Friday 26 September 2014

7 Completely *Unbiased Reasons Why You Should Read The Temp

There are so many books being launched every day and you're probably wondering why you should buy mine. To help you, I've written down some reasons why you should take the leap. As the author, you'll agree that I'm totally unbiased.

1. Obscure Setting 

The novel is set in a little known place called, London. You've probably never heard of it. I'd never heard of it until I checked my location on Google Maps. There must only be a handful of books set in this unusual place. My novel offers free tourism around the city, seeing alternative sites such as Big Ben, The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace.

2. Contains Bananas   

Did you know bananas contain high levels of potassium? 

Of course you did.  It's what your Mum used as an argument to make you eat them. Even though you had no idea what potassium was, you were persuaded, because it sounded a bit like a super power.  

Before you accuse me of false advertising, I'll admit you can't actually eat the bananas in the book. Not because they're fictional, which doesn't help, but because most of them have either been dowsed in bleach or spray painted.  Just read the novel and it'll all make sense.

3. Features Work by *Future Poet Laureate  

Worried my novel might be substandard? 

Don't. There are at least five lines in it which will be brilliant thanks to collaboration from the winner of the Cardiff International Poetry Prize, Isabel Rogers

*I can't guarantee she'll be the future poet laureate, of course... but you may as well buy the book in advance so you can say you'd read her years before she became the chosen one.

4. There's a Human Egg in it! 

Nah, not really! I'm just copying The Sun's sensationalist headline style. Haven't you seen the book cover? It's hardly going to be Sci-Fi.

Egg, or Egbert, is just the main character's flatmate who I'm rather fond of. He's in a re-enactment group and he's self-published the book, It's An Egg Life. Don't google it, I haven't written it for him yet.

5. So they let me write more stuff 

The thing is, if you buy this book, then my publisher will want me to write more books, and if I write more books then I might be able to do this for a proper living one day. 

Please? Look how cute I am!

*False advertising alert*-  I'm not actually a cat.  

6. There's a cute kitten in it 

Disappointed I'm not a cat? 

You'll be heartened to know that The Temp does have a kitten in it. He's called Rupert. It's the first time I've written a cat into a book. Previously I was worried about the hairs interfering with the text. 

7. Cheap as Chips 

I don't know how much chips are in your neck of the woods, but The Temp Part 1 is only 49p and if your local chips are cheaper than that, well, maybe they aren't chips!

If you live in London, then your chips will probably be the same price as the paperback...  

Whatever the price of your chips, or whether bananas improve your mood or not, I just hope that if you decide to buy it, that you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it! 

Thanks for all your support!  

Yes, you've convinced me! I want to Buy The Temp!

Sunday 21 September 2014

Worst Temp Jobs - which one was yours?

Part 1 out on 28th September!
With less than 10 days to go until the launch of TheTemp (Part 1), I'm feeling curious about what are the worst and best temp jobs people have ever done.

One of my least favourite was handing out leaflets at a furniture design fair. My employee's showroom was far away from the main hub and they were desperate for me to send potential customers their way. Worried I would throw the leaflets away instead of giving them out, they insisted I take photographic evidence that I'd done my job. In other words, I had to ask random strangers if I could take their picture with my leaflet. It was awkward for everyone. 

I also dressed up as a huge fluffy bear once. But I'm not sure I'm allowed to talk about that, in case kids read this and realise the character wasn't real. 

So I put this question to Twitter:

Thanks to everyone who replied, I'm sorry I couldn't include them all. Here are just some of them!

1. The Greasy One

2. The Factory Line One 

3. The No Talking One

4. The Smelly One 

 5. The Old-School One

6. The Rock n' Roll One  

7. The Classic Blueberries and Bear Poo One 

8.   The Mind-Numbing Ones

9. The Seasonal, Boozy One 

10. The One that sounds a bit like a Black Comedy

11. The Physically Challenging One

 12.  The AbFab One

13. The One with a Happy Ending! 

What about you? Go ahead and share your Temp job experience in the comments section! 

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Rolling from Barcelona to London

I've just spent 6 brilliant days with my brother in Barcelona. Three months ago he and his friend, Joan, opened a skate shop there.

By the time he was sixteen, my brother was already a fearless aggressive in line skater, the type who grinds hand rails and jumps off roofs. I would follow him around, wishing I was as brave. Instead I'd end up with bruises on my shins from jumping at curbs instead of on them. 

That was a long time ago though and it had been years since I last skated.

As soon as I landed, my brother lent me a pair of skates and was a very considerate guide on my first trip to his shop. 

On day 2 I successfully completed the journey alone, arriving at his shop with a big grin on my face. Only trouble was, the groovy pink skates hurt my ankles. My brother, thrilled I was skating, let me test out another pair. Those gave me blisters. 
"I guess I'll have to miss the night skate then," I said. The night skate began at ten and went all through the city. 

Joan,  one of the most encouraging and upbeat person I've ever met, wouldn't even consider it. He ordered me to get some Compeed plasters and test a third pair of skates. I felt a twinge of pain from the previous blisters, but then my brother added four flashing wheels to my skates, and the pain was replaced with child-like excitement!

That night, skating through Barcelona, I fell in love with those skates. I fell in love with skating.  
"I'll give you them if you use them," my brother said.
I thought of London. I thought of wet streets, cobblestones and lots of pedestrians.
"I'll skate to work," I said, the beer encouraging me to believe it. "I can do this..."
I dreamt of the journey to my part-time job from North London to West London. I'd run it before in an hour and a half. I visualised skating the same route in my mind. I tried to remember the terrain. Could I do it?
My flight back coincided with rush hour on the tube. I was jostled in between sweating, sullen commuters all wishing they were somewhere else. I thought of my skates in my bag and felt that tug of nervous excitement in my stomach. I had to skate from work tomorrow, before the fear persuaded me not to.
Today I skated back from work.
I slowly weaved in between the pedestrians, feeling a control in my legs I'd rediscovered in Barcelona. The roads were smoother than I'd anticipated and soon I was gliding confidently towards home. There were a few hairy moments: braking on slopes, traffic crossings (also on a slopes), blind bumps, cobble stones... but mostly, it felt liberating!
I didn't beat my tube time. At an hour exactly, I was ten minutes out, but at least I wasn't pushed and squashed between sticky armpits. I felt healthy, strong and happy!

I've always been a bit of a grass is greener person, and I often think of Barcelona with dreamy nostalgia. It's a better quality of life, I think, imagining everyone outdoors in the sunshine. 

But today, skating towards Regent's Park, I felt, well, that maybe it's just about making different lifestyle choices and having the courage to follow those choices through. It's what you make of where you live... that, and having people in your life, who won't let you be a chicken, who push you to do things you know, deep down, you can do.

Friday 5 September 2014

Cover Reveal of The Temp - which is your favourite?

Harper Impulse has just revealed my book cover for my new novel, The Temp:

The best bit is, if you don't like that colour combination, you might like one of these:

Why so many? Well, it's going to be serialised in 9 parts over a period of three weeks. The first part is being released on 28th September and you can pre-order it for 49p.

For anyone who loved the original cover of Spray Painted Bananas* (*original title released on Wattpad), you might be thinking this has all gone a bit girly, am I right? 

I'll admit I needed a lie down after seeing my cover options for the first time. But please don't let a bit of pink and a sultry 'come hither' expression put you off. This version of the novel is much better  and right now, I couldn't be happier!

The completed ebook is out on 23rd October. If you don't  have a kindle, you can always buy it for someone  who does *wink* *wink*

The printed book will be out on 18th December and is also available for pre-order for £7.99. Once I've got a physical copy in my hand I'll have a launch party! Do sign up to my newsletter for updates.

Now, I'm very curious to know which cover is your favourite?