Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hello,


Today I have a very special guest blog from the lovely, funny, and brilliant Lynda Renham. Coincidentally she has a blog from me up on her website, which you can find here. If you haven't read a book by Lynda you must. She's one of the funniest writers I know and I know a few. You can find Lynda's new book, 'Fudge Berries and Frogs' Knickers' right here. So without anymore waffle from me, here's Lynda's blog. Enjoy. 



Lynda’s Giant Leap for Mankind



When I wrote my latest novel ‘Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers’ I felt myself shudder. My main character Poppy finds herself living on a boat after a serious of mishaps that leave her almost penniless as well as homeless. My own experiences of boat life have been disastrous and while writing the novel I couldn’t but help remember them.

My brother lived on numerous boats over the years. He loved it. He even had a piano on one of them. I used to dread visiting him. Just climbing on the boat was an ordeal for me. I swear climbing Kilimanjaro would have been easier, especially when he moved to a mooring near Canary Wharf.

‘We’re a little way out,’ he’d said. ‘You need to clamber over a few other boats. It’s okay, just come during the day.’

This sounded a little ominous to me. But we ventured there anyway. The car park was of course miles from the mooring as was usual.  ‘Clamber over a few boats’ was an understatement. His boat was moored at the back of five huge barges and they weren’t that close together either. I managed the first one okay with my husband giving me a helping hand. But the distance between the first and second one was gigantic. Okay, gigantic in my opinion. My husband just leapt across. Good for him, right? I’ve never leapt across anything in my life, except across the road and that would have been because my life was in danger. Now, bearing in mind I can’t swim. Put yourself in my position, what would you do? Luckily there was a plank on the barge and my husband laid it across and held it down with his feet. Perfect. One barge crossed. I stupidly thought the rest of the climb would be easier. The third barge was a bit better. This one actually had a plank to help those who were crossing. But by now my legs are like jelly and all that is on my mind is getting back. The next barge is worse. Firstly it looks like it is falling apart. There are no planks, at least no planks that look safe and the gap between barges is so big that even my husband isn’t keen to take the leap. Then we spot the rope. 

‘That’s how we do it,’ says husband.

‘What are you talking about?’ I say stunned. ‘Are we supposed to Tarzan and Jane it over that gap because I’m telling you I’m no Jane and if you’re Tarzan then I’m a monkey’s uncle.’

‘Okay, no need to be insulting,’ he snaps.

We use the rope to pull the barge closer for us to leap. Or should I say my husband leaps and I kind of crawl over but I really don’t want to go into that. Finally we reach my brother’s narrow boat and thankfully he has proper fitted planks. I navigate those easily enough but the next problem is getting down the steps into the boat. He has it moored a little way out so the boat rocks constantly. He swears it doesn’t. I’m telling you it did. Either that I was drunk and I’m sure I’d remember knocking back the booze. Mind you, once on the boat I did or at least I tried to. I swayed down the steps and finally enter their tiny living area.

‘Would you like a glass of wine?’ asked my sister-in-law.

I needed a glass of wine or something alcoholic to steady my shaking hands and jelly legs. I fall onto the couch and take a large gulp of my drink. I place it onto the table so I can take a biscuit and the next thing I know the glass has slid straight past me and smashed to the floor. 

‘That happens a lot,’ she said.

It’s like being in a Greek restaurant.

‘We tend to use plastic ones.’

So why didn’t she?

‘You’re guests?’

I felt more like a prisoner and so wished the boat would stop moving. Although everyone kept telling me it wasn’t moving that much. A plastic glass or two of wine and frankly I couldn’t care if the thing was going down. I’m feeling quite happy and quite enjoying being on a boat until … I have to use the loo. Let me tell you a loo on a boat is a totally different experience to going to the loo in your nice cosy bathroom. Firstly it smells, secondly trying to pee or do anything else while your head and body is swimming is a very difficult task indeed. By the time we’re ready to leave I’ve had far too much.

By the time we’re ready to leave I’ve had far too much to drink. Obviously I’d completely forgotten the obstacle course we have to navigate on the way back.  We safely cross from my brother’s boat to the next one. But then there is the gigantic leap to the next one and I’m now feeling even less like Jane. In the process of crossing this one my foot slips on the plank and although my husband rescued me he couldn’t rescue my new Blackberry as well, which fell with a plop into the Thames. That was one giant leap for mankind but suffice it to say I’ve never been on a boat since.

Poppy has similar adventures in my novel ‘Fudge berries and Frog Knickers’. 

Here is the blurb to whet your appetite.

‘Poppy Wellesley is rich. In fact Poppy Wellesley is very rich, so when her fortunes change from riches to rags Poppy has to start a whole new life. Put yourself in her Guccis as she swaps her penthouse apartment for a run-down houseboat on Regent’s Canal. Meet her dippy friend Chelsea, the infamousJack Diamond (see The Dog’s Bollocks) and her hunky boat neighbour, Taylor. Will Poppy hold on to her millionaire fiancĂ© or will Pug-face Pandora steal him from her? Can she avoid the advances from Balls (Lord Balthazar Wyndham-Price) or does she find true love on the canal? Fudge Berries and Frogs’ Knickers is a romantic comedy roller coaster ride that will put a smile on your face and a cheer in your heart.’


If you enjoyed this, you can follow Lynda at the following places:

Facebook

Website

And please check out all of Lynda's book on Amazon.

Until next time.

Hugs,

Jon X

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hello


This is it. It's the third and last day of my 3 day FREE promotion for This Family Life and This Twentysomething Life. It's been brilliant because it reminds me what a lovely bunch of people writers are. I've had so much support, kind words, and messages from other writers that regardless of how the book does, it's been very worthwhile.

So on the eve of day three This Family Life is sitting at number 27 in the charts. Before I started the free promo I hoped it would get in the top 100. It sounds funny because I'm giving away a free book, you'd think it would be pretty easy to do well. The truth is, authors spend a lot of time, and some money, promoting their free books. It's super competitive. I did spend some time promoting This Family Life, and being a published author helps, but still it's more difficult than you'd imagine. 

What do I hope happens tomorrow. Well, I'd love to get to number one, obviously, but if I sneak into the top ten I'd be over the moon. It's been a great three days and I hope a lot of people have downloaded the books and I really hope they enjoy them because that's the whole point of this. I wanted to reach an audience and give people the chance to get my books for free. So if you've downloaded either book, I hope you love them, and please let me know what you think or write a review on Amazon. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that's supported me and done their best to help promote the book. I really appreciate it. 

Until next time.

Hugs,
Jon X


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hello

So it's day two of my free Kindle promo for This Family Life & This Twentysomething Life, and they're both sitting pretty in the free charts on Amazon. This Family Life is at number 32 and Twentysomething is at 475. I haven't done as much promotion for Twentysomething so that's to be expected. OK, so day two and it's time to hit you hard with a list. Yes, that's right, a list!



Reason why you should download This Family Life & This Twentysomething Life



1. Hello, they're literally FREE! OK, this is the obvious one, but it's pretty persuasive. Just click a button and they're yours!

2. This Family Life is the sequel to the top 10 Kindle best seller This Thirtysomething Life, which was published by Hodder & Stoughton and sold 60,000 copies! 

3. They're funny and we all need a bit of laughter in our lives. I know comedy is very subjective, but (and obviously I'm making this up but it's probably about right) 90% of people find these books hilarious. I can't guarantee you'll laugh because, well, you might have a very different sense of humour to me, but hopefully at the worse you'll find them mildly amusing.

4. They're more than just funny. The books are written in diary form and follow the life of Londoner and thirtysomething man Harry Spencer, as he struggles to deal with becoming a husband and father. I hope the books are a true reflection of the sort of struggles a lot of men have. It's covers subjects like family, parenthood, love, marriage, friendship, and even death. It's a modern book about life.

5. It's been called 'Bridget Jones with balls..literally!' This is a quote from a book blogger and I don't think it's that far away.

6. This Twentysomething Life is the short story prequel I wrote for This Thirtysomething Life. After talking with my editor at Hodder and my agent, we thought it would be fun to write a short story about why Harry started writing a diary. It's set on the verge of Harry's marriage to Emily, and hopefully it's a short but fun and heart warming introduction to the series.

7. If you like Mike Gayle, Matt Dunn, Nick Spalding, and Bridget Jones you'll love this. 

8. They're aren't that long, so if you don't read much or don't have the time, these books will fly by!

9. There aren't many books about parenthood from a man's perspective and it might just surprise you.

10. OK, lastly, number ten, I write from experience. I have two children (5 & 3) and I actually stayed at home while my wife went to work. Most of what I write about comes from my own life and experiences, so all the comedy, the drama, the little insights, have come in most part from my own life. They say write about what you know...and I did. I think this gives the books an incredible honesty and hopefully makes the humour and the drama even more real and poignant.


So that's it. I'll blog again tomorrow for the last day of the free promo. I hope you download the books and I really hope you enjoy them. If you do please get in touch and let me know what you think.

Until next time,

Hugs,
Jon X

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hello


Free Kindle promotion day one: I literally have no idea what to expect. The last time I did this with This Thirtysomething Life, I was younger, leaner, unpublished, didn't have an agent, although much like now, I had no idea what to expect either. I actually did it on a whim and didn't do any promotion other than Twitter and Facebook, and yet somehow, it got to number one on the free charts. 

I like to think it was just the quality of the book, word of mouth, but in reality it was probably just bloody good luck. This Thirtysomething Life is a good book, at least the 291 people who have given it five stars on Amazon think so. There's also the 201 four star reviews too. But the thing is, I've seen plenty of brilliant books not do so well. It's a bloody lottery, so sitting here on the verge of day one of my free Kindle promotion, I'm feeling a tad nervous.

So, anyway, if you haven't read the book and somehow ended up on this blog and have no idea who I am or what I'm waffling on about, here's the synopsis for This Family Life, which is free for the next 3 days on Amazon around the world!


Things that might happen during your first year of parenthood: 

1. You’ll get covered in a ‘nuclear’ poo. 
2. You’ll be convinced your son is talking with a Japanese accent. 
3. You’ll worry that when your son waves, it looks like a Nazi salute. 

Of course, this might just be Harry Spencer. 

Taking up where 'This Thirtysomething Life' left off, Harry Spencer and is wife Emily are back and trying to survive their first year of parenthood. It has its ups and downs (and a few bits in the middle), but along the way they begin to understand the true meaning of family and what it takes to be a parent. 

Featuring a hilarious cast of extras including Harry’s father-in-law Derek, who has a unique problem with Scotch, Steve and Fiona, the parents from children’s entertainment hell, and a yoga instructor with a prominent camel-toe, 'This Family Life' is the ultimate comedy for anyone who is a parent, has a parent, or is thinking about becoming one. 



This Family Life is a book I love because it's the sequel to the book that made me a 'proper' published author. If you haven't read it and want something honest, funny, contemporary, about men, women, marriage, parenthood, sex, love, and relationships, then please give it a go. I mean it's free, if you don't like it, all you have to do is press delete. Admittedly every time someone does that a piece of my heart breaks, but apart from that it's all just harmless fun.

Tomorrow I'll bring you all the first day news. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you'll probably be seeing a lot of me over the next couple of days - for which I apologise in advance.


Until next time.

Hugs,
Jon X

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hello!


So it's a big week for me. Firstly, we moved into our new house in Hove. We literally have a living room full of flat pack furniture boxes. It's ridiculous. We've spent enough money to cover a small European country for a few months and yet we still need more stuff. Moving to a new country and starting from scratch is a time consuming and expensive business. 

Secondly, I'm waiting to hear whether my new book is going to be picked up by my dream editor and so obviously I'm on edge. I don't do well waiting for big news - just ask my wife. Lastly, I'm doing a very exciting promotion this week and I'm hoping it goes well. From Tuesday for three days I'm selling This Family Life and This Twentysomething Life for FREE! I know, it's bonkers.

I haven't done a free promotion since This Thirtysomething Life went to number 1 in the free charts and then eventually number 7 in the paid charts. The free promotion I did back in 2012 is the only reason I got a book deal, have an agent, and now call England home again. If I hadn't done it and done so well, my life would have been completely different. Obviously I don't expect this to be exactly the same, but I'm excited to do it again.

My dream week involves getting a new publisher, having This Family Life or This Twentysomething Life go to number 1 in the free chart, and getting rid of all the flat pack boxes in our living room. My worst week is not getting a book deal, my free books barely sneaking into the top 1000, and I'm still living with the boxes. I've always been a dreamer and I've always been a positive thinker so let's go for my dream week. Why not, eh? 

So you'll probably be seeing me a lot on Facebook and Twitter this week pushing the free books and I'm planning on writing a blog for each day of the free promo. You might even see me at a recycle centre near you (as long as you live in Hove) chucking some boxes away.


Until next time.


Hugs,
Jon X

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

HELLO ENGLAND...



Yes, yes, yes, I know it's been bloody ages since my last blog, but if you'd followed me at all during the last few years you know this happens. I also have a huge excuse. I just moved back to England after spending the last ten years in San Diego. So there you go, my lack of blogging is valid.

So yes we moved. Me, my wife and two kids, got on a plane (with fourteen bags) and flew across the world and now we're living in the very lovely (if not a bit chilly) Brighton. This move has consumed the last few months of my life. I've also been finishing my latest book,which is now done and with my favourite editor at a very brilliant publishing house, hoping to get a new book deal. So yes, my life at the moment is a little stressful, and I'm awake at 2 am, and I had a thought. Moving across the world and writing are a bit similar.

Writing is stressful. This point at the moment where my book is with a publisher and I'm waiting to hear back whether they like it, love it, hate it, will give me a book deal, will tell me to stop writing and never put pen to paper again, is the most difficult thing in the world for me. Only myself and my agent have read this book. Obviously we like it, but now it's with an editor at a huge publishing house who has to decide whether it's worth taking on. Let's just say it's emotional.

Moving across the world has been so difficult. If it was just me and my wife, it would have been easy. Honestly. But having kids changes everything and I've been so worried and anxious about everything for them. And to make matters worse, the day after we arrived my son was sick and ended up spending the night in hospital attached to a drip. It was an awful start. Then we've had a hard time getting things done and so many days have been filled with worry and second guessing - the same feelings I often have about my writing.

I suppose the thing is, the best things in life are hard. They just are. I love writing and I've had a bit of success and it makes all the hard times worthwhile. I know that in the long run moving to England is going to be great, but at the moment it just seems very difficult. Maybe it's just that I seem to always make the hard choices, but I think that's what life is about. Anyone can make the safe easy choices, live life with the brakes on so you don't have to feel worried, or anxious, or that you're out of control, but that isn't me. I love writing and so I do it. I needed to move back to England and so here we are. In my mind my new book is going to get a publishing deal and living in England is going to be the best thing we ever did. My glass is half full, it has to be, otherwise I wouldn't be doing any of this.

I hope my next blog won't be so long in the writing. 

Until then.

Hugs,

Jon X 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hello,


I often wonder whether my writing is art imitating life or life imitating art. I use my own life experiences a lot in my writing. It isn't like I go out of my way or try super hard to imitate my own life, but it just sort of happens. Writing my latest book, one of the biggest themes happened very organically, and I only just realised that it's on my mind too. 

I can't go into details about the book yet, but one of the themes is the changing family. How children and parents get older and the changing dynamics that brings and also the sadness we feel as it happens. I was looking at some photos of my own family this morning from two years ago. It was a holiday to England and my daughter was 3 and my son was 1 (they're now 5 and 3), and I suddenly got this feeling of sadness because I'll never get those little kids back. They're gone. The thing is, I don't know if I was thinking that because of the book or whether I started writing about it in the book because I was already thinking about it with my own kids.

It's so difficult to disassociate life from art because to me they come from the same place. I write about things I know or have felt. Obviously there are things in my books that haven't happened to me, but I can usually relate a feeling to it. So here I am, writing my new book, and feeling sad about my kids growing up, and unhelpfully listening to Passenger, who is quite sad and reflective, and I thought I'd write a blog about it. This is what happens to people like me - I don't want to say artist because that makes me sound like a pretentious fool - we have to get all of these feelings and ideas out somewhere. I can't imagine my life without it. Maybe one day when I'm even older and my kids are adults and they read my books, maybe they'll understand a part of how I felt when they were growing up - and why I would suddenly need to hold them so tightly and cover them with kisses. 

Until next time.

Hugs,
Jon X 


Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello,


I'm currently (and very happily) editing book number four. It still has a long way to go to be perfect, but I thought I'd share some thoughts I've been having about it with you.

I just watched a Richard Curtis lecture about screen writing, which gave me the inspiration to write this. If you don't already know, I love Richard Curtis. Not in a sexual way, of course, he's much too old for me, and we're both happily married to the women in our life. I suppose what I should say is that I love his work. I read a lot of things about films like Love Actually and About Time that he's too sentimental. That his films aren't realistic depictions of love and that they're just upper class twaddle. Hearing him talk about love though and why he writes what he writes was truly inspiring because it's how I feel too.

Why do I write about love? Why not write a fast paced thriller, or a science fiction novel? The truth is that love just inspires me and in the words of a famous song from a Richard Curtis film...it's all around us. People fall in love everyday. Parents love their children all of the time. We love our parents, our friends, our siblings, our girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives. It's not often you're involved in a high speed chase and I bet none of you have ever been taken into space by aliens or held captive by armed rebels. But I know that all of you have loved. Love is at the centre of what I write because it's at the centre of everything. Even in the middle of war people still fall in love, still long to hold their children, or sleep next to their husband or wife. No mater what else is happening in the world, we all love and need love. It's what makes life worth living. So the question is, why wouldn't I write about it?

Book four is different from the other books I've written. It's encompasses many different types of love. It's about love between parents and children, husbands and wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and people we've lost. It's still a comedy and hopefully still very funny, but it has a depth, a pathos that I haven't reached before in my other books. Anyway, I'd better get back to it. I'm in the middle of a really great scene.

Until next time.

Hugs,
Jon X

Monday, September 15, 2014

A blog for all the kids out there

Hello,

Today's blog is going to be a bit different. For a start it's not about writing. I always see teenagers and young twentysomethings on Twitter and Facebook grumbling, moaning, and generally being a bit sad about life. You see when I was that young (twenty years ago), we didn't have social media. We had Teletext. We had toilet doors to write on, and a 'selfie' was something else completely. Life was very different, but I started wondering if we were as whinny and troubled as today's youth. I have no idea, but it gave me the idea for this blog. I'm going to be forty next year and so I thought I'd ask the question: what advice would I give my twenty year old self.

1. The most important thing you get with age is perspective. When I was twenty I cared so much what other people thought of me, but now I really don't care. It really doesn't matter what anyone thinks of you. The only person that matters is you. Be brave, go after what's important to you, regardless of what anyone else says.

2. I wish I'd known when I was twenty that it was possible for me to be a writer. I mean, of course I knew it was possible, but I didn't believe it was. I spent years not really writing because I didn't believe I could do it and make a living from it. I lacked self-belief, but now I realise that the only person who can make all your dreams come true is you. Whatever it is you really want to do just do it and don't let fear get in the way.

3. Life is short. When you're young you never imagine you'll be thirty, let alone forty. It feels so far away. But trust me, it happens much quicker than you expect. Don't waste time on friends that let you down, make you unhappy, don't stay in that job you hate because you're afraid of leaving, and....well this leads me onto point 4.

4. Travel. I was lucky enough to spend a year travelling and it was the most fun I've ever had and I learnt more about myself in that year than the previous twenty combined. I travelled alone and loved it so much. It really does change you. So if you're 18 or 28, and you're thinking about it...STOP and just do it because trust me, it's something you can only do like that when you're young, before the responsibility of careers, marriage, kids, etc. Of course I still plan on travelling a lot with my wife and kids, but that first year away, young, single, alone in the world for the first time, is something you'll never, ever regret.

5. OK, lastly, because you're young and anymore than 5 points you'll start drifting off, playing XBox, or watching hilarious videos on YouTube. You kids today, no attention span. Anyway. My last point. The last thing I'd tell my 20 year old self. Be nice to people. I think I always knew this and I always tried to be a good person, but as I get older I realise how many people in the world are just miserable buggers. Don't be. Choose to be good. Choose to be polite. Choose to be happy. Choose to be nice because you'll be happier and you'll surround  yourself with other happy people too. Life is better when you smile.

OK young people. If you made it this far...well done. I hope something in this blog speaks to you. I know I'm just an old man waffling on about things that probably seem like a bunch of rubbish to you. But one day you'll be nearly forty too. Trust me, it's going to happen, and I hope when it does you've achieved all your dreams and that you're happy. Because you can be happy. You don't have to be grumpy. You don't have to complain about everything. And stop eating McDonald's, it's really bad for you.

Until next time.

Hugs,
Jon X

Ps: A few more that just came to me:

6. If you fancy someone just ask them out. Don't be afraid because it's never as big a deal as you think. I was sitting on a bed once with a girl I really fancied, had liked for a really long time, and didn't make my move and I regretted it for a very long time. The pain of regret lasts a lot longer than the pain of rejection.

7. Things don't happen for a reason. The world is random, we have free will, and success, a million pounds, or the job of your dreams isn't just going to fall into your lap because it was "meant to be".

8. Don't ever be jealous of anyone. We all have our demons.

9. Stay fit. Trust me, it's a lot harder to shift that weight in your thirties. Go to the gym.

10. Be nice to your parents. We just want what's best for you.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to (or not) write a novel

Hello,


It's me, Jon. I hope you're well. You look fantastic by the way, and what's that smell? Are you wearing a new scent? And a haircut? OK, I'll stop now, I can see you're blushing. I'm here today talking about my new book - the secretly named book four. I'm currently in the middle of draft/edit number six (or is it sixteen?), and so I thought I'd write a blog about how to write a novel (or not).

When I was an aspiring novelist (I still am in my head and according to my bank manager), I read every blog or article about writing a novel. I still to this day love reading about and watching clips on YouTube of writers talking about their work. I find it fascinating. We all work so differently, and yet there are these books telling us how to write, how to be a huge Kindle success overnight, how to write a novel in ten easy steps..what? It's that easy? Yes just ten steps..apparently. Surely you jest? Well yes they do because writing a novel isn't just a question of filling out an Excel spreadsheet, plotting the story correctly, filling in the characters by number, and meeting one of the standard required endings. Writing a novel isn't painting by numbers. If you think it is, stop reading this now because you'll shit yourself. I jest not.

I started book four back in January, although the actual idea I had a few years ago and it was stored away on my computer in the folder called..Novels. I have about twenty novel ideas in this folder I might one day write. I'd already submitted about six or seven ideas to my agent, all of which she said weren't strong enough. I was beginning to think I'd never write again and then I pitched her the idea of book four and she loved it. A few weeks later I started work.

I don't know how you write, but I just get stuck in. I plan a bit, but for me the best way to think about a book is to start writing it. The first draft is in many ways my notes. Of course this means that the first draft is usually awful. Characters names change mid-sentence, the plot holes are plot craters, the middle-bit is rubbish, the beginning flabby and dull, and the ending just doesn't make any sense. And so this is when the real work starts. With book four I wrote the first draft (about 80,000 words) in less than six months. I then spent the next two months revising it, editing, improving every part of it, until I was fairly happy to send it off to my agent for her opinion.

The best thing about my agent is that she doesn't pull any punches. She tells it to me like it is. This is a must when you're a writer. One of the problem when you're starting out is that you don't have that person. Friends and family tell you you're brilliant. Other writers are afraid to really lay into you and so you go along thinking you're the greatest writer in the world. Agents don't do that. They tell you how it is. They also have the experience and knowledge to know exactly what's wrong with it and what it needs. She came back a few weeks later with some good news, but also a lot of bad. The thing is, I don't mind. I love good feedback because it makes the book better. If you can't stomach being told that something you've slaved over and love is awful and stinks the literary world up, then don't become an author. And definitely don't get an agent. I love my agent though because her only interest is making the book brilliant. 

I'm now in the middle of editing with her notes and the book is taking shape. It's about 100,000 words at the moment. The story is getting there, the characters are coming alive, the jokes are funny, the touching scenes really tug at the heart (I almost cried myself today reading one scene back), and I'm super happy with how it's going. Of course, when I'm done. When I think it's brilliant, I'll send it off to my agent again and wait. Waiting for feedback is one of the hardest things as a writer. I'm hoping she'll love it and only have a few changes, but she might want a complete re-write, which could take another six months.

You see writing a novel isn't easy. It takes time, years sometimes, it's painful, difficult, and when you finally put it out there no-one might buy it, you might get awful reviews, you might make a tenner for two years work. Or it might become a multi-million best seller and you'll get a three book deal with piles of money. Right now though I'm still in the middle of writing the book. There's lots of work to be done, lots of heartache, bad news, tears, and late night cups of tea to be drunk before I can think about typing 'The End' for the last time and sending it off into the world. 

So next time you read an article about writing a book in ten easy steps, or making millions by becoming the next Kindle star, realise that writing a novel is hard. Really bloody hard. And there's millions of books out there making no money because the person writing them didn't realise how hard it was. I'm on book four and I still have so much to learn about the craft. I love it though. I love every painful, difficult, beautiful thing about writing novels. I'll still be in here twenty years - writing book number twenty - probably still trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing. 

Until next time.

Hugs,
Jon X