Worms, ‘Cockygate’ and Busy, Busy, Busy

Hi all,

Just a quickie to say I know I haven’t posted on here for a while but life has just grabbed me by the proverbials and run.

I’m ultra busy editing as well as trying to complete the next in my Terrible Tales series, am still shaking my head over the whole ‘Cockygate’ debacle (I’m not going to go into my views on author megalomania today – it’s been done to death already), and writing short stories for SAT practice as well as regaling you with amusing (I hope) stories from the wry side of life: https://mumispullingherhairout.wordpress.com/

In short, I’ve neglected this site. Sorry!

In the meantime, here’s the opener from Terrible Tales Book 2: Enjoy!

The Worm

(c) JM Turner

“Tequila’s gonna kill you, Terry,” I say, as I twist open the lid of the second bottle my husband has begun in as many days.

“Mind your business,” Terry snaps. He grabs for the bottle, ignoring the glass I hold out, and swigs. “You took as much notice of this house as you do of my drinking and I wouldn’t need to blur it out, would I?”

I turn away so he can’t see my involuntary eye roll and bite back any of a number of retorts that could have sprung from my lips. I walk out of the lounge and into the kitchen, click on the kettle and make myself a decaffeinated coffee, then I nod towards the French doors and Simba, my Alsatian, raises his head and chuffs.

I smile as I open the doors releasing the dog, and carry the mug out into the garden behind him. It is ten in the morning and it looks like it will be another long, hot, day spent avoiding Terry’s foul temper, although with any luck, he’ll be snoring by midday.

I perch on one of the loungers and watch the butterflies as they flitter in and around the buddleia, and then flutter around just out of reach of Simba’s attempts to catch them. Fat bumblebees buzz lazily in the heat of the summer sun, gathering pollen to take back to the hive. The sun shines its rays onto my face and arms and for the first time in a long time, I relax. I studiously ignore the empty pool with its stained and moss-strewn bottom, because every time I look at it I feel that painful lurch in my chest…

I hope that’s piqued your interest and I’ll keep you posted on when it’s up for release.

Until next time, stay well, stay safe, and stay away from cocky people!

Jill x

 

Terrible Tales

Hello all!

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I last blogged  – snow, work and other commitments have prevailed and for that, I apologise.

I’ve been editing, writing and completing the day job ever since the New Year. Consequently, I now look like a member of the Walking Dead, the bags under my eyes have their own suitcases and any social life I once had flew out of the window long ago. I can’t see it coming back anytime soon, either.

Earlier this year, I was commissioned to write a selection of short stories that will be used countrywide for children’s SAT revision and testing and I am thoroughly enjoying writing them.

Big Ted

Added on to this is the new series of novelettes I have begun which is in direct opposition to the SAT children’s stories. This is a dark, twisted and somewhat warped series only for adults, coming under the series title of ‘Terrible Tales’. The first, ‘Big Ted’, is due for release very, very soon and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the cover.

It’s the first book I’ve written that necessitates a trigger warning as the subject matter in this first story is somewhat sensitive. I’ll be sharing the link as soon as it is released, but you have been warned!

In the meantime, here’s a link to the latest book I edited:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/MARCO-OBSESSION-BAD-BILLIONAIRE-Book-ebook/dp/B07BR4VYJG

If you like a decent bad boy, enjoy a damned good storyline and don’t mind a bit of rumpy-pumpy, you’ll be blown away by this book. I loved working on it!

So, until Big Ted is released, I’m hoping by the next time I write on here Spring will have well and truly sprung.

I am so over snow!

Jill x

Advice for Writers for 2018

I bet you’re expecting this post to be full of fantastic ideas as to how you can improve your writing, or create a cover, or market your book?

You’d be wrong.

So if that’s what you’re after, stop reading now because it’s the antithesis of that.

Put your hand up if you’re sick of reading other people’s advice.

Every time I open any form of social media I am confronted with ‘helpful’ ideas as to how to do all the things I cite above; i.e. writing, producing the perfect cover, constructing the perfect ad, learning how to market your work, etc., etc., and at the end of all the waffle to hook you in, I get to the crux of the post and read: ‘I can help you do this for the very low price of…’ (or a variant thereof).

The bit that comes next is aimed mostly at new writers, so if that’s you, read it carefully and try to remember that this is just my opinion: I’m a member of several writing groups on social media, and I’ve seen posts by more new writers than I can count asking how they should do all of the above things before they’ve ever picked up a pen (or switched on a laptop and opened whichever writing program they have chosen) and actually written anything. I’ve seen them post pictures of the cover they’ve chosen, seen them angst over whether or not to have their own author website or whether they should be paying for this course or that.

Look, there are people out there who will take advantage of you. Probably not intentionally, but if you run a business (for example) creating beautiful book covers and someone approaches you, wouldn’t you try to sell them something? So what if the cover they buy doesn’t actually end up relevant to the book they eventually write – it’s not their problem, right?

If you haven’t even begun to write, that fantastic, all singing, all dancing, marketing course you signed up for won’t be relevant by the time you need to use it. Social media rules regarding advertising change all the time! What works now (and saturates the market) probably won’t be working by the time you need it to. As an example, FB changes its rules with regularity and is making life difficult for authors at the moment by only delivering their posts to a fraction of the people who follow them unless they pay for that visibility; it’s also banning certain ads that it regards as spam, and actually, that’s fair enough, they’re running a business and they’re entitled to run it as they see fit. The point I am trying to make is that by the time you’ve actually written your book, the rules will have changed again – probably several times. So why throw money at something that will be redundant by the time you need to use it?

Some of the people running these courses (caveat: please note I said some – they’re not all the same and some are worth their weight in gold – when you take them at the right time) must be laughing in their sleep. They don’t count sheep to drop off – they count dollars, or pounds, or whatever the currency is where they come from. And you know what? I don’t blame them! If people are silly enough to chuck money at them in the hope of becoming rich and famous before they’ve even put pen to paper, I’d be rubbing my hands together in glee, too.

Make 2018 the year you actually write something – and make it the best writing you have in you. Celebrate it! And let me know when you’ve written it because it will call for a toast to you!

Wishing you all an amazingly happy New Year – may all your dreams come true!

Jill

Lumps, bumps, and Trouble at Christmas

Hi all!

This last month has been – well, let’s just say that different is a good descriptive word (that actually doesn’t really cover anything, much).

So what’s been going on? New Puppy (‘NP’) has started asking to use the great outdoors (aka our garden) as a toilet, unless, of course, we’re busy and not paying him attention wherein he’ll bypass the asking and simply carefully avoid all the pads and paper put down to catch his little ‘accidents’ and pee in the six square inches left uncovered, the defiant little sod!

He’s actually really bright – sits on command, lays down on command, plays fetch (and is learning to let go of whatever we’ve thrown for him so we can throw it again), comes to us when called (if we have something he wants… otherwise he’s great at cocking a deaf’un – think toddlers, pre-schoolers, school-age – hell, just about any age of kid in reality – or husband…).

He’s learned that if he pushes it in a certain way, his water bowl comes loose and when it’s empty he dislodges it and chucks it at our feet wearing a look of utter disdain that says, ‘See what you’ve made me do? Water me, now!’ He’s obviously seen me laughing at  ‘Simon’s Cat’.

All plants in the house are now raised from the floor – NP’s developed a penchant for digging out the mud and chucking it all over the floor which, despite him thinking differently, is not in the least amusing.

The cat’s slightly more tolerant of him. Now she sits at a height he can’t quite reach watching him with contempt as he goes nuts trying to get her to play with him (front paws down, bum in the air, wagging tail) – her tail twitches in annoyance and he reads it that she’s telling him he’s now her new best friend – until she’s had enough of his gentle persuasion and hisses at him like a demon and swipes out. (Claws retracted – she’s not evil.) Funnily enough, her growl is way louder and more dog-like than his – who knew? Yet, when both are hungry, she’ll wind around his legs while he licks her and they both delight in tripping us up while we rush to attend to their needs. I swear they share a look and snicker – every, damn time.

A few years ago we bought musical dogs as Christmas decorations (we inherited one, if truth be told, and bought the second because – well, just because). They look remarkably like NP and he finds them a bit freaky – possibly because one sings Slade and the other sings Wizzard. After the initial ‘What the hell?’ moment, he carefully ignored them until I went into the kitchen a day or so after we’d put them out and came back in to find him dragging one around by its Christmas hat. Slade now sounds like they’ve hit the bottle. Hard.

Health wise? Hmmn – I was punched by a student (not the best of days), and like many others, the sickness bug is currently visiting our house. Nuff said on that score.

Finally, my latest book for children has been released – it’s called ‘Trouble at Christmas’ and you can get a copy for your own ankle-biters kiddliwinks here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077XN1GCV (if you’re in the UK), or here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077XN1GCV (if you’re over the pond).

Make an author happy and read it with your kids in the build-up to the big day – they’ll thank you for it. And if you really want to make an author happy, please leave a review of the book.

‘Til next time, take care!

Jill

Trouble at Christmas

Mason doesn’t want to visit his grandparents this Christmas. His grandad never shows his face because he’s too tired, and Mason is convinced the real reason is that he doesn’t like him. But his grandad has a secret, one that Mason can’t know until he turns 18. But secrets have a way of being discovered, especially when there is one careless elf and a whole lot more who are ill…

Here’s a sneak peak of the first chapter:

The North Pole

Father Christmas sniffed and wiped away a tear.

“What on earth’s the matter with you now?” sighed Mrs. Claussen. “Honestly, it’s the same every year – you have to go to work, there’s no way out of it. So pull yourself together, get the elves to sort the reindeer out and get those presents on the sleigh before it’s too late.”

“It’s all right for you,” Father Christmas snapped. “You get to spend the happiest time of the year with our grandson while I’m out doing all the work. It would be nice to be able to see him open his presents is all I’m saying.”

“You didn’t say that when his mother was little, did you? Oh no! Then it was all, ‘See you later, try not to let her open them all in one go – wake me up on Boxing Day’, wasn’t it?” Mrs. Claussen put the finishing touches to the ribbons that surrounded the final gift she’d had the elves make for the boy. “There,” she said with satisfaction.

“That was because Christmas Eve was the only time I got away from you both,” Father Christmas muttered under his breath.

“I heard that, darling.” Mrs. Claussen put the gift to one side and thumped on the table with a small fist, making her husband jump. “If you’d only go into the real world more than once a year, you’d see more of both Mason and Lili, wouldn’t you!”

Father Christmas squirmed in his chair. “You know I can’t do that – I’d be too easily recognised.”

“Pah!” said Mrs. Claussen. “By who, exactly?”

“The children, of course!” Father Christmas stared at his wife in astonishment.

“The children who all think you’re a big, jolly fellow with white hair and a long white beard?” Mrs. Claussen raised an eyebrow.

Her husband was currently sporting a pair of jeans and a white tee-shirt with a rude slogan on it. He had been on a diet during this past year and had lost so much weight none of his Christmas clothes fitted him any longer. He’d also taken up weight lifting and running, shaved off his beard, cut his hair and dyed it a rather snazzy chestnut colour.

“I still think you’re having some kind of mid-life crisis,” she said, even as she admired his biceps.

“You have to be middle aged to have that kind of crisis,” her husband told her. “And as I’m only one-hundred and sixty-six…”

“Seven,” his wife corrected.

Father Christmas tutted. “Sixty-seven, then, I’m nowhere near the middle of my life, am I?”

“No,” Mrs. Claussen agreed. “Not unless you’re planning on living to three-hundred and thirty-four, you’re not.”

Father Christmas jumped to his feet, sending the kitchen chair he’d been sitting on skidding across the floor. “I’ve had enough of this!” he shouted.

“There’s a good fellow,” Mrs. Claussen ignored his mini-tantrum. “Go and put the toys on the sleigh.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Due for release 5.12.2017 for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

Back to Writing

I’ve been so busy promoting other people’s work, editing, proofing (and completing the day job) that I failed to realise I haven’t posted anything about what I’m writing in a while.

Yes, I am still writing, in fact I have several on the go, but the one I’ve been asked to concentrate on is more in the vein of ‘Nan Nose Best’ in that it’s got romance, heartbreak, babies and comedy, all under one roof.

The characters are endearing, the story is realistic (in that this stuff could happen…) and you’ll (I hope) be rooting for Jenny to come out on top by the end.

I’m having a ball writing it and I hope you’ll enjoy it when it comes out, just in time for Valentine’s Day next year.

Here’s a sneaky look at a possible cover…

Free Fall (8)

If you’d like to read any of my other books in the meantime, please follow the links and make an author happy by buying one!

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M

USA: https://www.amazon.com/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M

‘Til next time – take care,

Jill

AHOW Blog Tour – my own story!

Today I’m talking about my own short story, “Joe,” that appears in the anthology A Haunting of Words alongside many other fabulous stories.

“Joe” is about a day in the life of a mother, her young son and their dog, Rufus. An altercation in the park goes some way to ruin their lovely day out.

Inspiration:

Without giving any spoilers away, I simply put myself in the place of the mother in this situation and the potential it had for what actually happens as the story unfolds.

How long have I been writing?

A long, long time! I’ve only over the last few years begun to take it seriously and taken the leap into publishing any of my work. It was a tough decision to make – would people laugh at my efforts? Would they tell me I’m no good? Any writer puts a piece of their soul into their work, so I think that taking the plunge is possibly one of the hardest things to do as it leaves you open to the public eye (and I’m actually quite a private person). However, I love writing and I wish I’d taken it seriously much, much sooner than I did!

What genres do I most associate with in my writing? 

That’s a tricky question to answer! It all began by my making up my own tales on a nightly basis for my children during their growing years –  so putting a fantasy story that was begging to be written onto paper was quite easy and it wouldn’t let me rest until I’d developed it into a trilogy. I have also written a young adult book about how social media can have an effect on lives (comedy/contemporary fiction) and loved writing it, and more recently, I’ve written a darker, more adult book that is paranormal based, and, of course, the even darker tale of young Joe. I’m quite into these stories at the moment and have various ideas tugging at my subconscious mind!

What am I working on right now?

I have two things on the go at the moment; a spin off from the fantasy trilogy that was triggered by a reader asking me what would happen if… and an adult book that involves someone witnessing the kidnapping of a little boy and the murder of his mother.

What else do I have available/published?

Okay, the books I have out at the moment are: The Seelie Princess; Rise of the Dragons; The Seelie Queen (they make up the fantasy trilogy); Nan Nose Best – about how a teenage girl’s nan posts on her social media page and the change it has on the family when her posts go viral; Sunshine Girl – a paranormal story about a girl who’s not quite dead enough, oh, and The Christmas Turkey – a rhyming story for youngsters that looks at Christmas from the point of view of an enterprising little turkey.

What advice do I give to new writers?

Get stuck in! Find out what works for you – do you need to write an outline of your story? Or are you just going to start writing with a good idea of where you want it to go? There’s no right or wrong way, just your way. If your story gets told, it’s what’s good for you! Join writer groups if you can (Fiction Writing on Facebook is rather fab) but be prepared to sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to any advice that’s given out. I always lurk in the background and get a feel for who actually knows what they’re talking about before I’ll interact! Oh, and don’t ask family members to read your work, you won’t get true reactions from them – ask other writers to beta read for you (you’ll find these via the groups you join – and they won’t hold back on telling you where you need to sharpen up so be careful who you ask)!

Links where people can find your work:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M
https://www.amazon.com/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M
https://authorjmturner.wordpress.com/

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Noble, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

 

AHOW Blog Tour Cont’d

Today, author Donise Sheppard takes over my page with a discussion about her short story, “Coal Run Road,” appearing in the anthology A Haunting of Words, which also includes my brand new short story, “Joe”.

Blurb: Jennifer’s in love with her family’s new house. Her youngest daughter copes with the move by making an imaginary friend. When objects start moving on their own, Jennifer begins to wonder if the bargain house has a secret. There’s a perfume stench in the bathroom that won’t go away, and Jennifer sees wisps of blonde hair when nobody is around. Maybe the drawings behind the wallpaper in the bedroom are just a sick joke from a previous owner, but what if they aren’t?

What inspired you to write this story?

Ghosts terrify me. I wanted to write something that would scare someone else just as much as it scares me.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing for fun when I was a little girl. I didn’t realize I wanted to be an author until I was in college.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

I like to write Young Adult with science fiction and romance elements. I like the idea of incorporating real life with fantastical elements.

What are you working on right now?

At this moment, I am working on a Young Adult science fiction novel and another short story in the horror genre.

What else do you have available/published?

I have previously published six young adult novels, three of which are part of a dystopian series.

What advice do you give to new writers?

Read whenever you can, and write at least an hour a day, even when you have writer’s block, because writing anything is always better than writing nothing.

Where can people find your work?

https://www.facebook.com/authordonisesheppard/
https://www.amazon.com/author/donisesheppard

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

Blog Tour Cont’d – DW Vogel

Continuing on with the blog tour, today I am talking to DW Vogel whose story ‘Rowdy’ appears alongside my own new story, ‘Joe’, in the A Haunting of Words anthology.

Title:

“Rowdy” is the story of an old dog’s last day on earth. It’s a quick piece to remind us that love never dies, and best friends are forever. 


What inspired you to write this story? 

I’m a veterinarian. The story comes from twenty years of wielding the needle that sends beloved pets on to their eternal rest. It’s an honor to be trusted with that final moment, and it’s so important for the pets and their families.

How long have you been writing? 

I’ve been writing seriously for about five years. An avid reader since forever, I was always one of those people who said, “I can do that. Someday I’m going to write a novel.” In 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and suddenly “Someday” became a huge question mark. I realized I might not have too many “Somedays” left, and if I wanted to write a novel, it was time to sit down and write it.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

My science fiction series is going strong, with book two due to release at the end of June. I also had a fantasy novel published which is currently out of print due to publisher closing. My agent is currently shopping a couple of mystery/thrillers and we hope for great things in that genre.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve just finished the first draft of a really fun project that my publisher put together. Five of Future House Publishing’s authors are writing a series together, based on a board game world. It’s a collaboration with the game’s publisher, and I was given book two of the series. The concept of writing in someone else’s world, and working with other talented authors has been a big challenge and I think the final product will be amazing.

What else do you have available/published?

I’m the author of Horizon Alpha: Predators of Eden (2016, Future House Publishing), Horizon Alpha: Transport Seventeen (2017, Future House Publishing), Horizon Alpha: High Wire (short story set in the Horizon Alpha world, 2016), Flamewalker (2015, Word Branch Publishing, out of print), and I’ve contributed short stories to several other science fiction anthologies.

What advice do you give to new writers? 

The best advice is to read. Read everything. Read in the genre you want to write, and read in genres you never thought you’d like. I can teach you how to put words on a page. I can teach you how to use commas, why you should eliminate filters, and why “then” should be cut whenever you see it. But I can’t teach you the kind of instinctive flow that comes from a lifetime of reading well-written novels. I can’t teach you rhythm. I can’t teach you pace. You can only absorb that by immersing yourself in the works of the masters, absorbing their skill with their words.

List links where people can find your work:
www.wendyvogelbooks.com