A first for me today! Two (count them) authors all visiting at once. I know they travel because here is the blurb for the book they produced together.
“On a mountaintop in Italy, English writer Jill comes up with an idea – to meet up in the flesh with two other writers she encountered on the internet and has shared many online laughs with. One slight problem is that Janet lives in England and has never flown. Another is that Tottie lives in France and, like a good wine, doesn’t travel.
So intrepid Janet boards her first ever flight to meet Jill in Italy and together they embark on a crazy road trip in a twenty-year-old Fiat Punto, to disturb the peace of Tottie’s little ‘grottage’ in France’s Auvergne.
When two sixty-somethings and a forty-something meet up, there’s lots of laughter and plenty of chatter. But will it turn out to be a lasting friendship or will the Three Birds part company vowing never to meet again?
Jilli Lime-Holt is the collective pen-name of writers Jill Pennington, author of Diary of a Single Parent Abroad, Tottie Limejuice, author of the Sell the Pig series, and Janet Holt, co-author of The Stranger in my Life.”
Jilli: Janet flew from UK to Italy, then we (Jill and Janet) drove to France.
Tottie: Meanwhile I was working on the barricades but unfortunately, the other two birds arrived before I had time to finish them. Actually, you daft Doris, I think she means who did we pick up today. Well, that’s a bit of a story, more of it later.
No matter, you’re here now. I know that wine is acceptable to all so we’ll ask Cam to toddle in and produce a selection. Now tell me, did you set out to write a book or did that happen as an afterthought?
Jilli: No the intention was always to produce a book, it was an experiment but there was a purpose to it.
Tottie: That was the idea from the start. Doris-bird (Jilli) had this mad plan that we should do it with a book in mind. No one had ever done it that way before, to our knowledge, so we decided to give it a go. Actually, sorry to be a nuisance but I can’t drink wine or I burble more than ever. Have you got lashings of ginger beer, by any chance?
Oh great – join me, I’m on the ginger pop too! The blurb gives us a fantastic taster (makes me want to read it now) but are there any incidents you would like to share here as a tease?
Jilli: Well there were a number of near death experiences, in one of which we learned how to swear in French.
Always very useful, I do it all the time!
Tottie: My abiding memory is of me skipping round my garden trying to get a mobile phone signal whilst trying to guide the other two mad birds to me after they’d got hopeless lost, miles out of their way. My insatiably curious French neighbour was agog to know what was going on.
Oh yes, mine are used to crazy foreign people hugging madly and doing silly things around the Bingergread Cottage too. We fascinate them, don’t we? How long have you known each other on-line?
Jilli: I have known Tottie for around 3 years, and Janet 2.
Tottie: About the same for me, I think. We all met initially on the Authonomy.com writers’ site and later got chatting on Facebook.
Were you all as you each imagined?
Jilli: No they were both mad as cheese.
Tottie: Much worse than I imagined. Mad as a box of frogs and never shut up.
I find it a weird experience meeting up with on-line friends because you already know each other, it is just physicality that is new. What do you like most about the other two?
Jilli: Their sense of humour, that’s what we all seemed to have in common, over anything else.
Tottie: What makes you think I like them? But we did all have a good laugh.
Erm, yes,I did rather make an qssumption then but you must have been mad or you wouldn’t have gone there, as they say in Wonderland. Did you discover any funny habits?
Jilli: Yes Tottie didn’t drink, now that’s funny!
Tottie: They did nearly drive me to drink. I would have if I could have.
I see they failed, have some more ginger beer, I’m hooked on the stuff now I don’t drink either.Are you planning to make this a regular event?
Jilli: Janet had a nasty accident after the trip so not sure she would want to take something on like this again, though I feel sure Tottie and I will meet again.
Tottie: Actually, you know I am always mentioning being dyscalculic? Well, you probably thought only two of us turned up today because I can’t count and forgot to collect the third one. Sadly Farmer Bird Janet has now broken the other wing so was unfit to travel. As for a regular event, we certainly have some very exciting plans for the future. It may not necessarily involve all the same Birds, but it’s a case of watch this space to find out more.
Oh poor Janet, here we’ll send her some Cam Cake and a bottle of our local vino collapso, grown just up the road from here. Can you share anything else that I haven’t asked about?
Jilli: Yes, I have run out of French soap.
Tottie: I did get you some more soap, Doris Bird, but I forgot to bring it with me. If you’ve not read the book yet, there is the most incredible artisan soap manufacturer near me and a visit there was one of the highlights of the trip.
How about some links to this and other of your separate works?
Tottie: Fabulous, thanks. I’m a bit greedy, I’ve written quite a few books so mine take up a lot of room! I also write as both Tottie Limejuice and L M Krier and have a children’s book coming out later this year under another pen name, L M Kay.
Don’t forget that Tottie has a new book release TOMORROW! It’s been such fun to see you. I really wish if you meet up again I could join you. Now hop back on the carpet and tell it where you want to go first. Could the last one tell it “Go home!” please?
Tottie: Thanks for having us, it’s been great. I think you need to get the magic carpet serviced, we had quite a bumpy ride here!$
Well it has seen some use recently. I’ll give it to the rug-fae for a shake about. It was our pleasure. Come back soon.