Category Archives: Waterstones

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.

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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

Novel Talk: The highs and lows of getting it out there…

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I came across a video clip today, which I hadn’t checked out for quite a little while. It’s of Jo Parfit and me chatting about our novels last October. The highs and lows of getting them out there – what went right, what went very wrong and how we can learn from our mistakes. It’s not a very long clip but it does highlight some useful bits and pieces for anyone out there who’s going through this whole exciting but daunting process. Check out what we loved and what we hated – have a chuckle at what we wish we’d done better and what Jo and I discovered was the most mortifying thing of all…

Here’s the link to the clip on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Jae-De-Wylde/187268408006424

Buy The Thinking Tank from: www.amazon.co.uk

Check out more info plus book signing dates on: www.jaedewylde.com

Lots more info and fascinating expat titles on: www.expatbookshop.com

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.

Author to Author: Lynda Renham-Cook offers Jae De Wylde her candid and quirky view of life as a writer…

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Right, folks, here’s something to brighten up your midweek. I am delighted to introduce to you my writer friend and romantic novelist,  Lynda Renham-Cook – that’s if this lovely lady needs any introduction at all. Her latest novel, Croissants and Jam, has been described as ‘one of the best romantic comedies of our time’.  Lynda did me the great honour of agreeing to an author- to- author interview, and I just loved her candid, quirky and thought-provoking answers…

Lynda Renham-Cook

 What inspires you the most when writing?

 Music without a doubt. I can’t write without it and every novel has its own theme music. Often, this means I can only then associate it with that particular novel. I always make sure I have my headphones nearby. This isn’t to say I can’t write without the music inspiration but I do find it harder. In fact a piece of music often inspires a whole novel. I’m sure in this I am not alone.
 
Paper or laptop?

 A Lap top every time. At one time I used a rather tatty old notebook but I now have a lovely smart lap top that I couldn’t live without.  I tend to have numerous documents open when writing as all my notes are on there also. I am a devout user of Drop box, if devout is the right word. My husband discovered it and it is a great way to make sure I don’t lose anything. This is something I am normally very prone to doing, I am ashamed to say… Paper doesn’t work for me. I write much too fast and then cannot read my illegible handwriting, so it is not very constructive for me to use paper.
 
Where do you most like to write?

 I worked part time until recently, so I would get home from work, prepare some dinner and then dive into my summer house. A lovely cosy room which houses everything I need and there I try to write a thousand words a day. Although in the summer I am easily swayed from the word processor by the lovely birds that come into the garden. It is my chosen space. I live in a small village in the country and it is so peaceful to sit there with just the birds singing and the humming of the occasional lawn mower. 
 
What is your biggest ambition?

 I would love to write the screenplay for one of my books. That would be my writing ambition. I also have dreams of writing for TV. I love writing comedy. Personal ambition is to be happy and content. I think contentment is the key to everything and something I have not quite attained yet.
 
Do you have a disciplined approach?

 I am only disciplined in that I make myself write 1000 words every day. Even if I am not happy with those 1000 words I still feel it is important to have written them. There is always gold to be found in that there dust… I truly believe that all writing is productive. Aside from that I am hopeless, frankly. I get side tracked very easily, especially by food and drink. Chocolate is my particular downfall.
 
What do you think about the whole marketing thing?

 It takes away a lot of my writing time. I have a lovely hubby who does a lot of that for me. I am not good at promoting myself. I probably should do more. I tend to leave it to people who know what they are doing. That certainly isn’t me…
 
What do you like best about writing?

 I’ve always enjoyed writing. My mother was fond of telling everyone that I wrote a good composition. I always was a good liar. I spent most of my teenage years living in my own little world. It is also a great way of expressing my quirky humour. I have a tendency to laugh at everything. I also think laughter is a great healer and a wonderful way to banish the blues. I love reading comedy also. It is a genre that gives me pleasure both reading and writing it.
 Tell us about your latest book…

Grab your copy of Croissants and Jam on Amazon!

 It’s titled ‘Croissants and Jam’…

 Oh, can I let Blog critic Diane Morasco do that? She does it far better than me.

‘Croissants and Jam seized my heart of steel and barbwire… and melted it into a simmering pool of marshmallow and milk chocolate. Hollywood take note: Croissants and Jam is what heart-pounding and nerve-tingling romantic comedies are made of.  Breathtaking. Intelligent. Magical. Mesmerizing. Pulse-pounding. Rip-roaring. Spine-tingling. Soul stirring. Unforgettable. Whimsical. I can go on and on and on describing Lynda Renham’s bewitching novel, but I want to cut to the chase so you can grab a copy and see for yourself.

Annabel “Bels” Lewis has just two days to get to her wedding in Rome but her trip is plagued with one catastrophe after another as destiny takes hold and casts its spin.

Enter Christian.  A dashing and adventurous stranger she encounters along the way.  Will Bels get to her wedding on time or will the mesmerizing Christian transform her life?

Croissants and Jam is without a doubt one of the best romantic comedies of our time — yep, including those on the screen. ‘

 
I can’t believe there’s anyone out there who doesn’t want to make a dash for this page-turning romance so pop straight over to Amazon to grab yourself a copy and curl up with a glass of wine or maybe – given the snow and ice – a yummy hot chocolate. Find out more about Lynda, her novels, which also include Wedding Cake to Turin and The Diary of Rector Byrnes, on her Amazon page at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lynda-Renham/e/B004U1PWDU

Check out the latest on Lynda’s blog: http://lrcook.wordpress.com/

Thanks for the inspiration, Lynda – must go practise lying for my next novel!

Jae De Wylde, author The Thinking Tank: www.jaedewylde.com

The Thinking Tank is available on Amazon and in branches of Walkers and Waterstones