…my, how time flies when you’re enjoying yourself, eh, Mabel?… fully ten years ago, when this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler was staring into the unknown, but beckoning, abyss of self -publishing, I had the great pleasure to meet a wunnerful character, Authoress Jane Wenham-Jones, a kindred spirit in writing and assorted daftness… I travelled especially from the Middle East to Deepest, Darkest London, where she and I had lunch… I’ve LUVVED her ever since, as well as her terrific b0oks… today she graces this ‘ere blog with a Guest Post announcing her latest tour de force, MUM IN THE MIDDLE… enjoy…
Thank you for having me, Seumas!
I first got to know this lovely chap back in 2008 when he emailed me to say he’d enjoyed my first non-fiction book Wannabe a Writer?https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wannabe-Writer-hilarious-informative-published-ebook/dp/B008J0BTGW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 and wanted to take me to out to lunch. I was his third choice of lunch companion, he added winningly – Billy Connolly and Sir Alex Ferguson had turned him down.
I am not usually in the habit of rushing off to meet strange men (and some of them who email are most peculiar! See the book’s sequel Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wannabe-Writer-Secrets-Success-Writing-ebook/dp/B008HJBXNE/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 and the chapter entitled Nutters & Weirdos) but his email made me laugh and I had a good feeling about the encounter. Always trust your instincts.
We met on Friday 13th. Seumas pitched up bearing not only a touching number of my own books for me to sign, but a cuddly, black cat to quell my superstitions. I have him still.
He lives in my car (currently a mid-life crisis vehicle – a Mazda MX5 of which I am extremely fond) and I like to think he keeps me safe as I whiz about. I have a real black cat these days as well who trashes my office, brings in field mice at one a.m. and is called Nugget. That’s a photo of him with me above, allowing me to hold him.
In the intervening years since that first lunch, when Seumas was quizzing me on the whole publishing process, describing himself as a dinosaur when it came to the internet, he’s become a blogging superstar and has finished more books than I have.
My latest novel Mum in the Middle https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mum-Middle-Feel-funny-unforgettable-ebook/dp/B077ZNWD34/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 was a long time in the making – during a period of time when real life frequently, and not always happily, got in the way – and is the first new tome I’ve published since 2014. I had forgotten how thrilling it is.
The paperback is not out until September but the ebook is alive and kicking now, at the bargain basement promotional price of 99p. It’s the story of Tess – one of the stretched generation with adult kids still needing financial support at one end and elderly parents kicking off at the other. Described by one kind reader as part romance, part mystery, part family drama, it deals with the themes of DFLs (Down from London) and the effects on communities when new rail links mean the commuters move in, and is partly set around a local newspaper. (Write what you know, they told me!)
Reactions have mainly been positive, but not always. One reviewer was outraged that a book billed as “hilarious”, features a mother with the early stages of dementia. She refused to read more than 5% of it as a result. I was sorry she had been upset. In fact, I do not make any jokes about that hideous disease – although I have always used black humour to get me through – but saw it as the serious strand to the novel. I drew on my experiences of being Lasting Power of Attorney to an aunt with Dementia with Lewys Bodies. Shelagh was an author herself, spoke fluent Greek, did the Times crossword daily, and still swam, walked miles and went to dance classes in her seventies.
She was immensely distressed by the diagnosis and did not want to live long enough for the disease to take hold. Unfortunately it progressed too fast for us to help her execute her wishes. She would have been mortified to see herself as she is today. There is nothing funny about any of that.
There was, however – I hoped – comedy to be had in the slightly manic life of Tess who is supposed to having “me” time but instead, is frequently running in circles. Again – I wrote what I knew. If you have 99p to spare, I’d love to know if it resonates with you.
…as ever, m’Lady, Jane, I’m indebted to you… you really have no idea how much encouragement and added motivation you gave me through that first lunch meeting… another way of saying that is : YOU’RE TO BLAME!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!