Saturday, 2 January 2016

The PINK SOFA meets writer Jan Brigden






The PINK SOFA is thrilled to host lovely writer Jan Brigden as its FIRST guest of 2016. Jan is a member of the Romaniacs - a group of writers who support each other and the wider writing community. They all write fab books too. DO ask her how they got their name..it's an amusing story!

''Carol, thank you so much for inviting me in for a chat. I’ve long had a soft spot for the pink sofa (it’s comfy beyond belief!) and I’m thrilled to be your guest.  I’ve brought cake – naturally – so we can indulge in a wedge or three a bit later. If the triple-chocolate filling doesn’t melt in the meantime, of course…

Well, what a year it has been for me!

On Valentine’s Day,  I found out that my first novel ‘As Weekends Go’ had been shortlisted in the Choc Lit  and  Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star Competition , and a month after that, discovered I’d won! I can’t tell you how elated I felt upon signing my Choc Lit contract.  There had been times when I thought I’d never finish the book (mainly due to my endless tweaking and re-tweaking!)  so to know it was going to be published had me jumping around like a mad thing -  a truly brilliant feeling.

I’ve written for pleasure for as long as I can remember; short stories for classmates, odes for workmates, fun quizzes for family and friends. The idea for my  novel stemmed from a creative writing course assignment I completed a few years back via The Writers Bureau.  I had to create a tense scenario involving two characters only. I chose a  husband and his wife’s best friend. He’d  secretly invited her to his house on the pretence of discussing his wife’s surprise 30th birthday party. Instead, he confronted her about some gossip he’d heard regarding a recent weekend trip the two women had taken together. Which  afterwards begged the question in my mind: ‘Well, what did happen during that weekend?’  And so the story slowly evolved…

Not having any buddies or contacts in the literary world, at the time, I attended as many author talks and events as I could. I also connected with writers and readers on Facebook and Twitter, where I learned of and subsequently joined the Romantic Novelists' Association’s fantastic New Writers' Scheme. The critique I received for the early drafts of ‘As Weekends Go’ from my assigned reader was invaluable. This, coupled with the unwavering love and backing from my husband Dave (the man deserves a medal!) gave me the confidence that I could actually write and that my book had much promise. Music to a budding author’s ears, for sure!

I then formed an online writing/blogging group with seven of the most talented, supportive, encouraging ladies I’ve ever met, who became The Romaniacs. Last year we released a charity anthology 'Romaniac Shorts: Fashionably Brief’. We also very recently had the honour of receiving the RNA industry Media Award. RNA Industry Awards Such a proud moment for us all and very much appreciated. We even got a mention in The Bookseller.
And now, as the year draws to a close I’ve had the biggest thrill of all in proudly seeing Choc Lit  publish ‘As Weekends Go’.
Here’s the fab cover (designed by the equally fab Berni Stevens) and the blurb to give you a taster.
2015 will definitely be one calendar I’ll be keeping!''


Blurb 
What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend?
When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.
She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …
But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning – isn’t it?
As Weekends Go -  available on Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com
Connect with me on Facebook  - Jan Brigden
And on Twitter  - @Briggy44  or @theromaniacs

24 comments:

  1. I really like the Blurb of Jan's book.

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment re my blurb. That's so nice to hear. Happy New Year!:)

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  2. Carol, thank you so much for featuring me on your fab blog. I feel honoured to be your first guest of 2016. That pink sofa really is comfy! So appreciate your support :) X

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  3. Lovely to meet Jan on your famous pink sofa, Carol. She is a such great supporter of everyone else - it's so nice to be able to cheer her on now, with As Weekends Go.
    (I'm really enjoying the read!)

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    1. June, what a lovely comment! Thank you. I'm really pleased to know that you're enjoying As Weekends Go. Phew! Happy New Year! :)

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  4. Two friends in one place. What could be better? I'm currently reading As Weekends Go - slowly. Christmas does have a way of slowing things down; doesn't it? I'm enjoying it enormously and I could easily see myself as Abi. She's a great character, a fabulous friend to Rebecca and I can't wait to see what happens next. Happy New Year to Carol and Jan and happy writing. I'm eschewing the mince pies and getting down to it myself today . . .

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    1. Thank you, Lizzie. So glad you're enjoying As Weekends Go (I must confess that one or two of Abi's character traits may have *ahem* loosely come from a certain person!) Enjoy those mince pies. I shall be hoovering some up this end later on! Happy New Year! :)

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  5. Congratulations on all of your achievements, Jan! What a lovely, positive blog to start the year. This really goes to show how much support there is out there for us 'writerly' folk, in terms of social media, groups/schemes to join and author/reader communities. As for that pink sofa, it's now made me want to go and get a slice of cake, which I was trying not to do... oh well, diet can start on Monday!

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    1. Hi, Penny, thanks for your comments; it's lovely to know you've enjoyed reading my post. I always get excited and nervous in equal measures when featuring as a guest! You're certainly right about the level of support out there - it's brilliant. As for the cake, well, let's just say I'll be needing several brisk walks to work off the amount I've eaten! Happy New Year! :)

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  6. Great post ladies - I hope 2016 is equally as amazing for you Jan :-)

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    1. Thanks very much, Kathryn. Glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year to you too. May it sparkle for us all! :)

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  7. It's so lovely reading your interviews, Jan. I can see your smiling face with every word :-) xx

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    1. Ah, thank you, Laura. That's a lovely thing to say! :) X

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  8. The cover is awesome and the story resonates with me. I can't wait to read it.

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    1. Thanks so much, Louise. On both counts! Really appreciate it. :)

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  9. What a great idea for a book...so many possibilities! Lovely to meet you here, Jan, and congratulations on all the successes you've had! That's fantastic!

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  10. Happy new year, Pink Sofa!!! This book is on my to read list :)

    It's a bit of a Jan week ~ I have her on The Zodiac Files on the 8th :D

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    1. Thank you, Terry! I'm so looking forward to featuring on the Z files. I love reading each post! :)

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  11. Great to see one of my faves Jan Brigden on the Pink Sofa, well done for capturing a rising star so soon, Carol. I'm sure 2016 is going to be Jan's year. Her debut is next on my reading list and I just know I'm going to love it!

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    1. Adrienne, thanks for such a lovely comment. I've so appreciated your friendship & your support. I hope you enjoy AWG. Here's to a fab 2016 for us all :) X

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  12. Lovely to see you here, Jan. Great to read about your journey so far. Wishing you all the very best for 2016!

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    1. Thank you for your good wishes, Wendy! Here's to a happy, productive 2016 for us both! :)

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  13. I love the fact that this novel stemmed from an assignment Jan. Every time I try to write a short story I always think ohh this would make a great basis for a novel! I do like the sound of this book and I wish you all the best for 2016 Jan, hope it's as terrific for you as 2015!

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    1. Georgia, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your good wishes. Happy writing! And may 2016 bring you all things good! :)

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