Angie Bardot

This interview and feature with Angie Bardot first appeared on my sister site MyriadLifeBooks.com – visit to see new authors, Norwich and Norfolk books including local fiction authors such as Elly Griffiths and David Blake plus a dazzling array of notebooks!

If you are an author and would like to be featured, please email MyriadLifeBooks@gmail.com. I welcome authors from all over the world.

You can buy The Life and Times of Angie Bardot here.

The Life and Times of Angie Bardot – A Memoir

First of all, please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you located? Is writing your full-time occupation?
I would love to write all day, every day, but that wouldn’t give me enough time for daydreaming and reading other authors books, which is my favourite pastime. These days I have more time on my hands, which allows me the freedom to do anything I want, that doesn’t include cooking! (The perks of being single). I am located in Australia in the sunny state of Queensland. I like to travel once a year to far off places delving into other peoples’ worlds. I often think how great it would be to have a full-time occupation as a travel writer so I could do the two things I love doing most.

Please give a brief description of your book and how you came to write about this particular subject.

The particular subject was not by choice. When my 36 year marriage failed I found myself thrown into the singles arena without any knowledge of how to navigate my way through. The many pitfalls I experienced ranged from misery to mayhem with lots of laughter in between. I have learnt the very thing one must never lose sight of if one wishes to survive is their sense of humour!

At what point did you decide your experiences would make a good book?

When I first started writing about what I was experiencing I wrote and wrote and wrote as it felt cathartic, and the words just flowed out of me like verbal diarrhea. Then it dawned on me that my predicament, although all too common, was still unique. That was the pivotal point where I changed from ranting mode to writing mode. I decided I had a real story I wanted to tell.

Did you find it easy to write about your personal life and more particularly sex or did you worry about what other people would think? If you were nervous about it, how did you overcome this?

On one hand I found it easy to write about my personal life because the words just poured out in an unstoppable stream. It was great to get it all out and I felt so much better for having done so. On the other hand, as I began my exploits, I was aware that some of my behaviour wasn’t even acceptable to me!!! The old me, so the best way to overcome any embarrassment was to write under a pseudonym. That gave me the freedom to express myself without worrying about what people thought of me. I think having a certain kind of anonymity makes you bolder and more brazen, not in the real sense, but in the telling of the story as a “no holds barred” expose’ which you wouldn’t ordinarily dream of telling.

Have you learnt anything from feedback from your readers and would you do anything differently in future because of it?

The surprising thing I learnt is that men have an interest in my story! This was something I didn’t expect until I received some wonderful feedback. Maybe in the future I should be kinder to men when I write about them…… maybe!

If you could choose a famous person to read your book and leave a review, who would it be and why?

I would ask Julia Roberts to read and review my book because she was the main character in the movie Eat Prey Love, which was based on a true story about a relationship breakdown where the protagonist goes on a journey searching for happiness and redefinement. I feel Julia would have empathy and insight.

Do you have a preference for writing in the morning/afternoon or evening and do you write everyday or only when the mood takes you?

I don’t seem to have a set time during my day that I devote to my writing. It is more if and when the mood takes me. If I think of something specific, I will always make a note to expand on it later.

Do you have a special place where you go to write and do you go through any rituals before writing?

I usually put on some soft background music and sit on my comfortable couch with my laptop and just let the words flow. My only ritual is going from the couch to the fridge or pantry and back to the couch, to be repeated often depending on the success of my writing session.

On average, how many hours do you write for at any given time and do you (like me) often pause for snacks or other distractions or do you get swept away by getting your thoughts into words?

It is never the same, as I mentioned I do get distracted at times and that is where the food intake helps. At other times I don’t realise until I look at the time that several hours have passed by without me stopping at all. It is amazing how hours can feel like minutes when I am totally immersed in writing.

What do you use to write: a laptop, pc, notebook? Do you leave a notebook by your bed just in case an idea occurs to you in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning?

I use my trusty laptop, poor thing the way I put it through the paces when I am on a roll banging on the keys non-stop. I do have a notebook by the bed in case I come up with one of my scathingly brilliant ideas in the middle of the night. I can be asleep, suddenly wake up for no apparent reason, write down an idea that has sprung to mind, and go back to sleep. In the morning I would have no recollection of this apparent idea if it wasn’t for my scribble in the notebook.

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started writing your book?

That is a great question as I would have done so many things differently, if only I had the insight and wisdom. The single stand out thing I should have known was to educate myself about the world of self-publishing which is still a work in progress and a huge learning curve. On a personal level, although I don’t want to give too much of my story away, I will admit I thought I knew what I wanted in the beginning, until I had what I wanted, only to realise it wasn’t what I wanted at all!

Are you enjoying being an Indie Author? Which aspects do you like/dislike?

I am still learning as there is so much to being a successful Indie Author. It’s not enough to just write a great book. I need to promote myself and find a way through the maze so my audience can find me and that is the part I dislike the most because it can feel overwhelming at times. I would rather flick my magic wand in the air and have it all done for me spit spot! What I do like is when I’ve learnt something new that can assist me in improving my independence as an Indie Author. I also like the camaraderie of other Indies Authors who are supportive and willing to share their knowledge with me so freely.

Are you enjoying marketing your book? Have you any tips for authors who find this part of the process a chore?

I think because my memoir is so personal and a part of who I am, I find it difficult to release my story and put it out there. A small part of me thinks of it as just mine, which of course impedes the marketing process. Apart from the expense of having an expert look after everything in the initial stages of my launch, I have found it very economical to take hold of the project and market my book myself. This also means I have had to count my losses when trying something new doesn’t work and it leads to disappointment. There are so many marketing options to choose from, I liken it to a big smorgasbord of delectable delights waiting for me to taste them, and like everything yummy I have to pay for it.


My tip is don’t be in a hurry. At the beginning of my launch, I was so focused on pre-orders that I got myself all worked up about the immediate “now” and didn’t see or focus on the benefits of the long-haul marketing process. There is time to reach your target market. Once the initial buzz has settled a good long term marketing strategy can be set in place. We as writers, have to invest in our belief, which is believing in ourselves and the quality of our work, and financially back ourselves which also gives us the freedom to choose for ourselves.

What is your favourite social media platform for promoting your book and why?

Up until this point Amazon is my biggest provider of advertising options with the KDP program. I like the control of how much I want to pay for the advertising. I can set the length of the promotion, price I want for my ebook and how much I want to invest. I think as an Indie Author it is vital to be able to stick to a budget and have the control to pull out if it’s not bringing the desired results. All other media platforms I have used to date have had an up-front fee regardless of performance results.

Who are your favourite authors?

Amos Towles – A Gentleman in Moscow
David Benioff – City of ThievesDerek Hansen – Lunch with the Generals, Lunch with Mussolini
Rani Manicka – The Rice Mother

Is there an author (modern day or in history) you’d like to meet and if you did, who is he/she and what is the one question you would ask them?

Andre Kirk Agassi, American former world No. 1 Tennis Player – Biography

I would like to ask Andre how he achieved such success in the tennis arena if he hated playing tennis!

Do you stick to a particular genre or do you have an open mind depending on what captures your interest?

It is usually what captures my interest or if someone recommends a good read. I don’t have any specific genre. I do like faction, so the book can be based on some fact but embellished with fiction thrown in to make the story more interesting. I love to sink myself into a written book where it envelops and transports me into the story. I am in a Book Club and the books chosen monthly quite often are not what I would have considered. It challenges me to keep an open mind and try new authors and topics.

Do you have a work in progress?

I should have a work in progress, and I know I will soon.

Can you give us a hint of what’s next on your writing agenda?

I planned to continue my story after the release of The Life and Times of Angie Bardot – Part One (Hell No) and Part Two (Hell Yes). 2019/2020 is awaiting my creative juices to start flowing again. Gosh, I hope they haven’t dried up like the Sahara Desert.

P.S. In the meantime you’ll just have to read to the end of 2018 then!

Who is the funniest person you know? Feel free to say yourself!

Me!!!!! (You told me to say myself, it wasn’t my idea).

You can buy The Life and Times of Angie Bardot here

Follow Angie on Twitter @BardotAngela and at Goodreads

Marketing adventures and balcony earwigging…

Here I am navigating how to market my books as I go. I’ve always been one to learn on the hoof, so to speak. It helps with my impatience to get things done. I am trying to be consistent in what is turning out to be a pretty inconsistent way.

Having video’d myself reading from 12 excerpts of The Isolation Sex Stories I find that Facebook doesn’t want to post the videos – maybe it’s a download thing or maybe they don’t like the content. I have no idea as I haven’t received a notification as yet. They are simply proving impossible to upload. The first introductory one was fine but nothing since has worked. My phone rarely lets me down so I’m pretty sure it’s not that.

WordPress to the rescue where happily I have discovered that by using Anchor my blogposts can be created as podcasts. So now you get to listen to a nice American lady instead of my sultry tones and you don’t have to look at me. This could well be a blessing in disguise! Having said that, videos are fun to do when I’m in the mood, so I will persist with those when time allows.

You can listen to the podcasts via the links at the bottom of this page and all future blogposts will be available as podcasts too. Maybe I will eventually get to use my own voice but for now I’m happy with the American lady as it saves time and time is particularly precious at the moment.

It’s a bit tricky when you have written a book containing adult content. It’s not porn but obviously there are some scenarios and language that could cause offence and that’s why I did put a warning at the beginning at my videos (even though I made sure the excerpts weren’t anything too naughty). This is all a great learning curve. I am glad I wrote the book and I know it has given a number of people great amusement which was always the intention during these tough times. It will certainly be fun to look back on it in ten years time…

My next book of short stories is a completely different subject and looking ahead I now know how much easier it should be to market. Someone once said that I never do things the easy way and that’s pretty much true. However, it does prepare the way and I’m always suspicious when things are too easy. Life has conditioned me to believe that if something is easy it’s probably not worth doing.

Marketing certainly isn’t easy but it can be fun researching what to do next and interacting with other indies and readers on social media.

As I type this we are in the middle of a mini heatwave in the UK and it has been a long time coming. Consequently, for the first time this summer I have been able to move my office out onto the balcony which I have to say is some kind of bliss. As well as roasting nicely in the sun (with necessary precautions of course), I get to listen to the conversations people are having on their balconies. Yesterday some women were discussing which parts of their body tan first and a man was on the phone arranging a date. It’s impossible not to earwig and as a writer I certainly see it as my duty to do so! Who knows what could turn into my next story? The seagulls are squawking, music is playing and the herbs are growing away in their pots. Apart from the odd gnat bite, this feels like the perfect place to work. Oh hang on a minute, the women are back, the word ‘literally’ and phrase ‘going behind my back’ are being repeated quite a bit. If it gets really interesting I will let you know in my next blog. She just told Alexa to be quiet… that’s a shame, I was enjoying Ed Sheeran!

More of my indie author experiences soon…

Check out my podcast at Spotify, Breaker, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic and listen to the nice American lady reading my stuff 😉

While you are waiting, my short stories The Eight of Swords, The Putsi and The Isolation Sex Stories are all at Amazon (free on Kindle Unlimited) waiting for you to read them. If you do, please let me know what you think of them via Amazon reviews or feel free to message me with your thoughts via Twitter @PetraKidd – Instagram @PetraKiddWriter or Facebook/PetraKiddWrites

Author adventures in marketing…

The sun is out, the sky is blue, there are a few clouds but they aren’t spoiling the view. As tempting as it is to go out and enjoy the fresh air, here I am in front of my screen trying to get my head around book marketing.

I love writing my stories but it’s another thing altogether spreading the word about them. Writing is fun but hard work, marketing is even harder. I enjoy producing graphics, I know my way around social media (to a point) but when it comes to advertising, it’s a whole new ball game. Suddenly I need to know target audiences. I have to create a budget for spending. I have to measure results and assess what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve watched lots of instructive book marketing videos. I’ve read the experiences of other authors. I’ve listened to podcasts galore. Somehow I still feel a little adrift because everyone has a different experience, what you have to do is weigh up the common denominators that lead to success. Even then, luck comes into it. In truth, writing is like any other business and a book is a product. However, it’s more of a personal kind of product to the author who has to do the promotional work so sensitivities have to be quashed.

It’s not the first time I’ve had to market a product as I’ve always worked in business of some kind but a book, well that’s a bit different. I see a book as an emotional product, it’s much more personal. The stories I write will strike a chord with some and may leave others cold. I have to put this at the back of my mind and decide that everyone will love them. Positivity is the only way forward. Once upon a time I sold books by other authors, that was easy. When you come to sell your own, it’s a very different feeling.

The only way to deal with things you aren’t comfortable with is to make them fun. Quite by chance I came across a site called AllAuthor.com and they provide all kinds of useful tools for promotion. It’s a great site for readers too, well worth a look if you want to find indie authors and the genres you enjoy.

When I wrote The Eight of Swords, I didn’t do much promotion other than through social media. This time I want to stretch my readership far wider. I’m thinking of the future and the next books I will write as much as my existing ones.

My first proper ad via Facebook taught me that it’s not only your book you may get commentary on, it’s the way you plan to sell it. For The Isolation Sex Stories I decided to sell it exclusively via Amazon. This is partly because I wanted to test how that would go and it meant I got a free ISBN (a number which simply put, is a product identifier and almost every book has one). At the time of publication funds were tight and it seemed the best way to go. Also, let’s face it, Amazon is one of the largest book selling sites in the world and Kindle is massively popular. In business terms it was a no brainer to use them.

Amazon has come under fire for alleged tax avoidance in the UK. Tax avoidance isn’t illegal but of course it is emotive. When my ad for The Eight of Swords popped up on one Facebook user’s newsfeed, he decided to plant a gif in my post’s comments concerning Amazon not paying tax. Unfortunately I had to point out that Facebook had been accused of similar and that the person commenting on Amazon’s tax avoidance happened to be using Facebook to promote his work and comment on my post. We may not like what these big companies do but we shouldn’t be bringing one another down over it.

The other thing the commentator pointed out was that he didn’t like unsolicited advertisements popping up in his newsfeed. Well, this is easily fixed, all you have to do is adjust your settings to say that you don’t want to be shown personally targeted advertisements. In truth, I didn’t mind the commentator being grumpy about the advertisements, I get a bit fed up with them at times too. Sadly what he didn’t want to acknowledge was that we are both people trying to show others our work, and yes, obtain sales. If you don’t like what Amazon does business wise, if you find it doesn’t fit with your morals, fine, don’t use it. But if you moan about Amazon while using Facebook, I think that might make you a little hypocritical…

Next time I will publish on a wider variety of platforms. Experimentation is always fun and interesting. I will write more about my experiences as I progress.

If you are a writer or a reader and want to comment on this post, please feel free to do so. I love to hear what people think.

You can also follow me on social media, don’t be shy, come say hi!

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for daily updates.

And/or, subscribe to my blog.

Win a signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories!

Tell me your lockdown story – a free signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories could be yours if it gets published on this site.

It’s time for you to tell me your funny lockdown stories… I am you must have some!

I will choose five of my favourite stories to publish on this website and if your story is chosen, you will win a free signed paperback copy of The Isolation Sex Stories. (Please note the book is meant for 18+ only as it is adult content. )

Please keep it to 300 words max, 150 words minimum. If the story involves real people, please obtain their written permission before sending the story. I can’t publish without their consent to do so.

Sorry but this competition is restricted to UK entries only and will close on April 1st.

The story can be about anything that has happened during lockdown over the past year. Did you lock yourself out during lockdown? Did your baking efforts go spectacularly wrong? Did your pets get confused by you being home all of the time? I’m sure you must have had some funny experiences. Please do share!

You will need to subscribe to my website with your email address to enter.

All of the stories in The Isolation Sex Stories are entirely fictional, I have a very vivid imagination. They are saucy, sometimes dark but always meant to amuse. This has been a difficult time for most people so hopefully funny stories will lift spirits and help folk see the lighter side of lockdown.

I look forward to reading your stories!

Please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

A St Valentine’s Day treat…

In a few days I will be sharing my new short story book with you. I spent most of the summer writing stories. My imagination ran riot… It’s amazing what you can achieve when you have peace and quiet!

Some of you will have already read The Eight of Swords and The Putsi so you will know something of my writing style. This new book is very different but I hope you will find it amusing and a little light relief in these troubled times.

I won’t say too much about it here because I want the launch on St Valentine’s Day to be a surprise. I can’t wait for you to see the cover and hear me read the first story in the book, live on Facebook. I’m not used to presenting in public but I think it will be fun and I hope you will join me. More details of the launch are at the end of this post.

This is a book of firsts for me: It’s the first time I’ve created a cover illustration. It’s the first time I’ve created videos to spread the word. It’s the first time I will go ‘live’ on Facebook. It’s the first time there is a paperback version available as well as an ebook and within the next month I will narrate an audiobook, all of which will be available via smile.Amazon.co.uk. Please use the smile link as it gives you the opportunity to donate to charity when you make a purchase.

My chosen organisation for the new book is The Samaritans, so I hope you will support them. There will also be a PDF version of the first story available when you subscribe to my blog and donate to a GoFundMe page for sufferers of Long COVID.

The professional advice is that you should never design your own cover for your book. I’ve always been interested in graphics and design and I had a strong idea in my mind what the cover should be so I decided to go with my instinct this time. I will be interested to see what you think…

I’ve had tremendous support in the making of this book. Family and friends have been incredibly encouraging. My mother was shocked by some of the more adult references but it didn’t stop her reading it avidly cover to cover! Mum is my harshest critic and although she pulled the odd face and had a little moan about some of the language, it also made her laugh. She could hardly be offended when she has watched Fleabag and Killing Eve throughout and roared with laughter at some of the most outrageous moments.

All I can do now, is sit back and hope you like it. If you do, please tell your friends, write reviews and keep in touch.

Join me live on Facebook PetraKiddWrites at 9pm on Sunday 14th February. Grab a glass of wine or a drink of your choice, sit back and enjoy!

Book Launch!

My blog has been quiet for the past week as I have been making final preparations for the launch of my new short story book.

Writing a book is, in a way, the easy bit. I’ve been agonising over the cover design, proof checking (with the help of a great proofreader), creating illustrations for marketing, and recording audio and video clips.

It is fun and interesting but nerve wracking too!

This book is very different to The Eight of Swords and The Putsi. I wrote those stories nearly ten years ago. The new stories are born out of the times we are in. I’ve injected my usual humour and quirkiness so I hope you will enjoy them.

The launch will be on Sunday 14th February at 9pm when I will do a live reading of one of the stories via my Facebook page. So in addition to all of the above, I am now practising my ‘reading out loud’ skills.

It’s not enough to simply be a writer when you are an indie author. I’m having to learn a whole lot of new skills. Luckily I love social media so that’s not such a trial, but for many years I’ve been self-conscious about my voice. There was a period when I lost my voice and had to go for speech therapy, then to a voice lab in Nottingham where a group of specialists diagnosed me as having a condition known as Spasmodic Dysphonia. This condition causes the voice to break and have a strained or strangled sound. It can make me sound croaky or nervous, when I don’t feel nervous. They told me it would get worse, not improve. Apparently only botox injections into the throat, could improve it, yikes! I opted out.

The suggested condition has, over the years, been a blessing and a curse. I’ve struggled to make myself understood on the telephone many times. People want to know if I’m upset or if I have a cold. The plus side with this is that whenever I have needed a GP appointment, the receptionists have been very sympathetic!

Fortunately with patience and care my voice has improved. You probably won’t notice the occasional straining around vowels. I’ve learned to breathe better, take my time and not get too hung up on it. Public speaking may not ever be my thing but maybe one day I will be forced to face that too. For now I am practising with the videos and reading so I feel at last, anything is achievable.

It’s good to remember that however easy anything looks for anyone, you never know what they’ve had to go through to achieve it. The voice thing has been my bugbear for nearly twenty years. You never know how important something is to you, until you are under threat of losing it altogether. I imagined myself mute by now (which may have pleased a lot of people) but thank goodness with quite a bit of work, I’ve been lucky enough to improve.

Come join me on Sunday 14th February at 9pm. Whether you are loved up on St Valentine’s Day or on your own, please tune in and have a glass of something you enjoy while you listen.

Right, back to reading practise!

Like my Facebook page via the link to get updates.

You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

I also have a YouTube channel, so please subscribe.

Always feel free to comment and communicate, I love to hear from you.

Note: There are affliliate links wihtin this blog to Amazon products that I recommend. This means I receive a small percentage of sales with no extra cost to you. I only recommend books I personally have read and enjoyed or written.

True Confession

As a young teen I, along with my best friend, for some reason best known to ourselves, used to like to borrow Jilly Cooper books from the library across the road from our school.

Well, that’s what libraries are for aren’t they?

The thing is we didn’t do it the conventional way. We thought it much more fun to sneak in, nick a book without getting it stamped, read it and return it. I can’t honestly remember whose idea it was to do this but no doubt it was mine. We never ever kept a book, they were always returned in perfect condition, so it’s not exactly a crime is it? It felt naughty enough and gave a frisson of excitement getting past the reception desk and out again with no one spotting us. Far from on a par with robbing a bank but enough to make us feel a bit on the wild side. You can tell it was a long time ago…

I remembered this today when in the midst of clearing my old house I came across my riding hat. The riding hat reminded me of Jilly Cooper’s book Riders. We started with reading her books titled with women’s names, I can remember Imogen and that’s the only one that springs to mind but progressing to Riders some years later was quite an eye opener, the others were tame by comparison. Imogen funnily enough, happened to be a librarian, maybe that’s why it’s the only one I recall.

We took it turns to read the books out loud to each other in the common room, trying to guess what the characters would get up to next. They were a whole world away from our text book reads, dictated by the English teacher.

Surprisingly, it’s not Jilly’s racy imaginings that made me want to ride horses later on in life, that goes back to my childhood longing to be a cowboy.

Many years later I went to see Jilly Cooper give a talk at Jarrold’s in Norwich. I wanted to go and tell her the impact she had on me as a young teen but sadly I felt too shy. Besides, I still felt a bit guilty we hadn’t actually bought her books. I know now an author gets paid a little every time their book gets borrowed from a library but since we didn’t do our borrowing the official way, Jilly may not have been happy we deprived her of even that tiny income.

This week I revived my Linkedin account and out of the blue a complete stranger messaged me to say that even though it had been many years since she’d read my short story The Eight of Swords, and had read hundreds of books since, the story had stuck with her, she said it was wonderful and hilarious. I mention the last bit so you know that the story stuck with her for good reasons!

Her kind words made my day. All you want when you write something is for someone to enjoy it or/and identify. Writing is a very special connection and I am grateful to Jilly Cooper for her impact on me as a young teen, bringing back that lovely memory of fun teenage times, inspiring our imaginations and I’m thrilled that I impacted one of my readers that strongly too, in my own small way.

My new book of short stories is scheduled for launch on 14th February. A date you are not likely to forget! Look out for updates coming shortly.

Please follow me on Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

You can also find me on Facebook.

Please feel free to comment, ask questions and tell me what you are up to, wherever you are in the world, it’s a great time to connect.