Tag Archives: sisters

Ellie Campbell's Random Animal Facts

onmybookshelf – I Heart Chick Lit

To Catch a Creeper

The cat incident in To Catch A Creeper actually happened to a cat that Pam owned named Parker who closely resembled Cathy’s cat, Tic Tac.

Yes, we – Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell (aka Ellie Campbell) – are total animal lovers.  Not that animals have always loved us back…

 Ellie Campbell’s random animal facts

1.      Lorraine drove 18 hours to Kansas City and back to adopt a whoodle (got to love that name) named Remy, a wheaten terrier/poodle cross.  His misdeeds include eating the passenger’s seat of her brand new car, killing rabbits and burying dead voles in the marital bed.  He is also unbearably cute.

 2.     Pam has a tiny border terrier called Milly whose life’s ambition is to battle rottweilers and capture a fox. One of the sisters in “How to Survive Your Sisters” was named after her, yet they look nothing alike.

3.      Pam and Lorraine’s first dog was a wayward mongrel called Tippy who chased motorbikes, fought with male dogs and amorously pursued every bitch in town, hopping on and off buses, unescorted.  When about to move to England, the parents seized the excuse to find him another home at a distant farm.  They dropped him off, despite wails and protests, only to discover him back at the house within hours.  Clearly his knowledge of the bus system extended also to rural routes. 

 4.      Pam and Lorraine also owned rabbits, keeping the two does in a large aviary in the garden, separated from the buck called Dylan, who still somehow managed to procreate, bringing the total from three to nineteen with astonishing speed.  Pam liked to walk them on a leash in the local graveyard and turn them loose for exercise.  They would follow her around, leaping in the air.

5.      The two sisters were always horse obsessed, galloping down the street on their imaginary steeds, slaving and mucking out stalls in the local stables to cadge free rides. After leaving school they pooled their meager wages to buy a hot-blooded Anglo Arab named Eagle Star, often borrowing a scruffy old mule so they could ride together.  Lorraine and Star once had the unnerving experience of a hot air balloon descending straight at them, with the occupant screaming to get out of his way.  It added a whole new dimension to “hazards of the trail”.

6.      Pam and Lorraine used to win money at local fairs betting on their friend’s donkey, Bilbo Baggins, until the bookmakers wised up to his talents.  It was still an uncertain race because although extremely fast Bilbo had trouble turning corners and his jockey frequently fell off.

7.      Beside the horse, Eagle Star, Pam has owned or lived with cats, dogs, goats, fish, hamsters, rabbits, budgies, Java finches, chickens, lizards, snakes and rats.  Her least favorite was the python that thanks to father/son collusion was purchased with her very reluctant consent.  As soon as the men of the family went away on a camping trip, the python escaped.  Pam spent the rest of the weekend being afraid… very afraid.

8.      Lorraine has owned hamsters, horses, rabbits, cats, dogs, budgies, cockatiels, chickens, Indian runner ducks.  Her least favorite were the Indian runner ducks who lived up to their name by running in a panic whenever she approached. 

9.      Pam once frightened a house guest when he awoke to see an escaped hamster gnawing through a hole in the ceiling.

 

10.    Lorraine once went to throw a stick into the fireplace and realized it was a huge bull snake that had come in unnoticed when she fetched the wood.


12.    Pam was the first rider to mount Lorraine’s young feisty mare Luna in her early days of training.   They achieved half a dozen steps before Luna threw a monumental bucking fit and ejected Pam into the dirt. Pam was not impressed by Lorraine’s training.

 

13.    Lorraine was once on an elephant ride in Rajasthan when she persuaded the mahout to let her swap places.  No sooner was she perched behind its ears, when the elephant whirled and charged a man walking close by.  She realized then it had no brakes and she didn’t know the command for stop.

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14.  Pam once galloped around the Great Pyramid in Egypt on a runaway horse. She enjoyed it immensely.

 

14.    Lorraine once opened her barn door with cat food in hand, calling ‘kitty, kitty’ only to see a very large face emerge from the hay, followed by the rest of a magnificent bobcat who casually hopped out of an open stall door.  Her barn cats were all in hiding hoping to avoid becoming that morning’s meal.

15. Pam once had her shoes chewed on by rats when staying in a crummy hotel in Burma.

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16.    Lorraine and Pam both have the dubious distinction of having being charged and tossed in the air by cows. Pam in Delhi, Lorraine in Scotland. Neither knows why.

17.    Since moving to Colorado Lorraine has encountered raccoons, coyotes, skunks, rattlesnakes, bullsnakes, black widow spiders, bobcat, bear, elk, moose and mountain lions.  The mountain lions were outside her bedroom window.  For a while she stopped wandering outside to admire the night sky.

18.  Raccoons used to frequently break into Lorraine’s laundry room every night looking for a free meal.  A nervous friend living temporarily in Lorraine’s basement once called the sheriff when she heard sinister dragging sounds.  Turned out raccoons were having trouble attempting to haul a 50 lb tub of kibble out through the dog door.

19.     Pam had a fabulous cat called Parker who lived to the age of twenty-one. He was top “dog” amongst the other two dogs she had at the time and would condescendingly pat them on the head if they deigned to walk past.  He was originally a stray and not pretty but as he’d been at the rescue centre the longest, he was next in line for euthanasia and she felt compelled to take him home. If you stroked him in the wrong way, he would turn and scratch you hard, showing no mercy.

20.    Lorraine’s husband is not a cat lover and for a while banned felines, claiming to be allergic, but somehow they now own five, three in the barn, two in the house.  The house cats like to bring live mice indoors and let them escape.  Remy, the whoodle, then goes crazy tearing apart furniture to find them.  Lorraine swears the cats are sniggering. 

Thank you for stopping by!!!

 via To Catch a Creeper by Ellie Campbell / Book Review + Guest Post | onmybookshelf – I Heart Chick Lit.

To Catch A Creeper…the official singing and dancing launch party…

Hooray, it’s finally here.  Publication day for our brand new novel!!!    To Catch A Creeper: A Crouch End Confidential Mystery.  Bring out the balloons and the dancing girls.

(Or rather since we can’t afford dancing girls, click here to see EllieAy Caramba Campbell celebrate in style.   Margaritas anyone?)

And if your favorite words are ‘free’ and ‘almost free’  don’t miss the two very special offers further down this page…

“TO CATCH A CREEPER: A CROUCH END CONFIDENTIAL MYSTERY”

Yes, our favorite dysfunctional wife and mother, Cathy O’Farrell, is on the loose again… this time taking on the advertising world and also seeking to discover the identity of a notorious burglar, known to the press as the Crouch End Creeper.

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Of course being Cathy things never go quite as planned but you can bet there’ll be plenty of laughs, surprises and twists and turns along the rocky way…

(Those burglars can be tricky… even murderous at times.  Always popping up where least expected…  ) And talking of unexpected, as hinted above…

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ALMOST FREE…in UK and USA

LOOKING FOR LA LA 

All this week – 24th to 30th March – we’re reducing the price globally of our #3 humor bestseller Looking for La La in kindle edition to  the bargain price of .99 (cents or pence.) And don’t forget, you can get kindle apps for your smartphone, computer, i-pad or nook.  And if that wasn’t bargain enough…

WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN THAT…?

A GIFT FOR OUR US READERS

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FREE FOR JUST A FEW DAYS.   We’re offering How To Survive Your Sisters for free download Wed 26 March to Sunday 30th March on Amazon.com.  (Sorry, doesn’t apply to Amazon UK but soon, very soon…)

And, man, do we know all about the joys and pains of sisterhood…

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Thanks for celebrating launch day with us,

Lorraine and Pam

My Book and My Coffee: Guest Post (+ FREE eBook): BFF or Frenemy by Lorraine Campbell and Pam Burks

Posted by Ara C.T. MyBookandMyCoffee

Happy Weekend, lovelies! 🙂 Today, I am very happy to introduce Lorraine Campbell and Pam Burks, author of When Good Friends Go Bad (which is actually free this weekend in honor of National Friendship Day). They have prepared a friend-themed guest post that I’m sure you will find interesting.

You’ll definitely enjoy this one… I DID! 🙂

BFF OR FRENEMY?

Girlfriends are loyal, caring and support you through the hard times. You share secrets, heartbreaks, weep on each other’s shoulders. But what if it all goes wrong? What happens when you suspect she no longer has your best interests at heart?  In other words…When Good Friends Go Bad?

Here are a few signs that it’s time to let her go.

She’s been texting your boyfriend – and NOT to arrange your surprise birthday party.

She forwards your gossipy, bitchy, wildly indiscrete email to her entire contact list.

She chooses the fanciest restaurants, orders the most expensive wine and sticks you with the bill.

She shoplifts while you’re with her and gets you both arrested.

She crashes your car while drunk then blithely admits she has no insurance.

She uses you as her alibi then reveals to the world that the two of you were lying.

She posts a horrendous photo of you cross-eyed drunk – and uses it as her screensaver.

She offers to babysit for your vital meeting and cancels just as you’re leaving the house.

She makes a pass at your dad… in front of your mum.

She dates your brother and breaks his heart.

You can never get through on her cellphone – the bitch has blocked you.

She’s unfriended you from Facebook – do you need more clues?

****

via My Book and My Coffee: Guest Post (+ FREE eBook): BFF or Frenemy by Lorraine Campbell and Pam Burks.

Thanks to Ara for featuring us on her great website…  You can click the link to read it all and enter the giveaway.

BookBitchBlog – 10 Fun and Random Facts…

BOOKBITCH BLOG 

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BREAKING NEWS FROM THE BOOKBITCH… 

click on link above (title) to read whole guest post, feature and book excerpt.

10 Fun & Random Facts About Author Ellie Campbell (aka Pam Burks and sister Lorraine Campbell)  

1) We are both mad about horses, IMG_1018although Lorraine has three and Pam has none, which is not fair (according to Pam). Lorraine doesn’t mind one bit.

2) Pam grows most of her own vegetables in her allotment. It is in a fab location right next to a lake and a park. She loves nothing more than escaping housework and family, calling up her friend who she shares it with and sitting with her at their picnic table putting the world to rights.

3) Lorraine once worked as a charter cook on a boat in Belize, sailing around the Caribbean. Not a bad job considering she is a hopeless cook.

4) Pam hates cheese and olives. Lorraine loves both.

5) Lorraine is pretending to write, but really she is going on an intensive training course to be a horse trainer.

6) Pam is pretending to write and scolding Lorraine for sneaking off, but really she is sunbathing in the garden and reading other people’s novels.

7) Lorraine once trained to be a healer – in Canada. She’s also done courses in Silva, Psych-K, massage, EFL, and had to bow 3,000 times to get certified as a Dahnhak yoga teacher.

8) Pam once took a ride on cabin 2008 114_2Lorraine’s new young apparently docile horse and got bucked off in spectacular fashion within about three seconds.

9) Both Pam and Lorraine got tossed by cows. Pam in some small village in India and Lorraine on the Isle of Skye, the highlands of Scotland.

10) Both Pam and Lorraine loathe talking about themselves. But they seem to do an awful lot of it these days.

via BookBitchBlog.

Mama J Hearts: Guest Post: Ellie Campbell

Thank you, Mama J Hearts!

Jealousy – A Wasted Emotion?  Discuss.

There I was this morning with a pair of slinky little knickers in hand. I’d just found them curled up inside my husband’s jogging bottoms (track suit pants for our American readers), almost as if some sultry mistress had placed them there to be found by my prying eyes. I knew they weren’t mine. I know my knickers (panties) – intimately. As most women do. I know they’re not my daughter’s. Even though she’s coming out of her teens, she still can’t seem to work out how to rotate that switch on the washing machine. Nor find it for that matter.

My son ambled past, yawning and stretching. “Here,” I chucked the knickers at him. “Do these belong to your girlfriend?”

“Maybe,” he looked them over, skimpy, lacy at the top, silky at the front, then left the room and came back moments later.

“Nah.”

“Is she there?” I asked, surprised. If so, she’d been very quiet all morning.

“No. But I took a photo of them with my phone. And she said they’re not hers.”

So should I confront my husband? After all they came out of his trouser legs.

Well, if I was a jealous woman I possibly would. Then again, if I’d been a jealous woman a few years back when “the postcard” dropped through the door, professing undying love for my husband, Lorraine and I might not be here, talking about our third Ellie Campbell novel, Looking For La La.

Just as in the novel, the postcard was from a woman, who called herself La La, addressed to my beloved spouse. Maybe fleetingly, a doubtful thought might have crossed my mind, and yes, I could have smacked him over the head with the toaster and demanded to know who she was, why she had written to him….barraged him with questions, accusations, burst into floods of tears.

Sad truth is, I’m used to it. It’s been a constant throughout our courtship, years of living together, and now our married life. As an athletic, good-looking, young (and, even now, not so young) man working in the leisure industry, my hubbie is constantly in the company of shapely young women with abs like the Baywatch babes. Teaching aerobic classes, acting as fitness instructor and personal trainer, he has been surrounded half his working life by semi-clothed health-conscious predatory females. Comes with the territory.

So like Cathy’s husband, Declan, in Looking for La La (who all Cathy’s friends drool over), ‘Him indoors’ has had a lot of attention from admirers over the years, to the point of acute embarrassment. I was once in one of his circuit training classes when the girl star-jumping next to me hissed, “Teacher’s a bit hot, isn’t he?” What could I reply? “Actually that’s my husband” or like I did at the time, mumble, “Not really my type”.

Another time he had a horrifying stalker, who having failed to seduce him, (he managed to push her out of the health club door late one night, locking it quick) ran up three flights of stairs, along a corridor, down another flight, to sneak back in through a fire exit, scaring him rigid. I had to make him a stiff drink when he arrived home.

In fact it’s almost surprising there weren’t a few more La Las over the years, maybe not all sending him postcards but…you get my drift.

It’s hard enough keeping up with a husband who is two, (he says three) years younger than myself, who runs marathons like most people were going for a Sunday stroll. And, unlike me, relishes organising and taking part in various sporting challenges.

This Sunday he’s running his 10th marathon – having already done the biggies, such as Edinburgh, Brighton, London, Paris, Dublin. In a few months’ time he’s cycling from Redhill, Surrey to Paris, France – 175 miles in 24 hours. Shortly after that it’s the Three Peaks – three of the highest mountains in Wales, Scotland and England, all to be climbed again in 24 hours.

Mount Snowdon

Mount Snowdon – Hubbie’s idea of A Good Time

Then it’s the North Downs Trek, the South Downs Trek, South Downs Way – 100 miles in a day off-road mountain bike challenge. Last year of his own free will (durr), he jumped out of an aeroplane, walked on burning coals, took part in a cycling road race, a gruelling walk through the boggy Yorkshire moors, bungee jumped off a bridge with a dodgy rope in South America. You get the picture. All for charity, of course, but still…

He’s on a high protein, no alcohol Paris 2009diet right now (for the marathon), while I’m on an eat as much as I can and drink till I drop phase. Well it is still winter, so I need a few layers around my middle. Can I keep up? Could I in any way be described as toned or in shape? No is the brutal answer. I walk the dog, play a bit of badminton, tend my allotment, do the odd bit of gardening, and am practically forced every year to join him on the tandem – he must still love me then? – to cycle long distance challenges…to Paris, Gibraltar, Montpellier, and this year 300 miles (in 3 days) to Copenhagen. I guess I must love him too.

Because frankly I’m basically lazy. If I could get away with it, I’d lie under my duvet every morning, tapping away on my computer writing the next “Ellie Campbell” novel. Exercising only my fingers and thoughts.

More importantly, should I be worried about the stray knickers at present lying neatly folded on his neatly folded jogging bottoms? No, I’m sure there must be a perfectly innocent explanation. Maybe he wanted to try them out himself before he bought a similar pair for me?

And what did I do when the postcards came through the door? Well, do writers ever waste anything? Being a trusting soul, (and an author) instead of leaping up to attack him, I leapt out of my chair, raced up the stairs to the attic, jumped onto my computer and furiously began typing the first few chapters of what was to become Looking for La La, roping in my sister and co-writer, Lorraine. We enjoyed ourselves hugely as we took what was likely a mean little prank and turned it into a funny mystery novel about a scatty housewife who stirs up a whole lot of trouble by turning sleuth.

They say jealousy is a wasted emotion. Lorraine and I believe it’s far more than that – it’s a wasted novel.

And the underwear? Turned out to belong to my daughter after all.

via Mama J Hearts: Guest Post: Ellie Campbell.

Lots of Winners – in time for Mother's Day

We’re delighted to announce that Nurmawati Djuhawan from Indonesia won our Rafflecopter Giveaway!  She won a free paperback copy of Looking For La La.. Congratulations Nurmawati!   But you can all be winners!  To celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, Amazon is giving away free kindle copies this weekend of Looking For La La to end on Sunday May 12th, at 11.59 PST.    Order now an help us get to #1 in the Kindle Free Top 100!    If you’re suspecting that you may not be the most ‘together’ mother in the world, if your house is a little messy and your kids won’t eat their vegetables, reading Cathy Roger’s trials is bound to cheer you up.

Want to win a Kindle copy of all three of our novels?  You have 12 days left to enter Reading Renee’s giveaway of How To Survive Your Sisters, When Good Friends Go Bad and Looking For La La.  And, yes, there are some less-than-perfect mothers in those books too…

'Thrilling, Gripping and Unique' 23 Review Street reviews Looking For La La

“If I had to sum up Looking for La La in three words they would be:- Thrilling, Gripping and Unique.”   Sophie Kate.

A wonderful review by Sophie Kate, 23 Review Street.  Thank you, Sophie Kate.  Read it for yourself at www.23reviewstreet.blogspot.co.uk   And don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win a free copy.23reviewstreet

23 Review Street –

thousands of choices, hundreds of decisions. One review you can trust..and love.

About Looking for La La –

This amazing novel is written by Ellie Campbell, a pseudonym of two sisters that are Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell. This novel is so perfectly written, it has humour, drama and depth to the story.

Looking for La La’s tag line is So many secrets…so little time. This fits this book so well, from the mystery postcard to possibly being stalked. The story is set in Cathy’s point of view, she is a mother of two children and is married to Declan.

As a stay at home mother, her days are filled with tidying and cleaning up after her family, that is until the day a postcard arrived. It is signed Love from La La, who is this La La? and what is she doing sending her husband a postcard? Confused by the postcard, and not knowing if her husband is having a affair or if it is some kind of joke? It’s not long before more things come to light and the whole situation gets even bigger with every passing problem.

Cathy’s husband, Declan has no idea who La La is and what she is doing sending him a postcard but does he really? Cathy’s best friend Raz is always there to help her and is more than ready to investigate the odd things that keep happening. With every problem falling into the next one, but with the growing questions there are even more answers.

If I had to sum up Looking for La La in three words they would be:- Thrilling, Gripping and Unique. This book is great for anyone who loves a book that keeps you holding on till the end. I would definitely recommended this book to everyone, it has humour, drama and most important a great story line. The story was very believable, with lots of twists along the way.

My favourite character of the book was Cathy as the story is in her point of view, you get to see the events unfold through Cathy’s eyes. You also get to see have her family and friends are portrayed through her eyes, this makes the book even more intriguing.

My favourite quote in the book was:- Put Nemo down at once! she yells suddenly, then her voice changes. I’m sorry, my two-year-old’s cuddling the goldfish. What were you saying?

Thank you to Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell who together make Ellie Campbell for giving me a copy of their book.

via Review of Looking For La La by Ellie Campbell.

I heart books! | For lovers of chick-lit, adult and romance books.

A lovely interview with I Heart Books.  Thank you, Kirsty!

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Sisters, doing it for themselves!

POSTED ON APRIL 24, 2013

Who is Ellie Campbell?

L&PGrand Canyon2Actually ‘Ellie’ is two people – sisters and co-authors Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell.  We love all kinds of novels but particularly women’s fiction with a great story, recognizable characters and the ability to make us laugh one minute and perhaps cry the next.  We still share the same sense of humor that got us into so much trouble as kids and so it has been fun writing books that allow us to enjoy the comic aspects of everyday life while still exploring some serious issues and indulging in our taste for romance, drama, and intrigue.

Your book is called ‘Looking for La La’ please could you tell me about it?

We got the inspiration from a postcard that was sent to our house several years ago.  It was from someone called La La, covered with lipstick kisses and proclaiming passionate love to my husband.  So of course my sister Lorraine and I borrowed the event for the first chapter of Looking For La La: a novel about a bored, unappreciated housewife and mother of two, Cathy, whose predictable world is turned upside-down by the arrival of a love postcard addressed to husband, Declan.  We had her investigating the mystery, full of joy at this unexpected excitement.  But her sleuthing just gets her deeper into all kinds of trouble, threatening her marriage, bringing surprising attention from a sexy artist, stirring up conflict with friends and fellow-mothers with secrets of their own and even – it turns out – inciting the wrath of a murderous opponent.   It’s a wild ride with a lot of humour and we had great fun writing it.

‘Looking for La La’ is based around a thirty something mother of two, please could you tell me about her?

Cathy is definitely on the ‘slummy-mummy’ end of the scale, disorganized, chaotic, the kind of person who runs around the house tidying up before the cleaning lady comes and then has to hide or leave the house because she feels so guilty about hiring help.  (Nothing like me, obviously!) Her second child has just started school and she has no idea how to go about returning to work, being nervous of new technology and victim of a terrible interview phobia. So she’s putting off the evil day as long as she can, the source of regular arguments with her husband.  Meanwhile she has a great bunch of friends: Raz, who lives in their attic: the Tuesday Twice Monthlies, fellow mothers who share riotous alcohol-fuelled evenings out.  She’s fiercely loyal and she genuinely loves Declan even if they bicker, especially as suspicions grow about his young new assistant. It has to be said Cathy is prone to misreading situations – not nearly the great sleuth she fondly imagines herself to be – and this combined with her impulsive, reactive personality gets her into a lot of hot water, often with comic results.

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?

how to survive_2_4I began by going to creative writing classes as a form of escapism – I had three young children, all under the age of 4, and I needed to get away occasionally. I loved turning up to these classes, listening to all those fabulous writers, not really thinking I would ever particularly be one.  With encouragement though I began writing short stories, thrilled when I had my first one published in a UK weekly magazine.  From there on, I continued writing short stories, and small articles, mostly done in the short space of time while the children were at school or nursery.  When Lorraine settled in Colorado, we started writing a novel together.  It was a red-letter day when Caroline Hardman, our agent, agreed to take us on and even more exciting when Arrow Books wanted to publish How to Survive your Sisters and gave us a two-book contract.  There were a lot of firsts – it was our first novel, we were Caroline’s first clients and it was the first fiction acquisition by the editor at Arrow.  As everyone says finding an agent is incredibly challenging – we were lucky.

Are any of the characters in ‘Looking for La La’ anything like you?

Cathy, the narrator, is like me in some ways, in that I love going out with my female friends and just having a blast with them.  I don’t go out drinking as much as Cathy does though, (I wish!), and my children are a lot older.  I can however remember the days of not knowing what I wanted to do once the kids didn’t need me around so much and being terrified of the thought of returning to work. Saying all that, luckily I found my career path early on.

Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.

So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?

In Looking for La La, it would have to be Cathy.  I would like to go the Spa she visits with her friend, Gabby, but unlike Gabby, (who went to sleep instead) would listen to her problems and talk some sense into her and tell her not to be so hard on herself and not to feel she has to be all things to all people all the time.

You write as a sister team, how did this come about?

When Good Friends Go BadLorraine started being published first, well she would, she’s older, ha.  But no really she worked for a literary agency, for the novelist Carol Smith.  Carol encouraged her to write.  When I began writing, I would never show anything to Lorraine, for fear she’d think it rubbish.  Obviously, though, once my work was in magazines I felt a lot more secure about sharing it.   After a while Lorraine and I began to email each other our stories, especially if we’d reached a sticking point and could use a bit of input.  When we both wanted to write a novel about our experience of being sisters, and particularly about our amazing mother, we decided to write it together. It was difficult at first, working out the logistics, but once we had the plot down on paper, we each picked a chapter or scene or character and just ran with it.  To be honest with all the rewrites and different versions we send back and forth, it’s hard even for us to tell who wrote what exactly.  It all streams into one.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?

Yes, we have just finished our fourth novel, Million Dollar Question, which is currently with our agent, Caroline Hardman at Hardman Swainson.  It follows the stories of two very different women, one in the States who loses her fantastic career, her wealth and her super-eligible fiancé, and the other, an impoverished divorced parent in the UK, who wins a million pounds, both events occurring on the same day.  They are connected in more ways than they know and eventually the two stories converge as each has to deal with the change of identity, issues of self-worth and all the challenges that come with such an extreme turn of fortunes

If there was one saying that could sum up your life, what would it be?

Don't worry, be happy !“Don’t worry, be happy.”  Having said that, although I’m basically a happy person, I have wasted so much time worrying about things that don’t happen.

If ‘Looking for La La’ was to be made into a film, who would you like to star in it?

I would say Eva Mendes (Cathy has a thing about her) but she’s far too feminine and pouty and it would be hard to see her as slobby, chaotic Cathy.  Perhaps Drew Barrymore or Renee Zellwegger – she was so amazing in Bridget Jones. Definitely Damien Lewis for Declan, Raz could be Charlize Theron, Belinda would be Melissa McCarthy, Henrietta would be played by Emily Watson with her pixie cut hairstyle and Rupert – Cathy’s love interest – would have absolutely to be Colin Farrell.  Or Johnny Depp.  I don’t know if they’re what we pictured exactly but if they were on the set, nothing on earth could keep Lorraine and I away.

Please could you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Well, it might sound as if writing in partnership is easy but really it has its pros and cons.  One good thing about Lorraine and me is that we are in some ways very alike in our thinking, sense of humour, even in our voices and use of words and expressions.  To the point that in our dating days it was impossible for both of us to shine.  If one was on form, telling stories, grabbing the attention, the other would automatically fall back and fade into the background rather than compete.  We don’t look at all identical – Lorraine is taller, I’m darker in hair and skin – but people often used to ask if we were twins.  So writing in the same voice isn’t as hard for us as it might be for other people.  Basically we work out a storyline – which evolves as we progress.  We decide who wants to write each character viewpoint, send the chapters over, the other rewrites as they feel fit, sends it back, the other edits and makes more changes, and back and forth like that several times.  By the time we’re finished, it’s very hard to remember who exactly wrote what.  Kind of like our childhood memories – we each claim that such-and-such an event happened to us – who poured the bowl of ice-cream over their head in a fit of childish excitement, who got into a stand-off with the neighbourhood bully.   The stories blend – and at the end of the day, well, it’s sort of annoying, someone else claiming ‘your’ past but it’s sort of wonderful too.   I guess it’s a sister thing.

I would like to thank Pam and Lorraine for taking the time to talk to I Heart Books!

via I heart books! | For lovers of chick-lit, adult and romance books..

The Truth About Author Photos

Every wondered how those author photos come out looking so darned intellectual, attractive, flawless? So do we. When our first novel How to Survive Your Sisters came out, and the publicity department of Arrow asked for photos we panicked. Hating our photo taken and not about to go the obvious route and hire a professional, we roped in our sister Jo.  After all she takes great photos, doesn’t she?

First we looked like we were in the middle of a sister war.

Then we thought balloons might help?  (They didn’t.)

The Daily Express did a feature, sent in a team of make-up artists, spending hours on hair and make-up, putting us in dresses and heels. Could this be our moment of glory?

Nope – unfortunately those hideous frocks helped nothing at all.

So when I went to Colorado to visit we decided that we’d get some nice shots. My daughter, Lucy was brought in. She had a camera. There were mountains.

I tried to look I was writing. Durr why??

We tried to look serious but ended up gormless (dopey). Or one of us closed our eyes.

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Or we couldn’t stop squinting but at least the scenery looked nice.

We couldn’t stop laughing.  Or it came out fuzzy.

Others were too dark.  (We were getting tired of this game. Lorraine looks like she’s sleeping on my shoulder)

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Then everyone kept jumping in, spoiling the point of it all. It was about US!

Lorraine kept pushing me out of the picture

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By now the photographer was getting fed up. But I wasn’t sure she was taking it all that seriously.

She began taking photos of the dog.

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I thought I might do better with a solo scholarly pose.

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The vacation was over and we still hadn’t got our perfect portrait.

Perhaps it was time to use a professional after all.

Thanks to the digital technology, soft lights and lots of airbrushing we finally got a shot we liked.

I still don’t know though – does it make us look a little too young?