Friday 25 June 2021

Cover Reveal: A Beginner's Guide To Family Life

 I'm so excited to reveal the title and cover of the third book in the Beginner's Guide series.
I absolutely love it and I hope you do too!

A Beginner's Guide To Family Life

A Beginner's Guide To Family Life by Jennifer Joyce

You can choose your friends, but you're pretty much stuck with your family.

Ruth has everything she never dared to hope for: a husband who adores her, a beautiful home, and a job she can just about tolerate. And now she's having a baby. But having zero experience with babies and a pregnancy that isn't quite as blooming as the magazines claim it should be, how will she cope with this stage of her life?

Quinn loves her family, but she sometimes wishes there weren't quite so many of them living under the same roof. But is she ready to fly the nest and build a whole new one with her boyfriend?

Richard's life is pretty great, until a visitor arrives on his doorstep and turns his whole world upside down.

Three friends.
Three families.
A whole lot of drama.

The paperback and ebook will be out very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for the announcement. If you don't want to miss it, make sure you've subscribed to my newsletter for all my up-to-date book news straight in your inbox.

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Book News: A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do Paperback

A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do paperback

I'm very excited to share the news that A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do is now available as a paperback!

Earlier this year, the paperback of A Beginner's Guide To Salad was published, and I'm so pleased that the follow up, A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do, is now available as a paperback too. And you can treat yourself to a signed copy from my online shop.

If you're a newsletter subscriber, make sure you check your inboxes because there's a giveaway to win a signed copy in my latest email.

As with all my books, you can find 'Book Extras' here on the blog, with quizzes, playlists and more. Click here to see the Book Extras for A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do.

Find out more about the book

A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do

Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?

Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?

Friday 18 June 2021

Signed Copies of My Books

A Beginner's Guide To Salad, Everything Changes But You and The 12 Christmases of You & Me by Jennifer Joyce

Did you know that you can now buy signed copies of a selection of my books?

I've set up a shop, which you can view by clicking here or using the new 'Shop' tab at the top of the page, where you can buy signed copies. At the moment, you can buy A Beginner's Guide To Salad, Everything Changes But You and The 12 Christmases of You & Me, and I'll be adding a couple more very soon.

Please note that the signed books are only available in the UK at the moment, but you can purchase non-signed copies from Amazon.

If you'd like to kept up to date when the new books arrive in the shop, make sure you've subscribed to my newsletter!

Friday 11 June 2021

Another Guide To Ruth: An Edit Checklist


Another Guide To Ruth

The third instalment of the Beginner's Guide series has been a bit of a slog, with multiple drafts until I was finally happy with the story and the structure. But it's definitely picked up momentum now!

It only seems like five minutes ago that I was in possession of a draft I was happy with, but now the book has been sent off to my editor - and it's back again. I've been working on the edits and I ended up with a list of actions and words that were repeated a LOT that I needed to work on.

Check for: 'a bit', 'peered', 'pushed down' (on shoulders), shrug/shrugged, scooped, march/marched, reassuring smile

When I write a first draft (or a sixth in this case), I usually get the words down as quickly as I can without going back to edit, so words and phrases being repeated isn't odd. It's at this point - especially when they're flagged up by an editor - that I can take more time to find a better way of conveying action or using more varied vocabulary. The thesaurus on Word is a godsend, and I also use The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi.

I find the guide really helpful. There are lists of actions and emotions for all sorts of scenarios, so characters can do more than shrug!

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

So what's next for the Beginner's Guide book?

I'm hoping to finish the edits soon so it can be proofread, and I'll be revealing the title and cover in my next newsletter. So make sure you're subscribed if you want to be the first to see them.

Friday 4 June 2021

World Building: 3 Ways To Transfer Vivid Worlds From Imagination To Page

World Building

When we're writing, we focus a lot on the plot and the characters, making them as rich and interesting as we can. But we also need to think about the world in which these characters live, to make their worlds more than words on a page.

Every writer will have their own way of transferring the vivid worlds in their imagination to the page, and I thought I'd share three ways which work for me.

1. Sights, Smells & Sounds

Before you start writing a scene, stop and think about the setting. What can your characters see? What can they smell or even feel? If they're in a department store, for example, maybe it's hot, with the cloying smell of perfume that sticks in the back of your throat. There's chatter around, maybe music playing, a rainbow of nail polishes on the shelf. Close your eyes and image yourself in the setting. Jot down a few details that you can weave into the story.

The Urban Setting & Rural Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

I use the Urban Setting and Rural Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi to help. They list lots of sights, sounds, smells for popular settings.

2. Pinterest

I always find it useful to set up a Pinterest board (or ten) when I start writing a book, to help visualise the world I'm creating. The boards can help set a mood, help to build up characters, and it's always helpful to describe a place or object that you can see in front of you.

Think about the world in which these characters live, to make their worlds more than words on a page

When I was starting to plan my thirteenth book, I wasn't sure who my main character was, so I was playing around on Pinterest when I found a picture of a woman wearing a pretty quirky mishmash of colours, and I thought yes! This is what Zoey would wear. But what kind of person wears a royal blue jumper with a pumpkin-orange skirt and a green coat with oversized buttons? Thinking about the outfit and who would wear it really helped me to shape who Zoey became and the world she lived in.

3. Maps & Layouts

I always find it helpful to sketch out a little map of the area I'm setting a book in, especially as I use the same areas for different books. It helps me to get a sense of the place, and I also know what I named the pubs and where I put them in previous books!

My maps aren't anything fancy - sometimes they're pen outlines scribbled down on the back of my character sheets or, if I'm feeling particularly techy, I copy them out into Paint. Which isn't techy at all, and nor are they artistic, but nobody else is going to see them so it doesn't matter.

I've also sketched out the basic layout of characters' houses if I've thought it would help. Again, they're nothing artistic, just a reminder of where the bathroom is, whether it has open plan living etc.

So those are my three tips for world building. Feel free to share your own tips in the comments below this post.