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!
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
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!