Friday, 30 September 2011

Glamour, tattoos, & sexy, sassy book characters - my Friday ramblings...

I am probably the most un-glamorous person you could ever wish to meet.  I've lived most of my life in jeans, t-shirts and biker boots, but I used to be a media technician so a skirt and heels was never going to be conducive to crawling around the floor of a TV studio or lugging camera equipment up 3 flights of stairs on a daily basis.

But it wasn't just my job that meant I preferred jeans to dresses, and trainers to stilettos.  No, it was my own personal choice.  I've never been what you'd call a "girly-girl", it's just never been me.  I'm not saying I don't ever get dressed up, I do.  But it's usually only when we go to Tenerife to spend a couple of days in our apartment over there, which isn't that often now!  Over there I kind of change completely into a whole different person, throwing on the make-up and the dresses and the lovely, strappy heels and sandals (even if I can't walk in them!), turning into this glamorous version of myself.  If you were to take a look at my wardrobe over there in Tenerife, and then look at my wardrobe here at home in the U.K., you'd think they belonged to two completely different women!  One's full of lovely, floaty dresses and tops, short skirts and gorgeous shoes, while the other is piles of jeans and t-shirts, biker boots and trainers!  My legs very rarely ever see the light of day in Britain.  Even now, as we in the U.K. experience autumn temperatures of over 28 degrees, my legs are still hidden behind jeans and will stay that way, thank you very much.

But, the weird thing is, it's not that I don't want to be glamorous - I do!  I'd love to be glamorous, but I know it just doesn't suit me.  Not really.  I'm a closet rock chick; I love tattoos and leather jackets (of the biker variety), wild hair and denim, Dave Grohl to Brad Pitt, and loud, banging rock music over Beyonce.  That's me, that's who I really am.  I'm more jealous of Kat Von D (from L.A. Ink) and all her tattoos than I could ever be of Cheryl Cole and her latest outfit.

But that doesn't mean to say that I can't be glamorous in other ways.  I'm a writer, after all.  I can be who I want, when I want.  I can get that glamour by creating it in the pages of a book.  Because, despite being the girl who listens to ZZ Top in the bath and is currently deciding where to have her next tattoo, the kind of books I read have almost always been the kind that provide glamour, romance and escapism.  A total contradiction to the way I may come across as a person, I suppose, but that's what I've always loved to read.  It's not the only thing I read, I also love a good thriller and I'm a sucker for a James Herbert horror novel, I didn't sleep for a week after reading 'The Dark'!  But if I was given a choice to pick only one genre to read, it would always be the romantic/glamorous/escapist novels - Jackie Collins, Jilly Cooper, Danielle Steele...throw one of those in my direction and I'm one very happy woman!

So that's why I automatically fell into the romance/commercial women's fiction bracket when it came to writing my own books.  It was the most natural thing for me, there was never any thinking about it, never any wavering.  It was only ever going to be that glamorous, sexy world that I was going to throw myself into, a world where the women are gorgeous and the men are incredible (most of the time, not always!!).  However, I'm still managing to mix the romance and the glamour with that edgy side of things, which I love!  Take Stevie Stone from my novel 'See You At The Show'.  She's sexy and sassy but she's also a rock chick and a roadie, beautiful and tattooed, but still vulnerable enough to let her guard down at times, as you'll see if you read the book and follow her journey.


And then we have India Steven from my first novel, 'No Matter What'.  A Geordie girl turned Hollywood movie star almost overnight, a girl who - like me - was more of a tomboy, until her sudden life-change took her from the streets of Newcastle-upon-Tyne to the City of Angels, where glamour is everything, and dreams can come true.  She embarks on a glamorous, sexy love story, but it's also a journey that takes us through 20 years of her life, a life that maybe isn't always as glamorous as it may seem...

I guess what I'm trying to say here, is that how we appear on the outside may not always be what we feel on the inside.  That's the case for me, and it's also the case for those two characters I've mentioned there - Stevie and India.  I love my rock music and biker boots, but there's also a part of me that loves the idea of a gorgeous floaty dress and high-heeled sandals.  And my characters may think they know themselves inside out, but there are parts of themselves that they're trying to keep hidden... but you know what you have to do if you want to find out just what they're hiding, and what the consequences of doing that turn out to be. ;-)

In the meantime, I'm off to hang out a few more of those t-shirts of mine on the washing line outside, and get ready for an afternoon of writing more glamorous, sexy escapism whilst wearing jeans and trainers!!  It's all good...




Wednesday, 28 September 2011

What Women Don't Want - The books I write, apparently...

Have you listened to the media over the past couple of days?  Or read those newspapers articles that have been doing the rounds?  The ones pronouncing the end of chick lit, the death of commercial women's fiction; the ones giving all of us authors who write in that genre (be it all the time or just a fleeting visit) cause to weep into our cupcakes? Yeah, those articles.  Here's one such article here http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/have-we-fallen-out-of-love-with-chick-lit-2361445.html

'Too Much Trouble in Paradise' - My lighthearted foray into the chick lit genre
And after reading more than a handful of these articles yesterday, I started to feel more than a little depressed.  Am I banging my head against a brick wall, writing book after book that no woman wants to read anymore?  Or should I just ignore the scaremongering and carry on doing what I do, because this is all probably just a storm in a teacup, maybe even a very clever marketing ploy, who knows?

According to those articles, most of us women have grown tired of the funny, romantic goings-on that, apparently, a lot of these novels concentrate on.  We're all after something a lot more "meaty", or at least that's what they'd have you believe.  Personally, I think that's rubbish!  Infact, I think a lot of what has been written in those articles is rubbish.  I'm not saying that some of us don't want something we can get our teeth into (in my case, Keanu Reeves, but we won't go there!), I'm sure we do.  But I'm also sure that the kind of books that appear to be getting a bashing at the minute are still very much sought after too.  After all, who doesn't want a bit of escapism, a little bit of fantasy to take us away from it all?  You can't please all of the people all of the time, but to say that the end of a certain kind of book genre is nigh is wrong.

These articles claim that book sales in the chick lit/women's commercial fiction genre are way down on what they used to be, and maybe that's true.  But what they failed to mention is that book sales across all genres are probably down on what they used to be, and that could be for a number of reasons.  Maybe people just can't afford to buy books the way they used to, we're in tough economic times, and although a book can range from the quite expensive to the very cheap, people still may not see them as a necessity.  Especially the hardback versions.
My husband also put forward a suggestion last night that sales may be down because the kind of books they're talking about are the kind of books you grab in WH Smiths when you're in the airport on your way to some sun drenched destination and you're in need of a "sun lounger" novel, and because less people seem to be going abroad on holiday at the minute, this could account for the lack of those kind of books sales.  And he might be right, to some extent.  Although I'm sure a good "sun lounger" novel works just as well in Cornwall as it does in Benidorm!
But another reason may be, and this is what none of the articles I read mentioned, is that eBooks are becoming more and more popular.  And when they mentioned the demise of sales in the genre of chick lit, they didn't include eBook sales in there.  Wonder why?

'No Matter What' - a romance women want to read? Decide for yourself...
With the advent of Amazon's Kindle, and other eReader devices that are coming onto the market, eBooks are becoming a sometimes cheaper, and certainly more convenient way of gathering together your own personal library.  It doesn't take up half as much room, your books are always to hand whenever you want one and, most importantly - especially for indie eBook authors like me - eBooks give you the chance to discover new authors and their work, with books that might just be a refreshing change from the tried and tested formulas that agents and publishers have been pushing forward for so long.  As independent authors we can edit our books the way we want them to be read, desing our covers the way we want them to look - and not a cupcake or a stiletto in sight, if that's the way we want it!

So, should we female authors be changing what we write just because a couple of newspaper articles tell us that our books aren't what women want anymore?  No.  I don't think we should.  As a writer, I strongly believe that you should write what you feel comfortable writing, not what someone tells you to write because it's apparently in vogue at the minute.  That's pointless, and I couldn't do it anyway.  I mean, I love a good crime thriller or a great horror book as much as the next person but I couldn't write one.  I know where my strengths lie, and I know what I'm good at.  I'm good at creating a story that may contain a little bit of romance, a couple of handsome men, and a lot of girly friendships. 

But I also write tougher romance, stories with more complicated relationships, sagas that take us through decades of the characters' lives, situations that cause great pain as well as happiness - stories with journeys that aren't always happy, and they're certainly not frothy.

I write in a genre that is, to be honest, so large and vast that it's difficult to put a label on it, and I still constantly struggle with putting my books into a bracket.  Because all I really want to write are good stories with characters that people feel something for (be it love or hate!) and that will make the reader want to seek out more of my books, that's all I want.  And I know there's a market out there for my books, I'm sure of it.

Same as I'm sure that there will always be a market for all kinds of books, whatever the genre.  You can never say one particular genre is dead, because that's just not true.  The way it's perceived may be dying, and maybe it's our job as writers to change that perception of commercial women's fiction into something else entirely (don't ask me what, it's mid-afternoon, my blood sugar is low, I can't think too much without chocolate!), I don't know.

'See You At The Show' - Sex, love and rock 'n' roll!

What I do know, though, is that I think we should just let the reader decide what kind of books they want to read, let them tell us whether they think a certain genre is dying or not.  Because, whilst some women may want a more "meaty" kind of book that makes them think, makes them work just that little bit harder as a reader, I bet you those self-same women also aren't averse to a little bit of light relief.  And long may those of us who write that bit of "light relief" reign!  

So, go on.  Check out some indie authors - @Mummy_Misfit and @Laurel_Mayer would be a good place to start, both very talented new authors with great stories to tell - and while you're at it, check out one or two of my books too. :-)  Give some new blood a chance, and then come back and tell us whether you think the chick lit/women's commercial fiction genre is dying.  After all, you the reader are the most important people in a writer's world.  Your opinions matter, not those of a few journalists/publishers/literary agents.  And I'd love to know what you think on this subject.

Right, I'm off to carry on writing another book that, apparently, no-one will want to read...but not if I've got anything to do with it!!

For more information on all of my books, including sample chapters and reviews, please visit my other blog Michelle Betham: Author - It's All About The Books

And if you'd like to check out some eBooks but don't own a Kindle, you can download a free app for your PC/Mac/iPhone etc. here Free Kindle Reading Apps  enabling you to read your eBooks anywhere!



Friday, 23 September 2011

My week, in a nutshell...

Well, as we come hurtling towards the end of another week, and I can't think of anything earth-shattering or important to blog about, I thought I'd just share with you a week in the life of me.  As the title of this post says, my week in a nutshell.  A condensed version of how the past few days have panned out for me.  I can't promise anything out-of-the-ordinary or even mildly intriguing, but it might give you a little idea of what the life of this Indie author is really like during a typical week...

So, let's begin at the beginning.  Well, Monday, anyway...

Monday September 19th

Do you know, I'm finding it quite difficult to think that far back.  What the hell happened on Monday?  I walked the dog, wrote some of my book but not a great deal, and we had scampi and chips for tea!  That's it.  Can't remember anything else, apart from watching two episodes of 'Coronation Street' and drinking a couple of glasses of wine... I swear it's me age kicking in...

Tuesday September 20th

I can remember a bit more about Tuesday, because Tuesday was a good day, writing wise.  I got just shy of 3,000 words written for my new book, and it was a day that ended with me feeling very pleased with myself because I'd achieved quite a bit, in terms of pushing my new book forward.  I felt good on Tuesday.  Yeah, Tuesday was a good day...

Wednesday September 21st

Wednesday wasn't.  A good day, that is.  It was rubbish!  I was in a bad mood and having one of those days when nothing goes right, when you feel as though the world's against you, which it isn't, ofcourse.  But I'm a writer, and I love the theatre so I'm a bit of a drama queen.  Which I'm beginning to use to my advantage.  If I channel that drama correctly I might actually get a book out of it, somehow.
Anyway, got no writing to speak of done today but I might have blogged something, I can't remember.  So I suppose I did write something then!
Made a lovely beef stew with basmati rice for dinner though, so the day wasn't a complete disaster.  And I spent the evening on the couch with a couple of glasses of our lovely homemade red wine laughing like a drain during the 'Big Brother' highlights show!  Enough said, I think...

Thursday September 22nd

 A better day than Wednesday.  Started off feeling a bit down, a bit deflated, but I soon kicked that feeling to the kerb!
I think, as writers, we all have up and down days because writing can be such a lonely business sometimes, and being on your own for long lengths of time can sometimes lead you to overthink everything from the latest chapter in your own book to an episode of 'Eastenders'!
But I spent a lot of time on Thursday reading blogs from other writers, and learning a lot of things about this industry I've thrown myself into.  There's still a wealth of information out there and I haven't even scratched the surface yet, so spending the day researching, reading and thinking about things in a rational and sensible way went a long way to helping me come through the slightly negative patch I'd been experiencing over the past couple of days.
Sometimes taking a step back and looking at things with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference.
Still managed to write 1,400 words of new novel today, surprisingly.  Even though I had to pack up the writing early to go and mow the back lawn, and that was an experience.  We only have a small back garden, so I've been cutting the grass with a little manual push mower for most of this year, but that decided to go blunt on me and just flatten the grass rather than mow it.  So, my husband kindly set up the electric mower (the one I've been reluctant to touch for a number of reasons) for me to use instead - nice of him to offer to actually cut the grass for me, I have to say.
I need a new one of these.
 Anyway, the result?  Not exactly carnage, but the grass may be shorter than I intended it to be, but at least I didn't mow over the cable and electrocute myself, which was a distinct possibility at times.
The evening was spent looking for a new manual mower in B&Q...

Friday September 23rd

 Ending the week on a much more positive note today.  Woke up in a much better mood than I have done for the past few days, but still didn't manage to get a lot of writing done.  That's not to say I didn't actually do any writing, I did.  I wrote half a chapter.  But then my PC decided to have a mid-morning strop at around 11.10 am and just switch itself off, thus not saving anything I'd written this morning, before turning itself back on again!  As luck would have it, I hadn't been happy with that half a chapter anyway so I didn't feel the need to swear very loudly at unreliable technology, I just went downstairs and made myself a cup of coffee.  Would have been a very different story if that had happened on Tuesday though...
Met a neighbour in the park whilst walking Archie (my dog) this afternoon, and had a lovely chat about our dogs, next door's chickens and the state of the blokes back garden two doors down, before coming back home to finish this blog!
Not exactly the most exciting of days, granted, but I'm too exhausted to do exciting right now because I think I've got a cold coming on.  So I'm quite looking forward to another night on the couch with wine and the TV before getting stuck into the weekend.
And my plans for the weekend?  Nothing major.  Food shopping, chilling out, visiting family...


So, you see, the life of an independent author really isn't anything exciting at all, but sometimes that's good,  because if my life was too exciting I wouldn't have time to write, and if I couldn't write I wouldn't be happy.
And if I'm not happy, everybody suffers...I'm a drama queen, remember? ;-)

Visit my other blog Michelle Betham: Author - It's All About The Books for all the info you need to know about all of my three currently available novels, from reviews to sample chapters, it's all in there!


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

There's no-one quite like Jackie!

Jackie Collins, that is.  Yes, the absolute queen (in my eyes) of escapism, someone who can tell a damn good story and create characters that I actually feel sad saying goodbye to at the end of her books.  Which is why I love her 'Lucky' series of books.  Lucky Santangelo is one of those characters that was never destined to be featured in just one story, so knowing that a whole load of books about this incredible woman and her family and friends are out there means that I know there'll always be something I can find to read when I just want to lose myself in a boat-load of fantasy.

I've been having one of those days today where you kind of muse and reflect on things.  A slow day writing wise, but it gave me some time to sit back and think abut what really influenced me to become a writer, what made me finally decide to seriously put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard as it is now!) And it all really came back to Ms. Collins.

Now, I started reading books as soon as I could hold one in my hand, it's just something I've always loved.  From Enid Blyton to James Herbert, if the story's good and the characters are strong I'll read anything.  I just love a good story, a chance to get away from it all in the pages of a book.

And, to be honest, when I really want to get away from it all and escape to a completely different world - a world where the kitchen doesn't look like a whirlwind's hit it even though I've only opened a tin of beans, or the ironing pile isn't taller than I am - I reach for a Jackie Collins.  I must have read every book she's ever written - some of them more than once - and I've never read a bad one.

Now, I know she's not to everyone's taste but, let's face it, she has a massive fan base, and people obviously love her books.  Me included.  In my opinion she has a true talent to be able to conjure up stories and situations that you can really become a part of, and I've been known to get through one of her books in a day or two just because I can't bear to put it down!

But I've alwasy loved that kind of stuff.  From the days of Dallas and Dynasty I used to sit there infront of the TV and wonder what it must be like to live in that glamorous, over-the-top world.  Ofcourse, as I grew up, I realised nobody actually lives in that world, it's all created purely so we can forget everyday life for a little while and escape.  And that's what Jackie's books do for me.  They let me escape.

So, when it came to finally writing my own books, I'm not afraid to say that she was one of my biggest - if not the biggest - influence on me.  I remembered how I felt whenever I picked up one of her books, all ready to be transported off into that fantasy world of movie actors and rock stars, models and businessmen.  A strong and sexy world.  A world I wanted to live in, if just for a little while.

So I decided to create my own little worlds, in my own books.  Now, I'm not saying I'm trying to be Jackie by any stretch of the imagination.  Just because she influenced me doesn't mean to say that I'm trying to copy her.  Far from it.  I couldn't even if I tried.  But the excitement I get from picking up one of her novels - I wanted to be able to try and create that in my own books.  I wanted to, one day, hope that people would want to pick up one of my books and look forward to reading it as much as I look forward to a new Jackie Collins.  To have people use my books as escapism, that would be a dream. 

She influenced me in way that saw me know that it was ok to write books that are sunlounger favourites, that the masses enjoy, that don't necessarily stretch the imagination but instead let you use your imagination to picture the scenes and the characters that are put there infront of you.  Books that let you have your own vision, that give you the chance to make that story what you want it to be.

So, as far as I'm concerned, there's no-one quite like Jackie.  In the genre in which she writes she has it sewn up, she owns it.  I can't even compete.  But I'm just starting out, I'm still finding my feet in this extremely competitive and diverse industry.  But one thing I'm learning very fast is that, as a writer, you shouldn't be afraid to write what makes you happy.  Create your own identity and never stray from what you feel is right.  Write what makes you comfortable, because writing should be something you do because you love it.  Be influenced but don't try to copy.  That never works.  Influences help, they can guide you, give you inspiration, give you the strength to go forward on days when you feel like giving up because it just doesn't seem to be happening.

Ms. Jackie Collins - my inspiration.
I've mentioned before that I have a signed photogrpah of Jackie Collins that sits on my desk, with the words "Stay Lucky" emblazoned across it, and that photograph spurs me on when days like today take hold.  Days when I don't feel things are moving fast enough or going the way should.

I write because I love it.  I write because I want to create a world for people to lose themselves in.  A world they'll want to go back to time and time again.  And I'm doing that all because of a woman called Jackie Collins.

Now, if I'm not mistaken, she has a new book out that I haven't read yet...


If this has made you even in the slightest bit curious about any of my books, visit my other blog Michelle Betham: Author - It's All About The Books  for all the information you could possibly need on all of novels - including reviews and sample chapters, so you can even try before you buy!

And if you like the work of Jackie Collins, then give me a go!  You never know, you might like what you read!


Monday, 19 September 2011

Please sign this petition & help 'Save The Children'

An unscheduled blog today, but for a very good cause.

I've been tagged by @Mummy_Misfit  http://mummymisfit.blogspot.com/2011/09/help-save-children-no-donation-required.html  as a fellow blogger to help with something we should all really stop to think about from time to time, and that is the fact that children in various parts of the world are dying simply because they have very little basic healthcare.  Something we here in the UK probably take for granted.

I'm sure you've seen the incredibly moving TV adverts that are frequently on our screens, and I know that I, for one, have felt that sometimes crushing guilt that there's nothing we seem to be able to do other than give money and hope that helps.

But no money is needed to do what I'm going to ask you to do now.  Simply click this link http://e-activist.com/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=7&ea.campaign.id=11203&ea.param.extras=tracking:website sign the petition, and in doing so you will be making the following requests:-

Dear Prime Minister,
We call on the UK Government to:
1) Attend a high level event during the UN General Assembly where the UK and other governments make commitments to fund, train, deploy and support more health workers.
2) Commit new and additional support to help key countries strengthen their health workforce.
3) By the end of the year,  articulate how the government will support countries to deliver on the UN Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health.

Now, as part of being tagged, I was also asked to write 100 words about a health care professional I have dealt with in the past.  So, here's my story...


When I was young I developed a condition – symptoms included joint pain, extreme tiredness, and a strange rash across the knuckles of both hands. GP’s diagnosed everything from blood disorders to possible MS and both myself and my family were understandably scared, but nobody could diagnose exactly what it was.  Until I was referred to a wonderful consultant at Newcastle General Hospital who diagnosed, within seconds, a rare but curable muscle wasting condition. He put everyone’s minds at rest, and looked after me for the year it took me to fully recover. An amazing man who, to this day, I’ve never forgotten.


Remember, just one click on the link above and you can do your bit for an extremely important cause.  Thank you.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

'No Matter What' - Weekend musings on the first book I wrote, and why...

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to suddenly have your life turned upside down?  To have your whole world thrown completely off its axis?  To leave everything you've ever known behind you to begin a new life in a new country in a world you've only ever dreamed of before?

Maybe we all - at one time or another - wish that something fantastic would happen, something so out-of-the-ordinary that it would change our lives forever, and I'll admit to being one of those people that used to wonder what that would be like.  Yeah, that dream was mine, once upon a time.  But I'm a writer, so, instead of sitting there dreaming about the impossible, I decided to put my rather active imagination to some use and give that dream to someone else, to a character in a book - an alter-ego even, because being a writer allows me to do that.  It allows me to take something I myself would love to do, something I dream about, and live that life through somebody else.  Somebody I created.

Meet India Steven.  An ordinary young girl from the North East of England, with an ordinary job and an ordinary life.  Until an extraordinary meeting changes all of that and transports her to a world she'd never thought she'd ever get near.  A world of glamour and movie stars, and a life of fame and fortune.

Sex, glamour, obsession & betrayal, all set in the world of Hollywood.
Because I don't really write about real-life.  Not all the time.  I live enough of that and it ain't all that exciting!  I deal very much in fantasy.  I deal in dreams and escapism.  And when I started writing 'No Matter What' that's excatly what I wanted to create.  From a story that started in my head almost 20 years ago, it was a book that evolved over the years, until I finally got round to writing it two years ago.  The first book I ever wrote.  I wanted to create an adventure for India; I wanted to take her on a journey through her new and incredible life with everything that it could throw at her .  And I wanted to be able to take the reader with her every step of the way, let them experience everything she goes through and feel the same emotions she feels.

It's a fairytale, in some ways.  Although it's a much darker, much more adult fairytale but a fairytale all the same.  A glamorous, sexy, edgy fairytale that takes the characters - and the reader - on a roller-coaster of a ride through everything from intense love, happiness and excitement, to shocking betrayal, obsession and jealousy.

It's never going to set the world of fiction alight.  It's not going to win any prizes.  But what I hope it will do is give people a little bit of an escape from real life for a little while (or a not-so-little-while, it's quite a long book!) and let them live the incredible life of someone else.  It may not resemble reality in any way, but that was never my intention.  Writing is my opportunity to escape from all that.  Writing is my escape.  And if any of my books can give just one reader that same feeling of escape, then I've done what I set out to do.  And that makes everything worthwhile...

You can find out more information about 'No Matter What', and all my other novels, over on my other blog Michelle Betham: Author - It's All About The Books



Friday, 16 September 2011

Genres - I've got a problem with mine...

I'm having trouble with my genres.  And no, it's not something I should be seeing the doctor about, but as a writer genres are something we're supposed to consider quite important.  But doesn't sticking a label on yourself limit you to a certain type of audience or reader? And does categorising yourself into a certain genre of writing also limit you, as an author, in terms of what it is you actually write?

These are all questions I asked myself the other night as I started putting some serious thought into how I market my books.  Because they are not all in the same genre, and I'm finding it difficult to know what to do about that.

Plenty of glamour, sex & pure escapism.
You see, I've classed myself mainly as a writer of romance.  And I do write romance.  'No Matter What' and 'See You At The Show' are both - first and foremost - romance books, just not your usual idea of romance. But then, what is the "usual" idea of romance?  Isn't romance what you make it?  I mean, there're no heaving bosoms or dashing heroes in my books, but there are plenty of incredibly hot men, beautiful women, and tons of glamour and sex, because that's the kind of romance I like reading about - and I'd quite like to live it too but life's not that bloody exciting, is it?  Unfortunately...

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Genres.  So I'm a bit concerned that by giving myself the label of a "romance" writer I may be mis-selling myself to readers who want a totally different kind of romance to what I'm offering them, and losing out on a set of readers who don't want the kind of thing they think I might be writing! Do you get my drift here?

And then we have another of my novels. 'Too Much Trouble in Paradise', which is also, first and foremost, a romance novel, but it is nothing like 'No Matter What' or 'See You At The Show'.  Whereas those two books are very much romantic dramas, with lots of twists and turns and emotional ups and downs, 'Too Much Trouble..." is a more humourous, a more "real", if you like, look at romance.  I've classsed that book as chick lit, which it is, to some extent.  But I still don't like the idea of labelling something.
Sex, love and lust in the world of rock 'n' roll!

A more humourous comedy romance, set in the sun!
Am I confusing you as much as I'm confusing myself?  You see, now that the past 2 years worth of writing is completed and I've put my first 3 books out there in the big wide world for people to read, and hopefully enjoy, I really need to start knuckling down to some serious marketing.  I need to really begin to make people aware of the books' existence, and this is where my genre problem comes into it.  Do I really need one?  Well, yes.  Probably.  I've got to give people some idea of what it is that I actually write here.

So, yes, I write romance.  And I write for women, so there's a start.  I'm not saying men wouldn't read my books, but - and accuse me of stereotyping here but I can't think of any other way of putting it - I'm not really sure they're a bloke's type of thing, my books.  But I'd certainly love to hear from anyone of the male variety who has read any of my books.  It would be enlightening to hear what they thought of them.

What I write is edgy, sexy romance with a barrel-load of drama and a lot of emotion.  I write glamorous, escapist romance that will make you both love and hate characters all at the same time, and maybe even want to be one of them - for a while!  Because my books have a tendancy to take you on a rolloer-coaster ride as far as relationships are concerned.  But if you like that kind of thing, if you like the get-away-from-it-all, larger-than-life stories and characters that take you away from real life for a bit, then you're the kind of reader I'm looking for.  So now all I need to do is try and encourage that kind of reader to buy my books without giving myself a label that could possibly scare some away and make others think twice...

Any ideas...?



Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The A-Z of Me!

I've been tagged today by the lovely Mummy Misfit to write a bit about myself based on an A-Z of questions.  And, never one to shirk a challenge, I've given it a go.  Ok.  Let's get started then...

ANORAK … Do you have a sad side?
Oh God yes!  I watch X Factor.  Nuff said!

BODY … What physical attribute would you most like to change? 
How long have you got?  Pull up a chair, it's a very long list!  Seriously though, if I could change anything it would be to have perfect eyesight and not have to wear glasses or contact lenses.  I'm long-sighted with bad astigmatism so even laser surgery is out for me, so if I could have 20/20 vision and lose the specs I'd be very happy indeed!  

CELEBRITY … Which one would you most like to date and why?
Keanu Reeves - dream date? Oh yeah!
Oh, here's another one where you might have to pull up a chair 'cos if you think my list of what I'd change about my physical appearence was long, you ain't seen nothing yet!!  Can I pick more than one?  No?  I'm going to anyway... Keanu Reeves, Bradley Cooper, Ralph and Joseph Fiennes (not together - I'm not that kinky!  Although...), Jake Gyllenhaal, Dave Grohl from The Foo Fighters...I've got a thing about movie stars and rock stars, did you pick up on that by any chance? 
But, ok, if I HAD to pick one it would be the gorgeous Keanu, because I've had a crush on him for over 20 years, he's got that perfect movie star mixed with rock star look that I love, (especially when he's got the beard and the long hair!  Don't get me started...) and he's probably the only one my hubby wouldn't mind me dating...no idea why though...

DEBUT … Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging?
Blimey!  Feels like an eternity ago that I started blogging but it was actually only a couple of months ago.  And my first ever blog post consisted of me explaining a little bit about who I was, why I'd started blogging, and sample chapters of my debut novel.
I started blogging really to try and promote my writing and my books, but it's actually turned into more than that in a way - it's turned into a place where I can just say what I'm thinking or feeling, prattle on about anything and everything from movies I've watched to TV shows that are getting on my nerves, and if any of that makes people decide to actually try any of my books then that's great!  If not, I just hope people keep visiting to keep up with my random ramblings!

ERROR … What’s been your biggest regret?
Not pursuing a career in the theatre.  I was such a good Deputy Stage Manager (even if I do say so myself!!) at college during our productions - I loved it!  But I let my lack of confidence get in the way when it came to going out there in the big wide world.  Now I wish I'd just bitten the bullet and gone for it.

FUNNY … Who’s making you laugh?
Phoenix Nights - Classic comedy!
Peter Kay.  He's bloody hilarious!  If ever I'm feeling fed up all I do is put on an episode of 'Phoenix Nights' and I'm laughing like I haven't got a care in the world! Classic Northern humour, my favourite kind!

GRAND … If we gave you one right now what would you spend it on?
Hard one that actually, believe it or not.  My first thought would be to spend it on the usual - shoes, clothes, an eye and neck lift...
I think what I'd actually spend it on though is doing the house up.  It's in desperate need of some decorating so I think I'd spend the money on some paint, wooden flooring for the lounge and hallway, and I'd get a wood burning stove fitted in the living-room.  And if there was any change left over I'd spend that on a new pair of biker boots for me!  And another tattoo!

HOLIDAY … What’s your favourite destination?
Not a destination as such, but more of a type of holiday, and that's cruising.  I love cruising!  We've been on quite a few cruises in the past (when we had money!) and I adored every one of them!  Never had a bad one.  None of your "posh" cruising mind, no P&O or Celebrity Cruise ships for us, no, we sailed with Thomson and Ocean Village and had the best time ever!  From getting dressed up for dinner to laughing like I've never laughed before (helped no end by all inclusive cocktails) during passenger talent night!  Ah, good times...


IRRITATE … What’s your most annoying habit?
Negativity.  I have to be the most negative, pessimistic person to ever walk this earth but I just figure that being this way, if anything good ever happens then it's one hell of a bonus!

JOKER … What’s your favourite joke (the one that makes you laugh every time you hear it)?
I can't actually tell you because I can't remember it! I mean, I know the joke, I just can't remember all of it and the order in which it's told because it's quite long - but it involves a duck, a welding helmet and a circus!  You see, this is why I never went into comedy...

KENNEL … Do you have any pets?
My dog Archie.

I have a little West Highland Terrier called Archie.  I say little, he's little but he's got a mouth bigger than the River Tyne!  He's gorgeous though (especially when he's asleep!) and I can't think of my life without him now.  Because I've got no children he's like my baby, and I spoil him rotten, but I love him to bits!


LOVE … Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner?
I'm married.  Been married 8 years this Christmas, although we've been together for 17 years in total.  Just took a long time to get round to actually getting married!  And, to be honest, my husband must have the patience of a saint to put up with me but, despite all the ups and downs we've been through, we're still together, still going strong, and I couldn't be without him now.  Not even if Bradley Cooper knocked on my door and begged me to up sticks and move out to Malibu with him... actually, can I think about that?  (I'm joking!!)

MEAL … What’s your ultimate starter, main and dessert?
Oooh, food!  One of my favourite subjects.  I think my ultimate three course meal would have to be Indian, as I just adore Indian food!  I'd start with a lamb shish kebab, move onto a chicken karahi with garlic and coriander naan bread, but for dessert I think I'd go more traditional and opt for a raspberry pavlova and loads of fresh cream!  So much for healthy eating!

NOW … If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with?
I'd be over in Tenerife having a laugh with the girls, sitting outside in a sea front bar in Costa Adeje (Tenerife's "posh" part!) drinking Moet (it's cheaper over there so we could have twice as much!) whilst people watching and keeping an eye out for any Spanish "talent"!  Not that I'm shallow or anything...

OFF DUTY … What do you do in your spare time?
Play Super Mario games on the Nintendo Wii, watch movies - I'm a huge film fan! - read, and listen to lots and lots of music!  I'm also unashamedly addicted to reality TV.

PROUD MOMENTS … What are you most proud of?
The fact that me and my husband have built up everything we have from nothing, and we did it all without any help whatsoever from anyone else.  We've come a long way, and worked hard to get there.  So, yeah, I guess I'm proud of us!

QUEASY … What turns your stomach?
Salad cream!  I can't even sniff the stuff without it making me retch!  That, and hearing Katie Price being described as an author.... don't even make me go there...

RELAX … How do you relax?
I very rarely do!  I've got an inability to switch off, I find it really hard!  But I do like to try and wind down in the evenings with a nice glass (or two - depends on how the day went!) of wine (we make our own so there's always plenty of it, which is just as well round here!) and the TV.  Although, Big Brother's on at the minute and I'm finding it very hard to relax at all watching that when all I seem to do is rant my way through it every night!  I find a good film is always a much better option.  So, wine and movies - that's my perfect idea of relaxtion.


SONG … What’s your favourite song of all time?
Another hard one this, as I've got so many favourites.  But I absolutely love 'Boys of Summer' by Don Henley.  It's just a song that always makes me think of sunshine and warmth, and it brings back some very happy memories for me...

TIME … If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose? 
I'd go back to the early 90's and my days as an out and out Take Thatter!  The early 90's were just such a fab time in my life!  Every weekend down the bars and clubs of Whitley Bay, dancing and singing (I'd make sure the beer wasn't quite as watered down this time round though!) and generally just having a laugh.  And I'd love to relive those numerous Take That concerts from back in the day all over again.  We had such good times going round the country on coach trips to see the boys (as they were then, although I've still not forgiven Howard Donald for lying about his age!), we had so many fantastic experiences, and met some weird and wonderful people!  I guess it was a time before I had to grow up, when all I had to worry about was what to wear at the weekend and when the next Take That tour was.  So, I'd love to go there again.  Just for a little while.


UNKNOWN … Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows?
Blimey.  Not sure there's anything left to reveal to be honest.  I'm seriously addicted to the American sitcom 'King of Queens' and have a tiny little unexplainable crush on Kevin James, the actor who plays Doug Heffernan in the series.  I'm forever watching the re-runs on Comedy Central...

VOCAL … Who is your favourite artist?
Oooh, another toughie as I love my music.  I adore the likes of Don Henley, Paul Rodgers, Sammy Hagar,  Aerosmiths Steven Tyler, Freddy Mercury, Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, Dave Grohl, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, John Lennon...
Joe Bonamassa - one seriously underrated artist!
But somebody I could listen to forever (no exaggeration) is Joe Bonamassa, a rock/blues guitarist who is so talented it beggars belief!  You have to see him perform live to know what I'm talking about, but that man held an audience in the palm of his hand for over 2 hours when I saw him last year and all he was doing was playing his guitar and singing!  No fancy stage set or lighting, nothing but him and that guitar.  And if you closed your eyes you could have been listening to one of his records, he was faultless!  He has the most beautiful voice, plays a guitar like the legend he deserves to be, and is severley underrated in the music world.  A true, true talent.


WORK … What’s your dream job and are you doing it now?
I've already done a blog post about this very subject, A Girl Can Dream - and these are the jobs I dream of doing so I've got more than a few ideas of what my dream job would be.  I would absolutely love to have been an actress - of the Hollywood variety, I'm sucked in by all that glamour and glitz - but my lack of confidence saw to that.  When I did my course in Performing Arts it became very clear very early on that I was much better behind the camera than infront of it, but that was only because I didn't have the confidence to push myself.
My other dream job is to be an author.  And I'm trying extremely hard to achieve that very dream as we speak!

XRAY … Any broken bones?
Nope.  Never broken any bones so far, touch wood!

YIKES … What’s been your most embarrassing moment?
Oh God, we could be here for hours... falling on my arse during pathetic attempts at trying to ski is probably up there somewhere.  Although I'm sure there are far worse, I'm just not revealing them!! 

ZOO … If you were an animal, which one would you be?
Hmm.... let me think about this for a second.  If I had to be a zoo animal, I suppose I'd go for a lion or a tiger.  Not entirely sure why, but they always look so regal and majestic - and relaxed, for some reason! 

So there you have it.  The A-Z of me!  Now, and I'm almost positive about this, you know absolutely everything there is to know about me!  But if you want to find out more about my attempts at becoming that author that I really want to be, you can pop over and visit my other blog Michelle Betham: Author - It's All About The Books  where you can check out all of my books, and decide for yourself just how successful my attempts are proving to be!
  

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Time for a bit of a catch up...

My debut novel 'No Matter What'
So, there we have it.  My back catalogue of books are now all completed, edited to within an inch of their lives (although you can still bet your life that if I read them through again I'd spot more than a handful of things I'd still change) and up there on Amazon, for anyone who might want to see just what it is that I actually do all day, to buy!  Only as eBooks at the minute, ofcourse, but at least they're out there and not sitting idle here on my hard drive!  I wrote them to be read, after all.
And that's two years worth of work out there that is.  Two years of thinking and creating and wondering if that plot was good enough or those characters were real enough.  Two years of blood, sweat and tears.  Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating slightly now with that last bit.  I mean, I was writing books not fighting a war, but it was still hard work because to put those books out there is like sending my kids (if I had any!) out in the big wide world to be criticised and commented on but, hopefully, eventually loved!

So, if you want your romance centred in the world of Hollywood, or you'd prefer it more lighthearted and with a bit more humour, or even if you want some edgy, rock 'n' roll romance in the world of rock bands and roadies, then I appear to have written a book just for you!  I'm good like that!!

So, with the past two years worth of work now out there, it's time to go back to the start, begin again, so to speak.  It's time to write that fourth novel, although, to be honest, I'm already 164 pages in with that one.  And it's going well, infact, I'm fair flying with it!  And if I wasn't writing this blog post I'd be writing a bit more of it but I figured I hadn't posted anything here for a few days so it was time to make an appearence and let you know - should you be interested - what's going on with me right now.

'Too Much Trouble in Paradise' - My foray into Chick Lit
I'm writing, that's what I'm doing.  Having edited and finalised those first 3 books, I suddenly realised just how much I'd missed sitting down and just losing myself in a story, letting myself get carried away with the characters and their lives.  It's as much escapism for me writing these books as it - hopefully - is for you guys reading them.  If any of you have read them, and I hope at least some of you have.

So, that's what I'm up to right now.  And that fourth book just happens to be the follow up to my debut novel, 'No Matter What', so I'm revisiting characters I absolutely love, thrusting them all once again into another set of complicated situations in the glamorous and sexy world in which they all reside.  And I'm loving it!  I get to spend my days with hot men and beautiful women, what isn't there to love?  I'm creating worlds that will hopefully take you, the readers, away from it all to another place for just a little while, where you can live like a movie actress or roll with the rock stars!  It's total, pure fantasy, but those are the kind of books I love reading - and the kind of books I love writing.  I just hope that, for some of you, they're the kind of books you like too.

My latest novel - An edgy rock 'n' roll romance!
Think of me as the North East of England's equivalent to Jackie Collins .. ok, ok, I may be over-selling myself here but
if you like that kind of stuff (and I LOVE it!) then you might just like what I write.  I'm not the lovely Jackie by any means, but she's probably my biggest influence as far as writing is concerned and if I could have just half her talent I'd be one very happy lady!

My novels are never going to challenge anyone for The Booker Prize, and I'm not going to go down in literary history like Dylan Thomas or The Brontes.  But what I aim to achieve is to write stories that people enjoy, and create characters that people actually feel something about - be that love, hate, whatever.  If anyone feels anything for any character I create then I've done my job as far as I'm concerned. I've achieved what I set out to do.

So, with all of that explained, and the first draft of a new book already well on the way to being completed, I'll pop off and get a bit more of that written.  Thanks for listening to today's ramblings.  Your visits here are always appreciated, believe me. :-)

If you'd like to find out more about any of my books, visit my second blog Michelle Betham: Author- It's All About The Books  for everything from sample chapters to reviews, or check out the links to the Amazon pages of all my books down the right hand side of this blog.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

A girl can dream... and these are the jobs I dream of doing.

Ok, so earlier this week I blogged about the jobs I just couldn't (or wouldn't!) do, and that got me thinking not just about jobs I'd like to do, but the ultimate jobs I would love to do!  In other words, my dream jobs.  And whilst some of these jobs do actually exist, you might come across one or two in this list that exist purely in my head, and you have to remember that that can be a weird and wonderful place at times...

So, here we go.  My 5 ultimate dream jobs!

1.  Roadie for a rock band.
I have always wanted to do this!  Not totally sure I've actually got the strength needed to lug amps and God knows what else all over the place, but then I did spend a lot of time as a Media Technician, and that involved more lugging around of heavy equipment than anything else I've ever done!  Hence the reason I've never had nice nails.  So maybe I'd be ok.
I just love the whole idea of being in that world, of being surrounded by that kind of people, and that music - which is why I wrote 'See You At The Show', my latest just-released novel.  The lead female character is a roadie with a rock band, and I suppose I put a bit of who I'd really like to be into her, because given half a chance I'd have more tattoos than just the one I've got at the minute, and I'd be quite happy to spend my life on and off tour buses, living in scruffy jeans and biker boots.  Glamour does not come to me easy anyway, believe me.
So, yeah, this is an absolute dream job for me.  No doubt about it. 

2.  Hollywood Actress.
Ok, we seem to have a pattern here, because the second of my dream jobs is also something I gave to another character in another of my novels - India Steven in 'No Matter What'.  I suppose she also became something I'd quite like to be (without the complicated love life!  Read the book, you'll see what I mean!), because, despite the fact I may seem to rebel away from glamour and glitz, there really is quite a big part of me that would love to do all that red carpet stuff, wear those fantastic dresses, and have somebody else do my hair and make-up.  What girl wouldn't want that?
I also love the idea of becoming someone else, of creating another character and living their life for a little while - because that's what acting is really, isn't it?  Creating the illusion that you're somebody else.
And if it meant I got the chance to date some rather hot Hollywood actors, well, that's also one hell of a bonus... come on!  Did you honestly think I could go that long without being just a little bit shallow??

3.  Professional darts player.
Don't laugh, I'm serious!
I bloody love that sport, ever since the days of Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson, when they used to throw their darts at a board they could barely see through the haze of cigarette smoke I've loved that sport.  And I'd love to be able to play it professionally - as a female, obviously.  I might love the sport but I'm not willing to change my sex for it!
Unfortunately, when I throw darts the entire team of 'Injury Lawyers 4 U' turn out in the hope that they'll gain a few new cases, because I'm rubbish! 
So, to stand on that oche and throw the perfect 9-darter is nothing but a pipe dream for me, so, failing that, I'll quite happily take up the role of personal wrist massager for Paul Nicholson... I'd hate to think of him suffereing any kind of stiffness when I can really help with that...

Bradley Cooper. That line's getting fainter...
4.  Bradley Cooper's Personal absolutely-anything-he-wants-me-to-be.
Read into that what you will, but ever since I saw him in 'The Hangover' I've been quite willing to do everything from put sugar in his coffee to, well, we won't go there.  Let's just say I would have a line I wouldn't cross, but it's pretty faint...

5.  Professional Author.
I know.  I've kind of started out on the road to at least trying to become one of these by setting myself up as an Independent author, but I can't lie and say I wouldn't love to be the next Jackie Collins!  To be a writer of that stature, to sell as many books as she does, to have people look forward to and wait impatiently for your next book - I would adore that!  It's been my dream for so long, and will probably continue to be just that - a dream.  But at least I can have a small (a very small) taste of being an author by doing what I'm doing, writing my books and putting them out there myself.
But if somebody was to give me that opportunity of moving forward, of becoming something more, I'd grab that oppportunity with both hands!
My own personal message from Jackie Collins.

And if somebody was to wave a magic wand and turn me into the North East of England's version of Jackie Collins I'd be even happier!!  Just not sure South West Durham can get anywhere close to Los Angeles... not even if you squint...

So there you have it.  5 of the jobs I would LOVE to be able to do - the real, and the not-so-real.  But, like the title of this post says, a girl can dream... and where Bradley Cooper is concerned, they're probably going to be very, very nice ones...



If any of this has given you the urge to go find out more about this struggling indie author, then go check out some of my novels - all available to download as ebooks from Amazon/Amazon.com.
No Matter What
Too Much Trouble in Paradise

See You At The Show

More info about the books - including sample chapters - can be found on their respective Amazon pages.  Or alternatively, visit my other blog Michelle Betham: Author - It's All About The Books for everything you could want to know about all of my books! 


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

ebooks - have you read one yet?

When I took the decision to become an independent author, I knew things were never going to be easy.  I was under no illusion that selling my books would be anything other than bloody hard work, and it's certainly that.  And then some!  But it's even harder because I'm not only an independent author, I'm an independent author of ebooks, so straightaway I've alienated what is probably still a substantial amount of potential readers purely because they would prefer a print version.  Well, I'd prefer there to be print versions of my books too, but unfortunately life's not that simple.

As a brand new author unable to find a literary agent willing to take a chance on me, (their loss, because I'm actually quite good, I reckon!!) my only option - if I wanted my books to be seen, that is - was to go down the route of ebooks.  And in doing that. as well as the task of promoting and selling those books, there also came the extremely hard and often thankless job of trying to convert people to the many advantages of digital books.  And that ain't easy!  The amount of people who've said to me "I'd buy your books if they were in print" makes me realise this is still very much an uphill struggle to convert people, but, believe me, there are advantages to the wonderful world of ebooks.

If you have an eReader (Kindle, Sony eReader, etc.) then you're laughing, really.  Because these are fantastic inventions in my eyes.  To be able to download a book in a matter of seconds, build up a library, and then carry it around in this tiny, thin contraption that enables you to read what you want when you want - amazing!  It's like an iPod for books, and I adore my iPod, so of course I'm going to love something like a Kindle!  Music and books are my life!

However, I don't think it's the people who own Kindles that are the ones we independent authors have to worry about converting.  The sheer fact they've bought and now own one means that they are already a fan of the ebook.

No, the people we need to really get round to our way of thinking are those that don't own any kind of eReader, and are left with the only option open to them if they want to read ebooks - reading them on their computers, using free apps such as the Kindle app for PCs.  Not ideal, granted, but even with this you still have the advantage of downloading that book within minutes, having it appear almost immediately, and all of that without leaving the comfort of your own home!  And, let's not forget, that most of us indie authors are selling our books at a fairly cheap price in order to entice people to give us a go!  Mine are out there for just 99p/$0.99, at least until Januray 2012.

But those apps aren't just limited to PCs.  Even without a Kindle you can still read your ebooks wherever you are thanks to the free apps that are available for, not just PCs, but also Smart Phones, iPads, etc., enabling you to access your favourite books whenever you want to!  
OK, so it's not perfect.  It doesn't feel the same as holding a real book in your hand, but the world of ebooks is growing, and devices like the Kindle are going to continue to appear and evolve - a colour Kindle is about to be launched, I gather, meaning that books with illustrations can be viewed how they were meant to be viewed, and reference books such as medical journals can be accessed in digital format.
It isn't going to go away, and I for one am grateful for that, because without this move forward, people like me wouldn't be getting the chance we are to put our work out there and let people see what we can do.

The world of digital books is encouraging new and exciting authors to get out there, get writing, and let people see what we have to offer.  But it also means that we have to sell a whole lot more than just our books!  We're having to sell an idea, make people think differently about the way they read books and that's hard, because for so long all we've known is the feel of a real-life book.  And some people are going to take a lot of budging as far as changing their way of reading is concerned.

But take a little while to think about authors like myself - new authors who've tried to go down the conventional route of finding a literary agent so that we can fulfill that dream we've carried with us for as long as we can remember of seeing our book in print, of holding that book in our hands... only to find out that the chance of agents taking on new authors at this point in time is incredibly slim, giving us no other option but to publish our work ourselves as ebooks.  We have no other option.

So, I guess all us independent authors are really asking is, give us a go, download a book or two and see what you think.  Spend a couple of quid/dollars and take that chance .  You never know, you might actually like what you read.  You might actually discover an author you may never have come across if you hadn't broadened your horizon's and looked outside of the box, so to speak.  Because the literary agents and publishers don't know everything.  They don't have a monopoly on writing talent.  A lot of that is still undiscovered, and just struggling to be heard, and ebooks are giving those authors like me a chance.  But it's up to us to make people sit up and take notice.  Support is everything, and new fans are a wonderful thing to gain.  Because, when all is said and done, I write because I love it.  And all I really want is for other people to love what I create. 

If you haven't yet tried out ebooks for yourself, and you don't own a Kindle, you can download the FREE Kindle readings apps for PC/iPhones etc. here: Free Kindle Reading Apps - Amazon.com  and Free Kindle Reading Apps - Amazon.co.uk



And if you'd like to check out any of my ebooks, you can find all the details here on their respective Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com pages.

'Too Much Trouble in Paradise' -  available from Amazon.co.uk and  Amazon.com
   















'No Matter What'- available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com



















And my brand new ebook 'See You At The Show' - also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com 




All ebooks also available from Amazon.de  and Amazon.fr


And don't forget, until January 2012, all of my ebooks are available to download for just 99p/$0.99!



Monday, 5 September 2011

5 jobs that just aren't me...

Having read, and enjoyed, the lovely Mummy Misfit's post last week from her fabulous blog http://mummymisfit.blogspot.com/ regarding jobs that just aren't for her, I discovered that she'd tagged me and asked me to reveal 5 jobs that I just couldn't do.  And I've quite happily accepted the challenge.

So, here we go.  5 jobs that just aren't for me... and the reasons why.

1.  Pilot

I can't take the responsibility.  Enough said.


2.  Sales Assistant at Greggs the Bakers

Too much temptation...
And this has got nothing to do with it being beneath me, or anything like that.  Far from it.  This is purely to do with the fact that I have got really rubbish willpower at the best of times, but if I'm faced with freshly baked sausage rolls and iced ring doughnuts for nigh on 8 hours a day I can guarantee that I'll be the size of Hattie Jacques after a month!  It's putting temptation infront of a very weak-willed person (when it comes to blueberry muffins I can very rarely say no) and it's just not worth the risk.  The end result would not be pretty...

3.  Catwalk/Runway Model

An accident waiting to happen.
Apart from the fact I'm only 5 feet 2 inches tall, I can't walk in heels.  No, seriously, I walk like that Dick Emery character 'Randy Mandy' in stilettos, I'm useless!  You remember that time Naomi Campbell fell on her arse in a pair of Vivien Westwood's?  Well, she was dignified compared to what I would've been like.  In all honesty, two minutes on a catwalk/runway in anything higher than a pair of Converse baseball boots and I'd probably end up in Accident & Emergency, I mean, this is the person who managed to tear the most important ligament in the foot taking the rubbish out in a pair of trainers!  On the morning of a Take That concert!  And what a day that turned out to be, but that's a whole other story...


4.  Waitress in a restaurant

Mainly because I am one of the most clumsy and accident prone people you could ever meet.  See above!!  So, if this waitress job also required me to wear heels of any kind then it's a real no no!!  Not sure any restaurant could afford the liability insurance! I can break a glass or smash a plate just by looking at it, believe me!  And the way some of these waiters/waitresses can carry more than two plates at once... I wish!   If I tried that half the tables would be wearing their starters!  I tried it once at home and the dog ended up with a whole load of chicken he hadn't been expecting.  So, no, not a good idea.  On any level.

5.  X Factor Judge

Possible judging partner? Nah. I'd nag him too much!
I know that most people would probably revel in this job but, apart from the fact they'd do me hair nice and I'd get to wear some decent clothes, I'd probably be fired within days because I'd just be too truthful.  I'm sorry, I do watch the X Factor (the UK one, anyway), but only to moan all the way through it!  I wouldn't put half the dross through that that lot of judges have done so far.  I'd be telling it to them straight, discounting anything resembling a boy band (I know I'm a Take That fan, but I do recognise that they have a bloody lot to answer for!) and I couldn't care how old they are, if they sing crap but look good, they'd still be out!  And where is anyone resembling a rock singer??   No, sorry, just couldn't sit there and pretend there's a world wide super star in the making amongst any of the people on that show.  So, as a judge I'd be a liability.  I mean, do you honestly think they'd let me have Slash as a mentoring partner... ???
Also not sure I could sit next to Gary Barlow without starting on him for bringing Robbie Williams back...

So, there you have it.  5 jobs I either couldn't or wouldn't do.  For varying reasons.  There are probably a lot more out there, if I think about it, but these'll do for starters.  And maybe, in another blog post one day, just to level it out, I'll tell you the 5 jobs I would love to do.  And that's quite a long list, actually...

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