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Happy New Goals!

So this is my first blog of 2018, and I’m about 2 weeks too late in writing this post. So, A belated Happy New Year and I hope you have all started off on your goals for the coming days, weeks and months.

As for me, it was a crazy 2017 which saw me get my first book published in 5 years, have  major surgery, be diagnosed with a chronic illness, meet an amazing human being and have some of the best times of my life. My faith in God only got stronger and I learnt the art of facing my fears and coming out of it the other side! What a ride 2017!

Lola Jaye - Lola By Lola


So now we’re in the new year of 2018 and I’m pumped and ready to get on with my goals. First off, I have to finish editing my new book which has a working title of The flower Girls.  For those of you who bought and read my current novel Orphan Sisters, thank you sooo much and I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven’t read it yet- what are you waiting for? Go and get yourself (and the dog) a copy!

This year marks the tenth anniversary of my first ever published book; By The Time You Read This. What an amazing adventure life as an author has been and it all started with that book – written in my PJ’s after watching an Oprah segment.

I’m also busy motivating and trying to inspire other would be writers as a motivational coach. If one of your resolutions has always been to write a book then get in touch. Together we can;

  • Help you set weekly or monthly writing goals
  • Help you structure and fine tune your writing.
  • Hold you accountable to your writing goals
  • Keep you focused and motivated

 There is so much more to come in 2018 and I am ready to enjoy the ride. What are your goals for the coming weeks, months and year?


But We Were On A Break!

How do I reacquaint myself with characters in a book I wrote well over two years ago.


It all started when I flew off to Atlanta with two suitcases and a dream.
A dream to start and finish a novel, sell it and perhaps enjoy the southern sunshine and some chicken and waffles along the way. After MUCH procrastination and eating, I finally wrote the book and entitled it; ‘In Search Of Her Sisters.’ Most of my early titles only serve as a working title, so I didn’t get attached to the name, but did feel I was onto something with the story of these three orphans; daughters of Nigerian immigrants….

When after a few months my agent hadn’t sold it, I was advised by said trusty agent to ‘get on with the new one.’
Sighing like a 12 year old fed up with everything, all I could say was; ‘What?’  All I could think was; ‘I’ve put my blood sweat and tears into this one, I’m living thousands of miles away from home, so… no, I CAN’T GET ON WITH THE NEW ONE! What about this one? I like this one!’
‘Get on with the new one,’ was my agent’s terse response as she ignored my childlike petulance. 

Part of the reason we get on (apart from her being a brilliant and loyal agent) is that she takes no nonsense from me and is rather straightforward. Plus, she knows when to repeat a sentence.   
‘Get on with the new one,’ she said. Again.
After some metaphorical kicking and screaming, I did. Eventually. And I actually liked what I wrote and it allowed the sorrow of yet another unsold novel to sort of disappear. That’s the thing about being an author- you kind of have to get used to rejections. So many people think it ends the day you get published.                                   

Anyway, fast-forward two years and a couple of novels later and boom! She sells In Search of Her Sisters- to a major publishing house! So I head along to a meeting with said publishers and I lose the ability to make any sense the minute my soon to be editor says; ‘I have always liked your work.’
Thoughts: My work? Why would this powerful industry player be liking my work? What am I- an author? Oh yeah, I have written and published 4 books during my brief history as a writer. Duh! What’s wrong with my brain?’ Perhaps I’m a little star struck  sitting inside the offices of a publishing house. Yes. No, this was something more terrifying as in; I WAS TRYING TO REMEMBER THE BOOK. You know, the one she was talking about. The one I had written well over 2 years ago!
And then the moment became truly insane when she said; ‘So what do you think about character x doing situation x?‘
Thoughts: ‘Say what?’
I couldn’t even remember character X’s name let alone anything else. It had been two long years and 2.5 novels ago! I’d moved on. I was no longer the same girl, even my taste in shoes had changed. So all I could do was ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ appropriately, hoping she wouldn’t make out the fraud in front of her. She probably would have if I hadn’t been honest. ‘I haven’t read the manuscript in two years… I may need a little time to reacquaint myself with the characters,’ I said in a posh accent that had also suddenly materialised. Of course she understood! And, phew! I knew it was better to avoid looking like an idiot in front of a very nice future editor. And after that moment of honesty, a relationship was sealed!

When I began the rewrite, I got to know my characters all over again! And what a lovely experience it was. Going through a manuscript after such a long break was like opening up a new book. I would gasp at the little twists I had inserted, having forgotten all about them and make comments like; ‘This is quite good, this!’
After a two year break, I was still in love with my book!!
So the moral to this story is; the characters in your book never really leave you, they are always there (and luckily, I still liked mine!)

So, let me introduce you to my OLD friends from my NEW book; Their names are Lana, May and Tina… the three characters of my soon to be published paperback novel, In Search Of Her Sisters… err no, sorry about that, it has a new title now: Orphan Sisters!
That’s right, Orphan Sisters (and for those of you who can’t wait for the paperback in a few weeks… you can download the e-book!)

Out NOW on E-book.  The paperback is out September 21st.

What’s a Hybrid Author?

So, what’s a Hybrid Author anyway? It sounds like something developed in a lab by some fiction obsessed scientist, but simply put; this refers to an author who is both traditionally published as well as e-published. And that’s it. In a nutshell. Not exactly rocket science, is it?

So why am I blogging about this, when I’m a traditionally published author? Well, first I’m going to let you into a little secret. About four years ago I wrote a dystopian novel for young Adults. Since then, I’ve re- written it and even let a couple of folks in the industry take a look at it. And what started off as a ‘can I write a dystopian book?’ soon turned into ‘I must get this book published one day!’

This book is such a labour of love for me and quite far removed from my usual work- which as you know, is currently commercial and historical fiction.  Therefore this book would have to be released under a pseudonym (don’t worry I’ll let you know it’s me) if and when, no, WHEN it is published one day in the future.

Basically, I am determined to see this book in print and would see self-publishing as an option. This isn’t because I don’t have confidence in a mainstream publisher picking it up… okay there may be some reservations from time to time… No, No. I am confident!!! Okay, internal fight over, here’s the thing: knowing I could one day self publish this weird and wonderful book is a back up plan that I am glad exists. It’s always better to have choices, right?

So as a published author, you now have the choice to either send the completed manuscript to your agent with the hope that s/he will sell it for a good or great advance or you can think about self-publishing as an e-book and/or a print-on-demand.  These options do not erase the possibility that a traditional publisher might at a later date, buy and publish the book through the conventional publishing house route- you just never know. Stranger things have happened.

Similarly, you as a self published author are also free to explore the traditional publishing route. There are no set rules.

Hmm, there’s a lot to think about in the publishing arena and it’s always a good idea to read about and speak to other authors who have taken the hybrid route.

As for my dystopian YA novel: the feedback has been very, very good.   And between you and me, I could also see it as a Hollywood blockbuster movie. So, scriptwriters: call me!



5 Ways to Deal with Rejection

5 Ways to Deal with Rejection 

I know these blogs are getting more and more personal, but na…we aint talking about my love life!! Tee hee. But let’s face it, we have all been rejected at some point in our lives whether it be by a love interest or in career matters.  Those of you who followed my ancient blogs of yesteryear,  know what I went through before getting my first publishing deal. So I unfortunately have  quite a bit of  experience in the field of rejection.  Also, working in the field of mental wellbeing, it comes up a lot. So If we put all that experience in to one big pot of gloop, here’s the result (enjoy).

  1. Don’t take it personal: The more emotionally attached we are to the person, thing or situation, the harder the rejection is going to feel.  And it’s easy to believe there’s something wrong with us because if not, then why did the other person dismiss us? During those early days of submitting my book to agents and publishers, the rejections would hurt and slice through my bones (graphic but true). My very first rejection had me in tears! So, if we stick with the publishing analogy, we could say the book I’d sent them was too much like the book they’d just signed up for a million pounds earlier that week. Sometimes rejection occurs and it’s nothing to do with us. Don’t own stuff that might not exist.  

2. It May Have Happened for a Greater Reason:         

It’s easy to stay trapped in distress and anger and tears (I snapped out of mine as soon as I decided to improve my manuscript).  But remaining in that box is sooo counterproductive.  It’s better to  try and see past what really is a fleeting moment of discomfort and snot, to  acknowledge that there is a higher purpose to not getting what (or whom) we want. If like me, you believe in God, then you’ll know what I mean by; He has other plans for me. If you are even slightly spiritual then perhaps go with the belief that a higher purpose will be revealed in time. How many times have you heard the story of a friend getting dumped, only for her to find her true love a month later as she waits at the bus stop in the pouring rain, hair stuck to her face, new suede boots caked in mud…? I digress. My point is, I bet she’s now grateful that rat of an ex dumped her by text!

We all discover the greater purpose of our pain in due time.   

3. Don’t avoid the feelings, USE them:

Okay, let me rephrase that. Acknowledge the hurt and then use this to make changes that will ultimately lead to bettering YOU. In my case, I acknowledged the hurt getting yet another knock back from a publisher  gave me, but eventually was able to see the positive side. An editor had actually taken the time to write me back, so maybe my manuscript wasn’t all that horrendous after all! Even if they had put in a line resembling ; ‘good story, crap writing,’ at least I had a good story and all I had to do was improve my writing! Years after that potentially career shattering letter, I am getting ready to release my fifth book in September 2017 and it’s called Orphan Sisters (shameful plug).

I’m generally an ‘optimistic half full type of girl’, but when in the midst of a fresh rejection, it’s easy to lose that.

It’s OK to be sad, but not for long.

4. It’s Good to Talk:

But not to anyone. Some well meaning friends may simply pile on the clichés whilst others may offer unhelpful reams of advice. When it’s most dangerous is when you have tried to pursue a dream like becoming an actor and a well meaning friend says; “Well it was a long shot wasn’t it? Stick to what you’re good at!”  In this case its better to only confide in someone you know shares the same crazy ‘out there’ dreams  you do. The one friend who at the age of 99 still wants to become a world class opera singer. The type of friend who sees no limit and will never try to break apart your dreams.

5. Avoid Social Media:

Says the girl who is more than likely going to use social media to share this blog. But when you’re in the first throws of reaction, I’m not sure how helpful it is to log onto  Facebook et el and vent. How many times have you seen the Facebook friend of a Facebook friend call out her ‘useless boyfriend’ she found in bed with the neighbour’s hairdresser? It may have felt  freeing for her at 2am surrounded by old photos and that severed pink teddy bear he bought her, but that post will still be there to haunt her during quieter, reflective moments. Also, reading about a Facebook friend’s £2 million book deal may also not help your mood, if you have been trying to get your book/script accepted; or if your latest audition for an Actimel ad wasn’t accepted. Or you got a D on an assignment.  As for me, a story like that simply spurs me on to do better, but I know this is not the effect for everyone.

If you take only take in a fraction of this article (hey, we all skim stuff these days and have short attention spans) remember this:

Rejection says nothing about you as a person. Getting rejected is part of life.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s 2017… Time to Kick Fear in the Bum (or Butt) Part 1


…and welcome to 2017 AND my shiny new rejigged website. I hope you like it! It’s all rather efficient now and blog posts will be plentiful in the coming months- at least one a week… sometimes two.  This blog will be geared towards anyone in need of a bit of motivation, whether you want to be a writer or an astrophysicist (although I will be talking more about the writing process than astrophysics stuff because, well I know more about that!).

So,  (drum roll please) my FIRST blog post for 2017 will focus on Fear.

As a psychotherapist, I believe it’s good to talk. But don’t worry, I won’t be doing much of that today. I’d simply like to share a prelude to a piece I wrote way back in 2014 and a few months after embarking on my dream trip to Atlanta.

I had planned to stay in the USA for six months but ended up staying (on and off) for just over two years.  It was something I had wanted to do for a very long time, but had never found the ‘right time’. I can go on with the list of excuses, but it all came down to one word: Fear.

Neale Donald Walsch breaks this down as;






There just may be some of you grappling with that rather annoying emotion that is fear. You may have been thinking about taking a leap of faith with something; new job, travel, whatever- but fear keeps rearing its rather unattractive head.  So, as a new year begins, it’s easy to get caught up with the ‘Happy New You’ talk and why not? A new year does bring with it a sense of renewal, but so does a new week, a new day a new hour.

I’m not going to list any self help points (okay maybe in another post). But, during my next blog post I will share with you, some of my story in the hopes that it will inspire somebody out there to just go for it!

Remember: don’t let FEAR win!



Hello… again!

Hello Dear Readers,

My promises to update this blog regularly… OK, I’m not even going to insult your intelligence. In my defence (or defense depending on where you are reading this)  I have been writing… I’m also going to appear at a few events during the upcoming weeks (nice change of subject there).

The first is an author Chat arranged by the Women’s National Book Association- Atlanta Chapter!

A bit about this organisation: The Women’s National Book Association was established in 1917, before women in America even had the right to vote. WNBA is a national organization of women and men who work with and value books and exists to promote reading and to support the role of women in the community of the book.

So basically, you get to ask me anything. Well not ANYTHING, but stuff about publishing and writing and all that good stuff.     blah-blah-blah-300x225

Tickets are available right here…

I will post details of other upcoming events closer to the time, as in the day before. No, not really…





(My Second & Last Post of 2015)


So, 2016 is almost upon us and I’m still thinking, ‘where did the time go?’

My time in  Atlanta has been full of writing, sunshine and… writing. After ‘landing’ here in the good ‘ole South’- I was in shock for about six months. But now, a year and a half later, I’m still rather coming to terms with with just… being here.

Tragedy has struck, surprises (not all nice) have come, yet through it all, my faith in God has remained and here I am.

Still here.

I feel so very blessed,

As with the writing- I have been partaking in that- a lot. And all will soon be revealed on that front.

Be patient, my luvvlies, be patient.

I have visited Savannah where I marveled at beautiful trees covered in Spanish moss (wondering how they got there) and visited the first African American Church;  Chicago (where I didn’t try a pizza); a little German-town in Georgia called Helen (where I stood beside windmills and a  Hansel and Gretel cottage);  LA where I cheered at my first Martin Luther King Day Parade and Austin where I witnessed a lady walk around the street with no top on (apparently this is legal in Austin).

My dream is to drive across the West Coast, but considering I don’t enjoy driving and have yet to master the ‘other side of the road’ lark, we’ll just have to leave that fantasy alone for now. I am of course taking applications for any willing drivers… (I will pay in cupcakes).

As you can tell, this is a quick post to remind you I am still alive…. and writing.

I wish you all a wonderful 2016 and may all your wacky, crazy dreams come true!


Lola J