We're pleased to introduce Jacquelyn Middleton and feature her debut novel, London Belongs to Me. Upon seeing her photo, Melissa A immediately introduced her to our Chick Lit Cheerleader, as they look like they could be sisters. They hit it off right away!
Jacquelyn is an award-winning freelance writer with articles published by several of the most popular magazines, newspapers, and websites in North America including Canadian Living, Best Health, National Geographic Travel, The Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, and Flare. She previously worked in television broadcasting for Chum Television (Citytv and MuchMusic), and Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting (Discovery Health Channel, Slice and National Geographic Channel), and lives in Toronto.
When Jacquelyn is not writing, you can find her hanging out in London, waiting in a comic con line with her husband, or chasing after her bossy Schipperke. Visit Jacquelyn at her website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thanks to BookSparks, we have one copy of London Belongs to Me to give away. This book is also part of their 2016 Fall Reading Challenge.
Meet Alex, a recent college graduate from Tallahassee, Florida in love with London, pop culture, and comic cons. It’s not easy being 21-years-old, and Alex has never been the most popular girl. She’s an outsider, a geeky fangirl … with dreams of becoming a playwright in a city she’s loved from afar, but never visited. Fleeing America after a devastating betrayal, she believes London is where she’ll be understood, where she belongs. But Alex’s past of panic attacks and broken relationships is hard to escape. When it teams up with a jealous rival determined to destroy her new British life, Alex begins to question everything: her life-long dream, her new friends, and whether London is for her.
In one sentence, what was the road to publishing like for you?
Publishing London Belongs to Me was the realization of a life-long dream.
How did you decide to write chick lit?
To me, Chick Lit is the most enjoyable genre to read and it has so much heart. My favourite books are stories about love, friendship, and overcoming great odds to become the woman you are meant to be. Everyone can relate to yearning for someone, or something, and the struggle to be understood. The best chick lit stories always have a large dose of all those ingredients. With London Belongs to Me, I basically wrote the story that I wanted to read.
Which authors have inspired you?
My favourite book growing up was E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. It's the most beautiful story about friendship that I've ever read. And that last paragraph … makes me cry every time I read it. I also find Karen Swan, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Karma Brown, and Mhairi McFarlane incredibly inspiring. I devour their novels.
A brilliant American writer named Helene Hanff is a huge inspriation to me. In her memoirs, I found a kindred spirit. She loved London like I do. She wrote two memoirs that I highly recommend: 84 Charing Cross Road, and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. I'm also very fond of Susan Allen Toth. She's an author of several memoirs about England. I naturally drift to people who love London, and the UK like I do.
If London Belongs to Me were to become a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
I love this question. I definitely have certain people in mind for my characters. In some cases, they're an amalgamation of several people, while others are just one person. Many of the early readers of London Belongs to Me have told me who they see for Alex, Lucy, Freddie, etc., but rarely do their choices match mine. I like the idea that readers will visualize their own cast, and I would hate for my casting to sway how they might feel about the characters, so I'll leave you guessing!
What is the strangest or craziest date you have ever been on?
My craziest date is straight out of a chick lit novel. It took place in NYC with my now-husband. I lived in Canada. He lived in the UK. We met the night before at a concert by an Irish band, and we were both leaving to fly home to our respective countries the next day. Maybe I'll turn our story into a novel one day.
What is your favourite weekend activity?
Weekends are usually devoted to plenty of walks with my dog, watching Manchester United play, or the latest British TV series with my Brit husband. The weekend gets bonus points if it involves a meal out for Italian or Indian, a leisurely stroll around our favourite bookstores, and a film. And there has to be British chocolate, but that's a daily thing. Why wait until the weekend?
Thanks to Jacquelyn for chatting with us and to BookSparks for sharing her book with our readers.
How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.
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Giveaway ends October 26th at midnight EST