Tag Archives: Humour

Janie Millman: The inspiration behind Life’s A Drag

‘It was these words and this eccentric annual competition9781783752379_FC that inspired me to write my debut novel “Life’s A Drag”
which was published by Accent Press at the end of July this year’

“I want to travel the world and have as much rough sex as possible.”  This was the response my straight talking gritty Glaswegian husband gave many years ago in answer to the question of what he would do if he won the accolade of ‘drag queen of the year.’

Fuelled by several pints of beer and having completely forgotten that this was a family show my husband yelled these very words into the microphone.

The words echoed around the village green – our new village green – the village into which we had just moved.

The village – kids included – erupted with laughter.

It was these words and this eccentric annual competition that inspired me to write my debut novel “Life’s A Drag” which was published by Accent Press at the end of July this year,

It took a while – I didn’t immediately put pen to paper but the germ was there – the idea slowly started to grow – gradually filling my mind – gaining momentum – the characters becoming louder and louder until I had no choice but to start writing.

I knew about life in a small rural village – we had lived there for several years but it soon became clear that I needed to know a bit more about drag queens.

So we planned a trip to San Francisco and spent two weeks inhabiting the world of the drag queens. It was a fascinating insight into an extraordinary life. We saw firsthand how much they do for their community – helping with the elderly – helping with the homeless – this was a surprising aspect and not something I had envisaged.

And of course we saw the shows – we were treated to some fabulous acts – some not so fabulous acts and frankly some downright disgusting acts!

We met with larger than life characters, each with their own story to tell. They were rude, they were bitchy but they were also kind hearted and witty and we had an absolute ball.

I would never have been able to write ‘Life’s a Drag’ without their support and input. That is why whenever anyone asks me if I think research is important I give a resounding YES.

Of course these days we can learn a lot from the internet and it is invaluable for facts and figures, but in my opinion it cannot replace a live experience. Often when I read reviews on the net about places I have visited I wonder if the reviewer and I are talking about the same spot!

Just before our holiday in San Francisco we had moved from the small Suffolk village to a new life in SW France. After a year renovating a large eighteenth century town house in a small market town on the banks of the river Dordogne our new business was born and Chez Castillon was launched on the world.

We host courses and retreats in Writing, Painting and Photography.

I have therefore been fortunate enough to meet many wonderful writers here and they have helped and encouraged me enormously. Listening to their tales around the dinner table, hearing about their own experiences, sharing anxieties and fears – it has been truly invaluable.

Writing is such a solitary occupation that I welcome any chance to liaise and meet up with fellow authors. I love learning from them. I love hearing how they write, what makes them tick and what their modus operandi is.

I write anywhere and everywhere – on trains, on planes, in cafes or bars – outside or inside – I’m not fussy – basically anywhere that has a seat!

We are also lucky enough to have a library and I guess if I’m honest that is my favourite place to write. I try and get up at six in the morning and get a thousand words done before breakfast.  Sometimes this works – sometimes it doesn’t – our library looks out onto the street and I love watching the early morning life unfold before me – the noisy fruit and veg lorry, the quieter baguette delivery and the overpowering smell of freshly baked croissant. Occasionally these things are a distraction but mostly they inspire me.

I do think that it is important to establish a routine but because our days here are anything but routine I realise that I have to be flexible and fit the writing in as and when it is possible.

I imagine that is true for most of us.

My second novel is also has a dual location – Marrakech and SW France.

Obviously I have everything I need on the doorstep as far as the later location but maybe I need to start planning a holiday in Morocco soon – sorry – did I say holiday?

Clearly what I meant was a research trip and you know research can be very hard work!



Janie Millman author (FB)

Janie Millman @Chez-Castillon



Published by Accent Press

Represented by David Headley – DHH Literary agency


Bertie and the Kinky Politician – Five Star Amazon Preview

” This book has everything. Action. Skulduggery. Slightly weird sex. Cruelly accurate observations on the competence of Gloucester Council’s planning department. Political shenanigans. A love story. You name it – it’s all here!

I won’t give away the plot – it’s complicated but not unnecessarily so. Just put your feet up and enjoy the literary world’s latest and most unusual hero.”

Click here for more information

Just One Damned Thing After Another

Just One Damned Thing After Another – debut novel with over 400 5 star Amazon reviews!

“History is just one damned thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power – especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process.

But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake …

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00EUIEKA4″ /]



You Need Humour With A Tumour – Reflections on a Journey with Cancer

When Annmarie, a 42-year-old mother of four, was diagnosed with a Stage IIb tumour she was determined she would not lose her love of life.

Having watched her father succumb to bowel cancer a year earlier, she had no desire to follow the same treatment regimen. So she went in search of something different.

Refusing to be a ‘victim’ she rejected the purely medical route and met her cervical cancer head on. Her journey took her to America in search of another way to combat the tumour growing slowly – then not so slowly – within her.

Thisis Annmarie’s story of hope and disappointment, strength and courage as she and her family deal with her diagnosis and live life to the full.

Accent Press – New Books