Anti-Valentine’s. An extract from Tiger Tiger by Nicola Sheehan

Sunday 18th January 10am
I’ve had such a busy few days; Ana and I decided to spend a bit more time together than we have done over the last couple of weeks. We talked about Postroom Pete (a lot), we talked about the party (always nice to bask in past glories), we discussed my plans for an anti-valentines party (a concept that Ana quite sweetly supported even though she’s all loved up) and we discussed my New Year’s resolutions. Ana agrees that the novel writing should definitely be my priority and also shared Jemima’s opinion that undertaking extra writing might help get the creative juices flowing. So she’s letting me do extra features for the magazine on a freelance type basis. We’ve decided, given both my New Year’s resolutions that I should do my first piece on anti-Valentinism and I’ve been super busy researching it.
It turns out that the whole Valentine’s thing is, as I suspected, a big fat con. You see ‘Saint Valentine’ had nothing to do with romantic love (although there were so many of them one of them must have had a bit of an eye for the ladies) and it was only when Geoffrey Chaucer talked about sending love on Valentine’s Day that the horny courtiers thoughts perhaps they should follow. It’s really nonsensical, Chaucer talked about the time that birds mated, how many birds mate in February? It’s too cold for hanky panky, which is why Valentine’s Day leaves me cold. And it’s not just me who thinks it’s a load of old claptrap. In Norfolk apparently a character called Jack Valentine knocks on your back door and leaves sweets and presents for the children…. for the children? On Valentine’s Day? Talk about stranger danger! Understandably Jack Valentine strikes fear into the hearts of many of the Norfolk kids who probably never get over the trauma and end up screaming and fighting on one of those morning chat shows “My Fiancé won’t buy me a Valentine’s card because of his fear of Jack”. It’s all very unnecessary. There are actually groups of people who are anti valentines’ activists, they’re mainly in south east Asia but I’ve found one in North London, they’re called “lovers go dead” and their spokesperson is a guy called Spike. They seem a bit ominous but I’m trying to pin down a meeting next week.

Read all of Tiger Tiger by downloading the book for your kindle or kindle app here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00D5EYHAM

‘Bro’motion.

Ok, ok, it’s a tenuous pun, I have a higher ratio of female to male friends and even then I don’t think I’d ever refer to my male friends as ‘bro’s’ but I’m in a bad pun kinda mood so suck it up.

What I am talking about, of course, is the priceless support of my friends in helping to promote my first book, Tiger Tiger. They really have been above and beyond. Though my friends I have had advice on setting up web pages, I’ve had my gorgeous graphic design for my cover and my posters (by the beautiful Aimee Davies at aimeecreative.com), I’ve had a piece written in both my old girl’s newsletter and in my hometown paper the Stamford Mercury. I’ve had great reviews, social media support, posters printed and posted in various locations. All in the name of friendship. Who needs big company marketing when you have awesome friends, eh?ImageTiger Tiger is available in the Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D5EYHAM/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

Genre Schmenre

The other day I asked a good friend of mine if she planned to download Tiger Tiger.

“I don’t really think it’s my sort of thing” she responded.

This is fine on it’s own, different people like different things but on this occasion it confused me. It’s not like this friend only reads fantasy books or crime fiction, I thought that we had quite similar tastes and (not just because I wrote it) Tiger Tiger is the kind of thing that I’d read. I looked puzzled:

“Oh?”

“Well I read Fifty Shades and I hated it. I tried all three books but it’s really not for me.”

My flabber was well and truly gasted. Tiger Tiger is definitely not in the same ilk as Fifty Shades of Grey; not that I’m criticizing anyone who likes Fifty Shades but it’s definitely not the same genre. Which is the thought that led to my stuttering response. The same stuttering, clumsy response that I’ve given to many friends who have asked about genre…

“It’s romantic comedy, but kind of more comedy than romance, that is to say it’s not a traditional romance, not Mills & Boon-y or anything. It’s a bit Bridget Jones-y, but different. It’s… gah.”

And I fail to describe it. I get the occasional “Oh I like Bridget Jones” but I don’t want to sell it off that comparison. It is what it is. It will make you laugh, might make you cry, is honest, and sweet and written with love. I don’t think that’s a genre though.