7/28/2014 1 Comment
Today's guest blogger is Jennifer Gilby Roberts whose novel After Wimbledon features in the Have Chick Lit, Will Travel. Read about what inspired her and then read the book.
The Inspiration Behind After Wimbledon
Naturally, for a novel by an English writer about the Wimbledon tennis tournament, After Wimbledon was born in Australia. For the tennis fans: it is the Laura Robson of chick lit novels.
I was taking some time out after finishing my degree. Having fried my brain by studying physics, a light-hearted romance was all I was good for. I arrived in Melbourne halfway through the Australian Open and spent most of the next week hanging out in Fed Square watching the action on their big screen. That was fabulous because it was right in the middle of the city and anyone could just wander down. I even sat in the Rod Laver Arena (the equivalent of Centre Court) for one day. Since I was travelling alone, I managed to grab an odd seat right in the front row. I heard Roger Federer swear, that's how close I was.
At the same time, I was struggling with a decision. I'd been dating someone for a couple of years before I went away and had left him back home. In a twist on the classic tale, he was sure we were for keeps and I was uncertain. I was only 23 when we started dating and wasn't expecting to get serious. Marriage was something for my thirties, if it happened at all. One morning, in a shower stall at the hostel, I broke it off over the phone. It was Australia Day, but the fireworks seemed rather out-of-place.
A few weeks later, I decided it was time to write another novel. My first, The Dr Pepper Prophecies, had been completed five years earlier. Suddenly, I had something to write about again: tennis and major life confusion. And out of those things After Wimbledon was born. The first draft contained much angst. I reckon I cut out about 30,000 words to get to the final version. I'm just counting that bit as therapy. It's a much better read without it!
And the boyfriend I mentioned? Reader, I married him. Only happy endings here...
After 12 years on the pro. tennis tour and four years with her sort-of boyfriend, Lucy Bennett has had enough. She wants real life... and real love.
Her life, her decision. Right? Well, no one else seems to think so. With opinions on all sides, Lucy's head is spinning. And she's stumbling right into the arms of long-term crush and fellow player Sam. Shame her boyfriend - his arch-rival - would sooner smash a racquet over their heads than agree to a simple change of partners.
As the Wimbledon Championships play out, Lucy fights for her life on and off the courts. The question is: what will she be left with after Wimbledon?
After Wimbledon is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, other Amazon sites, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and most other ebook stores.
Where to find Jennifer
Find Jennifer Gilby Roberts on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LibraryThing and Wattpad.
7/27/2014 4 Comments
Today Musical Monday is being taken over by Geralyn Corcillo whose novel She Likes it Tough is on of the novels in the Have Chick Lit Will Travel Romantic Comedy Box Set, that I am also included in and which just released on Friday.
What a whirlwind weekend I have just had! The Romantic Comedy Box Set Have Chick Lit, Will Travel that I am a part of along with Monique and Jennifer Gilby Roberts is burning up the Amazon charts!
Can you guess what song has been going through my head all weekend? It is by – not to be biased against Monique and Jennifer – The American Authors! “The Best Day of My Life.”
And how could these past few days be anything but the best days? At one point on its meteoric blast through the charts, Have Chick Lit, Will Travel was nestled between Sophie Kinsella's I've Got Your Number (which includes the Best First Kiss Scene ever!) and Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. Sigh...what a beautiful, divinely comfy place to be.
Back to Musical Monday. Did you ever see the Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner movie Maverick? In it, Foster's character unearths a secret about the other two. When they ask her how she figured it out, she explains, “You both sing the same wrong words to Amazing Grace.” And that little oddity gave it all away.
See? Using music in stories can be fun and so much more than background noise.
In my contribution to the Box Set, She Likes It Tough, my first-person narrator heroine Lisa Flyte constantly relates her life to aspects of pop culture – books, movies, TV shows, and songs she has had trolling through her life. And the hero Jack Hawkins picks up on this through the course of the story and their topsy-turvy relationship. So much so, that when everything between them gets good and truly fracked up, and Jack is trying to work his way back to her, he tries to do it through songs:
I open the email. No text. It’s an MP3. A heartfelt apology from Jack? A snippet about us from some radio show? I can’t imagine.
I get up and close the door to my office. Then I make sure the volume on my computer is low enough that only I’ll be able to hear it. I open the attachment.
With the first riff of guitar strings, I catch my breath. “Joey,” by Concrete Blonde.
The heart-wrenching lyrics rip into me with their desperate struggle to salvage messed-up love.
But we got lucky once before
And I don't wanna close the door
I can scarcely breathe. Is Jack asking me to come back? Is he trying to confess something? Explain something? Or did he just send me a song he thought I’d like? And if so, why? Why why why why why?
The song ends, making it easier to hear my heart pounding.
The silence of the computer makes my skin prickle. Jack sent me a song.
Wait. Jack sent me a song? Are we in middle school?
Or should he get points for choosing THE BEST SONG EVER?
I don’t know. I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know.
The wooing through songs continues, but how does it end up – and what does it mean to the outcome of the story? Does Lisa fight back with songs of her own? Does she ever figure out what Jack wants or is trying to say?
From Lisa's cell phone ring to how something about The Ramones gives away one of her secrets, music chirps and trills its way throughout this story. Because after all, like sex and free food, doesn't music just make things better?
How do you use music in your life, your work, your art? And if one song from a spurned lover could win you back or at least make you think twice or even pull your hair out trying to decide what to do – what would it be?
Geralyn Corcillo has work published under the names GVR Corcillo and Geralyn Ruane, as well. Identity crisis? Sure...but she's got it pretty much figured out now.
Once upon a time, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo taught high school in Watts and South Central Los Angeles. But deciding she needed an even tougher job, she chose to write.
Corcillo won a few contests, hit the New York Times Bestseller List with her first short story “Jane Austen Meets the New York Giants,” and got a B-movie screenplay produced by Roger Corman. She Likes It Tough is her debut novel, and winner of Best Humor Book 2013 and Best Indie Book 2013 from the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards. She Likes It Tough was also a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards 2014.
Corcillo lives in North Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who's even cooler than Kip Dynamite.
Pop back tomorrow for a post by the third author in Have Chick Lit, Will Travel Jennifer Roberts
I am very excited to be part of this lovely box set with authors Jennifer Gilby Roberts and Geralyn Coracillo.
I'll be featuring both ladies on the blog over the next few days so you can learn more about the women behind the stories.
Have Chick Lit, Will Travel
A new box set of three great summer reads from up and coming chick lit authors.
It's my stop on the TV Do-Over Blog Hop and my TV show of choice is How I Met Your Mother.
If you haven't watched the final Episode of How I Met Your Mother - SPOILER ALERT - okay, you were warned.
Do you know what HEA is? It’s happily ever after. I’m a huge fan of HEA in movies, TV and books and I was a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother too, just not a great fan of their lack of HEA. And I know what you're thinking "I just watched that scene and it looked like a HEA to me." But was it? I don't think so.
I started watching How I Met our Mother when it first started airing. Australian TV programmers do a funny thing where they run a show in prime time but even if it’s rating well they sometimes move the time slot about – sometimes they do it a whole lot – and that happened with this show. That meant I had to work to find it. I had to check my TV guide and remember when it was on because it wasn’t consistent and in the start I didn't have a DVR. It would come for a while and then vanish and then start running again at 11pm one week and 9.30pm the next. What I'm telling you is this - I was committed to the show.
I was loyal because when the show started I was in my mid 30’s and I couldn’t hang out in bars with my friends anymore laughing and eating burgers and I really wanted to (I mean REALLY). I wanted Lily to be my friend and I wanted my husband and I to be the 'couple friends' she and Marshall sought to find through many seasons but never quite did. They were a great couple and I wanted both of them happy. I had friends like that, friends who struggled to find their place, stay together and have kids. They were my people. Heck we were probably them to an extent.
I wanted to be involved in the minutia of my friends’ lives the way the characters in the show were. The truth is, I was home with a small child and I had a husband who travelled a whole lot for work and I was more than a bit lonely and didn't feel I belonged in the suburbs. When Lily and Marshall moved to the suburbs and couldn’t cut it, I could relate. I missed the days when my friends all lived in apartments nearby each other and met for breakfast and shopping or a post-mortem of the night before. I missed that ability to get together on a whim.
I also wanted a happily ever after for Ted. Yes he was annoyingly earnest, and he didn’t always have great taste in women, but I really liked that he kept going, kept looking, kept searching and to me that was romantic. I never especially wanted him to end up with Robyn because, even though I liked her character, she never struck me as a team player and to me it seemed Ted wanted desperately to be part of a team.
As for Barney, I “wait for it” loved that character. I loved that he was fun and completely not realistic. I loved that despite working in an office, in a bank, in a soulless environment he didn’t change. He worked the system. And no, you wouldn’t want to date him, but hell yes, I’d love to have him as a friend. He was hilarious.
He and Robyn together…that kind of worked for me as well. I wanted them to be happy together. I always want that for people. Especially after spending the whole final season, it seemed, getting them down the aisle I wanted a HEA for them. And I thought what made that couple work was that they were honest with each other in a this-is-who-I-am kind of a way.
So near the end it looked like finally Ted was going to get his happily ever after with ‘the mother", Barney and Robin were married and yay Lily and Marshall would finally have couple friends. The gang evolves but stays together. Why not leave it there? That’s how I would have ended the show.
It’s not that the mother got killed off that annoyed me, though I must say as a viewer it felt sudden, for us he’d spent 8 years looking and only had her for a month. (Plus it was a comedy show and I didn't need to be by anyone's hospital bed thank you very much!)
Still, what annoyed me was that Ted got back to Robyn.
Robyn who had married his friend and dumped him, Robyn who he’d chased for all those years, Robyn who had let Lily, her best friend, drift out of her life because it was easier than hanging in there. That was not a satisfying ending to me. It felt like the wrong girl got the guy.
And because of that, because of all that history, because in the words of Maya Angelou “when people show you who they are, believe them” well I wasn’t convinced it would ever work for Ted and Robyn and so it didn’t feel HEA for me.
So I still love that show, I just probably won’t watch that final episode again.
That's what I would do differently - I'd give that show a real happily ever after ending because that's why we watch TV to escape to a world where the right couple gets together and still gets to hang out with their friends whenever they like - even if they have kids, get old and life knocks them about a little.
Hop on over to Kerrie Olzak's blog tomorrow for her TV Do-Over Blog Hop post.” http://www.kerrie-land.blogspot.com/
For the full schedule of posts visit : http://www.carolinefardig.com/news/blog-hop-coming-soon-/
Before we talk music let's talk box sets and other things. Or more specifically let's talk about this Box Set that Mr Right and Other Mongrels is being included in. It will be out this Friday and is called Have Chick Lit, Will Travel.
I'm going to probably bore you senseless with the details this week but if you want to attend our online launch on Friday 25 July then pop on over to Facebook and sign up to attend.
Also if you've signed up to receive my newsletter it will be in your inbox later today.
Now on to earworm. as you are no doubt aware, earworm songs are those pesky songs you get in your head that you can't quite seem to shake. You wake up to them, go to sleep to them and find yourself humming them on the train, in the supermarket and in the shower. The annoying thing about an earworm song is you probably don't even love the song, sometimes they are even songs you hate.
I played a song in the car back from our road trip two weeks ago and it has been in my head EVER SINCE (yes that is me screaming with frustration). What's worse is my lovely husband who is currently renovating my kitchen (which is fantastic for life but not so much for writing) is whistling the song while he drills, saws, hammers his way through the day. Drilling and that song do nothing for my creativity.
Over the years I've had some pretty annoying ear worm songs. I'm going to share a couple with you now - you can thank me later - and I would love it if you would share yours with me.
First off we have Lady GaGa with Alejandro. I do not like this song. I do not like it in the car, I do not like it at a spa, I do not like it in my head, it makes me wish that I were...well not dead, but able to shake it for sure...
Next up we have a lovely young man by the name of Taylor Henderson. He came second in Australian X-Factor last year, a show that I don't even watch unless I'm reading in bed or am too tired to think. Somehow I had this little song stuck in my head for 6 months. Lucky me.
It's important to remember that almost always with earworm songs I have a key line wrong, usually the chorus, so that not only am I annoyed by the song the whole family gets to be annoyed as I sing in the car, kitchen or wherever it pops up.
So today's question is - what song is your current earworm? I need a new one - and DO NOT say Frozen, okay?
I have been an appalling blogger of late.
I've been a pretty bad blogger the past couple of weeks but admittedly I have been on vacation. See those pictures up above, they prove it. We went on a family road trip from sunny Sydney to the Gold Coast in Queensland. It is the middle of winter so although you see and sand it wasn't as toasty warm as these photos imply. Whoever said the camera never lies well that guy was a liar.
Anyway it's always nice to recharge the batteries, drink a few cocktails, ride some rollercoasters and get ready for the months ahead.
As a parent I'm amazed at how fast time is passing and am all too aware that my delightful 13 year old will be off on her own adventures soon and I will no longer be part of her vacations so I really do try and seize the moments now because they are all too fleeting.(Having said that I'm kind of theme parked out for now!)
So back to the desk. My new novella which will be out in August will be making it's way to the editor this week. That's exciting for me. I'm working on it's sequel. The novella is the first in a series and I hope that readers like the characters. I like them. Smart women making their way in the big city while keeping their sense of humour...the kind of women I like to hang out with both in real life and in a book.(Sneak peek of the cover coming soon - sign up to my newsletter if you want to see it.)
Don't forget about this give-away I'm part of. It's a great opportunity to win some prizes donated by a wide variety of authors. (See entry form below).
And finally for Musical Monday...one of my favourite songs for singing loudly in the car on a road trip - Story of a Girl. very fitting for a writer whose main characters are usually girls finding their way.