Tag Archives: Writing a novel

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

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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!

 

#57 on Amazon Women’s Fiction Bestsellers – definitely NOT life’s crappy stuff!

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Captured on screen at #59!

Last week, when Summertime Publishing named me their Best Selling Author, 2011, I didn’t think the week could possibly get better. But it actually did…

And, OK, Jo Parfitt (www.joparfitt.com), you were right! An author’s ‘backstory’ really does make a difference.

When the Gulf News Friday Magazine published my story by the excellent journalist, Antonia Hoyle (www.antoniahoyle.com), I felt like hiding under the duvet (www.gulfnews.com/life-style/general/belly-dancing-saved-me-from-my-grief-1.960098). I just had this idea that my novel was this separate entity, that needed to be other than me, rather than sharing my history and my sadness. Stupid, I know, when you look at it because what else does an author do other than pour out real emotions, layered onto the characters and their situations? Even so, my novel is fiction and I thought that my ‘backstory’ might somehow infect what I had created. I don’t do ‘poor me’ and anything that smacks of that just doesn’t sit well.

But the support since last Friday has been incredible such that I would never have dreamed possible. Even people from my past have been back in contact. Then, on Sunday afternoon, The Thinking Tank went to #57 on Amazon Women’s Fiction. Extraordinary. Me, on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ list? 23 places ahead of Costa Coffee Shortlister, Chris Cleave, and only 37 places behind the wonderful Jodi Picoult. That is just bonkers.

So, Jo was right, I was wrong. There. I’ve said it.

And a great big stonking THANK YOU to everyone who has been in touch. There are comments on the Friday magazine article – but most have come via FB messages or email. To know that my story has made a difference, to know that it has helped some of you who are bereaved take a baby step forward – that is huge.

As to the ratings – what an amazing blessing from the universe…