Friday 29 October 2021

Read My Free Halloween Short Stories


Free Halloween Short Stories

Did you know that you can read a selection of my short stories here on the blog for free?

And as Halloween is approaching, I thought I'd flag up the five Halloween stories (of the cute, rom-com-style variety rather than the scare-yourself-silly kind) there are for you to enjoy!

Click on the covers below to read.

If you enjoy my short stories and want more. why not subscribe to my newsletter, where I send short stories straight to your inbox? Subscribing is quick, easy and free, plus you'll receive my free ebook quick read, Six Dates, that's only available to subscribers.

More info and sign up here

Pumpkin Pie at The Green Teapot

The Bridesmaid of Frankenstein

The Ghost of Halloween Past

The Staircase (Flash Fiction)

Trick or Treat

Friday 22 October 2021

Get Ready for Nanowrimo 2021


Nanowrimo 2021

Are you taking part in this year's NaNoWriMo?

It's October, which means that Nano2021 is heading our way. Nanowrimo has been going for a long time, but this is only my third go at it; during Nano2019, I wrote a chunk of the first draft of The 12 Christmases of You & Me, and I wrote almost 70,000 words of a new (as yet unpublished) book last year.

Nanowrimo is an annual event that takes place every November where writers aim to write 50,000 words in 30 days

Next month, I'll be starting a new book (which has the imaginative working title of 'Book 16') and I've been busy getting ready to dive into the first draft on 1st November. Here's how I've been prepping:


Some people are pantsters. They dive straight into a project without a plan. I am not a pantster. Far from it. I like big plans and I cannot lie.

(Although I did write the first draft of Book 15 without any sort of plan. I enjoyed writing it, but this is not the norm and I won't be repeating it in a hurry! I blogged about it here)

I like the security net of having plans in place before I start a book and I've already plotted Book 16 down to individual chapters and scenes. It took a bit of time, but I know it'll be worth it in November when I can look at my plan and know what I should be writing every time I sit down for a Nano session.

Getting To Know My Characters

I've been getting to know my characters by pinning images on my Pinterest board and filling in questionnaires and career tests on behalf of my characters (I blogged about this too here)

Logging into the Nano Website

I've logged back into the Nano website and created a new goal for Book 16 so that I can log my words after each writing session during November. I love seeing the book grow on the little bar on the website, inching nearer to my goal every day. It's a great motivational tool.

Joining a Local Group

I joined a local writing group that were taking part in Nanowrimo in 2019, and I've found being part of the group has really helped me keep up my word count during Nano. In 2019 we'd meet up at the library for writing sessions and chats, but we had to rely on Zoom last year - and it still worked! We'll be meeting up online again this year and I'm looking forward to finding out what everyone is working on this year.

Setting a Daily Word Count Goal

Last year, I set myself a daily word count goal of 2,000 words during Nano, but for six days a week instead of seven so that I could have a break and prevent burnout. It worked really, really well (I managed to write almost 70,000 words during the month) so I'm going to aim for 2,000 words a day for six days a week again. Fingers crossed it works out just as well this year!

How are you getting ready for Nanowrimo?

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Don't Give Up on Characters

Pic of laptop

It can be disheartening at times when you've been working on a book that just isn't working out. It can be due to a number of reasons - maybe the story isn't strong enough or the scenes and characters in your head simply won't transfer onto the page in the way you'd hoped. Giving up on a project can be hard but it doesn't have to be the end.

It was around twenty years ago that I started to write a story about a fairly large group of friends after being inspired by the film St Elmo's Fire. I envisioned this group of friends that were once inseparable but, years later, had splintered off into smaller pairings who rarely saw or spoke to the others. What had happened to drive them apart, and could they regain the bond they'd once had?

St Elmo's Fire

I worked on this story on and off for a few years. Some of the characters changed. It became a smaller group of friends and there were now just four of them. I had a title for the book. I think I even submitted it to agents but it obviously never got anywhere and I shelved it. I worked on other books. I submitted some of them to agents. I wrote more books. I self-published some and had others published with HQ Digital. But still, those characters from years and years ago stayed in my head.

A few years ago, I went back to that book. I wrote a synopsis and the first chapter. It had changed a bit - there were now only three friends - but those three main characters were still as clear in my head, still fighting to get out on the page. But my editor wasn't keen on the story and I wrote something else instead and figured it was probably time to forget about Lily and her friends. I'd tried to write their story for such a long time but it clearly wasn't meant to be.

A bit more time passed. More books were written and published. I'd been thinking about writing a time-travel Christmas rom com for a long time but was worried I couldn't pull it off. And then I watched a time-travel TV show on Netflix called Dark. I was hooked, and my daughter and I binged the first two seasons within days (and then had to wait an agonising year for the final season). Like St Elmo's Fire years before, I was inspired to finally write my own time-travel story. 

Dark | Netflix

I already had the title and knew the basic storyline (it had been playing in my head for a long time) but I didn't know who the characters were who would take part in this adventure. And then it hit me: Lily and her friends. I already knew them and could see them vibrantly in my mind and they fit perfectly into my time-travel concept.

Most of the names of the characters had changed over the years, but Lily had been Lily for so long and I couldn't imagine her as anything else. The name for Jonas, however, was borrowed from Dark (it seemed fitting) and this time the main character was called Maisie. It had taken a very long time but finally my characters had names and stories that stuck and The 12 Christmases of You & Me was published a year ago today.

So just because you have to shelve an idea for whatever reason, it doesn't have to be forever. Sometimes characters take a bit of time (or a lot of time in this case) to find their homes.

Find out more about The 12 Christmases of You & Me

The 12 Christmases of You & Me Jennifer Joyce

What if you could go back in time and fix the biggest mistake of your life?

Two years ago, Maisie’s best friend walked out of her life and she hasn’t heard from him since. When she wakes up in 1994, she naturally assumes she’s dreaming. But when she finds herself in the past again the next night and her actions in the dream alter her present-day life, she begins to wonder if she’s somehow hopping back in time. And if she is time-travelling, can she save her friendship with Jonas?

When Maisie is forced to relive Christmases of the past, will she face up to her mistakes, or make them all over again?

The 12 Christmases of You & Me is a magical tale of friendship, first loves, and learning to live in the present.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Publication Day: The Perfect Winter Weekend


The Perfect Winter Weekend by Jennifer Joyce

It's publication day for my new book, The Perfect Winter Weekend, and you can grab a copy for just 99p/99c

The Perfect Winter Weekend by Jennifer Joyce

The Perfect Winter Weekend is a collection of uplifting short stories with meet-cutes, proposals, and lots and lots of romance!
The collection consists of ten stories:

The Unvalentine
Thinking About You
Lost & Found
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Stuck With You
The Perfect Winter Weekend
Road Trip
The Snowman
Winter One-derland
Meet Me on the Bridge

I hope you enjoy my collection of feel-good fiction. If you do, I'd love it if you could leave a quick review on Amazon :)

Monday 11 October 2021

Coming Soon: The Perfect Winter Weekend

If you're a newsletter subscriber, you will have already had the chance to peek at the cover of my new book, The Perfect Winter Weekend (and hopefully grabbed your free copy) but if not, here she is!

The Perfect Winter Weekend by Jennifer Joyce

The Perfect Winter Weekend is a collection of uplifting short stories that I hope you'll love. There are meet-cutes, proposals, and lots and lots of romance!

The collection consists of ten stories:

The Unvalentine
Thinking About You
Lost & Found
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Stuck With You
The Perfect Winter Weekend
Road Trip
The Snowman
Winter One-derland
Meet Me on the Bridge

Each story is a bite-sized treat that's perfect for reading during the commute or sitting down with a cup of tea when you've got a few minutes to spare. It will be published on Thursday (14th October) but you can pre-order for just 99p now.

Pre-Order Now

The Perfect Winter Weekend: A Collection of Uplifting Short Stories

Monday 4 October 2021

Free Gift for ALL Newsletter Subscribers

Subscribe To My newsletter

I sent out my newsletters 4-5 times a year, with free short stories, extra book content, subscriber-exclusive giveaways and more. 

And in October's newsletter, there will be a giveaway for ALL subscribers, so if you haven't signed up yet, now is the perfect chance!

Sign Me Up!

And the freebies don't stop there - you'll receive my romantic comedy short ebook, Six Dates, once you subscribe. The book is only available to my newsletter subscribers, so do sign up if you're in the mood for a sweet, bite-sized rom com. 

Six Dates: Speed Dating Has Never Been So Sweet!

Friday 1 October 2021

Writing Tips: 3 Ways I'm Getting To Know My Characters


Writing Tips: 3 Ways I'm Getting To Know My Characters

It's October, which means Nanowrimo will be starting in just one month. I've already plotted out the book I'm planning to work on during November (I know, get me being all organised) but now I want to get to know my characters a bit better before I start.

There are probably loads of different ways that writers get to know their characters, but these are the three ways I'm going to get to know mine in preparation of Nano 2021:

1. Pinterest

Pinterest is a brilliant tool for writers, and one of the ways I use it is to create a board for my characters and pin images that I feel represent them; their hobbies, their  jobs, aspects of their personality, their look. 

This worked particularly well during the run-up to last year's Nanowrimo. I had my plot, planned out down to each individual chapter and scene, but I wasn't sure who my main character was. I was having a little look at Pinterest and I came across a photo of a woman wearing a thick green woolly coat with an orange skirt, royal blue jumper, grey tights and brown lace-up boots, and it was seeing this mish-mash of colours that somehow worked that made Zoey's character start to come alive in my head. I could see her wearing that outfit and as I searched for more quirky clashing outfits, her image grew with every picture that I pinned.

2. Questionnaire

There are loads of questionnaires that you can find online to fill out about your characters. For last year's book, I used Nanowrimo's questionnaire and although I didn't use all the questions provided, I picked out a few that I thought would be most useful. I didn't want reams and reams of questions and answers, but I did find those few I chose really helpful in finding out what made my characters tick.

It sounds a bit odd to take a career test on behalf of your character (especially if you're not trying to find a career for them, though sometimes I am looking for ideas for that too) but having to think about the answers your character would give to the questions is really helpful and I often find out things about my character that I wasn't aware of before the test!

So those are three ways I'll be getting to know my characters over the next few weeks. If you have any tips of your own, feel free to share in the comments below :)