You might know already that for the past few weeks I’ve been introducing some of my fellow graduates from the excellent New Writers’ Scheme, run by the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association. Today’s visitor is the lovely Jill Steeples, and for the first time this year…we can sit outside! The sun’s actually out! But don’t worry (this means you, mum), we haven’t got carried away. Very sensibly, we’ve still got our jumpers on and we’ve got a hot cup of tea each. Cast not a clout ’til May be out, as they say :)
Welcome to sunny Yorkshire, Jill!
Whereabouts do you live, Jill? I live in the small market town of Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.
I used to live in Bedford, many years ago. It took me a long time to get used to hills – or even the smallest incline – after I moved away from the flat landscape.
Where is your favourite place in the world? I love the Italian Lakes. The scenery is so spectacular; picturesque fishing villages set along the water’s edge, rainbow-coloured villas nestled into the hillsides and beautiful flora and fauna against the backdrop of the mountains make for a magical setting. That and the wonderful food and wine there make it one of my favourite places in the world.
What a fabulous place to choose. I’ve been watching the BBC’s The Trip to Italy with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, and loving it. The scenery and food…!
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? I did a paper round once. Literally just the once. I think I must have been about thirteen and my first hurdle was actually lifting the bag with all the papers in. It was incredibly heavy. I had a list of roads to visit and got hopelessly lost. It started raining and the sky grew darker and darker. By the time my dad came to rescue me in the car three and a half hours later, I was completely traumatised. Poor old Dad had to finish the round for me and I never did go back for a second time.
That really does sound awful. I often feel so sorry for teenagers carting those heavy bags. Good old Dad!
What book do you wish you’d written? Something incredibly successful like Bridget Jones Diary or perhaps one of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. To write something that resonates with a whole generation must be a wonderful feeling.
What’s your favourite song? It’s Jimmy Mack by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. It’s such an upbeat feel-good song that is always guaranteed to bring a smile to my face from the moment I hear those first few distinctive bars. I love the song so much I actually gave the hero in my first novel, Desperately Seeking Heaven, the same name.
Oh, what a great idea!
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? I’d love to meet Jilly Cooper. I’ve been a huge fan of hers ever since I was a teenager and her books have brought me so much pleasure. Like me, she’s a great dog lover and always seems to have such a good sense of humour that I’m sure a chinwag with her would be a lot of fun. Of course, I’d ask her for some writing tips.
I’d love to meet Jilly Cooper, too. She seems really good fun – and so are her books!
What’s your happiest childhood memory? I remember my 5th birthday distinctly. My two friends from next door, Paul and Richard, came round with a tin of sweets for me as a present. I was dressed in my new nurse’s outfit and we played in the garden. The sun was shining and it stays in my memory as one of those idyllic summer days.
That’s really sweet! :)
If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? Inspector Morse! I’ve always had a thing for John Thaw. I think he was hugely charismatic and I think as Inspector Morse he was just waiting for the right woman to come along to bring him out of his melancholic and curmudgeonly ways. I could have been that woman!
That’s a brilliant choice. He was great on The Sweeney all those years ago, too.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? Well I must admit I’m one of life’s worriers. But I can see now that it’s true what my mum told me, all the worrying in the world doesn’t change a thing. I hope I’m a bit better now at getting things into perspective and meeting problems when they happen and not before they’ve even put in an appearance!
And finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website
My latest novel is a romantic comedy called Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off. Here’s a brief blurb.
Reasons why you should never, ever, read your best friend’s diary (even if it has fallen to the floor, pages open oh-so temptingly…):
– It’s morally indefensible.
– She would never trust you again.
– You probably know it all anyway…
So what harm could the tiniest peek do…? Answer: Lots! The best reason for never reading your best friend’s diary:
– You might just find out something you really didn’t want to know!
Learning her fiancé, Ed – the guy she’s supposed to marry this weekend! – is having an affair with her best friend, is a devastating bombshell for bride-to-be Anna. Confused, hurt and absolutely livid, she hops on the first train to anywhere-but-here in need of some serious soul searching.
Can she ever forgive Ed? Who is Anna ‘sans Ed’? And more importantly, should she go through with the wedding or should she just call the whole thing off?
The book is available from all good Ebook retailers including Amazon
You can find my website here
And my blog here
What a great premise for a book! And gorgeous cover. Thanks so much for coming today, Jill. It’s been lovely talking to you!
If you have any questions or comments for Jill, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!
27 thoughts on “Good to meet you…author Jill Steeples”
Sounds like a great book, and a great interview :)
Thanks, Harliqueen! :)
Thanks, Harliqueen. So pleased you enjoyed it! :)
Aloha Jill and Helena.
Gosh I love your questions and the answers you get. So interesting. :-). The paper round made me laugh Jill. :-). I can so relate. Ooh and Italy. Lovely. I love your photo with the glass of wine. And your cover and blurb. Sounds like my sort of thing.
Great interview. Thanks and aloha Meg. :-)
Aloha, Meg, and thanks! I, too, loved Jill’s photo – and the cover is delightful! It would be lovely to be reading Jill’s book by the sea in Italy right now :) Thanks for your comment, Meg, and aloha!
Oh yes, wouldn’t it be lovely to be in Italy right now, although we were pretty lucky with the weather today so that comes a close second :)
Aloha Meg! They were great questions, weren’t they? Big thanks to Helena. I think probably too many of my photos feature a glass of wine…
Great interview! Thanks for coming, Jill. I loved your description of Italy. Your book sounds delightful.
Thanks very much, Matt. Jill painted a lovely picture of the Italian coast. Got me day-dreaming today! Thanks for your comment!
Thanks so much for your lovely comments, Matthew :)
Jill, your book sounds like a fun read. I put it on my TBR list! Best wishes with this new release!
Thanks for coming, JQ!
Thanks so much, JQ :)
Great interview, ladies. Book sounds darling, and I’ve learned a new word: “chinwag.” How delightful! I’ll be sharing.
Isn’t chinwag a great word? Us Brits are said to be reserved, but we can natter with the best when we get going! :) Thanks for your fun comment, Marsha!
Hello Marsha! Lovely to meet you and I’m very pleased to be able to pass on a new word to you! It’s a lovely cosy word, I think. Thanks so much for commenting.
Lovely interview! It’s always nice to meet a fellow worrier, Jill. I’m trying to put things more in perspective, as well, and often find the song “Let It Go” running through my head at those times. :)
Your cover is fantastic, and I love the unique format of your blurb. Looks like a fantastic book!
That’s a great idea, Heather. I’ve got that song in my head, now! Although to be honest I’m not much of a worrier these days. So laid back they’re feeling for a pulse :) Glad you liked Jill’s interview. Thanks for popping in!
Ah, that’s great to be laid back. It’s what I strive for, although I think I still have a little way to go…
Hi Heather, thanks for the lovely comments on my book. That’s a great idea if there is something you can use to distract the worrying. And that’s such a great song with terrific lyrics. I might start using it too when those pesky worries start kicking in. :)
The book really sounds like fun and one I will definitely read. I kept journals for years when I was young. I poured in all my teenage angst, wrote bad poetry, ranted against parents and wrote about my terribly disappointing love life…The scary thing is I don’t know where they went after I moved to England. I hope they were thrown into the recycling because I can’t imagine anything worse than someone actually reading them! By the way Helena, in France we say ‘en avril ne te découvre pas d’un fil’ – same idea, but one month earlier!
Oh it would be marvellous if you could find those diaries, Marie! I wish I’d kept a journal when I was younger. It would be so funny to read it back again now!
And thanks for the French translation. That makes sense – in England we are always a month behind with the warm weather :(
Thank you Marie. I think it’s such a great thing to do to keep a diary. I kept one intermittently as a teenager but disposed of the evidence a few years later! Wish I’d kept them now. I wonder what happened to yours!! There’s another book in the making there, I think ;)
A huge thank you Helena for hosting me today. It’s been great fun and I’ve been overwhelmed by all the lovely comments :)
Thanks for coming, Jill. It’s been fab!
Lovely interview – your book sounds such fun, Jill! Love the childhood memory.