Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest Post I Am Ella. Buy Me. Tour


The Book Gazette is pleased to host a guest post today by Joan Ellis, author of “I Am Ella. Buy Me”, a chicklit novel with a good dose of humor and some romance.

Joan Ellis writes about sales and numbers in her interesting guest post below.

Why writing books should never be a numbers game.

‘How are sales going?’

If I had a pound for every time someone had asked me that since launching my book, I wouldn’t need to write for a living.

Sadly, a simple, ‘Fine, thanks,’ doesn’t cut it with the Book Police.

‘Ha!’ they cry, happy to burst your bubble. ‘But has anyone you don’t actually know bought a copy?’

Clearly, they’ve never met my family. The closest my Grandad ever got to a book was a bookie. No use gambling on his offspring to spike the sales figures.

Friends have been very supportive insisting they purchase a copy to swell the coffers. However, the aim is to keep your mates not lose them under the weight of yet another 70,000 word tome. If they’ve been kind enough to do their bit and buy a book, be grateful and leave them be.

The truth is you don’t actually know for sure who has downloaded your book (although I can say, hand on heart, it’s not my family), but before you can respond, the Sales Police deliver another blow, well below the belt.

‘So, how many copies have you actually sold?’


At this point, try not to flinch and say nothing, unless your global sales are on a par with E.L. James, in which case, open the gold-inlaid-spreadsheet and knock yourself out.

If your figures are less robust, I suggest you prefix your response with a vague: ‘Oh, it’s not about the money. I write because [insert smart retort here – ideally, one that will leave your interrogator baffled, yet impressed].

If you’re anything like me – I pray for your sake, you’re not – and can never think of anything clever to say in the moment, I find hinting at something grim does the trick. For example, a dysfunctional childhood is guaranteed to have them glazing over faster than a Krispy Kreme donut.

Failing that, wax lyrical about the joys of writing. After all, someone that’s all about the sales is never going to understand the pleasure derived from sitting at a laptop for hours on end, making up stuff and tapping out the obligatory 1,000 words per day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying never look at your bottom line. Obviously, it’s essential and few things are more gratifying to a writer than knowing the work is being read and what’s not to like about a sales graph that resembles an artist’s impression of the Andes?

No, the trouble starts when others goad you into taking a sneaky peek before you’re good and ready. We need to build up to these things. A premature glimpse of your profits is never going to be pretty, far better to wait until the figures are in better shape.

More importantly, if we spend too much time looking down at the bottom line, we’ll miss the stars on our way to the top.

About The Book

cover-4-1Title: I am Ella. Buy me.

Author: Joan Ellis

Genre: Humor / Chick lit / Romance


‘I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.’

Ella David is Bridget Jones meets Peggy from Mad Men.

Working in Soho’s mad, bad Adland in the sexist 80s, Ella is a rare beast – a woman in a man’s world, dodging her sleazy boss, Peter.

Based on Joan’s experiences in Soho’s mad, bad Adland, this fast-paced, funny tale is set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain when money trumps morals
and lust is a must. Thankfully, Ella knows love is more powerful but can two unlikely friendships help her go from a girl in the firing line to a woman calling the shots?

Author Bio

Award-winning advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.

A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.

As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his talents on a wider stage.

Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s
great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
She was a lecturer in PR and Advertising at Bournemouth University.

She penned a regular column about her daughter for parenting glossy, Junior. Sophie is now eighteen and refuses to read a word her mother writes.

Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to her beloved Isle of Wight where she writes and eats cream teas with her long-suffering husband, daughter and cat.

She recently launched her books at The Ventnor Fringe and the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.



Guest Post The Best of Jonathan’s Corner


Guest Post

God, as commonly understood, is said to be invisible. But I would like to make a slightly deeper exploration, along similar lines to what I said about “Do not store up treasures on earth” in Treasures in Heaven: The Inner Meaning of “Do Not Store Up Treasures on Earth”.
C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces is considered by many Lewis fans to be Lewis’s best work, a point on which Lewis agreed: “I think it much my best work but not many people agree.” I have heard one woman nominate it as the best male author’s portrayal of a female character she’d seen. My own reaction was that I thought a lesser work would be easier for me to relate to. And in fact all these puzzle pieces fit together. Lewis is doing an impressive job of portraying the character and narration of a woman, an old woman, a cramped woman with a warped, toxic love for her sister (a love that would rather kill her than join her and step into her larger world), and most of the features that I find endearing in Lewis’s writing are excluded by design. It is, so to speak, a work C.S. Lewis executed so well that it does not seem to be a work by C.S. Lewis. And even though I know that I would be asking for a lesser work, I really would have found it easier to relate to if Lewis had done a more half-baked job, with his usual charm and grandeur in plain sight at first glance.
Something of the same is true of God’s care for the whole world: I would find it a lot easier to appreciate if He were doing a more half-baked job. A good deal of my prayers have been asking him to operate according to my cramped desires when He is trying to draw me into an infinitely larger world.
And that brings me to a complex of articles on themes that run throughout The Best of Jonathan’s Corner. God is greater than anything else that can be thought, and indeed greater than can be thought, as prayed in Doxology. God looks over and provides for all people, as explored in God the Spiritual Father. This life is an apprenticeship meant to lead to an eternal glory, as studied in Apprentice gods. Many of these threads come together in the work that opens the whole collection, a sort of heavenly and angelic counterpart to Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, namely The Angelic Letters. Some of how this has worked out in my own life is in An Author’s Musing Memoirs, and later in A Shaft of Grace.
In all of this, God is invisible, not only literally in that he cannot be seen, but his Plan and his Providence are invisible even to many eyes of faith. But now as in any time, God is present and at work. No matter who governs, or what diseases and scares there are, or what economic conditions, there is an invisible hand governing all for each. We have a say in the choices we make, but in all of these there is Someone behind it all, working our good if we will cooperate.
All​ of these works (besides Till We Have Faces and The Screwtape Letters) are included in The Best of Jonathan’s Corner.

About The Book

the-best-of-jonathans-corner-front-coverTitle: The Best of Jonathan’s Corner

Author: CJS Hayward

Genre: Creative non-fiction / many genres / religion and spirituality / Eastern Orthodox

The Best of Jonathan’s Corner, newly expanded ​ after getting five star reviews​, is a collection of varied works of Eastern Orthodox mystical theology. It spans many topics and many different genres of writing, but it keeps coming back to the biggest questions of all. It is inexhaustible: the works are independent, and you can read a few, many, or all of them to suit your taste. Fans of CS Lewis and GK Chesterton will love it.

Author Bio

wardrobe_full Christos Jonathan Seth Hayward wears many hats as a person: author, philosopher, theologian, artist, poet, wayfarer, philologist, inventor, web guru, teacher.

Some have asked, “If a much lesser C.S. Lewis were Orthodox, what would he be like?” And the answer may well be, “C.J.S. Hayward.”

Called “Jack of all trades and master of many” by one boss, he also wears many hats professionally: open source / IT generalist, front end developer, JavaScript programmer, back end web developer, Pythonista, PHP and Perl user, Django developer, end to end web developer, Unix/Linux/Mac wizard, LAMP guru, SQL generalist, Unix shell (both using existing shells and implementing a new shell), system administrator, researcher, technical writer, usability advocate, UI developer, UX/IA enthusiast, and more.

Hayward has lived in the U.S., Malaysia, England, and France, and holds master’s degrees bridging math and computers (UIUC), and philosophy and theology (Cambridge).