Peter Jones – Author & Public Speaker

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The Truth About… Shelley Wilson

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this book 99p

It’s started! All this month, THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN – is just 99p, as part of Amazon’s Summer Promo.

Grab your copy here

Meanwhile, let’s use the opportunity to shine a bright light into the eyes of an unsuspecting reader, and uncover the truth!

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Today we’re grilling fellow self-help Author, YA fantasy novelist, blogger supremo (is that a word? Is now.) …and busy Mum of three, Shelley Wilson.

Let’s get straight into it.

Shelley, tell us one fact – one truth – that most people don’t know about you.

Ooh, I could tell you some stories but as my mum is one of your biggest fans (and will no doubt read this post) I better stick with a tame answer. I love tattoos and have two – one on my back and another on my wrist. I really want a third one but can’t decide what to have.

In the novel, all Will’s ever wanted in life is to be an actor. What is, or was, your greatest ambition?

From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. It’s the one constant thing in my life. When I was about fifteen my mum bought me a tape cassette (yep, I’m that old) on ‘How To Write for Mills & Boon’ – I don’t think she would have encouraged me at such a young age if she’d realised how raunchy some of their books were!

Reading this in an email? If there’s a gap below that’s where a video would normally appear. Jump over to youtube to watch it.

Will makes a living pretending to be people he isn’t – have you ever pretended to be someone or something you’re not? Why?

I’ve never pretended to be someone else, although I did enjoy reading the scenes in your book when Will had to act out his scenario as ‘loving boyfriend’ and ‘flirting tutor’. It could be so much fun to pretend to be someone else – I was told I looked like Davina Mccall once so maybe I could pretend to live her glamorous lifestyle!

I do, however, pretend to be something I’m not on a regular basis – I pretend to be confident when I’m actually screaming inside. This tactic has got me through so many situations as I trick myself into believing that I’m this strong, confident woman. I believe that if you can act a certain way then you believe it to be true – maybe this is how Will prepares for his acting jobs?

Will finds himself in a situation where he has to be two of his characters … at the same meeting! But most people have been in the situation where they’ve been expected to be in two different places at the same time, or to carry out two tasks simultaneously. Have you ever been in a similar situation? What?

My life is a constant battle of having to be in two different places at the same time – that’s the everyday life of a single parent! Most of these situations involved getting my three children to various social/sporting events on opposite sides of town within minutes of each other. Most of the time I manage it, but occasionally I’ll admit defeat.

As a Gemini (on the cusp) I also have a knack for being able to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously – although I have realised that reading my kindle while stirring the Bolognese will always end in disaster!

Who would you like to see in a movie of THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN?

jakeI loved Will’s character as he was sweet, funny, and slightly desperate (in a nice way) and so I immediately thought about New Girl actor, Jake Johnson.

Rachel is your typical beautiful heroine, girl next door type who could be played by any of my favourite actresses – Anne Hathaway stands out for me.

missi-pyleZlata is a tricky one because she is so unique, funny, caring and eccentric, however, I think Missi Pyle would be perfect!

Without giving too much away… did you have a favourite scene (in TTATCM)? Which one?

Ooh, there are so many scenes that I love – most of them contained Zlata (everyone’s favourite agent). One scene that sticks in my mind is the flirting workshop that Will and Zlata run. I found this highly amusing as Will, in his acting role of ‘Gary’, tries to teach a group of men how to create romance out of nothing.

Talking of ‘flirting workshops’ & ‘romance’… what is the most awkward moment you’ve ever had on a date?

I briefly joined a dating site (many years ago) and went on a couple of disastrous nights out – on one such occasion my seemingly normal date proceeded to smell my hair in the pub, leap from his stool and exclaim that we were ‘Tresemme Twins’! I cancelled my account shortly after and have enjoyed – and embraced – the single life ever since.

Find out more about Shelley Wilson at shelleywilsonauthor.com

Have you read The Truth About This Charming Man? Fancy being interrogated? Drop me a line!


TTATCM sidebarHot news! 

The Truth About This Charming Man is part of Amazon’s Summer Promo – for the entire month of June you can download the book for your smart phone, tablet, or kindle, for a mere 99p.

Visit BUYTHEBOOK.TODAY to buy the book… today!

(The FREE kindle reading app is available for everything. Seriously; EVERYTHING.)

Start Dating, Stop Waiting

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heart-love-romanceBefore I started on my quest for happiness, I was using my problem solving skills to figure out what actually works when it comes to courting the opposite sex. From the pen-pal clubs of the early eighties, to the lonely heart newspaper ads of the nineties, from postal dating services to the more formal introduction agencies – there hasn’t been a dating service that I haven’t tried!

And after many, many years of seemingly making every dating mistake there is – scouring every scrap of scientific research I could get my hands on – I finally cracked it. There’s love in my life. And it wasn’t an accident.

If love, lust or romance feature in your goals for this year let me see if I can impart some of my dating prowess to you now. Here are my top five tips for dating success.

Dating Tip Number 1: What do you want?

Figuring out who it is you’re looking for is probably the most effective thing you can do to kick start your love life. You might think (as I used to) that you can’t afford to be picky, that finding someone who doesn’t repel you too much and is content to remain in your company might be the best you can hope for. I’m here to tell you that the reverse is true.

After months, possibly even years, of less-than-satisfactory relationships with long periods of nothing in-between, I sat down and wrote out what I actually wanted. A list of qualities that I hoped for in my ideal person. And about six weeks later I met my wife, Kate.

Now – that’s not the whole story, obviously. There were a few stages between writing my ‘perfect woman shopping list’ and choosing to sit next to this beautiful blonde I spied from across the room, but a few months into our relationship I looked back at that list and I was amazed at just how many of the criteria Kate met. Coincidence? Perhaps. But for the time it would take you to create your own list isn’t it worth the effort?

Dating Tip Number 2: Go online!

By my calculations online dating websites are responsible for one in five marriages. Include relationships that haven’t got as far as the altar, throw in the likes of facebook and other social media websites, and I estimate 50 percent of all romances probably start on the internet. Which means that simply using your computer to meet people could double your chances of dating success.

Dating Tip Number 3: Pick a good dating website

There are a LOT of dating websites out there – finding a good one can be a challenge. My current feelings are the free-ones can be just as good, sometimes better, than the paid-ones. For extra oomph pick a site that does some form of compatibility matching!

Dating Tip Number 4: To meet ‘the one’, you must first meet ‘the many’

Very, very few people go on one date and hit the jackpot first time. In fact, in the years I’ve been chatting to people about this stuff I’ve never met anyone who has. Dating is a numbers game. If you find someone you like online send them a message. If they respond toss a couple more messages back and forth. If you still like them arrange to meet. Meanwhile; continue to browse the dating sites, continue to send messages, continue arranging dates. Exclusivity should be reserved for that special someone you’ve dated more than once, in real life, and even then only if you want to.

As well as a numbers game, dating is a skill. The more dates you go on the better you’ll get.

SDSW drop shadow colour smallDating Tip Number 5: Have fun!

Dating is tough. It has to be said. Some days it can feel like a slog. But if it always feels like a slog, if it’s tough without being the slightest bit pleasurable, well, then you’re doing something wrong!

Try changing your mindset. Dating can be a fun. An adventure. Exciting. It’s a little like a lottery; Sometimes it’s just OK. Sometimes it’s better than OK. Occasionally it’s a total disaster, but every now and then it’s magical. And those moments make up for everything.

Secondly, make sure you’re doing things you actually enjoy. For me, a good first date takes place in a coffee shop, if it’s going really well I might suggest wandering across to the pub over the road. Dinners and first dates don’t mix well. But that’s just me. Maybe you’re into bungy jumping, or white water rafting or long walks in the countryside. Picking an activity you enjoy will significantly increase the chances of your first date going well.

Want More Tips?

If you want to delve into the detail behind the five tips above, pick my brain for more nuggets of dating gems, or need a little more hand holding, then I have some very good news. How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting, my third self-help book, is available in paperback and as an ebook. An audio version – which includes the companion guide From Invisible To Irresistible will be available any day now.

Spend 99p, lose POUNDS

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ELSS drop shadow colour
It’s a funny thing about running Happy Talkies and Happiness Workshops, I’ve started to notice that the same ‘wishes’ – and therefore the same ‘goals’ – come up time and time again.

Many people for instance want to embark on exotic trip around the world, visiting as many wondrous sites as possible. Others have burning desires to write a best seller (though asking to see someone’s ‘first chapter’ is usually enough to ensure they never come back to Happy Club ever again). But THE, number one goal – the one that perhaps half the attendees in any given workshop will share – is to lose weight.

And I can understand that, because I’ve been there too.

It seems to be the curse of the thirty / forty something. And not that long ago I too was standing in front of the mirror, wondering where on earth the skinny figure of my twenties went to, and why my body hated me so much. Of all the goals I’ve set myself over the years, shedding those extra pounds was one of the toughest.

Like most people I started with what seemed like obvious solutions (broadly summarised by ‘eating less’ and ‘moving more’) – but when those things didn’t work for me I threw my heart-rate monitor in the bin and went in search of something that might.

After much trial and error, I cracked it. I’m back to the size I was when I first met Kate, and whilst I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I definitely learnt a thing or two about weight loss on the way – stuff that I’d very much like to pass on.

Which is why last year I teamed up with Author Della Galton, and co-wrote my second book; How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim.

For a limited period
How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim is just 99p or 99c
for your kindle or kindle enabled phone, tablet, pc, or mac
via amazon (.co.uk |.com)
– but hurry! Price goes back up at 11pm next Wednesday.

It’s  a mixture of hard science (eg. how hunger really works), quick ‘cheats’ (eg. how to make zero fat chips), psychological techniques (eg. why focusing on your food as you eat is really important), ingenious strategies (eg. how to cut down on sugar without going cold turkey), and easy peasy recipes (eg. my ‘roast potato & egg smashup breakfast’ or Della’s ‘apple ginger clafouti’) – all served up in an easy-to-digest, humourous read from authors who’ve been where you are now.

If you’ve read How To Do Everything and Be Happy, the format will be familiar to you. Several broad chapters, broken into smaller sections, each of which result in an Action Point. However each thought provoking, scientifically-provable, action point also has a STAR RATING. There are fifty four stars available. You get one just for buying the book! Collect enough and you’ll steadily increase your chances of being able to eat loads AND stay slim. Collect enough stars (thirty or more would be a good target to have) and we personally guarantee that a slim figure, coupled with a healthy but satiated appetite, are yours for the taking. No dieting required.

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available right now as an ebook, paperback and audio download. You can read the opening chapter here, or how about we read it for you? Just click the big play button in the video link below to listen to the opening chapters.


If you enjoyed listening to us you can download the entire book from audible (.co.uk | .com)  – an amazon company and the internet’s largest supplier of spoken word entertainment.

If you’re new to audible, and in the UK, you can get it for free. Just use this link, follow the instructions and search for  ’How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim’.

 If you’re reading this in an email or can’t see the video link  just click here

More Stuff What I Wrote (4 new editions to hit bookshelves)

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ELSS drop shadow colour
Things are somewhat exciting in my world at the moment. By this time next month – or thereabouts – there’ll be not one, not two, not three, but four editions of “stuff what I wrote”.

‘How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim’ available in audio, ebook & paperback

From today How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim (my second book, co-authored with Della Galton) is available for all kindle enabled devices from amazon (.co.uk | .com), AND as an audio download from audible (.co.uk | .com).

As you read this I’m hoping that the UK will be bathed in glorious sunshine – but regardless of whether the summer has finally decided to put in an appearance, the ebook edition will be available for a mere 99p, for the duration of the bank holiday weekend. Come Tuesday morning the price goes back up! Get it now!

A FREE kindle reader app is available for all smartphones, computers and tablets from amazon (.co.uk | .com)

If you prefer to read with your ears there’s always the audio edition, narrated by myself and my co-author. This too is available from today. We’ve teamed up with audible.co.uk to give you the opportunity to get your copy for free. Just use this link, follow the instructions and search for  ’How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim’.

You can read more about Della’s experience of recording the book.

The paperback edition will be available in just a couple of weeks – early June we hope – also from amazon. Use the ‘subscribe’ button in the top right hand corner of this website if you’d like to be reminded. But the first five people who leave us a favourable review on amazon, for either of the editions that are there now, will get a paperback, signed by both of us, for FREE, when it comes out.

(I’m going to be really strict about this though; your review must be visible on amazon.co.uk or amazon.com, AND you have to be amongst the first five people to let me know. Don’t wait for the paperback to become available – leave your review today)


US cover with drop shadow
Phew! So that’s three editions. What’s the fourth?

US Paperback edition of How To Do Everything And Be Happy

From June 4th, How To Do Everything and Be Happy will finally be available in selected Bricks and Mortar Bookshops all over the United States, and from your favourite online booksellers.

Of course it’s been available in the US as an ebook, and in audio, for a while – but now you lovely American folk finally be able to get a paper copy without having to order one from overseas.

To mark this auspicious occasion, Harper 360 (part of Harper Collins) have decided to give the US-printed paperback a brand new, all-yellow cover, hence the subtle re-branding exercise on twitter and facebook. What d’you think? Funky eh?

Of course the inside of the book remains exactly the same – this isn’t a new version – so there’s no need to rush out and buy a new copy of the book if you already have one. Not unless you really, really want to. Although I would certainly understand if that were the case. Just as – one imagines – there might be those amongst you who might see a market for importing the US branded copy of the book, and selling it here in the UK as a collectors edition. I’m just saying is all.

I will remind you nearer the time, but if you want to pre-order your copy you can do so here.

Here’s to World Domination and a new tranche of new readers.


In related news the paperback of How To Do Everything And Be Happy is also available from selected Australian outlets &  online booksellers as well as India too!

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim will be available for the nook, the kobo, the sony e-reader, iBooks, and other e-reading apps and devices very soon. 

Things That Matter : Guest Post by Della Galton

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ice-drop-shadowAuthor Della Galton explains why she’s drawn to write about controversial subjects, and shares the motivation behind her latest novel ‘Ice and a Slice’

I’ve often wondered how we choose what we write. Do we choose to write short stories or novels because we love them, or do we just drift into the form? And what about the subject matter? Why do we choose that?

The first short story I ever had published was called Second Chance, and it was published in a teenage confession magazine called Loving (I wish that magazine was still around, it was excellent).

Second Chance was set in a doctor’s surgery, and it was all about a teenager who was planning to have a termination – blimey, I don’t think I’d sell that story now – it’s quite a controversial issue, even today. But then I’ve always liked writing about controversial issues. I don’t have a copy of Second Chance any more but I can remember the last line, which went something like this:

Throughout her life she would give her baby many second chances, but none of them would be as important as the one she was giving him now…

The first novel I ever wrote was called Prisoners. It was about a woman who works in a pet shop and falls in love with someone she shouldn’t (her married boss). There are a few animal characters and they have a few nights out (the people, not the animals) and in the end the couple get it together.

If this sounds like an immense muddle, then that’s because it was. I’d had four or five short stories published when I wrote Prisoners. I thought writing a novel was simply a matter of writing 70,000 words.

Moving swiftly on, my first published novel, Passing Shadows, was about a woman who works in an animal sanctuary and falls in love with someone she shouldn’t (the father of her best friend’s child.) There are a few animal characters and they have a few nights out (the people, not the animals) and in the end the couple get it together.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? So why did this novel work and Prisoners not work? Well, partly because I knew a bit more about what I was doing. I was passionate about the main characters, Maggie and Finn. Also, this novel had some strong themes, friendship and betrayal being two of them.

Ice and a SliceMy latest novel, Ice and a Slice, also has some strong themes. It’s about friendship, beating the odds, and love.

It’s also about alcoholism, which is a theme I’ve explored in short stories too, but I wanted to take it further and the only way to do this was to write a novel.

The main character in Ice and a Slice, is called SJ, and she drinks too much – although she would argue until she was blue in the face about that! And if you don’t believe me, then do check out her Facebook page here or her Twitter account here, where she is surprisingly active!

So, why did I write about alcoholism? Well, as I said earlier I’m big on issues. I like writing about things that matter, and alcoholism is a subject very close to my heart. Many of my family suffer from it. Some of them are in recovery and some of them are not. And some have died needless premature deaths.

An alcoholic is not someone, as I once thought, who drinks meths on a park bench. Alcoholism is not a moral issue for weak minded people – it’s a disease that can affect anyone – it can strike doctors, lawyers, teachers, plumbers, vicars, secretaries, taxi drivers, anyone. It’s a disease of our time.

So, yes I feel passionate about alcoholism and that’s why I wrote Ice and a Slice. SJ – or Sarah-Jane Crosse to give her full name – is deeply flawed, but I love her to bits. I think she’s probably the most three dimensional character I’ve ever created. Hence, she has her own social media pages. Do check them out.

You’ll have more luck getting a sensible answer from her when she’s sober – so mornings are good!

And if you like what you see, do take a look at Ice and a Slice too – you can read a free sample or buy it for less than a glass of Chardonnay 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Della Galton x


Della Galton is a freelance writer and tutor. She is best known for her short stories, and sells in the region of 80 short stories a year to magazines both in the UK and abroad. She is a popular speaker at writing conventions around the UK and is also the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum. Her third full length novel Ice and a Slice’ is currently available for all kindle enabled smart phones and e-readers from amazon (.co.uk | .com) and will be available in paperback shortly.

To find out more about Della Galton visit her website, LIKE her facebook page or follow her on Twitter.

A chat with Michelle Ward & Sylvia Kent of Phoenix 98 FM

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phoenixfm

A few days ago I met up with the very fabulous Michelle Ward, singer and presenter on Phoenix FM, as well as writer, journalist and fellow author Sylvia Kent. We talked in general about books, book titles, as well as How To Do Everything and Be Happy, How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim, and How To Start Dating and Stop Waiting.  The conversation span off into dating disaster stories where, perhaps fortunately, we eventually ran out of time.

To listen to the interview click the play button in the box below, or (if you’re reading this in an email) click here to play clip on YouTube.

Finished?

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redpen
I’ve just finished writing the first draft of How To Start Dating and Stop Waiting.

Some explanation is needed.

When I say ‘first draft’, I mean the version of the manuscript that came into being, whilst I sat here, bashing away at the keyboard, with one eye on my outline. I can tell you now that it’s the very best thing I’ve ever written, and that there’s probably only a couple of minor things that need fixing – perhaps the odd smelling mistake, or formatting error – and then it’ll be ready to be released to the world. Part of me wonders whether I should skip my usual editing process and upload it directly to amazon, once I’ve cobbled together some sort of cover.

Another part of me knows that what I actually have is a nothing more than a collection of loosely associated words. And by words I mean a letters arranged into groups, because many of these so-called words won’t actually appear in any dictionary known to man. Where a genuine word does appear there’s a very good chance that it’s not the one I actually meant to type, or that it appears several times in the same paragraph, or it’s part of a phrase that I’ve used over and over and over again. There will be punctuation and grammar mistakes everywhere. Jokes that don’t work. Formatting errors galore. In short – it’ll be a train wreck. A disaster. And I realise yet again that ‘finished’ isn’t a word that should ever share a sentence with the phrase ‘first draft’.

My mate Vikki Thompson is in a similar position. Having taken part in NaNoWrMo this year she’s looking at a 50,000+ word ‘novel’ and wondering what to do next. And whilst there’s a whole host of writing advice out there, here’s what I do to take my manuscript from first to final draft.

  1. Let it rest – This is a luxury that I can’t always afford, but the truth is getting a little distance between you and your WIP (‘work in progress’ – I hate that expression) helps you to lose the rose-coloured spectacles you were wearing when you found yourself thinking, “hey, this is pretty good stuff.” And by you, I mean of course, me.
  2. Print it. Read it. Mark changes – for reasons that I’ve never been able to fathom errors are easier to spot on the printed page. Once you’ve invested paper and ink into something those stupid swelling mistaks will leap out at you and blow raspberries. But more than that, it’s easier to navigate through a printed document. I take a red pen and start ringing words, striking through whole sentences (and paragraphs), and putting wiggly lines in the margins (which is short hand for ‘meh – probably needs a re-write’).
  3. I make changes.
  4. Print it. Read it (aloud this time). Mark changes – Oddly, reading something aloud is the only way I know to find out if the ‘rythmn’ of the piece is right, whether my sentences are too long, and whether it’s clear who’s speaking. Sometimes I’ll even take a chapter to my local writing group and get someone else to read it whilst I follow along on another copy and mark where things don’t sound right.
  5. I make changes.
  6. Give it to Jules – my assistant Jules is usually the first person (after me) to read anything I’ve written. Having worked together now for many years I know I’ll get a brutally honest opinion. Gone are the days when she’d write a long diplomatic note about how she got a little lost, or “perhaps it could be better still”. Now she’s more likely to strike through an entire page and scribble “bit poncy” in the margin. Often Jules won’t be able to tell me what’s wrong with a particular piece, only that it doesn’t work for her. And that’s fine.
  7. I make changes.
  8. Give it to first readers – I’ll print a couple more copies and send it to people I’ve identified as my trusted ‘first readers’, a crack team of operatives who will give me their honest opinions on anything and everything. For this book that’ll be Wendy Steele and Della Galton. Together they’ll pick up on anything that Jules missed; jokes that still don’t work or can be misinterpreted, bits that ramble on too long, are hard to follow, or simply don’t make sense. Like Jules both ladies know better than to spare my feelings. I’m not looking for encouragement – I’m looking for things to fix!
  9. I make changes.
  10. Send it to my agent – finally, my lovely agent Becky will cast her beady eye over the book. If I’ve done my job well she’ll complain that she couldn’t speed-read the manuscript because she kept slowing down to read it properly. She’ll then send me her changes which are usually more structural in nature, moving elements she feels a publisher would particularly like to the front of the book, and generally making the book more commercial.
  11. I make the final changes.
This entire process will usually takes me longer than it took to write that initial draft, but what I’m left with is usually something I can feel mildly proud of. And for the first time I can finally say, it’s ‘finished’.

To find out more about How To Survive Online Dating and when it should be available subscribe (for free) to this blog.