Jill Mansell, the much-loved women’s fiction author, is about to publish her latest novel The Unpredictable Consequences of Love. A story of a secrets, families and love in a small coastal town, it’s the perfect book to accompany you to the pool or the beach on your next James Villa Holiday.
Jill is no stranger to the unpredictable, as 2014 marks the publication of her 25th book, something which she’d never anticipated. “I seriously can’t believe this is my twenty-fifth novel. I never expected when I first started writing that I’d even get published, let alone have sold so many books all over the world. It’s really been the most amazing adventure, made all the better by social media. Keen readers now count down the hours and minutes to midnight on Twitter and Facebook before each new book is published, and send me photos from all over the world, of themselves reading my novels, often in fabulously exotic places I’ve never been lucky enough to visit myself!”
With so many bestselling novels, it’s fair to say that Jill finds it hard to keep track of who’s who in the many wonderful fictional worlds that she’s created over the years. Her fans have no such problems however: “What amazes me is how well my readers know my work – so many of them have read and reread the books time and again, and can tell me every last detail about them. In that regard I’m far less competent – compared with them I’m rubbish!” However, in Jill’s defence that’s because when one book is finished, another soon begins. “As soon as I finish writing a novel I move on to the next one and the characters I’ve spent the last twelve months living with and writing about start to fade in my mind like old friends who’ve moved away and you’ve lost touch with.”
With such a successful career, it can’t be easy for Jill to pick her favourite moments, but many of the highlights come from the feedback readers give her. Jill explains: “A wonderful experience for me has been hearing from readers how my books have changed their lives. Babies have been named after favourite characters. One baby was even named after me! Several women have written to tell me that my books gave them the courage to get out of bad relationships and start afresh… and now they’ve found themselves much nicer partners. Others have said the only thing that kept them going through terrible dark times in their lives was losing themselves in my stories.” Perhaps the best story of all? “One lovely lady came to see me at a literary festival to tell me that she’d grown up in South Africa devouring my books and falling in love with the idea of living in a village in the Cotswolds. So guess what? She moved to the UK, to the Cotswolds, met a wonderful man and married him… and she wanted me to know that it was all because of me!”
If you’ve never read one of Jill’s books before, The Unpredictable Consequences of Love is the perfect place to start. Her previous books have been described as ‘bursting with humour, brimming with intrigue and full of characters you’ll adore’ by Heat and as ‘smart and grown-up chick lit at its very best’ by Good Housekeeping, and her latest is no exception. Warm, witty and romantic, it will be the perfect travelling companion this summer.