My Writing Life by Jennifer Gilby Roberts: Guest Post and Giveaway

I’m delighted to welcome author Jennifer Gilby Roberts to my blog today.
Jennifer Gilby Roberts writes chick lit /romantic comedy and women’s fiction novels and short stories featuring sweet romance and dry humour. 
She has a degree in physics and a postgraduate certificate in computing, so a career writing fiction was inevitable really. She was born and grew up in Surrey/Greater London, but now lives in Richmond, North Yorkshire with her husband, small daughter, two middle-aged cats and a lot of dust bunnies.
We are swapping posts on each other’s blogs which has coincided nicely with the giveaway she is running for her book ‘The Doctor Pepper Prophecies’.
Between us we came up with a list of questions and here are Jennifer’s answers:


When did you first begin writing in earnest?
I’ve tended to go through writing phases in the past, writing lots and then nothing for a stretch.  When I published The Dr Pepper Prophecies, its first draft was 10 years old and After Wimbledon’s five years.  I launched TDPP on a bit of a whim, with no real knowledge about publishing.  As I researched how to give it the best chance in the ebook marketplace, the consensus was clear: write more books.
Writing doesn’t always come easily to me.  I’ve written a bit on my blog about how I’m not a natural writer.  It’s hard to find the time and hard to do it when I have the time.  But people who read my stuff keep asking for more, so I will do my best to produce it.
Has your writing changed since you completed your first novel?
I think it’s grown up a bit.  I was only 20 when I wrote The Dr Pepper Prophecies and I think it shows.  My more recent work is more realistic.  I address some serious issues, especially in Early Daze, and there’s an awareness that things aren’t always clear cut and don’t always work out perfectly.  I’m older now.  I’ve been more places, seen more things, experienced more emotions – and I can bring that into my work.
How much planning do you do before you start writing?
I’ve tried various methods.  TDPP had quite a detailed plan.  After Wimbledon had a basic one of major events.  Early Daze had only a rough mental plot and, unlike the others, wasn’t written in chronological order.
I think a first novel benefits from a plan, because it reduces writer’s block and makes a long story easier to manage.  Just writing from an idea does have its advantages, though.  The characters can take your story in quite a different direction than you originally intended.
Describe a typical writing day
Look after toddler.  Worry about not having written anything.  Try to write while toddler plays.  Toddler instantly wants attention.  Try to distract toddler.  Fail.  Toddler either closes laptop lid or bends it backwards at a dangerous angle.  Give up and put laptop back on shelf.  Look after toddler.  Repeat.
I get two afternoons off a week, during which I mean to write but usually get sidetracked by all the millions of other things that need doing.  Later this year she will start nursery school and I’ll have more time.  I may even write more.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
Writing.  Honestly, I would have an easier time publishing and marketing other people’s stuff.  I may even do it one day.
What does the rest of 2014 hold for you in terms of writing?
I’ve just published a 40k novella called Early Daze, written from my experience as the mother of a premature baby.
For my next project, I’m writing a spin-off from The Dr Pepper Prophecies.  It starts a few months after TDPP and will catch up with Mel – the main character in that – but my focus is on her younger sister Brittany in her new life as a working mother in Cornwall.
To celebrate The Dr Pepper Prophecies’ one-year anniversary since publication, Jennifer Gilby Roberts is giving away one paperback and five ebook copies!  Enter on Rafflecopter.
Find out about her other great celebration offers, giveaways and extras on her blog.
25-year-old Mel Parker has a few tiny problems:

  • Her job is terrible
  • She’s been dumped yet again
  • Her ex is now her boss
  • Her parents think she’s a loser compared to her perfect younger sister
  • All her efforts to improve her life seem doomed to failure
  • Her best friend, Will, is in grave danger of being stolen away by his evil girlfriend
  • There just isn’t enough chocolate in the world to make up for the above.

So what do you do when you’ve pretty much given up on your own life? Help others, of course!

After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

Buy for Kindle or in paperback on and other Amazon sites.  The paperback is also available from Barnes & Noble.
Cathy Bramley
By Cathy Bramley

Cathy is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby farm, The Lemon Tree Cafe and A Vintage Summer. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and Pearl, the Cockerpoo. Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has always been an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Now she thinks she may have found her dream job.