and from branches of Waterstones and Walkers.