Stickers on Book Covers

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Stickers (or more likely pretend stickers) are all the rage on book covers. Those little bright circles used to contain important additional information, such as a shortlisting for a literary prize, but now it can be almost anything including frequent claims that the latest release is the new Gone Girl or for fans of The Girl on the Train or Stieg Larsson.

Anyway, I can hardly complain since I have joined in with my own circular cry for attention, but why stop at one? Perhaps I could coat my entire book cover in circles filled with the best and most exciting quotes?

Meet the Author on BookFabulous

Version 2Rana Asfour is featuring a Q & A with me on BookFabulous.

Rana writes: ‘One of the most exciting thrillers to come out in 2015, I Came to Find a Girl by Jaq Hazell (aka Jacqui Hazell) is the one you should be reaching for if dark, intense crime fiction is your thing. This deliciously intense novel about female art student Mia, and her entanglement with award-winning, renowned super artist Jack Flood has hit the shelves to very high praise.

‘Described by The Telegraph as ‘Dark, haunting, twisted’, and listed in their top best crime fiction for 2015, and described by yours truly as ‘a disturbing reflective book that will refuse to loosen its grip on you for some time’, BookFabulous thought it fitting that more be known about the author, her book and her writing in general.’ Read the full interview on BookFabulous.

BEST CRIME FICTION BOOKS FOR 2015

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‘Dark, haunting, twisted – and, in its own way, unforgettable’ Best Crime Fiction of 2015, The Telegraph.

I was thrilled to hear that I CAME TO FIND A GIRL has been included in The Telegraph’s roundup of the best crime fiction of 2015. The review and full list can be found here.

Meanwhile, in other news, LONDON TSUNAMI & OTHER STORIES, received a glowing review from literary website Literogo.

The paperback copies of I CAME TO FIND A GIRL have now been posted to the winners on Goodreads, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work.

Happy New Year!

#amwriting #amnotwriting

IMG_2677#amnotwriting days can be as useful as #amwriting days. Tuesday, for instance, I took half the day off to meet writer friends for lunch. We’ve known each other for years, having met through various writing classes and friends, and were part of a supportive writing group that met regularly for over a decade.

In recent years, having gone in different literary directions, we meet less often, but when we do get together it’s always inspiring, informative and fun. And whatever we talk about (the state of publishing, finding your audience, literary gossip) it always helps to talk to fellow writers, people that understand how hard it is to not only finish a novel, but to market it and make it discoverable. There are no easy answers, but there is comradeship, and that can fire you up for the writing days like today.

Bussing it – in Praise of Book Blogs

IMG_2398You wait a while for a review and, what do you know, two come along at once.

Book reviews are the buses of publishing that can take a book elsewhere. The preferred destination: discovered, bought, read and enjoyed is clear, although there’s no guarantee any book (however good) will succeed.

‘Bussing it’, as in catching a bus and staying on wherever it goes has its fans, such as teenagers with free travel cards, OAPs and even rock chick Chrissie Hynde. It’s about the journey, and the opportunity to discover unexpected places along the way that may be more interesting than the final destination.

Independent book blogs are bussing-it-trips compared to the straightforward journeys on offer via the book review pages in the mainstream media.

Book blogs, through their willingness to read widely and without prejudice towards self-published works, offer a chance for other voices to be heard and new, perhaps more unusual books to be discovered. As Haruki Murakami says, ‘If you only read the books that everyone is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking’.

Thank you to Book Fabulous and Published Moments

GIRL

 

Available from Amazon / Kobo / Barnes & Noble

The Story Behind the Story: a True Hero?

What if a hero isn’t a true hero? This was my starting point when I came to write my dark comic short story Shopping at Tesco.
They say you should never meet your heroes, the simple reason being that in reality few people measure up to the hype, and it was with this cynical thought in mind that I listened to news of the Hudson River hero.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002QHATEC/jaqhazack in January 2009 (yes, I wrote the first version of Shopping at Tesco that long ago), American pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was hailed a hero after successfully making an emergency landing of Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, New York, after the plane hit a large flock of geese, disabling both engines. All 155 passengers and crew survived.

It was the perfect good news story and there aren’t many of those, but at the time my initial thought was, I hope the pilot is up to his new role as the US nation’s hero. Well, of course it turned out that he deserves all the adulation he has since received: an outstanding scholar, president of the high school Latin club, an experienced pilot with 40 years and 20,000 hours of flying experience, an air safety expert, successful author and a happily married family man who friends describe as “shy and reticent”. In other words, Sullenberger is an all round good guy.

But, what if a hero who becomes a hero suddenly and accidentally isn’t so great? Shopping at Tesco evolved from this simple question. The plot formed subconsciously in a dream that was further developed until Joanna, my “Tesco hero” who isn’t a true hero, came to life. Meanwhile, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is so much a true hero that a film based on his life is to be directed by Clint Eastwood, and if there’s one thing Clint knows about it’s heroes.

What’s in a Name?

My main website and blog is moving to here. Why? Well, I’m about to publish several works starting with a dark, humorous short story called SHOPPING AT TESCO (free on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords etc), and I came to the conclusion that shortening my name to “Jaq” is a good idea.

SHOPPINGJaq is what close friends and family call me. It’s also how I used to sign artworks when that was my main creative outlet, and as Jaq Hazell I appear to be the only one on the internet.

There are many Jacqui Hazells. There’s a witch in Wales, a health consultant somewhere else, and another Jacqui Hazell who likes to run marathons. I’m sure they are all lovely people but they are not me.

SHOPPING AT TESCO is about a snooty yummy mummy who takes decisive action when faced with panic and danger at a London supermarket. It’s available as a free download from your favourite ebook retailer. And for news of new titles please join my mailing list here. Thank you.