Eileen Thornton has been writing short stories and articles since 2001. Her debut novel, The Trojan Project, was published in 2008, while Divorcees.Biz was published by SalGad Publishing in November 2012. She is a member of several writing organizations, including The Society of Authors. A selection of her published work is displayed on her Website www.eileenthornton.co.uk
She blogs at www.lifeshard-winehelps.blogspot.com
Eileen, it's wonderful to have you back across the pond to chat about your intriguing novel, Divorcees.Biz.
Thank you, Susan.
Tell us more about the two novels you've written.
The first, The Trojan Project, is an action thriller. However the second, Divorcees.Biz is a complete change of genre. I decided to write a chic-lit. I wanted to write something light, frothy and fun and I think, if the reviews are anything to go by, I have achieved that. But before all that, I used to write short stories for women’s magazines.
Give a short synop of your most recently published book.
Divorcees.Biz is set in London and tells of how four, thirty-something, divorced women decide to set up an online dating agency for divorcees. They hope this new agency will solve all their problems of finding a nice, new man. During their journey into the world of internet dating, they face new problems, but they also have lots of fun, too.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I have based one of the characters on myself. I felt I had to be in there somewhere so if you are looking for me, I am the zany one J
My characters all took on lives of their own while I was writing the book. Things were moving too fast, I couldn’t keep up. It was almost as though my characters had carried on with the story after had I shut down my computer for the night. A bit scary, wouldn’t you agree? As for my favourite – ah well, that has to be the one I based on me!
LOL. Yes, I do agree. I've had that happpen to me in the form of a serial killer! I'm sure that particular character is a delight.
What challenges did you face while writing this book?
When I first started writing about divorcees I asked myself, what could I possibly know about divorce? My husband and I have been married for… err shall we just say, for a long time? So I decided I needed to stay away from any details about the divorcing procedure and start with all four ladies searching for a new man. Apart from that, I think I just went for it.
What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give new writers?
I think one of the first things I learnt about writing was to be patient. Once you send out a manuscript to a publisher or agent, it could take months before you hear from them – if at all – and even then it is most likely a rejection. Not being a particularly patient person, this was a hard lesson to learn. But I had to get used to it. It is part and parcel of writing.
Yes, that's true. I found I had to start on a new writing project while I wait.
At one time I was able to store things in my head quite easily. I had to, because I have always been useless at taking notes. (I did a whole Open University Degree course without taking notes) Now my memory isn’t what it was, so I have taken to jotting down a few words and hope that I can remember what the notes are for. However, as I tend to make the story up as I go along, I don’t really need to make too many jottings.
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
Yes, promoting your work is really very difficult. Online there are many networking sites where you can add details of your latest book in the hope someone is going to buy a copy. But it won’t work unless each person is prepared to buy someone else’s book occasionally. If we did that, then the ratings for our books on Amazon would rise and perhaps then we might get noticed. I have downloaded four books from indie/unknown authors in the last few weeks. These are books I might not have chosen ordinarily, but you know, they were all a good read and I have gone on to add a positive review on Amazon. As for offline promotion, it is very difficult and can be extremely expensive. I have had postcards printed showing both the front cover of my novel and the back cover blurb, which I hand out or leave lying around various establishments. (I have even left a handful in my doctor’s surgery and at the local hospital)
Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?
I have started another novel. This one is called I Haven’t a Clue” and is a sequel to Divorcees.Biz. I’m not sure where I am going with it yet, but if I sit staring at the computer long enough, something will happen – that’s the theory J
I'm certain you won't remain clueless for long.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
I usually tell everyone what is going on through emails, my facebook page: www.facebook.com/eileenthornton or on other facebook networking pages. Though, as I said in an earlier question, the last option needs the support of other people for it to work.
Are your books available in print and ebook formats? (please provide the buy link for easy reader accessibility)
Thanks for the southern hospitality, Susan. I wish you well with your writing too.