Mag­i­cal mo­ments of suc­cess

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

Chil­dren’s spy sto­ries and women’s con­tem­po­rary fic­tion are two book gen­res that don’t usu­ally go hand in hand.

But Jill Mar­shall seems to be manag­ing both with ease.

The Herne Bay au­thor cel­e­brated the release of her sec­ond con­tem­po­rary fic­tion novel, As It Is On Telly, this week.

The name and idea for the book came from a friend who was bored in her re­la­tion­ship and told Jill: “I want it to be like it is on telly.”

The book fol­lows the story of a Lon­don house­wife who, af­ter dis­cov­er­ing her hus­band is hav­ing an af­fair, joins a high-class dat­ing ser­vice.

Her search for a part­ner leads her to New Zealand and on a jour­ney of self-dis­cov­ery.

Ms Mar­shall says the book is partly based on her per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence. She moved to New Zealand from Bri­tain in 2003.

“It’s based on re­la­tion­ships a lot of us have had and that feel­ing that the grass is greener.

“It’s about not be­ing pre­pared to set­tle. It’s cer­tainly some­thing I’ve been through in the past.”

As It Is On Telly fol­lows the release of her first con­tem­po­rary fic­tion novel The Two Miss Par­sons last year.

Her chil­dren’s spy se­ries Jane Blonde has sold half a mil­lion copies and is avail­able in France, Italy, Poland, Hun­gary and Aus­trala­sia.

She says the suc­cess of the seven-book se­ries “feels quite unreal”.

“There are th­ese phe­nom­e­nal mo­ments in life and one of them was get­ting fan mail from a girl in France.”

An­other was see­ing her book for sale in the gift shop at Roald Dahl’s house which she toured in the UK.

“There are odd mag­i­cal mo­ments when you re­alise it’s hav­ing an im­pact on peo­ple.”

Pen­guin pub­lish­ing di­rec­tor Ge­off Walker says Ms Mar­shall’s books are great ex­am­ples of fast-mov­ing, com­mer­cial fic­tion.

“It’s very read­able and very ac­ces­si­ble,” says Mr Walker.

He says there are al­ready plans for Ms Mar­shall to pro­duce sev­eral more nov­els in the next few years.

“Peo­ple are recog­nis­ing now that Jill Mar­shall is a very fine writer.”

As It Is On Telly is avail­able now in book stores.

Photo: AMELIA JA­COB­SEN

On a roll: Jill Mar­shall is en­joy­ing her move into women’s fic­tion.

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