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Title: I Don’t Do Mondays!
Author: Colette Kebell
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and Colette Kebell for the opportunity to take part of I Don’t Do Mondays! Blog Tour!
About The Book
How can Mia find happiness?
Lawyer Mia’s picture-perfect dream life in New York is imploding. Her job has become too stressful, she’s exhausted from carrying her friends and what’s up with her striking, wealthy fiancé?
But when life-changing decisions force her to move to Maine, where she’ll face her often critical father and hard truths about what truly matters in life, she re-discovers a passion of her youth.
What begins as a low moment in her life quickly pushes her to consider what she genuinely wants and leads her down a new path where she must embrace the future and let go of the past.
Will this move help Mia to fix her life, once and for all, and will she finally find true love?
- Tell me a bit about yourself
Hello, I’m a full-time author these days, but in a past life was a legal secretary. I live in a beautiful part of the country down in Coastal Kent. I’m lucky enough to have found my soulmate, albeit rather late in life; we were both 38 years old when we met. We have two adorable dogs, a Westie named Coco and a Mini Schnauzer named Lottie. When I’m not writing I love cooking. I often develop my own recipes, but don’t often share them, as there might be a cookbook in the works at some point… other than that I enjoy swimming, cycling (though haven’t done much of either this year due to the situation we find ourselves in), sewing, gardening and have turned my hand to upholstery from time to time. Oh, and I’m somewhat of a shopaholic… my husband thankfully indulges that urge, but does keep a tight rein on our finances to keep me in check.
- Tell me about your current book that you are releasing.
Wow, where to start… the title is as good a place as any. I Don’t Do Mondays! came about after I wrote another story (yet to be released) as I wanted to continue a theme, though only in title. It is set in New York and Maine in the good old USA and is about a stressed-out lawyer, Mia and how she finds happiness. Most of the characters dislike Mondays, hence the title came about. It can be classed as either Chicklit or Romcom, depending on who you talk to. Mia is a strong character, but there are some great supporting ones to, which your readers shall discover if they elect to read the book. Though I’ve never been to New York or Maine; the internet is wonderful for research these days, I had wanted to go, but things cropped up and the USA was closed, just when I was planning on booking. So, I had to make do. One of my beta readers is from New York State and she loved the story, so I must have hit the mark with getting the feel for New York. There is a fair amount to make a person laugh in the book, as well as one or two elements that might bring tears to your eyes.
- Can you tell me about the books you have written? Was there one you love writing more than the others?
I started off after being made redundant and haven’t looked back. I was, am, a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series and so that seemed to be as good a place as any to start my writing journey. So, I wrote Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! (Or so Mother Says) closely followed by The Retail Therapist. Both are dear too me, being my first books and during that time there was so much fun and laughter in my household when the book passed backwards and forwards between myself and my husband (who thankfully is an avid reader and a great support). I’m told that fun and laughter come across from the pages, when reading, so I guess I achieved my goal with those. They are along similar lines to the Shopaholic series, but entirely different… GiGi is a woman on a mission, whereas Becky Bloomwood was somewhat flaky. There are love interests in both, not only for GiGi, but also her best friend Ritchie. GiGi’s mum is often there to remind her of her misgivings.
After those two I wrote this and one other book, yet to be published as I have already mentioned, but in between those I wrote a financial crime thriller. I loved writing that as my evil side, if you could call it that, could wreak havoc on a few lives. Not that I have much of an evil side but a change is as good as a rest as they say. I often changed jobs when employed due to liking variety and so it only stood to reason that I would do so with my writing as well.
I also have an alter ego, who writes erotica. So far, I’ve only published one in English though there are more in Italian (my husband having translated them). I have another that is just about set to go but I love the initial story of Confessions from the Cotton Fields. It is set in pre-civil war America, at the time of the slave trade. Some might consider the subject matter to be somewhat controversial in the current climate of BLM, but I can assure you that Octavia, my protagonist, does everything she can to free the slaves who work for herself and her husband.
Do I have a favourite though? That is a hard question to answer… I think, now that they’ve almost all been produced as audiobooks, that it is that medium that I prefer, rather than the ebooks… not due to the increased revenue, but due to loving listening to my books come to life when narrated by someone else. I’ve been very lucky with my narrators and that seems to come across, according to the reviews I’ve received. After this launch, my next job is going through the audiobook for I Don’t Do Mondays! And I cannot wait. I have found a fantastic narrator for that and she has one of those voices that sticks with you. She reminds me of the narrator from the series Desperate Housewives, so what more can I say.
- Are you working on any books/projects currently?
I have four WIPs currently. Two that I have already mentioned, one raunchy and the other Chicklit/Romcom and the other two are both crime thrillers. I haven’t yet decided in which order they’ll be finished and released, but I shall keep my Facebook followers up to date as they progress. Being an Indie author, I have to wait to launch each book as I don’t have a publisher behind me to pick up the bills of publishing. It is tough to crack a market which is flooded with fabulous writers, particularly if you are self-published and have to do all your own marketing as well as find time to write.
- Who are/is your favourite character/s that you have created? Was this character based on someone you know/knew?
I don’t have one, but two. In Blue and Green, Jasper Barnes was my favourite character to write. He is rather a cad and naughty with it, which I found such fun. Is he based on anyone I know…I don’t think so, though there are elements of other characters of my books who have been.
The other is Ryan Logan from Arbitrage, my financial crime thriller. He is a clever character and goes about achieving his revenge in a rather unusual way. He was challenging to write, despite the book having been a nod to my natural father (now deceased) and his time as a stockbroker. He had his own downfall (his own doing) and so that is where my inspiration came from.
- Do you often hear feedback from your readers? Has there been any feedback that stuck out the most?
I don’t hear feedback direct from readers (or haven’t yet) as such, but I do receive reviews. Almost every one has brought tears to my eyes as they are so lovely. Other than readers, the feedback I have received has been from book bloggers or my beta readers. I’ve even been known to add excerpts from blogger reviews to the back covers of my books, which I did with Blue and Green and The Retail Therapist. I guess my books have been well received by those who have bought them and taken the time to leave a review as they are each sitting at just over 4* on Amazon.
- How did you publish your book?
I Don’t Do Mondays! As with all my books is self-published. I pay for everything from the cover designer to the copy editor, hence it takes a bit longer to release each book, as I have to wait until I have the funds to do so.
- How did it feel when your first copies of your book came through?
I cried, basically. It was an amazing feeling to be able to hold something which I had been fortunate enough to be able to create. Probably much like holding your baby for the first time, though I wasn’t lucky enough to experience that for myself. I have a window sill with stands and one copy of each of my books has pride of place on it.
- What was the hardest scene that you have had to write?
That would have to been the scene when GiGi, in The Retail Therapist, has to go to see Johnny’s parents. I was in tears writing it and have been in tears every time I’ve listened to it or read it since.
- Have you ever had writers block? How did you get past it?
Yes, I don’t think any author hasn’t at some time or another… hence the term procrastination. We all do it. I switch gears and do something else for a while… whether that be cooking, gardening, sewing or something else. I also switch between books which is why it is handy to have more than one WIP. If I can’t get past one particular element of one book I switch to another and if need be another, until I find inspiration.
- How long does it usually take you to write a book?
The first two took about six to seven months in total, including waiting for a copy edit and cover designer to do their bit. The others took longer. Arbitrage took six months or so (at lot of research was required) to reach a point where I had to find a cover designer (my usual one doesn’t work on crime) and a copy editor (my previous one had retired). So, I guess, in total it was about eight to nine months in the making. As for I Don’t Do Mondays! That was has taken considerably longer to reach a conclusion as I first started writing it about three years ago…in between times I wrote Arbitrage, but before that we had moved home and other things took precedence such as organising and supervising work being done to our home.
- What is your most productive writing space/area?
I’m not one of those authors who can write anywhere, so that would have to be either the kitchen table or in the garden at our property in France. We may still be renovating it some 14 years after buying, but it is so tranquil and peaceful there. At home in the UK I have a corner at the bottom of our lounge which faces onto our garden (we only have two bedrooms and hubby works from home, so he has commandeered the second as his office). As for brainstorming with my husband, that we carry out wherever we are, whether it be at home, in our garden, in France or sipping a beer outside a pub after cycling.
- What was your favourite book growing up?
I guess, as I was far too into horror, when I was growing up, it would have to be Dean Koontz’ Watchers. I loved it due to the dog element, but disliked the rest… I haven’t read horror for years though, having gone off it in my 20s for the sake of, thankfully, the likes of Jackie Collins, or perhaps I would have been writing a completely different genre myself.
- Are there any authors you inspired to be like?
That would have to be my mentor, Donna Jane McDonald. She is an American Indie Author who gave me so many pointers when I was starting out; I knew nothing about self-publishing and she taught me so much, from a mere internet friendship. It is amazing how generous the writing community is.
- When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I loved English when at school, it being the only ‘O’ Level I obtained, but didn’t have a clue at that point that it would be what I craved in later life. I was made redundant some 20 years ago and that is when I wrote my first novel… but, much like JK Rowling, it still sits in a drawer.
- What is your greatest achievement to date?
Other than receiving a 5* Readers Favourite award for my debut novel (Blue and Green), I guess that would have to be the book signing event I organised last October. I was lucky enough to have eight fellow RNA members involved with that, which when put together with the other authors local to me made it an amazing event which the public loved.
- What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing or carrying out one of the other activities mentioned above, I’m a bit of a film addict. I love films and tend to, unfortunately, remember those more than books. Not saying I don’t read, I do. I usually have one book on my kindle, perhaps a paperback too and I love audiobooks for when I have to do mundane things like cleaning or walking my wagglies. So, I tend to have two to three books on the go at any one time. I’m a slow reader though which might be why I enjoy films so much. I’ve watched some lovely ones recently but the one that has stayed with me most was The Upside. It was such a great film with a brilliant cast.
- Do you have any tips for authors that are just starting out in their writing journey?
Read a lot and exercise. Not exercise physically, though that is obviously good for you, but exercise your brain and writing skills. Write something every day, whether it be to add to your current WIP, for a blog, website, letter to a friend or family, just write. The more you do so the more comfortable you feel with it and the more you read the more you learn. It’s not that simple though, as I am sure others have already told you, but it is a good starting point.
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
On that to an author reviews are like nectar of the gods. So if any of your followers are inclined to buy my books as a result of this Q & A, please do take the time to leave a review. It doesn’t have to be more than a line or two but they assist each and every author in getting into the spotlight on Amazon. Please do think about what you write though, nobody likes to see a spoiler in a review.
About The Author
Colette Kebell is an author of Chick-lit/Romcom, though a relatively new one and thus far has self-published her books. Her books are light-hearted, fun and quirky and even considered by some to be inspirational. She has also found avenues to translate both into Italian (thanks to her husband), and into French, Spanish and Portuguese via Babelcube.
As a career, Colette spent her later years as a legal secretary. After a first attempt at writing many years ago (a book that still remains in her drawer) she resumed this passion a few years back, after being made redundant. After a few book signing events and a book talk, which almost caused her to collapse with nerves, Colette now spends her time between her home in the UK and her home in France.
Colette has two adorable dogs and spends some time, when not writing and marketing her books, cooking for herself and her husband, gardening or designing various items for their home. Amongst her other hobbies, she has also experimented with furniture upholstery, and she might, from time to time, have a paintbrush in her hand.
She can be found on twitter @ColetteKebell though doesn’t tweet a vast amount.
Happy Reading, x