Thursday, 8 June 2017

Guest Post & Giveaway - Jill Watson's Chance - Chances Fortnight

The riskiest chance I ever took was in 1990, just before my forty eighth birthday. I left England and moved to the small Channel Island of Alderney to live with a man I did not know very well but had fallen in love with. Having recently put an unhappy marriage behind me, I had to ask myself if I was on the re-bound or whether it was a final flush of hormones, as one friend so charmingly put it.
My family and friends thought I was crazy to even contemplate it but after much soul searching and dithering I decided to go for it. I left my two adult children in the UK and plunged headlong into the unknown. Dave and I weren’t getting married, I told myself, I could always come home if things didn’t work out.

Moving to the Channel Islands is like moving abroad. The islands are not part of the UK and are outside the EU. They are Crown Dependencies with their own governments, laws and taxation systems. It was a real culture shock and following a hostile reception from some sections of the island community I felt quite vulnerable.

However, in spite of difficulties and home-sickness, the move turned out to be a good one. Dave and I had a happy relationship and shared many interests including the island’s history and its natural environment. Alderney has a wild and beautiful landscape. I started writing articles for local publications and self-published a small booklet ‘Birdwatching on Alderney’. I settled down and made some very good friends.

Sadly, Dave died in 2010 and I returned to England to be close to my children and grandchildren. I needed new friends and new interests now that I was living on my own so I enrolled in a creative writing class at the local adult education centre and discovered I enjoyed writing fiction. I attended classes for four years. ‘Write about what you know’ was the advice given by several tutors so I invented an imaginary island, peopled it with fictitious characters and wrote about my own experiences.

In 2016 I self-published my first novel ‘Gâche and Gossip – a year in the life of a small Channel Island’.

Thank you so much for taking part Jill, I'm so glad your move to The Channel Islands worked out so well. 

In the summer of 1990 Lizzie Bayley moves to the tiny Channel Island of Ormerey to live with Raoul St Arnaud, a man she has met on only four previous occasions. Surprised by the hostility she encounters, Lizzie finds it hard to settle down but she is befriended by Raoul’s cousin, Francesca Saviano. Francesca has problems of her own. The man she loves, who had dropped her without explanation forty years earlier, suddenly reappears in her life and wants to resume their relationship.
On a wild and beautiful island, where land is precious, the community is divided by a controversial planning application to build a large hotel in the green belt. Against a background of public dissent and personal feuds, Lizzie and Francesca both struggle to find a way to happiness and fulfilment.

Book details
‘Gâche and Gossip’ by Jill Watson.
Paperback. £7.99.  ISBN 978-0-9955512-0-6.
Publisher: Huitrier Pie Publishing

Distributor:  York Publishing Services Distribution.

Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of Gache and Gossip (UK Only)

Jill Watson is very kindly giving my followers a chance to win a paperback copy of Gache and Gossip. 

Giveaway open to the UK only, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 22/06/2017. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

Biography of Jill Watson

Jill Watson was born in Sheffield in 1942 and grew up in rural Surrey where she developed a keen interest in the natural world. After leaving school she trained, then worked, as a nursery nurse. She married in 1964, had two children and was a full-time mum until her divorce in 1984. 

In 1990 she moved to Alderney to live with her partner. For ten years she was the ‘Bird Recorder’ on Alderney and wrote wildlife articles and self-published a small booklet ‘Birdwatching on Alderney’.  She returned to England in 2010 following the death of her partner and now lives in Tonbridge, Kent.

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