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Guest Post by Eva Jordan

I would like to welcome Eva Jordan back to my blog.  Eva’s debut novel, ‘183 Times A Year’ was published by Urbane Publications last year.  Eva wrote a guest post for this event.



Firstly, I’d like to thank the lovely Sonya for inviting me to take part in her Urbane Blog Event. Sonya is a great supporter of the Urbane family of writers and it was a real pleasure to meet her at the Urbane Shindig last year. For those of you that don’t know me, 183 Times A Year was my debut novel, published by Urbane Publications last year. My second novel, All The Colours In Between, is due for release in the autumn of this year. I have had several short stories published and I also write a monthly column and book review for a local lifestyle magazine called The Fens.

After recently reading the first edited copy of my second novel, comments from Matthew are, “there’s a comfort zone for existing 183 Times A Year readers but new readers will easily be able to read this as a ‘stand alone.’ It is also more adult and hard-hitting but I am very, very happy with it.” I hope this little teaser has wet your appetite, and don’t worry, like 183 Times A Year, there’s still plenty of humour in this book. In the meantime, for the rest of my guest post I thought I’d give you a bit of insight into how I came to write my debut.

After my children and family I have four other passions my life, namely reading books, listening to music and watching films, and the fourth is – yep, you’ve guessed it, writing. In fact, I probably almost love writing as much as I love my children – they’d probably say more so, if you asked them. And yes, it sounds like a cliche’ but I have always wanted to be a writer. Lack of opportunity, inexperience, and bad life choices all held me back to a point but a lack of belief in myself is probably what held me back the most. I did have a few minor publication successes with short stories and poetry when I was younger and I also co-wrote many original songs with my brother for his band, as well as singing backing vocals from time to time. Then came marriage, quickly followed by two beautiful children followed by divorce. That was my “Nodus Tollens” moment. I love this phrase, coined by John Koenig from his Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows at http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/post/48395591256/nodus-tollens
it means “the realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.”

Divorce was both difficult and unpleasant and financially life became very tough. My back was against the wall and I felt quite desperate at times. My children were very young at the time of my divorce so I found myself having to take jobs that fitted in around them – school holidays were an absolute nightmare; most of the money I earned went on childcare. I decided I wanted something better for my children and I. So, with the help of my parents (who babysat for me), I went back to college during the evenings. I studied English, History, Sociology and Psychology for two years then applied to study for a BA Hons Degree in English and History. It was a full-time course over three years so that meant finding work that both fitted in around the children and my degree. It wasn’t easy, I still had the school run to do, dinners to cook, uniforms to wash and iron, school plays and assemblies to attend, doctors appointments, hospital appointments, parents evenings, swimming lessons, dance classes, piano lessons, guitar lessons, not to mention all the fancy dress costumes I had to put together for various parties and the school’s annual World Book Day, as well as essays to write and exams to revise for, for my degree. And, somewhere in between, I had to find time to sleep. I sometimes look back at those years and wonder how the hell I did it. I definitely remember tears at times. However, in 2009 I graduated with a BA Honours Degree in English and History and gained a first for my history dissertation looking at civilian morale during the London Blitz of WWII. I felt immensely proud, as did my children and family.

By then I’d met my other half, who also had two children, and we all moved in together and became a blended family. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was when a seed was planted and ideas for my debut novel began to form. Being part of an extended family is fun, however bringing up children, whether it’s your own or others, is not always easy. My journey from single motherhood, to studying for and obtaining my degree, to finding love again which included step parenting and a blended family, taught me I was a far more capable person than my younger self had given herself credit for. After completing my degree I began working for the city library service, which I absolutely loved – I spent my time around books for goodness sake, what’s not to love! I also began writing a book, a thriller come love story based in 1960’s London. However, trying to navigate my new life as a working parent and stepparent was both fraught and outrageously funny at times. Sometimes I felt like pulling my hair out. I discovered through research and talking with friends and colleagues that many people were enjoying, but struggling with the same daily problems I was experiencing. I abandoned my first novel and started to write 183 Times A Year and the rest, as they say, is history. I have to add here, holding the printed copy of my book last year was one of the best moments of my life!

Life is slightly less manic now but it still isn’t easy at times. Unfortunately, due to an injury, I have been left with permanent neck and arm pain and some days this can make writing very difficult, but it will never stop me. I love writing and hope to expand to different genres. I am currently working on my third novel and I hope to write many more in the future because after all (in the words of Grandad in 183 Times A Year) it’s not a life, it’s an adventure!

If you want to know more you can find me at all the usual places:

Website: evajordanwriter.com

Twitter: @evajordanwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EvaJordanWriter/


Book links:

Urbane Publications: http://urbanepublications.com/books/183-times-a-year/

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015G3FIZM

Amazon.com: http://amzn.com/B015G3FIZM


Interview with Eva Jordan

Eva Jordan

Eva Jordan is having her book, ‘183 Times A Year’ published in paperback soon.  I asked her a few questions.


Can you tell me a bit about ‘183 Times A Year’ please? 

183 TIMES A YEAR is a humorous observation of contemporary family life and the story unfolds through two narratives. Lizzie—exasperated Mother of Cassie, Connor and Stepdaughter Maisy—is the frustrated voice of reason to her daughters’ teenage angst. She gets by with good friends, cheap wine and talking to herself—out loud. 16-year-old Cassie—the Facebook-Tweeting, Selfie-Taking, Music and Mobile Phone obsessed teen—hates everything about her life. She longs for the perfect world of Chelsea Divine and her ‘undivorced’ parents—and Joe, of course. However, the discovery of a terrible betrayal and a brutal attack throws the whole household into disarray. Lizzie and Cassie are forced to reassess the important things in life as they embark upon separate journeys of self-discovery—accepting some less than flattering home truths along the way. Although tragic at times this is an amusing exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and ultimately friendship. A poignant, heartfelt look at the complex and diverse relationship between a Mother and daughter set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.


How long did it take you to write?

With rewrites and waiting for feedback, I suppose it took somewhere between twelve to eighteen months.


Is it a book that both teenagers and women would enjoy? 

Yes, I believe it is. I’ve had a lot of good feedback and some brilliant reviews from an eclectic group of readers. Clearly some of these have included some exasperated mothers (one reviewer said she could have sworn I had surveillance cameras at her home, so similar were some of the mother/daughter conversations) however I’ve also had some great feedback from younger readers and those without children.


Are there any similarities between you and the characters?

All my characters are fictional but like most writers I’ve drawn on people and characters I know.


Would you like to see this book made into a film or TV drama? 

Definitely! Some reviewers have said they could see it as a film or TV series. After I’d finished writing my novel I did start to imagine certain actors for certain roles. I’d love Simon Pegg to play Simon, Nick Frost would be great as Andy, Julie Walters would make a brilliant Nan and Ray Winstone would be wonderful as Grandad. I’m still thinking about the others.


Are you planning to write anymore books?

I am writing the sequel to this book at the moment. It starts three years on from the end of this book and there’s lots going on! I’ve also written ideas for stories for completely different genres.


Did you always want to be a writer?

It sounds like a cliché but yes, I have always wanted to be a writer. However, I don’t think I was ready to do so until now. Life experiences have made me mature as a person and I didn’t embark on my English/History degree until I was in my late thirties (when I was newly divorced, bringing up two small children and working – I like to make things easy on myself!). Studying for a degree helped give me the confidence and some of the tools needed to be a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you need a degree to be a writer, I just believe I learned a lot that ultimately helped me.


Do you jot down ideas as soon as they come to mind?

Yes, or I tap them into my phone or record voice messages to remind me.


Are you a people watcher? 

Absolutely – always have been. My partner, Steve and I, will often make up stories about some of the people we watch. We’ll give them names, jobs and characteristics based on what they appear to be doing – or not doing!


Who are your favourite authors? 

Oh wow! How long have you got? That list is endless and there is so much I haven’t read it almost seems unfair to say I have favourites. I don’t have a favourite or preferred genre so my reading is really eclectic. In no particular order the following are some of my favourite authors, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Louisa May Alcott, George Eliot, Joseph Conrad, J.R.R Tolkien, Phillip K. Dick, Alan Sillitoe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Angela Carter, Stephen King, Fay Weldon, J.K. Rowling, Helen Fielding, Anna McPartlin, Louise Doughty, Jodi Picoult, Gillian Flynn and tons more!


If you could only keep three books which would they be?

No! Only three? That really is impossible. I really don’t think I can answer this. I’ll say (if I have to!) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, anything by Charles Dickens and Bridget Jones’s Diary.


Describe your life at present in five words.

Family. Love. Writing the dream!


About Eva Jordan

I am a short story writer and author of the debut novel 183 TIMES A YEAR. I live in a small town in Cambridgeshire with my fiancé and ours is a blended family. Between us we share one cat and four children, all of whom are a constant source of inspiration! My career has been varied, including working in a Women’s Refuge and more recently at the city library. However, storytelling through the art of writing is my true passion.

As well as writing, I love music and film and of course I love to read, both fiction and non-fiction. Many writers have inspired me from Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Joseph Conrad to Angela Carter, Sue Townsend, Stephen King—and recently Anna McPartlin, Gillian Flynn and Louise Doughty. I enjoy stories that force the reader to observe the daily interactions of people with one another set against the social complexities of everyday life, be that through crime, love or comedy.

It is the women in my life, including my mother, daughters and good friends that have inspired me to write my debut novel. A modern day exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and friendship set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.



‘183 Times A Year is available in eBook from:-

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015G3FIZM

Amazon US – http://amzn.com/B015G3FIZM


Urbane Publications – https://t.co/UTxfI9RsYT

Website – http://www.EvaJordanWriter.com

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/EvaJordanWriter/

Twiiter – @evajordanwriter

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