Tag Archives: jane Gill

U3A – Picture perfect book club meeting

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The summer of 2018 may seem like a long time ago now but I have just received these gorgeous photographs and simply had to share them. My mother, Maureen, was invited to a meeting by the Bookworms Book Club. They are a group of book lovers belonging to the Cam & Dursley U3A. They chose Dance with Fireflies as one of their summer reads.

I just love the setting of this book club meeting, in the stunning gardens belonging to Jo, one of the U3A members. The tablecloth, pretty glasses and umbrella could easily be a scene from the book, some of which is set in the days of the decaying British Raj in India.

Mum (in the white top) enjoyed sharing the family photograph album with the group who avidly searched out family members they felt they knew through reading the novel. “They discussed them as if old friends,” commented mum, who said she felt privileged to be the centre of attention.

Mum received a lovely letter….the answer to which is…Yes! the sequel is written. I’m on the prowl for the right publisher. Watch this space.

 

 

 

 

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March 2019: A familiar photograph!

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Today I received my Nainital Nostalgia 2019 Limited Edition Calendar. I am thrilled to see the images of Barnes Restaurant adorning the month of March. The restaurant was run by my grandmother, Phyllis Dover and her sister Muriel in the 1930’s. From the hundreds of letters I have spent reading (for the research of my first novel – Dance with Fireflies), I think they ran it with great gusto and thoroughly enjoyed themselves! They held all kinds of parties that serviced the needs of the local gentry and army camp in Tallital. The British Raj was still in full swing, the piano was played (often by Phyllis) and the gramophone wound up, ready for action.

This beautiful calendar is the end result of a group of admirers and residents of this historical hill station who have worked together (with the help of Facebook) from across the globe….including India, Australia and the UK.

I feel very privileged to be part of Nainital Nostalgia; a Facebook group that started about 8 years ago. The warmth and kindness from its members along with their incredible knowledge of this remote town that meant so much to my ancestors is remarkable.

This will be a year-round reminder of this amazing place my family once called home and where my great, great grandmother is buried.

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No Turning Back

 

It’s that time of year again…the leaves are turning and hordes of book lovers are descending on my home town.

The Cheltenham Literature Festival is always such a great event, particularly when it’s on the doorstep. I am renowned for being useless at catching buses and frequently miss them … I swear I have timetable dyslexia!

So it was a miracle that we made it to Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s talk about the impact of her work and fantastic feminist views. I have enjoyed all of her novels. My favourite is probably Purple Hibiscus (another lent out never to return) followed very closely by Half of a Yellow Sun. If you enjoy great fiction with superb characters and plot and fancy losing yourself for a few days, read them. You won’t be disappointed.

The following day we made it (I know, weird right? Two days in a row and I negotiate the bus network!) to a superb discussion on the Syrian conflict hosted by Lindsey Hilsum. Lyse Doucet, BBC’s Chief International Correspondent was a great speaker; passion and knowledge abounded.

I couldn’t resist buying a copy of No Turning back by one of the other panellists, Rania Abouzeid; an outstanding journalist with many stories to share. Alfie (my son and companion to the festival) was very happy with his signed copy.

After a delicious smoked salmon and cream cheese crepe in the food tent and a discreet distribution of Dance with Fireflies bookmarks on tables, we made the last bus home…..unfortunately, the only bus back wasn’t exactly a direct route. We alighted at The Rising Sun pub on Cleeve Hill and walked through two fields of sheep as the light faded. Luckily I wore trainers and not heels (I’m not really a heel kind of person). Almost home, our house in sight, the mother of all rams, big, black and well hung, stood in the only gateway, blocking our path home.

A bit of flapping about with the newly acquired Waterstone’s bag with the aptly titled No Turning Back book inside, finally worked on the stubborn beast and our journey was complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More little piggies off to market!

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December 13, 2016 · 9:32 am

Goodreads giveaway

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I’m running another book giveaway with Goodreads! It’s a great way to get lots of avid readers to notice Dance with Fireflies. The first time I did this was at its launch. It attracted 1792 entries from people who wanted to win a signed copy, 780 of these readers added it to their ‘to read’ list…. Not bad!

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One hell of a ride!

 

 

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since the launch of Dance with Fireflies. 12 months ago, I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined what was to follow!

Here are just a few of the amazing things that have happened since the launch:

Speaker at The Kumaon Literary Festival in India.

Book of the Month in Devon Life magazine.

Reviews and features in magazines and papers, including : Cotswold Life & Devon Life.

Invited to be on the Fellows of Nature South Asia short story jury panel.

A mention in The Times of India.

Selected for ‘Reads on the road’ Travel book recommendations.

Youtube interview for Reader’s Club Delhi.

Blog interview on IndigoEast’s travel blog https://www.indigoeast.co.uk/dance-with-fireflies-author-jane-gill-on-her-indian-inspirations/

Celebrity interest: Caroline Quentin, Jan Leeming, Rosemary Shrager, Tony Singh and Bobby George…

Fantastic 5* reviews on Amazon.

Selected for bookclub reads, from cheltenham to India.

Stocked in a multitude of bookshops.

 I will be featuring in the July issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine.

…and to cap it all…this week I was called ‘Doll’ by the legendary Bobby George, sent a kiss by Caroline Quentin and received a beautiful thank you card from the one and only Jan Leeming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mahesh Rao, author of One Point Two Billion, shares his thoughts on writing short stories.

I was lucky enough to meet this amazing author whilst attending The Kumaon Literary Festival. His new book, One Point Two Billion, is a fantastic collection of very powerful short stories. I’m extremely chuffed to have my very own signed copy!

Mahesh has been kind enough to take some time out of his very busy schedule to answer my author questions.

Mahesh Rao was born and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, and has lived in the UK and in India. His short fiction has been shortlisted for various awards, including the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, The Baffler, Prairie Schooner and Elle. His debut novel, ‘The Smoke Is Rising’, won the Tata First Book Award for fiction and was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and the Crossword Prize. ‘One Point Two Billion’, his collection of short stories, was published in October 2015.

 

What form does your writing take?

I’ve become addicted to writing short stories but I may have to wean myself off for a while and return to my incomplete novel. There are very different pleasures that attach to each form.

How often do you write?

I try to write on most days but there is definitely an ebb and flow. If events or promotions or admin tasks crowd in, there will be far less writing. Sometimes travelling can be really productive: I’ve written quite a bit on trains and planes.

How does writing make you feel?

Depends on how the day has gone. Sometimes elated, sometimes queasy, sometimes depressed. And some days, like the Dorothy Parker quote: ‘I hate writing. I love having written.’

Where/when do you write?

In my study. I start in the mornings and then it’s anyone’s guess when to stop. I’m also often scribbling things in a notebook wherever I am.

What do you write about?

Anything that takes my fancy!

What’s the best thing about writing?

Being happy with a sentence that you feel you can’t better.

How long have you been writing for?

Six years.

If you would like to purchase one of Mahesh’s fabulous books, click on the link below.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Point-Two-Billion-Mahesh/dp/1907970339/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450434769&sr=8-1&keywords=one+point+two+billionhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Smoke-Rising-Mahesh-Rao/dp/1907970304/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1T2NB8V4RRZTV0XE7VRB

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