MEET JOHN SEARANCKE

This week’s guest is also a member of the Facebook Group We Love Memoirs, so his name is familiar, although I’ve had to check several times to make sure I have spelled it correctly!  Over to John.

John

Hi everyone! Firstly, let me thank Lucinda for inviting me on to her platform. My name is John Searancke and my wife Sally and I live partly in the Canary Islands and partly at a new home that we have just bought in one of the Five Villages, near to Chichester, West Sussex. We moved in during August this year and spent the first couple of months living in overly close proximity to a mound of packing cases. Writing has been temporarily on hold!

I started out in life in the Leicestershire market town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. I was sent off to Prep School at Seaford in Sussex, and then on to Rugby School. After a number of short-term jobs, I settled into the running of a small loss-making country hotel that my parents had somewhat foolishly purchased. My parents’ marriage fell apart and I was left to pick up the pieces. I built the hotel up to become a well-known business over a 35 year career.  A second marriage then took me to Lancashire and then, in retirement, to the Canary Islands, where we live in the lee of Mount Teide, the famous volcano that we can see from our terrace.

El Teide

Lack of gainful employment (other than as restaurant reviewer for a Canary Islands newspaper) as I approached my 70th year impelled me to think about writing a book. Most people reckon that they have a book in them, don’t they? But how many take the plunge and actually do it? I cast around for ideas and came up with the storyline of making the move, lock, stock, and barrel, from the north of England to the balmy climes of the Canary Islands.

Car of the Month1

What could be more (we thought!) exciting than to drive our 27 year old red Mercedes all the way from England to our new home in the sun? How many times would a 27 year old car break down, and us without a word of Spanish? Would the car even make it?

I soon filled up a manuscript of strange goings-on and many tales of doggy derring-do as our Staffie, Freddie, an RSPCA rescue dog, settled in amongst new friends. Sadly, some years later as I write this, Freddie is no longer with us, but he lives on forever in our hearts and I remember him as my inspiration to get into print.

Dog Days Front Cover jpg

Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands” was the result of my efforts. The title is a bit of a play on words, Dog Days relating to old sailing ships becoming becalmed and the latter part being the old name for the island archipelago that was to become home.

My wife came up with the title of my second book, “Prunes for Breakfast”, which is most apposite. I still had the writing bug and, reading through a cache of family letters left to me, detailing family life through WW2, I thought that I could pay belated tribute to my father who had played his part to the full during those heady years from 1939 to 1945, including his landing in Normandy and his later incarceration in a German POW camp.

Prunes Front Cover jpg

My father and I had not got on as I grew up, so it was a cathartic experience to be able to tell his story.

A huge amount of research went into the production of that book, and it has latterly been issued in audio-book format. I achieved a dream when it got an Amazon #1 in its category, albeit probably only for a millisecond!

And so, to my third book…

A number of people who read “Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands” mentioned to me that I should write about my earlier life. I have difficulty grasping the fact that this could be particularly interesting to anyone. I realized that I had been self- employed for most of my life, that it was doubtful that anyone would actually have wanted to employ me and that, yes, perhaps, there were some stories to be told – some of them a little bit risqué. So, I am well over half way through this third book, at just over 50,000 words and it should be available in the spring of next year.

Here is the synopsis, the first time seen in print:

John Searancke came to the role of hotelier almost accidentally. After his parents’ marriage fell apart, he was dragooned in, at the age of 22, to pick up the pieces of their new venture, a barely trading country house hotel that had, frankly, seen better days. Not only was it posting an annual loss, but the fabric of the building was crumbling and there was no money left to make improvements.

There were to be battles royal with neighbours not wanting their status quo to be altered, the fire authority who sought to impose draconian new safety measures, and staff who were there just for their pay packets.

Over the years, and with the steepest of learning curves, the grand old building was renovated and transformed to meet the requirements of the modern discerning traveller. Accolades for the hotel and its restaurant were won; together they became a well-regarded destination for a number of celebrities – and those that deemed themselves to be celebrities, but were not. Stories abound featuring idiosyncratic guests, overbearing public bodies, fractured family life and animals of all shapes and sizes. The local fire station next door was demolished one foggy night, guests were frightened by flying dogs and snakes in the long grass, and there were, as befits a country house, strange goings on in the night. Guests checked in who really should not have been seen together, whilst others erroneously believed that there exists an incontrovertible law that the customer is always right.

A rescue mission originally thought of as a year or two turned into a 35 year lifetime love affair with a beautiful old building, turning a young man into a tired and grey haired hotelier; continuous improvements being made on the one hand as funds allowed, but with the stress of business dooming relationships along the way.

Then will come the part that I don’t like, because I am no good at it – the marketing and publicity. On that journey I hope, once again, to have the expertise of Sarah Jane Butfield of Rukia Publishing, to steer me along the way.

Please check my website for progress after Christmas, and leave messages for me…and in the meantime, a huge “thank you” from me to everyone who has read my books. I hope that you may like my next one even more!

John’s books sound like a fun read, and like most of us, he has dozens of addresses! You can find out lots more about him at any of these places. And thank you John for being my guest.

Website: www.johnsearancke.com
Amazon.co.uk Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands http://tinyurl.com/p6s7eku

 Amazon.co.uk Prunes for Breakfast http://tinyurl.com/ntpae84

Website: www.johnsearancke.com

Meet the Author at Rukia Publishing: http://www.rukiapublishing.com/meet-the-author-john-searancke.html
John Searancke Pinterest profile page: https://www.pinterest.com/johnsearancke/author-john-searancke/
Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/sjbutfield/featured-book-dog-days-in-the-fortunate-islands/
Prunes for Breakfast Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/sjbutfield/featured-book-prunes-for-breakfast-by-john-searanc/
John Searancke Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/john.searancke.1
Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dog-Days-in-The-Fortunate-Islands/867368390009475
Prunes for Breakfast Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PrunesForBreakfast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnsearancke
Troubador Publishing: http://www.troubador.co.uk/shop_booklist.asp?s=john%20searancke

Thank you John for sharing this with us and like you, i shall be going to sit in the sun while I take a look at your books.

 

 

 

 

MEET SARAH JANE BUTFIELD

This month is a trip down memory lane for me as Sarah is another long-time Facebook friend. It must be at least 3 years since I read her first book. She not only writes books but runs her own promotion company as well and is a great friend to other indie authors.

sarah jane

Hi Lucinda and thank you for inviting me to your blog.

Over the last few months, aside from pursuing my writing and publishing goals and ambitions, I have been dealing with some happy and sad family events. The happy events include the arrival of a further 3 grandchildren and the sad events include a family bereavement and some challenges involving our precious dogs.

Anyway back to all things ‘writing and publishing’!

I have been nicknamed, ‘The Accidental Author’ for a very good reason, hence why I used it as the title for the first book in the self-help new author series. I started writing my first travel memoir as a cathartic exercise after we lost our home, business and pretty much everything in the Brisbane floods in 2011. I had for many years longed to write a romantic fiction novel, not with any thoughts of having it published, I was purely focused on the writing of it. As a young adult, I was hooked on Mills & Boon love stories and I felt sure that I had a love story to share. At that time, and right up until after I published my debut book Glass Half Full, I had no idea what I had got myself into and how addictive the self-publishing and writing to be self-published would become.

sarah pic 1

Glass Half Full: Our Australian Adventure, my debut travel memoir, and the award-winning sequel Two dogs and a suitcase: Clueless in Charente, are regularly found high in the Amazon rankings in categories including; Parenting, Grief, Christian faith, Step-parenting, Travel and France. My culinary memoir, Our Frugal Summer in Charente was voted as one of the ‘Top 50 self-published books worth reading in 2015’.

Sarah has also written memoirs about her time working as a nurse.

Sarah Jane, the roving Florence Nightingale, has had a successful career as a qualified nurse and used her nursing and later her teaching qualifications to take her across the world. Her new nursing memoir books are part of The Nomadic Nurse Series which started with the multi-award-winning Ooh Matron! Published  in September 2015. Book two, Bedpans to Boardrooms was published in February 2017.

Sarah has also taken a sideways step into publishing for other indie authors. She published the first three books in a series of self-help literature primarily aimed at aspiring and debut self-published authors, but which are frequently referred to and complimented on by established authors who are leaving traditional publishing houses and contracts and entering the indie or hybrid world of publishing.

Book one is permanently free as Sarah Jane wants everyone who has a story to share to be inspired and believe that it is possible to self-publish a book whatever you hope to achieve by doing that, it is called The Accidental Author, which has become Sarah Jane’s nickname on the motivational speaker circuit which she has now taken a foothold in.

She says: From a writing perspective, I am working on book 4 in the self-help author series called, ‘The Accomplished Authorpreneur,’ where I take the authors up a level in their skill set to achieve global exposure and maximise sales.

I am also developing an author coaching service with my Rukia Publishing partner Margaret Daly who is based in New York, to provide a ‘marketing for indies’ coaching course with an optional ‘Done for You’ service including educational packages to enable authors to learn how to successfully promote themselves and their books online and in their local area.

As always I would love to hear from readers, authors and bloggers who are interested in finding out more about my books and my writing, the publishing and marketing services that we offer at Rukia Publishing and from anyone who would like to get involved as a reader, reviewer, blogger, etc.

A little bit about Sarah:

Author Sarah Jane Butfield was born in Ipswich and raised in rural Suffolk, UK. Sarah Jane is a wife, mother, qualified nurse and now an international bestselling author. Married three times with four children, three stepchildren, and four grandchildren, she an experienced modern-day mum to her ‘Brady Bunch’, but she loves every minute of their convoluted lives.

Author website www.sarahjanebutfield.com   Connect with Sarah Jane on social media:  Twitter  @SarahJanewrites   @SJButfield     @GlassHalfFullTM  @TwoDogsMemoir

@FrugalSummer

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahJaneButfield

www.facebook.com/Twodogsandasuitcase

www.facebook.com/OurFrugalSummerinCharente

www.facebook.com/Ooh-Matron-1646665865549530/timeline/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/rukia_publishing/

 Blogs:  Sarah Jane’s Writing Blog http://sarahjanebutfield-glass-half-full.blogspot.co.uk/

Sarah Jane’s Blog at Rukia http://www.rukiapublishing.com/sarah-janes-blog

Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, competitions and sneak previews – http://eepurl.com/0IuML  

Support and networking for authors provided by Sarah Jane:

http://www.rukiapublishing.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RukiaPublishing

https://www.facebook.com/promotingauthors

Does anyone remember the old days when we all had one address? Now, I ‘m showing my age.

Thank you, Sarah, there is lots to explore in the links and book above.