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