Tag Archive | Sophie Kinsella

An Evening with Jodi Picoult

I’m a bit of a weird Jodi Picoult fan. In fact I don’t think I’d really consider myself a fan at all. When I’m reading her books, I totally love them. I’d rather choose to read than do anything else (almost anything). But between books… I’m a little… apathetic? I’m not really that bothered. I’ve got a whole load of her books on my tbr book shelf, and I know when I read then I’ll love them. I just don’t have much enthusiasm to start.

Strange.

Whatever my feelings about the books, I know she’s a damn good author and I totally respect the way she can weave a story. Thinking about it now, I’m probably a bit jealous of how good an author she is.

About a month ago, I got an email from Time Out advertising different nights going on in the future. One was a night with Jodi Picoult. I knew I had to go.

Unlike any other author events I’ve been to, this one cost. But, £15 isn’t that much and I knew it would be worth it. Well, wasn’t it indeed. When I got the confirmation, I learnt that on arrival everyone got a hardback copy of her latest novel ‘Sing You Home.’ Result. And then I found out on arrival, that by buying the book (or getting given) you can send off for a CD which is the music inspired by the book. The music that Ellen Wilber (Jodi’s best friend) composed from poems she wrote for the book – and played tonight.

I was quite surprised that Codgan Hall wasn’t full to the rafters, but it wasn’t. That was quite nice though, seeing as it was a hot day and getting tightly packed into a hall wouldn’t have been that great (I think I only say this because someone near me must have taken her/his shoes off and I kept getting wafted with the smell – not great!).

Jodi’s American so I was expecting that American enthusiasm I love. I got it. She came on full of energy, and told us all about the novel. Then to my disappointment she read from the novel. I was hoping for more of her talking. She read a lot of the novel. I’ll tell you I’m looking forward to reading it now.

After the reading Ellen played three songs from the novel. Then Jodi answered questions from the floor. The audience did well and asked questions that lead Jodi to very long answers – that she obviously enjoyed answering.

At the end, I decided not to stay to get my book signed. At an event like that I don’t think getting the novel signed is all that great. I mean there were lots of us there, so if we had have all wanted to get her to sign the book, we would have been there all night. And it’s not very personal. When I went to see Lisa Jewell at an event a year ago, there were only about 30 people there, so we actually talked to her one on one. Whereas there just wasn’t the opportunity at something like this. I think had she have been one of my favourite author’s I would have done, like I did with Sophie Kinsella at the event I went to that she was at, but I wasn’t that bothered.

I really enjoyed the evening. I love things like this – hearing from author’s about their writing. I’ve been to quite a few now, I need to look for more to go to!

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Mostly About Books

I had a plan today. I planned to read the next chapters of my writing course. However I stupidly left the book in the back office and I’m sat on reception. Doh! I’ll work on it this afternoon. I will, I will, I will.

I got a book in the post today. It’s only another prize from a competition I entered! This book’s really exciting for me, as it’s a) not available in England and b) an author I’ve never heard of – this could be a whole new discovery for me!

The competition was one of those ‘be the first to comment…’ over on The Lady Loves Books. The book is ‘At Home with the Templetons’ by Monica McInerney. Can’t wait to get started on it.

This may sound a little stupid, but I had a realisation this morning. I’m currently reading Husbands by Adele Parks. I bought the book a few months ago in one of those library sales I love. This morning though, as I walked between tubes (hurried should I say, not cause I was late, but cause I wanted to read more) I realised that before I started reading the novel I didn’t know what it was about.

‘Why’s that?’ you ask? It’s because I bought it without looking at the back. I knew it was Adele Parks, and I knew I hadn’t read it, so I had to buy it. It didn’t matter what it was about.

I developed the thought further and realised I’m the same with quite a few authors – if I love them, it doesn’t matter what their new book is about, I want it.

I thought I’d make a list of authors that this is true for, so here goes:

  • Sophie Kinsella
  • Adele Parks
  • Jane Green
  • Marian Keyes
  • Cecelia Ahern
  • Rowan Coleman
  • Audrey Niffenegger
  • Lisa Jewell
  • Dorothy Koomson

I’m sure they’re some I’ve missed out, but that’s pretty much my favourite author list!

I think I want a Kindle. There’s an advert at the tube station I go to in the mornings, and I keep looking at it… Anyone would think they put it there on purpose as Christmas is coming up…

I’d always been put off them, because I like books. I like holding them, reading them, turning pages etc.

But, I’ve just found a huge reason for wanting one – its size. I’ve got a few books on my TBR list that I’m desperate to read, but I’m put off because they’re so big and heavy to carry round (and I always have the book I’m reading in my bag). Although, if I did have a Kindle, I’d have to re-buy those books. I’d have more chance of reading them though.

Does anyone else have one? What do you think of them?

I’ve just had a quick look on Amazon and stumbled upon Jane Green’s Straight Talking. I wouldn’t say it was my favourite book ever, but it moved me, and actually changed my life – improved my life. I loved it. BUT Amazon reviewers didn’t as much. Out of 55 comments, 13 gave it one star, 3 gave it two stars and 5 three. What is wrong with these people??? I’m going to have to add a review of my own! *giggles to self* Well, actually, I’m going to have to re-read it, then add a review. Woo hoo – I’ve got an excuse to re-read a novel I love. Love it!

Back to Normal

Upsettingly, I’m now back from holiday. Sigh. Unsurprisingly I feel like I need a few days off to recover from my long weekend off. Isn’t it always the way!

I had an awesome weekend though, in more than one ways. First it was great to spend time with my family – growing up I spent a couple of weeks in every summer with them so we’re really close, but we don’t see each other all that much now. We stayed up late chatting and slept in late in the mornings, it was great (and probably why I’m so tired now, I’m used to still being asleep at 10am!!!)

I really wanted to spend some time writing and reading over the weekend, and set myself a task of writing 1,000 words of Holiday a day. I actually did it. I’m so happy with myself for it too. Not only that, but I thought up a new twist for the story. AND I did a bit of a plan for the whole story to work out where I need more story. That’s nowhere near finished, but I’ve started at least (I think maybe I should have started it before 30k words, but hey, better late than never.)

I also spent a little (literally a little) time thinking about my NaNo novel. I’ve got the main character’s names. Result. I’m really excited that I’m going to get to use a character name that I’ve wanted to use for ages, but has never fit anyone – it’s totally going to fit my American 16 year old. I’m not too sure about the story line, but I know the overall idea. I’m not 100% sure it will work, but hopefully!

I wanted to get a lot of reading done, which I didn’t manage. I’m a little upset about that, I only managed half of Mini Shopaholic, but I did as much as I could. It’s not like I wasted any time watching TV or anything.

The problem is it’s Tuesday and I’ve not read the book for the Chick Lit Book Group I’m supposed to be going to on Thursday. Eek. I’m busy tonight and probably tomorrow, so not sure if I’m going to be able to go. Damn. I’ll try anyway. I’ve got half the book to go, so I might make it.

I entered Rowan Coleman’s Status Short Story Competition on Friday. Guess what? I was a runner-up. That’s the second time I’ve been a runner-up. I’m so happy – especially as the other stories are so good. Also four people ‘like’d my story – that’s pretty awesome too.

Also, very excitingly, I got offered the job I want on Friday (seriously, Friday was one of the bets days ever), so I got to hand in my resignation. I was due to get made redundant in 5 weeks, so I’ll now be leaving a week before that happens. Result. Unfortunately I’ll actually have to WORK at the new job, so won’t be able to write and blog during the day. But, the hours are better and less, so I should be able to do it all in the evening. I just need to get into the habit of doing it.

3 1/2 weeks left then of writing as much as I can and doing as much of my writing course as possible. Lets see how I go…

Holiday Countdown

I don’t think I’ve been very vocal in mentioning my upcoming holiday. Or long weekend should I say. My Aunt and Uncle have a couple of holiday flats in Bournemouth, so this weekend my aunt, cousin and myself are having a girly weekend away. I can’t wait.

I’d really like to read loads. But I’m not sure if they’ll let me. They’ve probably got plans to go for long walks, and runs and even get in a bit of surfing (I’ve been told the sea’s warm cause it’s had the whole of summer to warm up? I’m not convinced). I’d also like to do a load of writing, but again, not sure if I’ll be able to.

No, you know what. I’m going to MAKE time. I might even do some of my writing course too!

I’d like to get the 2 books I’m reading now read by the time I come back. I can’t believe I’m reading two books at once. I hate doing that. But there’s a good reason. The first one is Mini shopaholic. It’s hardback which is heavy to carry round, so I’m reading that at home exclusively. Also, Sophie Kinsella signed it herself (at the How To Get Your Book Published event I went to a few weeks ago), so I don’t want to damage it by carrying it round all the time. I’ve had to therefore, start another one to have on the tube, at lunch etc.

Even though I should be concentrating on my writing course at lunch time… Uh… Yeah.

You know what, I’m going to keep this blog really short. As I’m away on Friday, I’m going to write my Fiction Friday piece now, then post it tomorrow so I don’t miss it. It’s a great prompt this week. Have a look.

I’ll see you the other side of the weekend. Enjoy peeps 🙂

Just A Friday Blog

No Fiction Friday today. I will do it, but it will more than likely be tomorrow. I do have an excuse for not playing today – I’ve not done the ‘homework’ for it yet. Well I’ve started,  but not finished. We have to listen into others’ conversations to get 10+ line of dialogue then get them in our stories. I’m up to about 8 line of dialogue heard around the office, but need a few more. Other people have done really good jobs of their stories – check them out here.

Just to make all you non UK peeps jealous, we’ve got a nice long bank holiday weekend this weekend. No work until Tuesday. Total result! I’ve been up before 7 every morning this week – for someone that usually gets up after 8 that’s early. I’m sooooo looking forward to 3 lie-ins. Bliss.

I’ve hardly done any writing or writing course work this week. I blame it on the early starts and resulting tiredness (cause me being me hasn’t had any earlier nights – stooopid!). I’m going to try and get some done now of one or the other – I’ve 1 1/2 before I leave work and no work so should be able to. If I can pull myself away from Facebook (I was going to say and Twitter – but I’ve not got that open. WHAT? Why’ve I not got Twitter open? *goes off to open Twitter* )

I’ve just finished Poor Little Bitch Girl by Jackie Collins. Somehow, this is the first Jackie Collins book I’ve ever read. I don’t know how that’s possible! It’s really good. I finished it pretty quickly, but then I’ve been reading at work a lot (seriously I have NOTHING on for most of the week at the moment!).

I don’t know what to read next. I’ve got:

  • The Wedding Party by Sophie King (which I need to read for a book group mid Sep),
  • The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest (really want to read this, although slightly less having watched the movie of the first one which made me realise how much pointless stuff is in the novel)
  • Spotlight by Ilana Fox (which I won in a competition and really want to read) and
  • Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.

I’m torn. I have a feeling the shopaholic might have it. I’ll read the book group one closer to the time, I’ll read at least two before I go there, and want it to be fresh in my mind when I go. I’ll prob go shopaholic now, then next the book group one. Maybe I can squeeze another in? Hmmm.

Book group then. Not said anything about this have I? When I went to the Chick Lit evening at Brixton library a couple of weeks ago, I saw this thing about a Chick Lit Book Group. Sounds like fun eh? Brixton is totally the wrong area for me to be going to book groups, but I thought why not.

I need to look for a writing group. I’ll do it next week. Yes! Next week!

Have a lovely weekend everyone 🙂

An Evening With Stylist: How To Get Your Book Published

That’s where I went last night. It was great, there were three published authors (Sophie Kinsella [debatably my favourite author ever], Lisa Jewell [I’m not stalking her honest] and Camilla), an editor and an agent.

Did I learn how to get my book published? No. But then there’s no magic formula to that, so I didn’t actually expect to. What I did learn is that my hours scouting round the internet, on blogs, Twitter and so on have taught me much more than I realised. A lot of what was said I’d already heard (read), but it was good to reinforce it into my brain.

There was some great advice given from all. I think the most important thing I took away from the talks was about finding an agent – no finding the RIGHT agent for me.

Sophie and Camilla also did a reading from their novels. Sophie’s reading was from Mini Shopaholic – which isn’t out until September! After the seminar (and before actually) we were treated to champagne/wine and canapes (apparently, I didn’t see many of those), were able to buy Sophie and Lisa’s books and mingle.

Obviously I bought Mini Shopaholic (although it’s hardback and I HATE hardbacks) and had a little chat with Sophie while she signed it for me! Woop! I now have a personalised author signed novel of hers. I’m never going to want to read it (so it stays undamaged). Best of all though, she wrote ‘Good luck with the writing’. Woop!

The thing that I took away with me though was the realisation that I’m doing pretty well with this whole writing thing. I spoke to quite a few people who want to write a novel, but only have an idea, or 5,000 words, or something. I’ve written a novel! I’m 20k into another, I write EVERY week for [Fiction] Friday and a lot of the time I write more. And because of FF, I’m not afraid to show people my work. Although I think I’m doing badly because at the moment I’m not writing every day, I’m still writing, and am scores ahead of many, many people.

Lisa said something that really made me think (and smile). Even if you don’t ever publish a novel, if you finish one that’s a major achievement. Now I may not have edited my novel, but I’ve written it. That’s 53k odd words I’ve written. That’s pretty good. And totally making me smile today.

Busy Week Ahead

How typical is this. I have a very busy week this week, and last night I got a horrible cold. I’m talking Man Flu kind of horrible (yes, I fully admit to moaning too much when ill – I can’t handle being ill, I’m really not good at it 😦 ).

I do slightly blame myself, it was going to be an ok week, but then I went and got myself some free cinema tickets (like I could not get any when they’re free!!!) which has messed up my week meaning I’ve had to change shifts and move them about meaning I’m now stressing about not having enough time to do certain things and not sleeping enough to make me better. Sigh.

Still, very exciting week coming up!

Tonight is How To Get Your Book published – an event by Stylist Magazine, featuring Sophie Kinsella and Lisa Jewell. Awesome.

Tuesday is now my free cinema visit. Even better than it just being free, it’s a Jennifer Aniston film that doesn’t come out until September – The Switch. Awesome x2.

Then Wednesday is a ladies’ night at the local Runner’s Need (free champagne and physio advice for runners which I need right now) then on to Rowan Coleman’s book launch party. Awesome x4.

The only problem is that I’m feeling so rough I’m exhausted just thinking about it all 😦

Ooh, I’m now really excited about something else too. I’ve just found out (thanks IMDB) that Getting Rid of Matthew (a brilliant novel by Jane Fallon) is being made into a film – staring Jennifer Aniston. The only problem is I never really like movies when I’ve read and loved the book before. well, I generally don’t anyway.

Speaking of which, last weekend I watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’ve had a week to think about it, and still don’t know what I think. I think I liked it, but there was just so much missing that I thought should have been in there. But then it was long enough as it was, so adding any more would just have made it too long. And missing all that out didn’t really detract from the story, which led me to question – was there too much irrelevant stuff in the novel? Hmm.

I got chatting about NaNo on Twitter last week. I’m definitely going to do it again this year. I just need a story. I like the idea of doing something YA, and I have an idea of the characters. Well one of the three main ones I want. But don’t really know what’s going to happen. I need to read more YA books. Woop! All in the name of research.

I didn’t do any writing over the weekend, so I’m going to go and do some now.