Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Jill Mansell

Please join me in welcoming author Jill Mansell to Debbie's Book Bag today! Jill is here promoting her book, Don't Want to Miss a Thing. I was able to ask Jill a few questions and Sourcebooks is providing a prize pack for two winners, details at the end of the post. Enjoy!

Deb:  Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jill: I worked for almost twenty years in a neurological hospital, testing people's brains, and left there twenty years ago in order to raise a family and write books instead. I miss the work and the people but love my replacement career. I get to sit down a lot more now!

Deb:  What was your inspiration for this title?
Jill: I stole lots of little plot ideas from newspaper features and swirled them all together to make a book - it's how I always do it. This novel has one of my all-time favourite heroes, who is gorgeous but flawed and gradually redeems himself. I love it when men do that!

Deb: It is a single title or part of a series?
Jill: Single title. I've never considered doing a series - I appear to have an attention span that lasts a year and no more. Happily, this is how long it takes me to write a novel. By the time I reach the end of a book and all the endings are neatly tied up, I'm ready to let those characters go and excited to find a whole new set to keep me company during the next year.

Deb:  What are the differences in writing women's fiction as opposed to mainstream fiction?
Jill: Gosh, I didn't know there was a difference! I think I write both. More women than men read my books (although plenty of men love them and learn from them!) but I still consider them to be mainstream. I write romantic comedy, feel-good fiction. Anyone's allowed to read it.

Deb: What comes first a good character or a good story idea?
Jill: I always start with the story ideas then fit the characters around them, although I do enjoy making sure my characters are likeable and interesting. Once they get into their stride as the story progresses, they're more likely to twist the unfolding plot to suit themselves - they're funny like that.

Deb: What was your first experience with publishing like?
Jill: It was great really - I was so excited to have had my book bought by a huge publisher. The differences between my day job in the hospital and the glamorous world of publishing was incredible. I probably take it for granted now, twenty three years later, but back then I remember being SO enthralled by it all! Having a career like mine has truly been a dream come true.

Deb: Do you have advice for new writers?
Jill: Love your characters, even the bad ones who don't know they're bad. Try not to create clich├ęs. If writing gets boring, I like to throw in a new character to act like a little bomb and jolt the plot back to life. And I don't write in chapters - I'll wait until the book is written, then go back through it and divide it up where there are natural breaks. This saves me HOURS of faffing around trying to squish bits of story into prearranged sections. Try it - it really helps.

Deb: Do you have a favorite author or genre that you prefer to read for pleasure?
Jill: I used to read a huge amount but in the last few years I've cut right down without meaning to. Maybe the writing is just taking up more time. Or it could be because I'm spending hours chatting to other writers and readers on Twitter...

Deb: Tell us something about you that readers may not know.
Jill: I don't own a single pair of shoes. In the summer I wear glittery flipflops, in winter I wear boots. (And yes, switchover-time is always fraught with danger.)

Deb: What are you working on right now?
Jill: My best book yet, of course!

Check out my review of Jill's book, Don't Want to Miss a Thing, later today!

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for two Jill Mansell prize packs! The prize packs will consist of one copy of Don't Want to Miss a Thing and a title from Jill's backlist. 

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US and Canadian Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 27th.

1. Please leave a comment describing what you enjoy about books writing by British authors and how the differ from the regular fare.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

British authors have always been a favorite for me for their writing style, ability to capture the depth of the story and the vivid portrayal of the locales and the characters. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I find I do like reading books by British authors too. My grandmother was British, so I always think of her when there are older secondary characters. Or when the publisher leaves in the British equivalent of a word we don't always use in America. (like snog, but everyone knows that one!) I adore Jill's book, thanks for the great interview!

Linda Kish said...

I like the colloquial terms used. I may not know them but I can figure them out. They have such an interesting way of presenting things.

CrystalGB said...

I love the different slang that they use and they are a refreshing read.

NoraA said...

I've been a fan of British fiction and romance books for over 30 years. I'd love to add these books to my collection and share them with my romance loving daughter in law the "Southern Belle".

justpeachy36 said...

I enjoy British authors for several reasons. I like the more relaxed pace of the stories they write, the interesting word choices and that English village style setting. This is a very good book.

Barbara Thompson said...

I have never read a book by a British author that I know of. This book sounds so interesting from the great review. I enjoyed the wonderful interview. I would love to win and read this read. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway.
Barbara Thompson

Karin said...

The last few books I've read by British authors have been wonderfully descriptive and have painted vivid pictures in my mind. I have been transported to other times and places.

Michelle Willms said...

It has taken me many years to adjust to the strong differences between British and American writers. I've come to appreciate their more reflective and less direct style than American authors.