Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Dog's Bollocks Blog Tour

Welcome to The Dog's Bollocks Blog Tour by Lynda Renham

I am so honored to be apart of this wonderful blog tour to help promote Lynda's new book The Dog's Bollocks. I have read it (of course!) and I loved it. Previously called The Valentine Present, my review can be found on this here very blog. Just click the link ~ My Review!  

So, for my part in the blog tour, I bagged an interview with the wonderful author herself, Lynda Renham and the pleasure was all mine! We had a good old chin wag and shared some biscuits. As an author myself, it's always great to chat with fellow authors and find out what makes them tick. It's good to know I am not the only crazy one! I find Lynda a true inspiration and it's been brilliant getting to her know her over Facebook. Wonderful Facebook!

Before we start the interview, if you are not familiar with Lynda or her work, let me just fill you in. Lynda Renham writes romantic comedy novels and has a growing fan base. She has been likened in style to Sophie Kinsella but writes with a down-to earth humour. Lynda’s novels are popular, refreshingly witty, fast paced, and with a strong romantic theme. Lynda lives in Oxford, UK. She has appeared on BBC radio discussion programs and when not writing Lynda can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.

"Lynda Renham is right up there with chick-lit royalty! I'm not talking princess either, for me, the Queen of Chick-lit". – Booketta Book Blog’

Now, on with the interview:

Lynda Renham

Firstly Lynda, let me welcome you to my blog. It really is wonderful to have you here. Secondly, congratulations on your blog tour! I feel honored to be apart of it, being a fan of your books. I have read all of your books and loved them. Crossiants & Jam was my first and I confess, still my favourite. I know I cannot wait for It had to be you coming next month.

OK let's start... at what age did you start writing Lynda?

As soon as someone taught me how to use the pencil at school, but it wasn't easy as I'm sure you remember too. I found joined up writing even harder and….Oh, sorry you meant when did I first starting writing novels.  I was so busy rummaging through your cupboards for the chocolate biscuits that you seem to have forgotten to offer me. Oh well, I am on a diet anyway, so just as well.  What was the question again? Oh yes, I remember. I wrote my first piece when I was about seven and it was all about my rabbit and my dad thought it was quite good (well he would wouldn't he) and he sent it off to my favourite comic and they published it.

Oh Lynda, I apologise for the lack of hospitality. I'm afraid most people have to help themselves in my house. It's true. I am a terrible host. Bare with me and I will sort something out....

I am going to dive straight in and ask the question I am most curious about. Being a self-published author, I am still waiting to be discovered by the big fish. I am hoping they don't leave it too long before I go completely bonkers. So tell me Lynda, how were you discovered? 

Ooh it makes me sound dead famous doesn't it or infamous which is not so good.  I suppose it depends on how you look at the question. I don't know really. I self-published a little thing titled 'Wedding Cake to Turin' which went to the top of the humour charts and stayed there for ages. I then wrote another book which was accepted by Raucous publishing and that did even better. I'm not sure if discovered is the right word. If people really discovered the insane me they would run a mile.

Ooh, are these chocolate biscuits? Are they going spare?

Yes, yes, help yourself Lynda. I did not know that you self-published although I have heard of Wedding Cake to Turin. I tried to purchase a copy but couldn't find it anywhere. I then found out why! So I feel all tingly that there's still hope for me yet!

I know every book you have written and have read them but please could you enlighten our blog readers on the books you have written?

I've written the bestselling (could you highlight the bestselling, you know just in case it gets overlooked.) Crossiants and Jam, Coconuts and Wonderbras, Pink Wellies and Flat Caps  and The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties, soon to be renamed 'The Dog's Bollocks,' which is my latest book. Available on Amazon and at all good booksellers (supposedly) but often you have to order.

All very quirky and catchy titles and I love the covers! 

What genre do you write in?

I write Romantic Comedy. I like to think of them as feel good films in a book. Also some of them are Romantic Comedy adventures and the new one is a Romantic Comedy Farce. But they are all guaranteed to make you smile.

You're right there. My family thought I were barmy sitting in the corner laughing my head off into my Kindle. Well more barmy then usual.

Please Lynda, tell me about your most recent book?

Well, if it is okay with you Kerry I would like to use your review to describe the book as I truly think you do it far better than I ever could.

Of course Lynda, I will be honored. 

Morticia Addams nails, Eton Mess, no life jackets and a horse's crop! This story had so many twists and turns. There was so much happening, it kept me on the edge of my seat (OK, laid back quite comfortably on the sofa) but my point is there was never a dull moment. 'arriet was so very likeable & I couldn't help but love Fiona. She had me in stitches. I wanted to throttle Julian myself and as for Hamilton, well I most definitely would have used the horse's crop! I couldn't help but warm to the Jack's too. I absolutely loved this book. It was an enjoyable read I couldn't put down and I swear my family thought I was nuts (well slightly more nuts then usual) sitting in the corner laughing to myself.

Yes, that says it all. Poor down to earth Harriet who arrives home after a wedding to find her boyfriend has got them in a lot of debt and the story is her efforts to get them out of it with laugh out loud moments as she does so.

Perfect. It truly is a funny entertaining read and I highly recommend YOU read this (to those reading this!)

OK Lynda, what I would like to know is, who are your favourite characters in the book and why?

My favourite characters are Harriet and the Jacks. Harriet because she is down to earth and you can really relate to her and the Jacks because they are bumbling gangsters, how can you not like them, while at the same time worry what they may do to Harriet. 

Agreed. I could not help but warm to the Jacks. They really did make me laugh and reminded me of typical east end wannabe gangsters. I can just imagine them in a movie! I loved Harriet too.

So what aspect of your book sets it apart from others in your genre?

This is so difficult to answer because I don't really know what sets my books apart from others writing in this genre, except to say that the heroines are women that every female can relate to. They do things that every woman has done at some time in their life. I think my protagonist has an unusual way of interacting with the reader which makes the reader feel she knows the character so well that when the books finishes she really misses the heroine. It is as though the characters become your friends. Plus of course they are always written in the first person which makes the reader's experience so much more personal.

I enjoy first person writing because it is like you are the character. I write in the same format. I know when I finish reading your books, I have withdrawal symptoms

What I would love to know is, where do you get your inspiration from to write these funny novels?

From my own life to be honest. I am the woman who prepares dinner and plugs in the slow cooker and then sits down for the day to write and forgets about it (which is the pleasure of slow cookers right?) Only to have husband come home to find there is no dinner cooked at all because I had plugged in the toaster instead of the slow cooker. I am also the woman who walks into the Gent's loo in the motorway service station and wonders why all these men are peeing in the Ladies'.

Oh Lynda, it's shameful. We are so alike!

How do you cope with writer's block?

Stick my head in the fridge until it passes. It usually works. Talking of food, do you have any cake?

Sounds like a plan! Yes, actually I do. I baked it myself in fact. Here you go...

OK, my final question Lynda. What advice could you give someone who aspired to be a writer?

Three words: 'Don't give up' Believe me you must and cannot do that. I speak from experience and didn't write for years during a period of my life when I was in a marriage that did not help me function as a person creatively. It was a bad decision. Never give up on your dream. Push forward no matter what.

Very wise words Lynda that I will hold close to my heart because let's face it, there are times when we all want to give up. I myself, am yet to concur my dream but at least with self-publishing, I am perhaps on the right road to that, as long as I don't give up!

You can find Lynda on the following links ~

Lynda, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time with me today. I truly have enjoyed having you here. Apologies on the lack of hospitality. I should take classes! I hope it hasn't put you off for future interviews. I have had a blast.  

I wish you a successful blog tour and I look forward to your new book, It had to be you coming February 14th. I know I will be purchasing it! 


Friday, 3 January 2014

“Life is like photography. You need the negatives to develop."

Welcome to my first blog post of 2014. I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and even better New Year's Eve. Did you get sloshed? We spent ours with family and friends and I'm glad to say we had a good old knees up although partying until 5am seemed like a good idea at the time but my head didn't think so the next day! Anyway, nothing two painkillers and a big old fry up couldn't sort out.

2013 was a tough year for me. It tested my strength and weakness to the maximum and you seriously don't know how strong you are until you are in a situation that requires all of your strength. But I did it because I am strong and I am better than that.

Books wise I got a hell of a lot published. There was Ex's & Shotgun Weddings in January, Swollen Bellies & Tiny Feet in March and Handbags at Dawn in August. All did OK but not as great as I hoped or would have liked. Self promotion is one tough job!

The adventures of Harley and Spike are continuing with Birthday Cake & Sandy Beaches. I have learnt so much since publishing the first in the series. Writing, editing and publishing are a work in progress and definitely a learning curve.

What else have I done this year? Well I have met some amazing people and I thank Facebook for putting me in touch with the people that inspire me the most. Other writers. It has been a wonderful opportunity. I am not going to lie I have met some arseholes too and I learnt a valuable lesson. I now know who are my true friends, who I can live without and who I can't. It wasn't a nice lesson but it was a lesson best learnt now rather than later.

Did you take advantage of downloading Handbags at Dawn for FREE over the Christmas period? My gift to you for being loyal followers. If you have read it, I would love to hear what you thought of it by leaving a review on Amazon. It’ll only take a minute.

I am just 8 likes away from hitting 1700 likes on my fb fan page. I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to stop by and be a part of my journey. It means so much!

Oh and I have accomplished level 260 in Candy Crush. Come on you know that is one hell of an accomplishment and you are so very jealous!

Plans for this year....

There are so many, personal and writing.

Personal includes moving. That is a MUST. Dieting? Get out of here! How many people’s New Year’s resolutions is that? Well not mine. Be happy with who you are and if you are unhappy then do something about it instead of moping.

Writing, more books of course! The only thing is, juggling home life and finding time to write is hard. I plan to publish the 5th Cocktails & Tattoos book, Birthday Cake & Sandy Beaches in May. I am on chapter 10 so I am around half way. I also plan to bring out another stand alone book, I want to start another series and a Christmas special. I have so many ideas, it's just a matter of finding the time to fit it all in. I will also be taking part in a couple of blog tours and I will continue to build up my fb page and carry on making you all laugh throughout 2014.

I thank you for your continued support because you are what keeps me going and I hope you will keep your eyes peeled for my new stuff. I Also thank the arseholes because let's face it the world would be a boring place without them and where else would I get my inspiration from to create the perfect villain?

Remember, you can download any of my books from Amazon. Just type in my name, purchase with one click and download. Job done!

I wish you all a happy healthy and successful 2014 but only you can make it into something bigger and better. There’s three simple rules ~

Rule #1 ~ Do what makes YOU happy
Rule #2 ~ Never quit
Rule #3 ~ Always remember rule #1 & #2

New Year, new start. Make it yours.