I’m thrilled that today I discovered that The Old Rectory is at #2 in the entire paid-for kindle sales in Canada and at #24 in the entire paid-for kindle sales in Australia! In the UK it’s #1 in the Food & Drink UK category, beating the Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry and Nadiya Hussain.
The Old Rectory: escape to a country kitchen has officially been awarded the ‘Best Seller’ badge!
My October competition is to win an ebook copy of Drumbeats. The book is set in 1965-6, a decade I love to read about – and write about! All you need to do is to tell me (briefly!) your favourite decade and why. You can either send your message on here, my blog, or via my facebook page (if you are a facebook ‘friend’) at https://www.facebook.com/juliaibbotson or on my author facebook page (Julia Ibbotson Author) at https://www.facebook.com/Julia-Ibbotson-author-163085897119236 I’ll need your email address in order to send you the ebook copy, so you can message me privately via my website (see homepage) or PM me on facebook. The winner will be chosen at random by ANO.
Closing date is Saturday 29th October, in time for Halloween, as there are some spooky parts in the book, with drumbeats reverberating across the Ghanaian villages and spirits wafting through Jess’s dreams – to warn her of danger …
I’m starting a new venture – a quarterly newsletter! It will contain news, writer-ly and reader-ly stuff, interviews, events, author tips, and maybe a competition every now and then! If you would like to see what I and other writers are up to, the latest books in the genres I love to read (romance, contemporary, historical, time-slip, fantasy, crime and thrillers), and events for writers and readers, as well as my take on life, then please sign up on the side-bar of my home page (look for the image above to click on!).
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For the whole of November I’ve been holed up with my laptop, writing my work in progress. Other than when I was working for the university, supporting my doctoral students, and walking in the countryside. Oh and going out and organising family Christmas! Looking back I’m not sure how I did it!
NaNoWriMo has been a great experience. It’s an international support strategy for getting on with your writing (or starting if you’re an aspiring writer). The target is to make 50,000 words by the end of the month. It was the first time I’ve participated and I wasn’t sure about it. There are local groups for support but I knew that I wouldn’t be bale to make the meetings. Very soon, a group of romantic fiction writer friends, some of whom I met at the Festival of Romance Literature this summer, got together and we started our own support group as an off-shoot from NaNoWriMo and named it NaNoRomMo. Every day has started with a visit to the site to compare notes. It’s not competitive with each other, but very encouraging.
It’s not about who gets there first (although I think maybe some of the folks in the local group might have seen it that way!). It’s about helping each other to get the motivation and maintain the momentum to get there, as and when.
All in all, It’s been a good experience; all about competing against myself, setting targets instead of just rambling through a WIP as I normally do. Knowing it didn’t matter if I didn’t make it but that it would be a great achievement if I did; it was about taking part and trying. And it’s been about support and friendship and encouraging each other. I’ve made some lovely new friends with whom I share a lot, as writers and in life.
I’m sure I’ll do it again next year for my next WIP, which will probably be the last in the Drumbeats trilogy. In the meantime above this post is my award certificate and the preview of the cover of the book that won it, Walking in the Rain. Thanks to everyone for all the support … oh, I feel an Oscars speech coming over me …!
This post really had me thinking – and I enjoyed writing it … in anticipation of my Drumbeats trilogy. How am I crafting the series? Have I got a plan for all three books? How do they follow on from each other? How do I remember details through all three books and not make any dreadful errors?
Drumbeats starts the trilogy with eighteen year old Jess flying off from England to Africa (Ghana) for her gap year in 1965 – growing up, facing adult decisions and trying to find her way in the world. Tagged as “about confronting challenges and looking beyond what we know”, “thought-provoking”, “totally invested in Jess’s life now”, “a story that will stay in my mind”, “I can’t wait to continue Jess’s journey”, “wonderful quality of writing”, “a brilliantly crafted book”, “a brilliant read” …
Walking in the Rain continues Jess’s story back in England – marriage to the love of her life and an unimaginable situation to face. It’s been tagged as “heart warming”, “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity”. Due out next summer.
Before I Die sees Jess struggling to pick up the pieces of her life and make something positive of it, persuaded by her best friend to draw up a “bucket list”. Is a return to Ghana on her to-do list? Tagged as “a feel-good read”.
Guest post today – find out why I loved setting my novel Drumbeats in the 1960s. What was it about that time that intrigued me and made me choose 1965-6 as my context for the book? What was happening then? What was Jess’s mind-set? Why was West Africa in turmoil?
First can I say many thanks to the author for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the Drumbeats Book Tour
Reading the synopsis for Drumbeats my first thought was that this is not my usual choice of book. However although I have definite preferences when I’m buying, I’m generally pretty eclectic in my taste and can very often be persuaded to step outside my comfort zone and try something completely different. If anything drew me to this novel it had to be the beautiful cover and I do think if I was not doing a professional review it probably would have played a big part in influencing me to buy.
The synopsis for Drumbeats gave all the indications of an interesting read. What I had not anticipated, however, was the wonderful quality of the writing. It’s a brilliantly crafted book where sights…