Looking for a feel-good summer read this weekend? Check out ‘Sky’s the Limit‘ by Janie Millman.
I’m delighted to be taking part in Janie’s blog tour today. She’s kindly agreed to answer my questions so that we can get to know her better. My thanks to Janie and Dome Press for allowing me to be involved.
Tell us about your books, what inspired them?
We went on holiday to Marrakech and fell in love with the place. We met some amazing characters, stayed in a fabulously quirky riad with a beautiful but eccentric owner and gradually the germ of Sky’s the Limit was born.
I live in South West France in a town called Castillon La Bataille. We are in the middle of one of the most famous wine regions of the world, so I guess it was only a matter of time before I incorporated that into a book too.
Where do you get your ideas from?
Locations inspire me. I love discovering new places and meeting new people. I guess subconsciously I am always thinking about stories and characters. They just seem to pop into my head – I’ve always had a very vivid imagination – sometimes too vivid for my own good!
I am also co-owner of Chez Castillon – we host writing & painting courses and retreats and when we are not hosting those we take in wedding guests from a nearby chateau – I have enough ammunition from the characters that pass through our door for the next ten novels!
Do you have a favourite story / character / scene you’ve written?
I don’t really have a favourite character – I really love Elf in Sky’s the Limit and I loved George and Drew – aka Miss Honey Berry – in my first novel Life’s A Drag.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
If by ‘pantster’ you mean flying by the seat of my pants then a bit of both really.
I do have a rough idea of the plot. I like to know where the story is going, but I also like to be flexible – I like it when things suddenly happen – when new characters suddenly emerge and take me in a different direction.
Can you read when you’re working on a piece of writing?
Yes, I can read when I am writing but I usually choose something that is a million miles away from what I am working on – unless of course I am reading for research.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given and who was it from?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given is: ‘you cannot edit a blank page.’ I cannot actually remember for certain who told me that, but I think it may have been the lovely author Jane Wenham-Jones.
What can readers expect from your books?
They can certainly expect the unexpected!
I hope that readers will love my characters, and I hope they find themselves experiencing new locations, new sounds, smells and tastes.
I hope they lose themselves in the plot, and I very much hope that they don’t want the book to end and that the stories and cast stay with them for a long while.
I want them to laugh and cry and I want them to think.
Have you got any advice for aspiring writers?
Just Write. Get words on the page – don’t be frightened – you need to enjoy the whole experience.
What do you like and dislike about writing?
I love it when the story starts to come together; I love it when the unexpected happens; I also love it when the characters misbehave – although not too much!
I don’t like the solitude, the doubts that creep in and the frustration when the words don’t flow and the characters appear one-dimensional. But that passes…. usually!
Are you writing anything at the moment?
Yes I have just finished my third book – well the first draft, so we are still some way from the finishing line. It is another dual location novel, set in Cambridge and Crete.
What’s your favourite writing-related moment?
When I wrote The End to my fist novel Life’s A Drag. I finished it in Bordeaux station when on our way to Arcachon for a few days holiday.
I remember crying because it was the first book I had ever written and I hadn’t really known if I could do it. My husband bought champagne and I spent the holiday dreaming of bestsellers and films… though, that was before the reality set in!
Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with her oldest friend Nick. Believing she has lost the two most important people in her life, she travels to Marrakesh on her own. During the trip, Sky meets up with Gail who’s on a mission to track down the father of her child.
Sky’s the Limit is a great summer read. It takes readers to Morocco and France with an interesting cast of characters who jump off the page. Throughout the story, the vivid characters experience joys they didn’t expect to find which makes this a heart-warming read.
The description of the places is evocative and atmospheric, and the Moroccan heat seeps out of every line. Millman’s descriptions are rich and her attention to detail is very strong.
Sky’s the Limit is a light read that’s perfect for the beach. Even if you don’t have a beach, read this novel and prepare to be transported.