Thursday, 20 March 2014

Q&A with Jill Steeples

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A warm welcome to Jill Steeples today. She's the author of Desperately Seeking Heaven, Let's call the Whole Thing Off (Click here for the review) and When James Bond Met Holly Golightly and Other Stories.
She is such a lovely, great and wonderful author and I am so happy to have her on my blog today. Thank you for answering my questions lovely lady xxx.


Jill Steeples writes short stories for the popular women's  magazines and fun and flirty romances for Carina UK.  When she's not writing she enjoys reading, walking, baking cakes, eating them and drinking wine.  She lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and two children.


1. Did you always dream of being a writer?

Not really.  As a young child I longed to be actress, but where that idea came from I’m not really sure.  I was shy and introverted and hated drama.  My personality is much better suited to being a writer.  It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I started thinking about writing, although it was a lot later when I actually got round to doing anything about it.

2. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off starts with the main character reading a friend’s diary. How did you come up with that and how did the story develop?

I was fascinated by the idea of what someone might do if they stumbled upon a close friend’s diary.  Could they resist taking a sneaky peek?  And what would happen if they discovered something within the pages of the diary that they really didn’t want to know?  The story developed from that simple idea.

3. What does your family think about you being a writer?

They are very supportive and encouraging thankfully.  And they know that when I get close to a deadline I get cranky.  They really don’t seem to mind that the house descends into chaos and there isn’t always food to eat in the cupboards.  Or if they do mind they’re wise enough not to say anything about it ;)

4. Can you tell us a little more about your other book Desperately Seeking Heaven?

It’s a romantic comedy about Alice Fletcher who stumbles upon the aftermath of a car accident and is relieved when she sees a man emerging from the wreckage.   She offers to take the man home, but it’s only when he’s sitting in her car that she realises the man is TV heartthrob, Jimmy Mack.  When she gets him home she receives the second big shock of the day when she sees on the news that Jimmy Mack has died in the accident.  For some unknown reason Jimmy has got stuck ‘betwixt and between’ and it’s Alice’s job to help him cross over to the other side!

5. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on my third novel for Carina UK which has the working title of ‘My Perfect Boyfriend.’   After a tragic accident, Ruby discovers that her perfect boyfriend isn’t quite as perfect as she first thought.

6. The cover of Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off is amazing. How was it developed?

It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?  I’m so glad you like it.  I’m afraid I can’t take any credit for it though, as it’s all down to the work of the fantastic and talented designers at Carina.

7. Where and when do you write your stories?

I have an office at the front of the house with all my books and files in, but more often than not I end up on the sofa with my laptop.  I love being at the centre of everything that’s going on in the house.  I write whenever I can snatch the time.

8. What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

I love reading, of course!  I also enjoy walking, baking, spending time with family and friends, and going to the theatre.

9. Who is your favourite author and why?

Jilly Cooper.  I love her writing style, she creates such fabulous characters and her stories always leave me with a smile on my face.

10. If you were shipwrecked on a desert island what 3 books would you want with you?

Roald Dahl – The Complete Short Stories Set – I love reading short stories and this would give me something to dip into as I fancied it.

Wake Up To Yoga – This is a very old book that my mum gave me.  It’s written in a straightforward style and has some easy to follow exercises inside.  I don’t know how much yoga I’d do, but the book would remind me of home.

SAS Survival Guide – I’d be terrible on a desert island, I wouldn’t know the first thing to do so this would be a great reference guide!

11. If you could plan the perfect holiday, what would it be?

I’m a bit of a home bird so I’m not great at being on holiday.  I get a bit twitchy and start counting down the days until we’re home again.  For that reason, I much prefer short city breaks.  I’d love to visit more european cities like Prague, Budapest and Sofia.

12. You also write short stories. How is that different from writing a novel?

Writing short stories is my first love.  You can come up with an idea and have the story written and completed in the space of a day.  I love the immediacy and sense of satisfaction that brings. 

A novel is a much bigger undertaking and can have sub-plots and several characters.  They’re totally different disciplines, but rewarding in different ways.

13. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

Ooh, that’s a difficult question!   I’m quite content with my lot really.  I’d like to be thinner and richer, of course, but then wouldn’t we all?

14. Is there research about locations and places involved when you write a story?

In my books I tend to base my locations on places I’m familiar with like London and the suburbs and the villages close to where I live.  I haven’t needed to do a lot of research yet, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t for future novels.

15. Imagine one of your books is turned into a movie. What would your dream cast be for Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off?

Again, that’s a difficult question!  I’ve looked at your website, Simona, and see that you are a very good casting director so  I’d probably leave that up to you, if that’s okay? J

16. Coffee or tea?  Tea

17. Paperback or e-reader?  E-reader

18. Mountains or the sea?  The sea

19. Summer or winter?  Summer

20. Sweet or salty? Sweet

Thanks so much for having me, Simona!

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