Tag Archives: The Thinking tank

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.

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Talking of loss on live TV – and the lesson I learnt on how to make your point…

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Being on TV was an incredible experience and I just realised that with everything going on – the PR, the book signing, life’s normal stuff, crappy or not, I never got to tell you about it, so here we go…

First, thank you to everyone who followed the link on my website to the Studio One show and commented. So supportive and lovely – you are stars. Studio One is the main Dubai channel’s live flagship show. Think BBC’s The One Show and you’ll be there. In an extraordinary turn of events and connections, a dear friend, whom I hadn’t seen since 1999, the year that Rowena died, ended up coming along to the show with me. Extraordinary because I only met her for the first time in 1999, just weeks after Weeny died when we were on business in a hotel in Bangkok. But there she was, now living in Dubai and holding my hand as I prepared to talk about losing a loved one. Never tell me there’s no such thing as fate…

It seemed a daunting task, but the guy, Tom, an expat who runs the show along with his Arabic co-host, was sensitive and kind, chatting to me before the show – and at one time he seemed to have tears in his eyes. We are all touched by loss and grief – maybe something resonated with this lovely guy.

By the time we were chatting on live TV, he felt like an old friend and my nerves were completely gone, also partly because he provided me with some very useful tips, reinforcing some points my FB friend, Jack Owen, had pointed out subsequent to his appearance with Joan Rivers (yes – that Joan Rivers!).

1. Don’t look at the camera – you’ll look daft.

2. Don’t gabble – you need to make clear points.

3. Keep it snappy. Talk in sound bites. Why? Because you’ll pack in much more of what you want to say than if you start heading off on a tangent (I am so good at tangents – this was the best advice ever!).

4. Don’t fiddle with anything – hair, nails, nose. Watch the show – you’ll see I have my hands glued to a copy of The Thinking Tank.

5. Wear something comfortable that also makes you feel good: A particular challenge as this was of course a conservative show in the Middle East and I need to be pretty much covered.

Great advice and a worthwhile experience. The pay-off for the nerves would be knowing that someone out there took heart from what I said – that in some way it helped. But that I will probably never know. One just has to hope…

 Here’s the link to the interview. It’s only 8 minutes long and starts around 5 mins 8 secs into the programme:

http://vod.dmi.ae/media/video/58605/Studio_One___S2_Ep_80

Or find it on my website: www.jaedewylde.com

Buy your copy from Amazon - Kindle or paperback - or from Walkers Bookshops and branches of Waterstones... X

Naked in Rutland: Titillating?

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Was I trying to titillate the reader with my descriptions of what happens to Sally? It’s a question that has been nagging at me since, last week in Rutland, there was a lady brave enough to ask it – maybe even accuse me of it. I know absolutely I am not glorifying any aspect of what is unquestionably abuse – my intention is, of course, quite the opposite.

But what about the titillation?

Sometimes it takes a brave person to mention the elephant in the room – and there were in fact several such brave women at the reading group, where I was invited to answer questions about The Thinking Tank. I’ve talked about feeling naked before – having yourself out there, your written word being analysed, chewed over, interpreted, misinterpreted, whatever. But this was a bit different.

 I don’t usually feel the need to justify my choices – no, wrong – if I justify my choices, I usually feel comfortable. But then nobody has used that word, ‘titillation’ before. It has a nasty sting, that word, and is surely almost a subset of the word ‘gratuitous’.

What happens has to be seen through Sally’s eyes, and felt through Sally’s senses and conveyed to the reader as Sally herself experiences what is happening. Do we not all recognise those murky first stirrings of awakening through pseudo-sexual games? Is it not fair to relate it as it is, and with the effect it will inevitably have on a vulnerable player in my novel? If we are not moved by what is happening – aghast, shocked, thrust out of our comfort zone by uncomfortable passages as we follow Sally’s journey, then how can we possibly relate to what is the catalyst for all that happens thereafter? How can dot-dot-dot convey the horror of what occurs?

The dilemma remains with me, but The Thinking Tank is already out there…

Sally was titillated, despite the shame and the horror and the wanting to be wanted.  So we, being put into that place and into her mind and body, are also titillated. Is that how it works?

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

Log on to www.jaedewylde.com for further info & to www.expatbookshop.com for lots more…

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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

From the Tank to the TV!

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 I know I go on a lot about how life can change in a heartbeat. It can and it does and it sounds dramatic – and it often is – and sometimes it can be in a good way. Phone calls at strange times are, to me, scary things. They rarely bring good news. Emails at strange times  – like when you check your mail in the middle of the night, just because you aren’t asleep and you can – are not so scary. Although the one I got this week definitely is – but again, in a good way. And who knew that it would take me from the Tank to the TV?

These last two weeks have seen The Thinking Tank hit as high as #27 on Amazon Bestsellers charts in Women’s Fiction. Following the publication of my ‘back story’ in the Gulf News Friday magazine in Dubai and the novel’s Amazon ratings, the very wonderful Jeanne Gray contacted Dubai One, the main TV station in Dubai.  As a result, I have been invited to appear on their live chat show, Studio One, this Monday at 7.30pm. Good scary. Scary scary. Scary.

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I’ve also got a smashing list of book signings lined up. They are all on my Amazon Author’s Page as well as on my website (www.jaedewylde.com) so please do pop in if you around – it would be lovely to meet folks and chat.

You never know what the universe will send. I am so grateful for the terrific support from friends, family, my publisher, bookshops and the wonderful journalist, Antonia Hoyle (www.antoniahoyle.com). So please keep fingers crossed on Monday night.

Note to self – it’s very uncool to cross your fingers on live TV! 

Thank you, Waterstones and the good folk of Eastbourne!

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For the first time last weekend since our launch in Holland, I was signing copies of The Thinking Tank off my home patch. And I really didn’t know what to expect. Eastbourne branch of Waterstones had invited me – and I wanted to do a great job for them. In preparation, they ordered in 20 copies of The Thinking Tank, which is the amount they would expect an author to sign on a good day. I was nervous. What if they’d ordered all those copies and got stuck with them. What then?

There was some concern that their copies might not arrive, so just to be on the safe side, I shoved an extra box of my novels in the back of my car.

Hurrah that I did! I had the most amazing day there and met some incredible folk. Karen, Vicky and her lovely team could not have been more welcoming – and customers found the time to have a chat, sometimes even, when they read the themes of The Thinking Tank, sharing what was on their heart. Thank you, Eastbourne. I now know I can travel far from home in the hope of finding a home from home for my book. Oh, and I sold 56 copies by the way. Thank you to my readers – I am so grateful for your support.

The Thinking Tank #48 Women’s Fiction: Such a blessed week…

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Yes, I know I am supposed to bang on about life’s crappy stuff and how to deal with it, but honestly, can you blame me for wanting just to bask in the loveliness of another day with The Thinking Tank in the Amazon 100 Bestsellers list? How can that possibly be crappy?

Although, ask my husband and it would probably be another story as the poor darling has practically had to make an appointment to catch up with me this week. And bless him, he is being my trusty companion and sherpa for all my book signings at the mo – Eastbourne, Peterborough, Leicester, Bristol, Clapham Junction (fingers crossed), Market Harborough – might just have to write a book about Waterstone branches that I have known and loved…

So I just want to take a moment to thank Martin, Jo, (www.joparfit.com), the charming Renata (www.expatbookshop.com)  and my lovely, supportive friends, family and readers out there who have made this a truly blessed week. And just to celebrate, the wonderful Graham (www.creationbooth.com) has designed some snazzy bookmarks for me to take on my travels – please come and grab one from me!

We all know things can change in a second – so I am grateful for this blink of a moment when I have seen The Thinking Tank graph shooting up and those little numbers on Amazon that say you have made it up their with Chris Cleaves, Jodi Picoult and The Devil Wears Prada!

 Bizarre, blessed and bloody brilliant!