A few weeks ago, I reviewed RUMOR HAS IT by Jill Mansell -- I loved it! Ms. Mansell has proven herself again and again with her wonderful books! If you enjoy chick-lit and haven't read any of her novels yet, you are truly missing out.
I am so glad to welcome Jill Mansell to Booking Mama (again!) She has written a terrific guest post about how her real life inspired RUMOR HAS IT. I found her essay extremely interesting, and I hope you feel the same way.
Hi Julie, and thanks so much for the wonderful comments you made about Rumor Has It – what a fab review!
Well, you’ve asked me to write about how real life inspires my writing, so I’ll start by saying that the original inspiration for this book happened twenty years ago when I was working in the neurological hospital. I picked up a magazine to read and saw a help-wanted advertisement in it that said: Girl Friday wanted, fun job, country house. I was so intrigued I wrote those words down and never forgot them – they’re still in my notebook to this day. I wonder what that job was really like?!
So I borrowed the ad as the starting point for my book. I also saw a feature in a newspaper about a young widower who had lost his wife a few years earlier and was simultaneously desperate to fall in love again and terrified of doing so. He was extremely attractive and eligible and girls were queuing up to catch his attention. Again, I was fascinated with his predicament and used aspects of it in the novel. (How strange that that lovely man will never know he partly inspired my book. I do hope he’s found love and is happy again now!)
As for other aspects of the story, they’re all inspired by other people’s lives. Max, in the book, is slightly based on a British TV personality who is now gay but who married when he was younger and had a daughter. Teenagers at school can get teased for the silliest reasons, so I was interested to research on the internet the ways in which they react to such a situation. And Max is also an interior designer who redesigns properties for wealthy families. Do you have WAGs in the US? Wives and Girlfriends of famous and super-successful footballers? Over in the UK, our footballers have a tendency to get involved with other girls and their wives or girlfriends quite often forgive them because if they walk away from the relationship they’ll lose their celebrity status. It’s outrageous, but it’s a fact of life that fascinates me. There’s a saying I’ve never forgotten: If you marry for money, you’ll earn every penny. So true!
The other real-life bit in the book is Roxborough, based on the small but enchantingly pretty town of Tetbury. It’s where the Princes Charles, William and Harry live and it’s where I went to school. I had lots of fun going back there to remind myself what it was like while I was writing Rumor Has It, and now one of my best friends runs a pub in a village nearby. If she’s not careful she’ll find herself starring in my next book!
Thanks again for letting me post a guest-blog on your terrific site. Sorry if the more serious aspects of the book brought a tear to your eye! And I’m on Twitter as @JillMansell if anyone wants to come and say hello...
RUMOR HAS IT by JILL MANSELL—IN STORES MAY 2010
Would you be tempted?
Newly single, Tilly Cole impulsively accepts a job offer in a small town as a “Girl Friday.” Fun job, country house, fresh start, why not? But soon she finds herself in a hotbed of gossip, intrigue, and rampant rivalry for the town’s most desirable bachelor—Jack Lucas.
Rumors of Jack’s “love ’em and leave ’em” escapes abound, and Tilly decides to do the mature, sensible thing... avoid Jack at all cost. But the more time Tilly spends with Jack, the more the rumors just don’t make sense. Tilly doesn’t know what to believe... and Jack’s not telling.
UK bestselling author Jill Mansell has written nearly twenty romances, and sold over 4 million books. A master of romantic comedy, her smart, sassy style has an irresistible appeal for women of all ages. A full--time writer, Ms. Mansell worked for many years the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England. For more information, please visit http://www.jillmansell.co.uk/ or follow Jill on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JillMansell.
Giveaway: I have two copies of RUMOR HAS IT to share with two lucky readers. To enter, just leave a comment (with a valid email address) telling me something you found interesting from this guest post. This contest will be open until Wednesday, June 9th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!