Janice Horton Blog Tour
I first 'met' Janice on Twitter and warmed to her immediately. Here was a writer who genuinely wanted to help and encourage others, either with practical suggestions or supportive words. Below is my interview with her. I'm delighted to be able to share with you a deeper understanding into the world of author, Janice Horton.
Can you condense your novel into a few sentences for us?
Bagpipes & Bullshot is a contemporary romance novel which twists an everyday love story with a whole cast of village eccentrics into an entertaining play on rural life. When handsome Scottish Laird Innes Buchanan meets beautiful Texan cowgirl, Orley McKenna, and brings her over to his impoverished estate in Scotland, it's for more than her expertise with cattle. But before their romance can properly begin, orley has to contend with a run-down country mansion, a frosty Lady of the manor, and a vengeful ex-girlfriend who puts Lady Macbeth to the shade. I'll leave it for the reader to tell me if it's a love story with elements of humour, or a humorous novel with elements of a love story!
How did you come up with the title?
Well, it was a matter of finding something jaunty that reflected the humour and the theme of the book. The story starts off with a prologue set in the US but the novel itself is set in Scotland. Innes, the hero of the tale, does indeed play the bagpipes and quite beautifully too. Bullshot is not a typo or a clever play on words, but a drink: it's a bit like a Bloody Mary and is favoured by those who swig from a hipflask and shoot from a shotgun. To me the word 'bullshot' epitomises the Scottish country estate!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Bagpipes & Bullshot is the easiest book I've ever written because it's a complete rewrite of a book I indie-published in paperback a couple of years ago. Essentially it's the same novel as before but it gets into the meat of the story more quickly and focuses on the humour. It's been edited and formatted specifically for e-book publication. But to answer your question, the hardest part of writing for me is always the first draft.
What's a typical day like for you? When and where do you write?
I don't write every day, although I'd love to. I have a desk in a study which I share with my husband who is self-employed. So a typical day for me is sorting out admin and doing accounts. I also run a small graphic design company that I set up years ago when our three boys were small. After lunch, except on a Thursday, I work in the village as a legal secretary for a firm of lawyers. That just leaves a few stolen hours in the evenings and one afternoon to write my fiction novels or magazine lifestyle articles but, if one of my lovely friends invites me out for a lazy lunch or to go shopping on a Thursday afternoon, I do not refuse!
Are some experiences in your novel, based on events in your own life?
Well, they say everything that happens in a writer's life is grist to their mill, and I do believe it to be true. I delve deeply into my own emotions when I write. I certainly have had a variety of different careers and wildly different experiences in my life to draw upon, but I won't be limited by these either, as I love to learn from research.
What is your WIP? Another novel?
Yes, it's a novel entitled, Reaching For The Stars and I hope to have it finished this summer. It has been a long haul job writing this book, not through lack of enthusiasm but simply through lack of time (see above: when do you write?) Over the past couple of years, the needs of family and other commitments have quite rightly taken priority over my writing, but that's not to say writing will take a backseat in the future (grins!) Reaching For The Stars is the history of a disillusioned celebrity chef who gives up his hard won accolades - three Golden Stars - and goes into self-imposed exile in a castle on a Scottish country estate. The heroine of the tale is a rising star in the culinary world, an ambitious chef determined to be the first woman in the UK to get three Golden Stars. As this novel is set against a backdrop of fine food and steamy kitchens - you can imagine the fun I've had researching this book!
Your new indie published e-book Bagpipes & Bullshot is now out on Amazon Kindle at £1.38 or $2.24, but how do you plan to get it noticed against all the thousands of others available on Amazon?
Well, it's very difficult to get new e-books noticed by potential readers unless it features on one or more of Amazon's Top 100 charts, but because of the way Amazon calculates its sales, just a few sales on one particular day can make all the difference in pushing it through the charts. So I want to ask you wonderful blog readers to support me by either buying the book on Friday 1st April 2011 (it is £1.38 or $2.24) or by telling other people about it through their own social network. The date is important because it's the day I've asked everyone who might consider buying the book, to buy it. I'll be blogging and tweeting all day on Friday 1st April. For direction to all of the other places I'll be appearing on my Blog Tour throughout the whole day, please visit http://www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com/I'll be running a prize draw on my blog and on Twitter (Friday 1st April only) to win Kindle beach protectors (an essential and stylish accessory for every Kindle, but alternatively you could protect your camera or phone!) All you have to do to be in with a chance to win, is go to my blog and leave a comment or ReTweet my tweets using the hashtag #bagpipes. But what about people who don't have a Kindle? Can they download it for their PC, Mac, IPhone, IPad or whatever? Yes absolutely. Go to Amazon and download their free Kindle App for PC, Mac, IPhone or IPad and then buy Bagpipes & Bullshot. I'll be forever grateful. Link to Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bagpipes-Bullshot/dp/B004PLM14G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1298719741&sr=1-1 About the Author: Janice Horton lives in Scotland and writes entertaining and humorous contemporary women's fiction novels which are, for the most part, inspired by the romantic beauty of the heather-filled glens around her country cottage. She has a blog at: http://www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter at @JaniceHorton. Her website is at: http://www.janicehorton.co.uk/