Thank You For the Music
Are things looking up for Abby Mortimer? After the death of her father it seems as though her long-term boyfriend, Edward, is about to propose – but their romantic walk on the beach doesn’t end as Abby expects when Edward breaks the news that he’s found someone else.
Heartbroken, Abby flees to Majorca to stay with her sister Liv and brother-in-law Robert, who run an upmarket hotel. Liv and Robert are looking for a singer for their piano bar and Abby, who’s a talented member of the local dramatic society, steps in to fill the gap – and finds herself immediately attracted to Rafa, the hotel’s pianist.But what looks like a new-found happiness becomes complicated when Edward returns to apologise and win Abby back. And she’s aroused the bitter opposition of waitress wannabe Ellie, who’s trying to catch the eye of musical impresario Marcus Paterson, a guest at the hotel and always on the lookout for a new act. Torn between the contrite Edward and the flighty Rafa, between a steady life in Scotland or a career with her beloved music, Abby has difficult choices to make…especially when she learns that Edward has a secret…
Thank You For The Music is available from: Amazon US and Amazon UK and in all e-formats from Smashwords.You write scientific articles as well as fiction, Jennifer – which do you prefer and why did you turn to fiction?
I can’t say that I prefer one above the other. They express different sides of my personality - the science part of my brain likes accuracy and answers but when I’m in fiction mode I’m the exact opposite. When I’m writing creatively, I don’t feel the need to have everything defined. I’ll bend scientific accuracy to fit my story - but if someone suggested I do that in a science article I would be dreadfully offended!In my current fiction project, I’ve finally managed to bring the two sides of my personality together - the hero is a geologist whose endless quest for ‘real’ answers and failure to deal with anything emotional and abstract are what drives the plot. Fiction is my first love, though - I came to science quite late.
How have you found the whole process of being published by an independent e-publisher? Anything surprise you about it?I was surprised at what fun it was. I envisaged a situation where the book gets put up and that’s it. At Tirgearr I was welcomed not just by the publishers but by fellow writers and the whole process has been an absolute pleasure. I’ve discovered an online community which I wasn’t expecting - although I shouldn’t have been surprised, because these communities do exist all over the internet.
Did you have to do a lot of research for Thank You for the Music?Er…none at all. (Perhaps I shouldn’t say that.) Unless by ‘research’ you mean holidaying at a lovely hotel in Majorca, lying in the sun, visiting ancient towns, eating ice cream and drinking chilled white wine as the sun set over the Mediterranean. I did all that, with the utmost diligence. In fact, every cup of coffee and every ice cream in the book is (or was once) real and was lovingly researched.
I can imagine that wasn’t too much hard work!
How are you promoting your book? Is it easier with e-books, do you think?
Never having had hard copies to sell, I can’t make the distinction. I’ve always known that no matter which type of media the book is in, most of the promotion would be done in the virtual world and that the days of the book launch with wine and nibbles are probably fading.I’m promoting it mainly through Twitter and Facebook, trying to establish an online presence and an association with good quality readable fiction. I embarked on promotion with great trepidation but in the event I’m finding it both easier and more fun than I thought. And I’m delighted to say that I just got my first review for Thank You For The Music - five stars from someone I don’t know in California.
An excellent start!What is the most difficult part about starting a new book?
Oh. Ah. Hmm… It’s all hard. I keep changing my approach to see if I can find one that works better than any other. But I think the hardest part is probably knowing when to start writing. I don’t fly by the seat of my pants, although nor am I a really detailed planner. There’s a point at which I haven’t overthought the plot but I still know pretty much what I want to write. The last one I got just right. The one before I left too long and got bogged down. It’s now in a drawer, waiting for me to go back and try and sort it out.Do you have a favourite writing place?
I wish I did. I dream of a turret with views in all directions - I know some people who have little dens like that and I’d love one, though in reality I’d probably spend most of my time staring out of the window. My desk is in the bedroom but I’m a gregarious soul and like to be around people, so I often end up typing on my laptop in the living room watching the telly with the family. This is not only bad for the posture but it also generates a very high level of errors, in typos and plot. Fortunately I love the editing process as much as the writing part!Do you find time for hobbies?
Writing is my main hobby and always has been. But I do like to do other things too. With my background in geography and Earth science I love travelling and visiting places - and they usually provide inspiration for a plot, or for a travel article. I love cycling, which is another pastime in which I spend most of my time thinking up plots. But it’s usually writing, writing and more writing, in some form or another.What are your current writing plans?
Plans? That implies a little more organisation than I think I can lay claim to! At the moment I’m working on completing my Masters degree in Earth science with the Open University so that’s taking priority; and I’m still writing regular science articles for a website called Decoded Science. And my fiction output may have slowed but it isn’t on hold - I completed a novel (awaiting polish) in November as part of the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) scheme and there’s a whole line-up of ideas for short stories, novels and novellas forming a disorderly queue in my mind. Just wait until I have more time…Any tips for new writers?
How many tips do you want? I’ll confine myself to two. The first is often-repeated and can’t be said enough. NEVER give up. The second is something that, when I look back, shaped my career as a writer without my knowing it. Surround yourself with writers. Hunt them out and talk to them. Join their groups. They will understand you in a way that your nearest and dearest non-writers won’t; they’ll pass on the befits of their experience; they’ll share your successes and feel your pain. I’ve found this to be true for both fiction and non-fiction. And for an unpublished writer, being surrounded by other writers makes you realise that everything you go through, both the pain of rejection and the pleasure of success, is normal.Many thanks for answering the questions, Jennifer.
Jennifer Young is an Edinburgh-based writer, editor and copywriter. She is interested in a wide range of subjects and writing media, perhaps reflecting the fact that she has both arts and science degrees. Jennifer has been writing fiction, including romantic fiction, for a number of years with several short stories already published. Thank You For the Music, which is set on the Balearic island of Majorca, is her first published novel.
Find out more about Jennifer on her website, blog and Facebook. Jennifer also blogs with a few other friends at Novel Points of View.