I have just finished reading Janice Horton’s latest novel, Reaching for the Stars (review at end of post) and today I am delighted to welcome her for a chat about her writing.
Janice , would you tell us how you promote your books and what tips can you offer to other writers?
In the past, I’ve hosted real book launch parties and book signings in bookshops, with nibbles and sparkling wine, but when I published my e-books I had to completely rethink promotion. First of all, I asked all of my lovely writer friends for ideas (promotional tip #1) and was advised to do a blog tour, host a virtual launch party, and advertise the events on social networks. Not easy when all I had to start off with was a neglected website.
Undaunted, I set up a blog, subscribed to Twitter and Facebook (promotional tip #2), and gave myself time to prepare (promotional tip #3 – I would say you need to allow six weeks at least for this). Then, having attracted a modest following, I advertised my ‘Wish I Was Here…’ themed blog launch party to bloggers and tweeters. I asked everyone to post up a picture or photo of where they would like to escape to – for a wee while or forever – a fun thing to do right in the middle of December!
This theme was directly linked to my new e-book ‘Reaching for the Stars’ because the story is about a celebrity chef who escapes the media frenzy surrounding his private life by going into hiding for a while. My final tip (promotional tip #4) would be to offer a prize draw to those who participate as a way to thank them for all their support and for being such great sports. The prizes I had on offer were celebrity chef aprons and chef hats!
1. What is the favourite book you have read?
That’s easy. It’s ‘Riders’ by Jilly Cooper.
2. What are you reading at the moment?
I don’t currently have a book on the go but I plan to read lots of books over the Christmas holidays. I have a huge choice from my To Be Read list of both paper books and Kindle e-books.
3. What book should you have read, but haven’t?
‘Virginia Woolf – A Room of Ones Own’ – my son who is reading English Literature at University has insisted I should read it. I fully intend to do so but I’m not sure when!
Buy ‘Reaching for the Stars’ now at the special launch price of just 99p
About the author: Janice lives in Scotland and writes romantic novels with humour which are, for the most part, inspired by the beauty of the heather-filled glens around her country cottage. When Janice is not writing novels, she write lifestyle articles and has had work published in national and international magazines and regional newspapers. She is also the bestselling author of ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’.
My Review of Reaching for the Stars
THE BLURB – Scottish celebrity chef Finn McDuff is media stalked and disillusioned after winning his third star and losing his third wife. He decides he’s had enough of all the food campaigns, the TV cookery shows, the constant frenzy surrounding his private life and, after giving up all his accolades and closing down his restaurant, he disappears.
With the enfant terrible of the kitchen missing, two rival newspapers, having lost their media meal ticket, compete against each other to whip up further public curiosity in the missing chef. Love him or hate him, everyone is out looking for Chef McDuff. Who will find him first and whose side will you be on…?
MY THOUGHTS – This was the first novel I had read by Janice Horton and having seen rave reviews of her previous novel ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot‘ I was very much looking forward to reading ‘Reaching for the Stars‘.
I was drawn into the story from the first paragraph, no pussy footing around, Finn McDuff was brought to life immediately. I loved the fact that he wasn’t perfect, that he had a bit of a bad boy reputation but at the same time underneath it all there was a different person to the one the press and public knew. He had issues, past and present, that he had to overcome and/or resolve. Not being the perfect hero really made Finn come to life and gave him that extra dimension.
Journalist Raine and her adversary Ross made for a great sparring team and even though Ross was working for a newspaper with few morals, you couldn’t help like him in a pitying sort of way. Raine was great, sticking to her beliefs of fair representation and believing in McDuff when others doubted him.
Janice has a lovely style of writing, which flows along smoothly and makes for an easy, yet totally satisfying read.