Friday, September 02, 2011

Live It, Love It

Welcome to all BBQ'ers arriving from Karen's! Please say hi so I can visit with you, too. :)

Today I feel like a chicken who's been injected full of caffeine then had its heard cut off! My best friend from Canada arrives this weekend, and while we have a fun week planned of wine, wine and PARIS, I've got about five zillion items to cross off my to-do list. Spending an hour yesterday playing with my new Marilyn get-up (oh, yes) was not exactly time well spent, either.

A few links to share with you before I pass you over to today guest blogger, the wonderful Shirley Wells! First off, I was on Fabulosity Reads yesterday talking about why I love chick lit, and at The Naked Hero spouting off on why I love London. There's a new review of Willow here, and a nice one of The Hating Game here (I almost forgot I wrote that novel, ha!). Phew. That's everything, I think.

Oh! My favourite donut-loving, writer friend India Drummond's Ordinary Angels is available again on Amazon! Yay!

And now... over to Shirley!

Thank you, Talli, for inviting me to your utterly gorgeous home. I’ll try not to drop crumbs or spill anything while I’m here.
For those of you who don’t know me, let me say that Talli and I are practically identical. We both write. Talli writes wickedly humorous books and I write mysteries, but it’s close enough. We both love wine. Talli gets mistaken for super-model Agyness Deyn and … well, I’m working on that.
What else is there to know about me? Well, I’m an internet addict. I’m still not sure how that happened, but thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I can give you daily weather updates for Florida, Lanzarote, Arizona or just about any place you could want.
Am I jealous of these exotic locations? Well, yes. And no.
I was born in the Cotswolds, but I’ve lived in Cyprus where I wrote several holiday romances, and in Orkney where I continued writing romance. I still remember my horror when Mr W’s job changed. He was promoted and we needed to move to the north of England. “No,” I cried. “It’s nothing but whippets, flat caps, and racing pigeons. It’s always raining. And it’s all grimy old mill towns. There’s a reason people say it’s grim up north, you know.”
Despite my pleas, I had to move north. And I love it. It has a beauty all its own. I live out in the countryside, amid the rolling Pennine Hills. Instead of walking along picturesque beaches, I take the dogs across bleak, windswept moors.
When a heavy mist falls, it can get quite spooky on those hills and instead of working out the storyline for my next romance, I began to think “Hey, this would make a great place to hide a body” or, more often, “What was that noise?”. Instead of the happy-ever-afters I’d been writing for years, my mind was turning more and more to crime.
In 2006, I wrote my first crime novel and my eighth has just been accepted. So although I turn a particularly unattractive shade of green when I see white sandy beaches and hear of 30 degree temperatures, I know that moving to Lancashire was the best thing I ever did.
What about you? Do you love where you live?
Thank you again for having me, Talli. (And don’t worry, the whippets are house-trained.)
Having had several hundred short stories, ten serials and ten novels published, Shirley Wells is finally getting the hang of this writing lark. Her latest Dylan Scott mystery, DEAD SILENT, is available from Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all good e-retailers. Connect with Shirley via her website, follow her on Twitter or find her on Facebook.


  1. Do I love where I live?

    In a word, no. Bradford might be close to the Penines but it's a world apart :-)

    Plenty of places to hide a body though ;-)

  2. Haha....I love Sarah's comment. Same for where I live. Plenty of fields, etc... There's not a ton to do where I live, but it's a great place to raise kids.

  3. Hi Talli .. have a wonderful weekend .. here there and everywhere .. and Paris .. ENJOY.

    Up north gives me the anxiety streak too .. but it's always been beautiful when I've visited .. Shirley fantastic about all your books and short stories and you've lived in some places too - always opens the eyes to more.

    Good luck and interesting review .. cheers Hilary

  4. Funny how your setting puts a totally different spin on your writing. I'm glad that it worked out for you!

  5. Have a fab time with your GF!!!
    I live in Kentucky and love it. It's beautiful. I live in a neighborhood, so that is okay because I'd really love to live in a cabin in the country. I love the peacefulnes!

  6. Shirley,
    Your cover looks awesome. It's something I would pick up in a book store, absolutely. It's amazing how much location influences one's writing. I love where I live and it can't help but creep into my stories. I think your windswept moors sound mesmerizing and the perfect fodder for crime. Makes me think of Martha Grimes. Glad to meet you.

    Thanks for the links and the good guest posts. There's always time for Paris.

  7. Where I live is okay.
    And have a great weekend with your friend, Talli!

  8. I loved this post! So great for a Friday and I'm loving the comments!

    I enjoy where I live, there is so much to do and so much to see. I moved here because the place I was in seemed dull... now I kind of want to go back. Great for raising kids, which is the next stage in my life.

  9. Hello Talli, hello Shirley, hello whippets!

    Nice to meet you all here and all the best with all your yummy books and reviews! Yay!!! Happy Friday! Take care

  10. Talli, have a great time with your visiting friend :)

    Im spite of the fact I've always wanted to try living abroad, I love living in Dublin. It's a small city, but it's friendly, and in spite of the awful economic situation, the city is full of people trying to find new opportunities, so the place feels very lively at the moment. We have our problems, but we also have enough good ice cream parlours to see us through!

  11. I don't often read mysteries, but this one looks pretty good.

    I hate where I live.

  12. Well I use to but now I'm longing for more spacious surroundings. :) Nice to meet you Shirley.

    Talli, have a great weekend. :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  13. Heartily jealous of your upcoming weekend in Paris with a pal! Have a super time. :)

  14. @talli. Have a great weekend in Paris!

    @Shirley. The picture you paint of walking your dogs across bleak, windswept moors put me in mind of Wuthering Heights for some reason. I live by the sea, but no, it doesn't inspire me. All my creativity goes on inside my head.

    It's great to hear how your surroundings have influenced your writing. Thanks for an interesting post. :)

  15. Wow, hysterical post. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a high desert - the mesas are beautiful and I love rock, so that makes me happy. But I do miss water. Oh how I miss water.

  16. @Sarah - Your comment made me laugh. I'm sure Bradford has its good points. Doesn't it?

    @salarsen - Having a great place to raise kids is important. If there's not so much to do, there's not so much trouble they can find. At least, that's what I used to tell myself. :)

    @Hilary - Thanks for the good wishes. You should visit the north more often. We're all house-trained. Well, most of us are. ;)

    @Will - I love how our surroundings (hopefully!) help the writing.

    @Tonya - Kentucky is one of the (many) places I want to visit. Glad you love where you live.

  17. Talli, have a wonderful weekend with lots of girl talk and good wine.
    Shirley, you have been prolific - well done:-) I live in the soft south, in Berkshire, and I do love it.

  18. @Yvonne - Thank you. I can't take any credit for the book cover but I do love it. Coincidentally, Martha Grimes is working her way to the top of my TBR pile. Glad to meet you too!

    @Alex - I grew up in a village I thought was okay, then too dull for words. I grew to hate that place because there was nothing to do. Now, I visit and I love it. :)

    @Jen - Isn't it funny how we hate places because they're dull and then long to return. Do we forget how dull they are or do we long for a quiet life?

    @Old Kitty - The whippets are waving back! Good to see you here and thanks for the good wishes!

    @Ellen - I absolutely adore Dublin. It's years since I visited, far too long, but I love everything about the city. I'm with you on the ice cream parlours too. What else can anyone need? ;)

  19. I do love where I live but I think there many places I'd love to live. As long as there is no extreme heat, I'm good!

  20. @Matthew - Everyone should read more mysteries. ;)

    @Jules - I love my space but there are times I crave the city. It seems we're never satisfied...
    Good to meet you too!

    @allie - I love Wuthering Heights. I'm close to where the book was set and, although I love that area, I find it more picture postcard than windswept and interesting.

    @Karen - Albuquerque is another place I long to visit! Water - yes. I miss water too. Having spent so many years by the sea, I think I always will miss it...

  21. I live in San Antonio and I love it here. I have lived in a couple of places I didn't love so much, though. It's not nearly as much fun.

    Now I need to go find a moor. Or maybe a large tumbleweed.

    Congratulations on your latest release!

  22. Nice to meet you Shirley!

    I saw your FB pic with the Marilyn get up--awesome!

  23. Shirley - I just love the fact that you wrote sunny romances on sunny beaches and then crime mysteries on mystery moors. Now I am intrigued - although my novel touches some very fantasical places, it is pretty much based in London - like me!

    Talli - enjoy your friend's visit and Paris! Gosh, wow! If you are taking the Eurostar from St Pancras you should have a glass of champers from the long bar before you travel!

  24. Fabulous that your new surroundings inspired a new genre in you! Excellent post :O)

  25. Great cover. And yes and no. Depends on what's going on in town :) But it's mostly a yes.

  26. DEAD SILENT sounds fun!

    I do love where I live. It's not perfect, but it's such a nice place - Norwich is big enough to feel city-like and exciting, but small enough to still be quite quiet and laidback. Great post!

    And Talli- hope you have a lovely weekend!

  27. Talli - I hope you and your "best friend from Canada" have a wonderful time "wine-ing" your way through Paris. Enjoy!

    Shirley - I really enjoyed reading your guest post - I have put you on my reading list.

    As to your question - I love where I live, which is Vancouver, Canada.
    Why? Because on one side of me is water and on the other are the wonderful North Shore mountains...on a sunny day it's a small slice of heaven.

    I'm not a sun worshipper which is good as we don't get all that much of it...but the fog does roll in once in a while and I love how it works on the mind.

    So, enjoy your fog...and the rolling hills and may it continue to inspire your writing.

    Cheers, Jenny

  28. I live at Bournemouth minutes from the sea but my real love is Spain where my youngest son lives.


  29. Yes, I love where I live! Eastern Pennsylvania has all the beautiful seasons and natural disasters are very rare. (Though we did experience a small earthquake and a hurricane in these past two weeks but that was just odd!) It's only a couple hours from the coast and mountains so we can easily plan spontaneous day trips to the beach in summer and snowboarding in winter. It's a good place to live!

    Have fun with your BFF, Talli!!!

  30. PS) Talli really does look like Agyness Deyn! The resemblance is uncanny. Maybe they were separated at birth, or she's a long-lost sister?! You might want to snoop around your parents' home, Talli, LoL! :)

  31. Thanks for introducing us to Shirley, any friend of Talli's... Shirley, you are so funny my dear, thank you for making me smile this morning. :) It's still morning here, I think... I love Oregon! It's one of the best states to live in. There is so much wonderful outdoor stuff to do here that I never get bored!

  32. @jabblog - I sometimes venture south to Berkshire (although I leave the whippets behind :-)). It's a beautiful part of the country.

    @Laura - I'm with you on the heat. It's a problem we rarely have, thank goodness.

    @Carol - Thank you. I shall now go and read about San Antonio!

    @Lydia - Thank you. Good to meet you too. And doesn't Talli look amazing!

    @Jayne - It's a lot easier to do the research if we base our books near our homes. ;)

    @Madeleine - Thank you!

  33. @Kelley - Thank you. I fell in love with the cover the moment I saw it. :)

    @Sangu - I've had holidays in Norfolk and I love Norwich. It's a gorgeous place.

    @Jenny - Thanks so much for putting me on your list. I hope you enjoy! A friend's sister is currently over in the UK and showing us photos of her home in Vancouver. It looks awesome. Enjoy your fog too. :)

    @Yvonne - Spain is a wonderful country, isn't it? I hope you get to visit often.

    @Laura - Eastern Pennsylvania sounds gorgeous (apart from the odd earthquake and hurricane - yikes). No wonder you love it. And yes, Talli is just like her, isn't she? Doesn't it make you sick? :o)

    @Heather - Thank you! I'm glad I made you smile in Oregon. :)

  34. I love writing where I live. I can see the entire False Bay and Table Mountain from here. ^_^

    Good luck your to-do list, Talli!

  35. I love writing where I live. I can see the entire False Bay and Table Mountain from here. ^_^

    Good luck your to-do list, Talli!

  36. I hope you have a great weekend! :)

    I do love parts of where I live. It's beautiful all year round, even in the winter (though some people would disagree with me on that--LOL), and there are good things about the state . . . but then again, the economy isn't too good, and the local areas aren't so fabulous.

  37. I love where I live apart from when I have to pay for flights to take me to the mainland, so expensive!

    Quite a few places to hide bodies here too.

  38. Aggy deyn... I can see that!
    I love where I live - on the edge of Dartmoor... but sometimes it feels quite surreal like you've wandered into a postcard.
    Your writing story is intriguing!

  39. I hate where I currently live (Midwest). I'm was a kicking and screaming transplant from New York. My new abode will be in the tropics of Akumal, Mexico. I'm starting a spiritual writer retreat. Ya'll are invited for a visit.

  40. Sigh. I think I would love living anywhere in England, as an avowed anglophile, but I can't seem to ever venture out of the states. It was lovely to peek at it though! Thanks for sharing!

  41. Have fun, Talli!

    Nice to meet you Shirley! I'll be looking for your work.

    And I live in Eastern Ontario, and I love it.

  42. I have a love/hate relationship with my part of the world. It's exceedingly rural, and I was raised in the area, which was great for a kid who liked to run amok and get filthy. As an adult, I long for a grocery store that doesn't take 25 minutes to drive to. But the solitude is nice, and the countryside is beautiful. And, on occasion, if I get the urge to traipse through the woods, I might find something interesting, like a tiny, centuries-old abandoned cemetery(true story).

    Besides, a change in geography really only requires closing your eyes.

    Congrats on your new release!

  43. I absolutely LOVE Portland. It's my favorite place in the world. I don't ever want to leave. :)

  44. I absolutely LOVE Portland. It's my favorite place in the world. I don't ever want to leave. :)

  45. I live in the best place in the world - northern Ontario, Canada. We're surrounded by beauty and the nicest people. I love it :)

    Talli - Paris???? I am so jealous - but I still hope you enjoy every moment :)

  46. Dead Silent looks like a winner (as many books recommended here have turned out to be)....
    And I love the cover art!

  47. I saw someone else's post about Paris today, too! I love Paris!! Have so much fun. Maybe seeing all these posts is an omen that I'm going again soon :)

  48. Talli, your BFF is here? How exciting!!!!!!!! Will she be here for the launch of WWW?

    Shirlye, I really enjoyed this post and finding more out aobut how you changed from writing romance to crime. I was already a big fan of yours but I'm an even bigger fan now because your story about your angsnt when you heard you were moving to England made me laugh. First thing in the morning too! I live in the South of England a short walk from the seafront, unless we are walking with N3S when it seems like a very long walk because he moans all the way. I write between 5-7am every day before work so really I could pretend to live anywhere at that time....and usually I am pretending I live on Vancouver Island again.

  49. Yeah I love where I live. :) Right on a lake and it's mostly sunny. I need sun.

    Wouldn't mind visiting some "grim moors" though. Is surely good for writing. ;)

  50. I moved to Montreal thirteen years ago and, while it was a bit of an adjustment at first since I was born in a very small town, I quickly fell in love with my new hometown!
    Thanks for the fun post, Shirley! I'm off to follow you on Twitter!
    Have fun with your bestie, Talli! :)

  51. So nice to learn more about Shirley and her work! I enjoy where I live but it's not where my heart wants to live. That is in the Midwestern United States, preferably close to a large river and lots of trees, where I grew up. Or in Monterey, California near the Pacific Ocean.

  52. @Misha - No wonder you love it!

    @The Golden Eagle - The economy seems to be in a poor state just about everywhere right now. Fingers crossed it picks up soon.

    @Debs - It always cost a fortune for me to fly from Orkney to the mainland too. A fortnight in Spain or a 40-minute flight to Aberdeen. Crazy!

    @Laura - Dartmoor is gorgeous. I love it in any weather. (And yes, she's just like Aggy, isn't she? ;))

    @Em-Musing - We'll all be visiting you! ;)

    @Susan - Believe me, you wouldn't love living *anywhere* over here. I long to see the States so maybe we should swap for a fortnight. :)

    @William - Thank you. Good to meet you too!

  53. @Amalie - I love the idea of finding an old abandoned cemetery. How exciting! And yes, you're right. We only need to close our eyes...

    @Amber - I love that you never want to leave Portland!

    @Jemi - Ontario sounds wonderful.

    @Andrew - Thanks. I love the cover too. My publisher's artwork team is so talented.

    @D.J. Ah, the seafront. I so miss the sea. I'd even put up with a small one moaning all the way. :) You write between 5-7 am? A.m.? That's made me shudder...

    @LR - Unfortunately, our grim moors wouldn't know what to do with sunshine. :)

    @Catherine - Glad to hear you fell in love with Montreal. And thanks so much for finding me on Twitter!

    @KarenG - Monterey sounds wonderful to me!

  54. Paris?! You're killing me.

    I have DEAD SILENT in my hot little nook hands and so look forward to snuggling up with it.

  55. I love where I live. It's laid back, no hustling or bustling. Lots of great places to visit and things to do within a two hour drive in any direction. Love it.

  56. Living in Taiwan and I really like it. Love the beach. Love the mountains. Love that I'm in large very modern city where I can be at either place in 45 minutes. The hard decision each week, is which one to go to...
    I did get the chance to go to England last summer. Hubby had to take classes at the Uni of Bath...I really enjoyed my time there. It was just perfect for me and the kiddos...with all the lovely parks.

  57. Hi Talli~stopping by from Karen's BBQ to say hello :)

    Shirley~ I love how the places you've lived have influenced your writing! Thanks for the post!

  58. Wow! So much greatness...have I mentioned I can't wait for WILLOW? (There seems like some sort of pun in there...)

  59. Do I love where I live?

    Hmm, not sure about that at times but I have never known anything different. Lived in Manchester all my life.

  60. Great interview! I've never been to England, so that was all new information to me. I love how your (Shirley)'s settings affects your novels.

    Talli, I hope you have fun with your friend visiting!

  61. Yes! I live in Vancouver and I love where I live. It's as close to paradise as I think I'll find. Oh, the weather might be a little warmer and dryer (well, a lot) but my little house is here with all my stuff and, most important, my partner. It doesn't get any better.
    Thanks for the visit, Talli. Enjoy the BBQ!

  62. @Liz - Again, thank you so much for putting Dylan on your Nook. Hope you enjoy it!

    @Donna - Laid back sounds perfect. :)

    @MaDonna - It sounds as if you have the best of all worlds!

    @Jess - Thank you!

    @Christa - WILLOW has been an age coming, hasn't it? Not long now though. I can't wait either. :)

    @Mama J - I love Manchester!

    @Shelley - I hope you visit England one day. It's a beautiful country. :)

  63. Hey Talli - Love your blog!! So great meeting you at KarenG's BBQ & look forward to having more wine together. Have a fantastic weekend! ~Tracy

  64. @Stephanie - As close to paradise as you'll find? That sounds wonderful!


Coffee and wine for all!