Joanne Phillips

A Writers Journey



News, News, and More News!

Today on the blog I’ve got – you guessed it – lots of news! Some exciting, some interesting, and some not-so-great. But first of all an apology: I haven’t posted anything for over a week due to a really bad chest and throat infection and generally being forced to rest (hubby can be very forceful at times). But I’m back now, ready for the big day on Thursday, and here are some of the things I have to tell you about before it all kicks off for Flora Lively …

My great friend and author Martina Munzittu is launching her new website today, and you can take a look here. Martina has a new and exclusive free ebook called Incompatible Twins – all you have to do is sign up to her newsletter. And here’s a good reason to sign up to it – you’ll get news of her upcoming series, The Broken Heart Refuge, and as someone who is lucky enough to have already read an early draft of the first in the series I can tell you it’s worth a look.

Back to matters closer to home – my new summerhouse/writing room finally arrived last Thursday. Remember Thursday? Sunny, warm, ideal weather for sitting around in a … summerhouse! And then on Friday, autumn arrived. Ah well, I plan to insulate the garden room and make it snug and cosy for year-round writing. Here are the before and after photos:

Summerhouse before
Just a pile of rubble – this is where we used to keep our chickens!
All we had to do was build a nice level base ...
All we had to do was build a nice level base …
And now here is the new garden room! Brilliant 🙂

I am really chuffed to bits with it and I have BIG plans … The biggest of which is my intention to wire it up myself (!) and then insulate and clad the inside myself (double!!). Painting and fitting it out with fab furniture won’t be too hard, but that will have to wait a while too. Photos of the inside coming when it’s all done.

Now to Flora Lively and the launch of Murder at the Maples. I’ve got some fun competitions planned for Thursday’s launch, which I’ll be running simultaneously here and on Facebook – here is the FB event page if you’d like to join in over there. If my throat recovers in time I’ll be reading out the first chapter on video, but if not there’ll still be lots of excerpts and previews, plus the chance to win a Flora Lively mug and notebooks, and lots of other giveaways.

If you’d like to WIN a signed paperback copy of Murder at the Maples, there’s plenty of time to enter my Goodreads Giveaway. I’m offering 2 copies, and the winners will be picked at random by Goodreads – click here to enter.

MatM proof front

Well, I promised some not-so-great news. On Sunday I had tickets to go and see the Morrissey25Live film in Shrewsbury. This was recorded during his recent tour, at an intimate gig at Hollywood High School. We saw him in Manchester during this tour, so I knew it would be an amazing film to watch. I couldn’t go because I was too ill. Here is a clip (just made myself cry watching this – I wish, wish, wish I’d gone anyway, no matter how rough I felt).

So, there’s a note to end on. Please, please, please let me get what I want this time. And what is that? Good health, and peace of mind. Millions of readers for my new cozy mystery series – and fantastic reviews. And maybe, just maybe, next year a publishing contract. Because as much as I love being indie, it’s starting to take it out of me, doing all this work myself.

See you on Thursday – and I promise to be a hell of a lot more cheerful then!

The Undercover Soundtrack

Today I’m on the Undercover Soundtrack, hosted by the lovely Roz Morris. When Roz agreed to have me on I was excited, but also a little nervous, because Roz’s guests are most often literary writers with quite high-brow musical influences. My post is all about Morrissey, of course, but I hope I’ve offered some insight into how a singer/songwriter’s passion can have an impact on your writing.

“Once a week I host a writer who uses music as part of their creative environment – perhaps to connect with a character, populate a mysterious place, or hold  a moment still to explore its depths. This week’s post is by contemporary women’s fiction novelist Joanne Phillips …” click to visit The Undercover Soundtrack and read the post in full. 

Music Monday – Morrissey (Of course!)

A new feature for the blog, and a chance for me to share some of my favourite music with you. I’ve always been deeply touched by music – the reason I discovered Radio 4 during a bad period in my life was that I couldn’t listen to music radio because the wrong song at the wrong time might just push me over the edge. Anyone who knows me well will know that I am a huge Morrissey fan, so who better to kick off with.

Now, Morrissey always stirs up some strong opinions, but I’m not interested in any of them. This is a clip from Glastonbury 2011 (I saw him perform this song in Manchester this year, but couldn’t find a good enough clip on YouTube). Yesterday I woke up singing this song, and haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. Morrissey is a true indie – independent and unaffected by all the mud-slinging that comes his way. And this track is one of three new songs which so far appear on no album: incredibly, Morrissey currently has no recording contract. We know how it feels to be indie, hey? But imagine how it feels to be so relevent, even after so many years and so many knocks, even in your fifties, that you drawn this kind of crowd at Glastonbury, and evoke this response.

Thank you, Morrissey, for all the hours of happiness you’ve given me.

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