So This Just Happened

Janey In Mersin was created by me when I first moved to Turkey. It became my only friend in a sometimes dark, desolate world, my safe place to go where I could hide from all the bok and my private confessional between me and… well… anyone who happened upon it.

It also helped me make friends, journal my experiences, and gave you guys a glimpse of just how ridiculous life could be here with The Turk and his crazy family. But more importantly, blogging allowed me to take that first step to fulfil my childhood ambition of becoming a published author. 

As a child, I had lofty ambitions indeed. I had just finished reading “Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret” and I decided that I would surely become the next Judy Blume. I mean when it all comes down to brass tacks has there ever been a better piece of prose than, “We must, we must, we must increase our bust”?

By the time I finished school I had quickly realised I didn’t need to repeat that particular mantra over and over as my boobs were already a double D, so I discarded my dream of becoming an author and got on with my real life.

And then one morning as I sat on my terrace overlooking the Village, I wrote a couple of paragraphs about a girl who had fallen in love. I knew something about that at least, well, I did at the time anyway. That girl became Ginger Knox. She and I became firm friends (and occasionally mortal enemies) over the next year or so while I drafted and revised, discarded and re-visited Ginger’s story, time and time again.

Finally! I had written something that wasn’t completely heinous, but where do I go from here?

Full of bravery I emailed off my synopsis and first draft to publishers and waited to be inundated with offers. Now I’d like to think that I was mature enough to handle rejection but, as it turned out, I’m not. Instead, I morphed into a whiny-assed child when Harlequin rejected my manuscript, and I threatened to burn the world down when Mills and Boon passed on my literary masterpiece. “To hell with them all!” It was a battle cry shrieked from my rooftop in the Village all the while smearing blue paint down my face and brandishing my bottle of wine like a sword! They were trying to destroy my dream!

I decided it must be rubbish so I shelved it for a while.

After a little soul-searching I asked for beta-readers to give me some honest feedback. And I got it in spades! From the positive: “I needed a ciggie after that” and “When I wasn’t laughing at Ginger’s inner monologue and snappy comebacks, I was in desperate need of a lie down after all the naughty bits”, to the negative: “I feel there is an overuse of profanity that could cast a negative light on the story”, and even the down-right strange: “I will pray for you.”

All that feedback helped me shape Ginger’s story (and between you and me that last comment made me realise that I might be on the right track!).

I began to look at other publishing options. Self-publishing seemed the most realistic way for me to move forward. I had seen other well-known authors who utilised self-publishing and went on to see their novel become a huge success.

And so let’s fast forward to today. I’m excited and terrified and more than a little bit nauseous, but I’ve finally done it. I’ve published my slightly funny, definitely not autobiographical (this question gets asked a lot!), sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance. Rated R for raunchy, Salep and Ginger is probably not suited to those who don’t like being spanked or for those under the age of 18 years (full disclosure: there is no spanking in this book). It’s mostly the story of a girl standing in front of a boy… wait, no, that’s not right… maybe you guys should just read it for yourselves. 

Anyway, tell your friends, tell your neighbours, tell everyone you know (within reason, of course) to grab a copy of Salep and Ginger, available now from Amazon, either on Kindle or paperback from your usual Amazon e-store. Every sale will help support my wine habit and enable me to continue to live in the luxury (cough, cough) of which I have become accustomed. 

To those who do take the plunge teşekkür ederim (thank you)! If you loved it, please leave a review and hit up those stars on Amazon. I would appreciate it… and there’s a bottle of rakı on its way to you (there’s not really a bottle of rakı on its way to you. Sorry.).

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My Inspiration

Sunrise is my favourite time of day.  I am definitely a morning person and am usually pretty knackered and ready for bed and a good book quite early in the evening.  I take a photo of the sunrise from the terrace most mornings.  I don’t know why.  I guess seeing Mother Nature using her colour palette always amazes me.  She brings all variations of pink, blue, orange and yellow to the early morning. I can sit back and watch the village begin its day in peace and quiet.  Looking at the sky I can guess that it will probably be warm again.  Winter has gone bye-bye and it’s already starting to heat up.  No snow on the mountains behind me either so I’m guessing it’s going be a long, hot summer.  Again.

sunrise

My Istanbul posts are still brewing and I’ve been busy editing the first few chapters of Salep and Ginger in an effort to get it out before summer and can I just say … editing is awful, fecking awful. I mean don’t get me wrong my editor is great and really supportive but when you get down to the nitty-gritty of writing it’s not just me typing whatever comes into my head anymore its punctuation and grammar and consistency.  Sentence structure, story structure.  The rhythm of the story.  Even the font and spacing.  All of it matters.  And I am glad.  I want my manuscript to be the best that it can be.  So now I have to think!  God forbid!!

Time to jump to it … before real life catches up. If you are thinking of visiting Turkey this summer why not grab a travel book to give you some inspiration


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