5 Things Liz and Lisa Didn't Know About...Jill Mansell

We've said it before, and we'll say it again- some of the best Chick Lit authors come from across that pond! Like the smart and sassy (is there a better combo?) Jill Mansell. Who, in addition to being a fabulous writer (um, TWENTY-ONE count 'em, TWENTY-ONE books under her belt) is funny. Check out her diary and follow her on Twitter to see for yourself! And when you read her five things, you'll fall in love with her the same way we did. And to give you a quick sneak peek:  SHE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO TYPE! Yup, that means she's written all of her books by. Hand. (*Cue standing ovation*) Her latest novel, Rumor Has It (which we were lucky enough to get an advance reader copy of and have an even far greater appreciation for now that we know it was conceived via a Harley Davidson fountain pen) is the story of newly single Tilly Cole who impulsively moves to a small town after receiving a "Dear John" letter from her live in boyfriend. The town she flees to for escape turns out to be a hotbed of gossip and rampant rivalry for the resident bad boy. Which, she, of course, wants no part of. But despite her better judgment, Tilly befriends Mr. bad and gets to know a man who doesn't seem to fit his reputation at all... (How many of us have been there, done that?) So ladies (and gents- we don't discriminate) If you love Chick Lit, you'll devour this page turner in one sitting. It was just released and you can purchase it here. And leave a comment for a chance to win one of five copies we're giving away today! And just to further reinforce why we love Jill Mansell, here are her 5 things... 1. I eavesdrop on people ALL THE TIME. I’m incredibly nosy and love hearing snippets of other people’s conversations – they just have to say one thing and I’m away, imagining who they’re talking about, where they live, who they’re married to and what their guilty secrets might be. It’s fun but it can be exhausting! When I’m on a plane or a train, I always want to know where everyone’s going and why. The day our train was stopped from reaching London by the snow, everyone suddenly started talking to each other and I was able to find out why they were all headed there. It was my dream come true!

2. I write all my books by hand, in A4 writing pads, with a Harley Davidson fountain pen. A fellow writer once told me that it was the equivalent of carrying all my laundry three miles down to the river and washing it by hand in the water instead of just throwing it into a washing machine. She was probably right, but it’s how I do it. The words come out more easily this way. I never learned to type and anything like this piece takes me ages to compose. (I pay my teenage daughter to transfer my books to a computer.)

3. The last competition I won was twenty years ago, in a nightclub, and it was for tearing a telephone directory in half. I was the only girl – and I was very skinny then – amongst a line-up of big burly boys. They all laughed at me, but I won. I don’t exercise, but I have very strong biceps. Every now and again, they come in useful!

4. When I was around ten or eleven years old, it never occurred to me that I could become a writer but I did have a bit of a fixation with worrying about how I’d manage if I lost my right hand in an accident, because then how would I ever be able to write? (I know, OK? I do know how weird that sounds!) To this end, I spent hours and hours at a time, practising writing with my left hand. I filled entire exercise books with wibbly-wobbly left-handed writing. I never got any better at it either – thank goodness I never did get my right hand chopped off!

5. Oh dear, what can my 5th thing be? OK, in Rumour Has It, the hero is a wire-sculptor who creates amazing larger than life sculptures of horses and stags. I fell in love with the idea and desperately wanted a wire horse for our garden but we live next to a football field and only a thin fence separates us. My partner told me we’d have footballers jumping over the fence and trying to ride it. So I compromised and bought a wire sculpture of a lamb instead. They can’t ride that!

To find  more about the talented and witty Jill Mansell, check out her website. And don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Rumor Has it.

xoxo, Liz & Lisa