Delighted to be joining the blog tour today for Air Guitar and Caviar by Jackie Ladbury, the first in the Blue Skies series – available in e-book and paperback, and another one of those books that I’d love to have read, but sadly just couldn’t shoehorn into my reading schedule. I’m particularly gutted because I know Jackie is one of the Write Romantics – and I’ve yet to read a book by any of that lovely group of ladies that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. Here’s the blurb for this one:
Busker Dylan spends his days pulling pints in the local pub and singing on the high street, waiting for fame to call. That suits him fine, until beautiful, but frosty, air stewardess, Scarlett, tosses some coins into his hat but ignores his killer smile and his offer of pizza. He sets out to get the girl, but Scarlett isn’t in the right frame of mind to date anyone, let alone a penniless, if charming, busker boy.
Dylan’s desperate for his big break, but will it bring him the happiness he longs for? And with Scarlett’s past threatening to ruin her future, will Dylan be left to make sweet music all on his own?
It’s a real pleasure to welcome author Jackie Ladbury to Being Anne. Jackie, do you base your characters on real-life people?
Yes, often but mostly by using something they’ve done or a situation they were in, rather than focussing on their personality or looks. The idea for Air Guitar and Caviar– a cute busker falling for an unattainable air-stewardess – came about when I spotted a busker in my local town, giving a blonde Ryanair ‘hostie’ the once over – in a dejected kind of way. It made me wonder how he would go about asking her out if he had the opportunity and I wrote a story about it.
In a very distant past it was called Blue Skies and Stars and was critiqued through the New Writer’s scheme at the RNA where my ‘reader’ queried the wisdom of having a ten-year old girl die in what was supposedly a light-hearted romance. I had to agree. What was I thinking?
I put the novel on the back-burner and after many more half-written airline based novels, resurrected it, realising that there was an awful lot in there that I could re-use. That idea eventually became a full-length novel – with about five re-writes before it was finally published, being short-listed in the Search for a Star competition by Choc Lit when it was only 65,000 words long.
I was an air-stewardess myself at the time and had dabbled in writing love stories between pilots and cabin attendants, writing the happy ever after ending that eluded me in my personal life: the material was right in front of me, asking to be written.
One time on a night stop a pilot received a surprise visit from his girlfriend at our hotel – and he was in bed with another woman. The scenario stayed with me for a long time (cos he was so adorable and I couldn’t believe he would do such a thing!) and it eventually became the beginning of The Magic of Stars, which is the second in the Blue Skies series based around an airline. It was shortlisted in a Harlequin Flirty fiction competition which again told me that I was on the right track. There’s also a bit about a gay steward who cut off a passenger’s tie in keeping with a German tradition. I was actually on the flight the day it happened in real life and was relieved that the passenger saw the funny side of it.
The third novel in the Blue Skies series is as yet nameless but was inspired by a story told by a pilot who was working in Algiers who was told to take off his uniform before getting into a taxi as it would make him a likely kidnap victim. He was also shot at through his hotel window and was subsequently told to crawl past his window from then on! Glamorous life of being a pilot, eh? Unsurprisingly it’s set in Africa and features a handsome MI5 guy who befriends a stewardess who he believes is involved in smuggling.
So, actually writing this has made me realise that I’ve copied situations that happened rather than the actual people it happened to. One day I’ll write about the ‘one that got away’ – there’s nearly always one of those in everyone’s life isn’t there? I might make him ugly though, just to make me feel better and I guess so he doesn’t recognise himself. Watch this space!
Thanks Jackie – I’ll look forward to that one!
So, fancy winning a signed copy? With thanks to Jackie and tour organiser Rachel’s Random Resources, there are three up for grabs (UK only). Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And I’m delighted too to share news of Jackie’s next book, The Magic of Stars – you’ll be seeing the cover and blurb revealed by lots of lovely bloggers on 12th January. Here’s a little piece of the cover:
About the author
Jackie Ladbury was desperate to become a journalist when she left school but was ousted within minutes on the day of the exam at her local rag because she’d forgotten to bring a pen. Short and sharp lesson learned.
Her budding writing career was not on hold for long, though, as Jackie found herself scribbling love stories of pilots and ‘hosties’ while she flew in aeroplanes of various shapes and sizes as a flight attendant herself.
Fast forward a good few years and, after being short-listed in a couple of prestigious romantic writing competitions, Jackie decided it was time to discard her stilettos, say goodbye to the skies and concentrate on writing romantic novels, where the only given is a guaranteed ‘happy ever after.’