Monday, March 10, 2014

Featured Author: Carol E. Wyer

Grumpy Old Banner 

Hello and welcome to the Grumpy Old Menopause blog tour! Having taken the world by storm and rocketed up the charts to become the #1 best selling book on Amazon, this light and humorous guide to beating the more unpleasant symptoms of the menopause is essential reading for anyone going through or simply preparing themselves for this unavoidable change. So buckle up and let Carol E. Wyer show you how it's done!

About the book:

Have you started to write post-it notes with your kids' names on them? Do you need to change your underwear after every sneeze? Guess it's time to read this book then. It'll help you get through "that" time in your life with a spring in your step and a smile on your face.

With numerous suggestions, sensible advice and amusing anecdotes, Grumpy Old Menopause will help you sail through that tricky part of a woman's life with ease and humour. It should prevent you from turning into Mrs Crabby or worse still, a demonic monster.

What they say:
"An excellent mix of humour and sound advice. This book is a must-read for all women ... I highly recommend Grumpy Old Menopause. It is the perfect blend of humour and excellent advice to help all women sail through the menopause." - Nicky Snazell, Fi STOP Consultant Physiotherapist in Spinal Pain, Fellow of Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain. International Lecturer in Pain and Health.

Interview with Carol E. Wyer

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

Hmm. I started many years ago, in my twenties, but I didn’t really get serious until my thirties when a series of animal stories that taught French to children were picked up by a big publishing house. Sadly, I had to pull them as my best friend and illustrator of the stories died suddenly. I began writing again in earnest as I approached the big Five-Oh and decided it was time to fulfill my desire to be a full-time writer.

What inspired you to write Grumpy Old Menopause?

This is the second spin-off guide, the first being How Not to Murder Your Grumpy. It all came about thanks to the many emails I received about my first book, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines. The main character in that is Amanda Wilson, a woman facing fifty who writes a funny blog about her experiences. Women kept writing to say how much they enjoyed the book and how refreshing it was to read something funny about menopause symptoms.
I decided to take it a step further and write a funny guide. Behind the humour in it there’s a lot of advice too. I researched thoroughly and spoke not only to other women going through the menopause but doctors, experts in alternative medicine and many ladies who had gone through it early thanks to serious illnesses. That way, I was able to create a balanced book that although it doesn’t answer all questions should give women a starting point, and a giggle.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Over a year. It took almost a year to gather all my research material. In fact, after I finished it and it was being proofread, I still kept discovering new material, so I set up the Grumpy Old Menopause website that I update once a month with stuff I couldn’t fit into the book.

What do you hope readers will get from Grumpy Old Menopause?

Laughs and some strategies to help them cope with the symptoms they might experience. I wanted the book to give the reader the impression they were sitting down with a good girlfriend and having a laugh about the menopause. Humour is a good way to educate and often a lot of advice, especially medical advice can be too complicated.

I love the title Grumpy Old Menopause! How did you come up with it?

It just seemed so obvious. I double checked that no one else had thought of it to make sure.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

Looking after Mr. Grumpy. Some might say that isn’t a job but anyone who lives with a grumpy, old, retired man knows how much time you need to devote to them!

How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

#GrumpyOldMenopause is like having a proper girly chat about all those things that worry you 

How did you come up with your cover art?

My publishers, Safkhet Publishing, came up with it. The cover is the same as the back cover of How Not to Murder Your Grumpy. On How Not to Murder Your Grumpy, you see a man doing a bungee jump on the front cover. If you flip over, you see a woman has pushed him off the bridge. We reversed the cover images for this book. Clever eh?

What song would you pick to go with your book?

"Don’t Touch It!" by MC Hammer.

Actually, I like the Planet Sweetpea version on YouTube called "Don’t Touch Me!" I sing that such a lot these days.

Who are your favorite authors?

I love Ben Elton, Janet Evanovich, Stella Rimmington, James Patterson, and Harlan Coben. Eclectic or what? Before I began writing, reading was my passion, and I don’t mind what I read. I’m not, however, keen on war stories or heavy historical romances. I enjoy thrillers, horror, humour, and 16th Century English. 

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

I’ve got a huge pile of books to read. When I go away I take my iPad because I speed read and carrying twenty books in a suitcase is not an option. Sadly, I am really behind on my reading. I have about thirty paperbacks to read on top of the books on my Kindle. I need some time off to catch up.

Do you have a routine for writing? Do you work better at night, in the afternoon, or in the morning?

One of the bonuses of going through the menopause, is that I now suffer from insomnia. That means I can work all through the night if I need to. I find I can think more clearly then because there aren’t any distractions. There’s always something going on during the daytime. Nights are more peaceful and I can get far more done. (No interruptions by you-know-who requesting feeding, or being forced to listen to him complain non-stop about the weather, the roads, education and so on.) I usually try to stop about three o’ clock or so and grab a couple of hours sleep if I can, so I don’t look too horrendous when I face the world, although you can always tell when I’m writing--I have enormous black bags under my eyes and am even more vacant that usual.

Name one thing you couldn’t live without. (It can’t be your phone!)

My beloved Mr. Grumpy but don’t tell him. Oh, thing not person. That’s harder because we moved a couple of years ago and threw out everything we’d owned up until then. Yes, everything! Okay, my laptop. I couldn’t be without my laptop and my old teddy bear who’s been with me since I was a child. He’s very tatty but I still love him. If it were between the laptop and teddy then teddy would have to go. *cries*

If you could only keep one book, what would it be?

Oh no! I couldn’t have only one book. I have a room filled with books and several boxes of them in the garage that won’t fit into the house. I can’t part with any of them. Can I have a box set? Oo-er, if I you held a gun against my head and said “Choose one!” I’d grab the first book on my bookcase, Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris. It’s a signed copy and it was bought by Mr Grumpy. It’s also about a private school and reminds me of my time as a teacher too.

Your last meal would be…

A bottle of champagne and a large bowl of penne pasta with parmesan cheese and parsley. Yum!

You won the lottery. What’s the first thing you would buy?

A small twin engine aeroplane for Mr. Grumpy. (And a large hangar to put it in.) That would definitely make him a Mr. Happy.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

Smile while you still have teeth.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Traveling. I love everything about traveling. I love hotels, new places to discover, and new languages. I even enjoy the journey. Better not tell my other half that though. He’ll cancel my next trip and tell me to go and sit at the airport to people-watch as it’s cheaper.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just completed a short story collection, Love Hurts. Each has a twist. They are not normal love stories and will surprise my readers. I’m also now working on my next humorous novel set at a hospital radio station. It’s fun to write, and I hope it’ll make people laugh.

From the author:

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I have always written stories. My early stories were for children and sported silly titles like Humphrey and the Dustbin Cats, Hurrah for Hugo! and Noir and Blanc - Two Naughty Cats. They taught French language to younger children and were accompanied by a tape of French songs, mercifully not sung by me. I began writing for adults after my son left home. I converted his old bedroom into an office and set about writing humorous novels largely aimed at women of a certain age. The rest is history.

Following much media success with Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, I signed the Amanda Wilson novels with Thornberry Publishing. In 2012, I was lucky enough to be offered a three book deal with Safkhet Publishing. They have published How Not to Murder Your Grumpy and Just Add Spice, and released Grumpy Old Menopause, the sister book to How Not to Murder Your Grumpy, in December 2013. I now write full-time. When I am not working on a novel, I'll be writing articles for magazines such as Woman’s Weekly, or blog posts for The Huffington Post and Indies Unlimited. My books aim to encourage as many people as possible to age disgracefully and enjoy life. After all, life is short and 'he who laughs...lasts!'  

Connect with Carol

BBC Breakfast1 A Grumpy Old Success
Since its release, Grumpy Old Menopause has been featured on no less than 28 radio stations and the Staying Young Show over in the US. Magazines have come-a-knocking too, with articles in Take a Break, Women's Weekly, Women and Golf Magazine, Wolverhampton Magazine and Staffordshire Life, while the bright lights of prime time TV also beckoned when Carol was interview on BBC Breakfast Television in November 2013 - click here to watch the interview.  

Win a signed copy of Grumpy Old Menopause and an edible Chocolate Scrabble board game - 'helps improve your brain and when you're angry eat the pieces,' says Carol.

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Carol E. Wyer and BestChickLit reserve the right to cancel or amend the giveaway at point.