Friday 23 September 2022

A 2022 Catch Up

 It's been quite a while since I've posted a catch up (December, I believe - oops) so I thought it was about time I did one!

The beginning of 2022 started well; as my new diary says on the cover, Positive Mind, Vibes, Life. I'd been getting some work done on my house, which had all stopped over Christmas, but I was getting back on track with that. I was writing and enjoying life. And then I became ill.

My feet started to feel numb. Then my calves. Within a couple of days I was numb up to my stomach. When it started in my hands and arms, I could no longer work. By now, my feet, legs and torso were fine, but my hands were so numb I couldn't hold a knife and fork properly, I couldn't do my hair or fasten buttons, and my arms were so weak they were pretty much useless. And I was exhausted.

I had blood tests and it turned out my vitamin B12 was really low, which was causing havoc with my nervous system. It was a relief because the symptoms could have been indicative of much worse. I had a course of B12 jabs (6, 2-3 days apart, which sounds horrific for a wuss like me, but was actually very welcome after feeling so rubbish) and I've been having one every three months since. I'm so much better now. My fingers aren't quite right yet but they don't stop me doing anything anymore and I'm back to working again and getting back to normal.

I'm busy writing - my new book will be out in three weeks (you can pre-order here) and I'm working on a time-travel rom com that will be out in July 2023. The work has started back up on my house and I've been enjoying spending time in my little garden. I couldn't plant much this year (I managed some wildflowers, but my hands and arms were too messed up during the spring!) but luckily I had quite a few flowers that returned from previous years.

We had the heatwave, which I wouldn't have enjoyed so much if it wasn't for Costa and their air conditioning. We have one a short walk away, which came in handy.

My Instagram grid is definitely starting to get an autumn vibe - which I'm very happy about as it's the BEST season. There's even a teeny bit of Christmas creeping in (not sorry).

It's been pretty tough this year, but I've got brilliant friends and family and my daughters (and Luna!) have been amazing and really helped me. And now I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2022 has to offer!

Wednesday 7 September 2022

If You're Starting A First Draft, It's Totally Okay To...


If You're Starting A First Draft, It's Totally Okay To...

... plan out your dream cast of who will play the roles once your book is adapted for a Netflix series. Before you've even jotted down the first sentence


... create a playlist to accompany the book midway through Chapter One


... spend your writing time adding images to your Pinterest mood board. Your main character would find that meme hilarious


... switch off and daydream about your characters. Just smile and nod along and your family probably won't even notice you're in another world

... gaze at gorgeous book covers and wonder what your cover will look like

... buy all the stationery: pretty notebooks, a rainbow of pens and highlighters, stacks of post-it notes and revision cards, matching stapler and hole-punch, beautiful washi tape...

... drink all the tea


... and eat all the snacks. Writing fuel. Very important


... buy candles to set the mood: gingerbread and cinnamon for festive feels, freshly cut grass for a summer rom com, blood orange for a murder mystery?

... write a really shitty first draft. Seriously. Just get those words down. You can't edit a blank page

Chapter One

Friday 2 September 2022

Spotlight Book: A Beginner's Guide To Family Life

A Beginner's Guide To Family Life | Jennifer Joyce

I'll be throwing one of my books into the spotlight each month during 2022 and next up is the third book in my Beginner's Guide series, A Beginner's Guide To Family Life

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

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.

'Couldn't put this book down' - Amazon Review

Fun Fact: it took six drafts before I was happy with the POVs and storylines

See more fun facts here

I like to post little 'Book Extras' (like you'd find on a DVD) for my books here on the blog, and for A Beginner's Guide To Family Life, I created a Playlist, put together quick intros to some of the characters you'll meet in the book, shared my favourite family-based films and TV shows and wrote a genre-swap short story.