Monday, 1 June 2015

Guest Post: Getting Over Jesse Franklin | Stephie Chapman

Getting Over Jesse Franklin was published in digital format on 18th May, and it’s all gone a bit mad. Something that started off as a personal project, just to see if I could actually write a novel, morphed into something else entirely, and it’s only really now, a couple of weeks after sales went live, that I’ve been able to stop and take stock.

When I was fifteen I loved a band from Canada called The Moffatts. You probably won’t remember them, not many people do. But I discovered them on a family trip to Vancouver, and from then on, that was it. They weren’t ever hugely popular in the UK, never really reaching the same heights of NSync or Backstreet Boys or even Hanson, but that only really made them more accessible, and my friend Sarah and I were hooked. We went to all the gigs, even if they were the support act, we went to where they were staying and spent hours waiting outside the hotel (yes, really, we did that.) We had penpals in other countries who’d send us posters and magazine clippings we couldn’t get over here. This was a time when there was no social media, and people used forums and chat rooms to trade information.

Some of the things Cassie reminisces about at the beginning of the story actually happened; Sarah and I did get backstage once, and we did hang out with them. My love affair with The Moffatts probably only lasted about eighteen months; as soon as we accepted the fact that they were not coming back, we moved on because we were fickle teenage girls. But what an eighteen months that was, and that’s where the inspiration for Getting Over Jesse Franklin came from.

Writing when you have kids to look after is hard, and there is no getting around that. I’m a stay at home mum, and I have a child in school full time, and one in preschool two days a week, so I knew I had that time to sit and write. But what happens if you sit down with a cup of coffee and some toast after the school run, and the words don’t come? I ended up carrying notebooks around so I could scribble something down quickly if I wasn’t at my laptop. I wrote in the evenings. I took my laptop on holiday with me because at the point, I’d reached a nice momentum and I couldn’t bear the idea of losing it. I even sneakily wrote whilst doing some freelance social media work,

Generally, I’ve found that when you tell someone you’re either writing, or have written, a book, they are supportive and interested, and some offer to help if they can. Jesse Franklin is a bassist, and I am not, but I’m a big fan of things having at least a semblance of accuracy, even in fiction, so I trawled YouTube looking at bass covers people had uploaded. Off the back of that, I contacted this chap on Twitter, mainly to say thanks, because, not that he knew it at the time, but his videos helped a lot, and it’s nice to know you’ve inspired someone, isn’t it? He ended up answering a lot of questions I had, over Skype and email, which, in turn, led to us meeting up one afternoon in Amsterdam and generally having a bit of a laugh. So never be afraid to ask questions and be curious. I’m yet to be told to jog on.

And whilst we’re talking about support, authors rely on, and deeply appreciate shares, retweets, comments and reviews. Getting the word out is hard. We’ve spent ages perfecting our books and publishing is, frankly, terrifying. It’s up to an indie author to put in the time and the effort to let people know about it. I’ve been genuinely amazed and humbled at just how wonderful people have been, how approachable, how excited for me. Getting Over Jesse Franklin is my first novel and it’s somewhat close to my heart, so having people love it as much as they do has been… well, it’s been emotional. If you love a book, indie or traditionally published, shout it from the rooftops! I like to pay it forward by supporting other authors, so if you have written a book, I’m more than happy to give it a read and a shout out! 


Stephie was born in England in the mid 1980s, which makes her thirty-something (but if you ask, she'll probably tell you she's 27). Now, she lives on the South coast of the UK with her husband and two small children, but would generally rather be somewhere in Europe, eating snacks and drinking a nice cold beer by a canal.

The owner of a smart mouth and vibrantly coloured hair, she loves music, faffing around on her ukulele and playing with the Southampton Ukulele Jam.

Getting Over Jesse Franklin is Stephie's first novel, and Franko were very much inspired by her favourite band as a teenager. So now you know.

Twitter: @imcountingufoz
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