Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Blogger, Jill Mansell

It’s my pleasure to welcome UK bestseller author Jill Mansell as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.

Jill’s latest release, RUMOR HAS IT, hit the bookstores in May. She stops by today to answer a few questions for me about her book and her writing.

As a special treat, thanks to Jill and Danielle from Sourcebooks, 2 lucky visitors who comment on this post will receive a copy of RUMOR HAS IT. The giveaway is open to residents of U.S. and Canada only and will run through 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, June 3. If your profile doesn’t include your e-mail address, please be sure to include it with your comment.

A question I'm sure you're asked a lot. Are the characters in RUMOR HAS IT based on people you know or are they completely made-up?

Jill: Hi there, and thanks so much for inviting me to visit your lovely blog! OK, your first question is an interesting one, as I almost never base ANY of my characters on real people, because it just makes everything that much more complicated – I like my characters to be under my control, so why would I make them non-fictional? But in this book I did do it. Max’s looks and personality, in the novel, are based on those of based a UK TV star called Paul O’Grady, who is Liverpudlian, gay, and a father. For some reason I needed to use him, and he was a fantastic character in the book, dry and witty and bursting with personality. But it’s the first time I’ve ever used a well known figure as inspiration – I prefer to make them up!

Since you write romantic comedy, do you have a favorite romantic comedy movie you like?

Jill: Yes I do – in fact I have several! When Harry met Sally is one of my favourites. So is Sleepless in Seattle. And then there’s Four Weddings and a Funeral and Bridget Jones’ Diary. (And don’t get me started on all the wonderful old Cary Grant/ Doris Day romantic comedies I loved so much when I was growing up!)

If RUMOR HAS IT was made into a movie today, who would you like to see play these wonderful characters and why those actors?

Jill: Gosh, difficult question – I never think of these things. Probably the hero would have to be George Clooney, once he’d been popped into a time machine and whisked back in time to his ER days. Sandra Bullock is wonderful but she’d have to pop into the machine with him. Or how about Carey Mulligan, who seems set for such a fantastic career? I bet she’d be great as Tilly. Hello, Steven Spielberg…?

Without giving anything away, did you ever consider taking Stella's character in a different direction?

Jill: Hmm, difficult to talk about this without spoiling the story. Let’s just say that not all my characters are good and not all of them have happy endings. But I didn’t plan Stella’s story from the outset – it just turned out that way, without warning. A bit like life, really…

Are there any plans for a follow-up book for these characters?

Jill: No, I never write sequels. As soon as I finish a novel, I forget the characters – all I care about are the lovely new exciting ones I’m about to get to know for the next book!

If you could have a conversation with any 2 authors, past or present, who would they be and what would you talk about?

Jill: Having conversations with other authors is something I love – and now, thanks to Twitter, it’s something I get to do every day. We talk about the joys and difficulties of writing. I love k nowing that others get as stuck as I do, and hearing the different ways they trick themselves into working. But if I could talk to dead authors, I’d love to show the Bronte sisters an iPad! And William Shakespeare – I bet he’d have embraced technology. He’d be the James Patterson of his day…

Anything you would like the readers to know about you, your books or your writing that they may not know?

Jill: Crikey, what can I say? I don’t know what people know about me! I like snacks and TV and happy endings and trampolining and American Idol and sunshine and snow and my beautiful Sourcebooks book-covers and diamonds and lipsticks. (I couldn’t possibly admit how many lipsticks I own.) I’m so lucky to be able to write books for a living. I feel sorry for people who don’t enjoy reading – they’re missing out on one of life’s great pleasures. And when I die, I really hope it’s when I’ve just finished a book and not when I’m half-way through writing it. I want to write those magic words The End, then just go!

Jill, thanks so much for stopping by and answering all my questions. It’s always interesting finding out some background about how the books was written.

For a little background on Jill, she 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, Jill worked for many years at  the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England. For more information, please visit or follow Jill on Twitter:

Now here’s a little blurb about RUMOR HAS IT:
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.


  1. Jill Mansell was one of the people who kept me sane when I was a full time mother struggling almost singlehandedly to bring up my two boys.
    Quite a pleasure meeting her!

  2. Wonderful interview! Congratulations on all your success, Jill.

    I love "When Harry Met Sally" and "4 Weddings," too. :)

  3. Mason, ohhh I love this style of interview.

    Jill, Wow twenty books? I am plugging along on one. Congrats to you.

  4. Mason - Thanks so much for hosting Jill.

    Jill - I am impressed! You've wrtten twenty books?! It's funny you would mention that about characters. People ask me that question, too - whether I base my characters on real people. Your answer is a lot like mine; I don't base my characters on real people, either. It would get too complicated.

  5. Hi everyone. Thanks so much for dropping by today to say hello to Jill.

    Jill, thanks for answering my questions and giving us a look at your writing style. Best of luck.

  6. Romantic comedies are great fun and I like the blurb on this one!

    Straight From Hel

  7. Congratulations JIll! I enjoyed this interesting background to the book and look forward to reading it. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. I love all the same movies as Jill, so I bet I'd love her book as well. It's now on my "to purchase" list. Thanks, Mason, and Jill.

  9. Nice interview! As far as I'm concerned, there can never be too many romantic comedies! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this one!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  10. It sounds like a really fun read! I'd love to take it along on my vacation!

    I agree with Gwendolyn, never too many.

  11. Sounds like just the ticket! taittems at gmail dot com

  12. Hi Mason and everyone who's left a comment!
    I'm so glad you enjoyed my little guest blog - the only drawback is regretting you missed out something important, so I'm going to add a couple of films I forgot - Moulin Rouge, The Proposal and the old black and white Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films I used to love so much as a teenager. Can't leave those out - and there are amazing xclips now on YouTube!
    Hope you enjoy my book!
    Jill xxx

  13. Yay for Jill! I love her books and this was another great one - I read it about a month ago.

    Thanks to much for having her on your blog!

  14. Please enter me & thx for the contest

  15. I'm a fan of romantic comedy, too. This sounds like a fantastic read!

  16. Love that interview. I'm different from her. I love sequels because I don't like the characters to change but I think it's neat that she likes meeting new ones.


  17. Jen in NashvilleMay 26, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Have read all your books, doubt you capable of writing a bad one. Must be the Fred & Ginger influence.

  18. What a fun interview. Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your new book.

  19. Sounds like a fun book - romantic comedies are great :)

  20. Mason, I'm jealous. You got the fabulous Jill Mansell to interview.

    Jill, lovely post. you cracked me up with sending George Clooney and Sandy Bullock in a time machine...

    Don't you know, Jill? Published authors don't get stuck, or have doubts. It always smooth sailing for them, doncha know? What? you didn't get that memo? LMAO.

    Mason, a job well ma'am. I'm wanting to read this book. I really enjoyed the post. :-D

    Have a great weekend Jill and Mason.

  21. a fabulous posting...thanks for the chance to read jill's latest novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  22. I've heard awesome things about this one! Thanks for the chance to win!!



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