I am proud of Chasing Shooting Stars. It’s no accident that it’s an intricate meshing of past, present and future (which being written over ten years, I am now in and moving forward beyond); nor that so many kind words are being written and in discussion. With a background in textiles (however many years ago), I know how threads can be woven together for effect; I know how – and seemingly have the patience for – sorting out tangles of words, character and plot when they occur, keeping the overall design on track.
Some say I was adventurous to make the journey to South America, on which the book is based. (I would say desperate for answers…) Some think me quite mad. And they have a point!
Some say it helped them reconsider their roots and where they came from, re-evaluate their own relationship with family; I like that. But getting the result out there to potential readers is not easy. And why I am using this blog to help pass the message on.
One thing I regret is not including a family tree. To rectify the situation and help readers identify who is who, by putting faces to names, I have a site on Facebook. On this I post photos, and more often than not, quotes from the book. Go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chasing-Shooting-Stars/636611926353383
Encouraged by Kristin Newton in Tokyo (we skype of a regular basis) I also have a Pinterest site in the book’s name. Here you can finds boards for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Canada, Japan and the British Isles, again to provide background colour and information. Go to: http://pinterest.com/1chasingstars/boards/ Plus – thanks to gentle pushing from active supporters in Tokyo and London – I am listed on Goodreads and the Amazon Author site.
As to sales, I am more than a little dependent on reviews on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com, depending on from where you order. Even really critical ones help – or so I’m told, thus seeming to prove that bad publicity is better than no publicity. Fortunately though, while I only have four to date, they are all ***** (five star) which is as good as you can get!) Come to think of it, what’s to stop me sharing the reviews from Amazon with you right here? Nothing, so here you are:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews (Amazon.co.uk)
5 Mar 2013 5.0 out of 5 stars A Mad Romp? By suzq Format: Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase This book was quite a page-turner; I romped through the second half and had finished before I knew it. It’s a long book and takes a while to get used to three or more strands woven together. You need your wits about you as you read. CSS is a combination of family history, travelogue and personal self-discovery. The family stuff was quite fascinating and though at first I had a hard time following the various branches of this very far-flung and complicated family, once I stopped trying to keep them all under control and just went with the flow, it all came together. The travelogue bit covers Argentina, Chile and Uruguay; at least, the parts the author explored in her quest for family history. Buenos Aires especially is full of life and colour and there are plenty of comments on what to see and how to find it. There are also pertinent comments about personal travelling style: the benefits and otherwise of travelling alone or having someone organize you. The sense of being beholden, feelings of gratitude, the guilt and soul-searching involved when travelling however you do it; all the psychology of travel which we only think about in retrospect. Plus of course the dos and don’ts of getting around in countries where the language and culture are elusive: what to do and what leads to trouble. Finally it is a voyage of personal discovery, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, painful at times. We’ve all done it: easy to identify for anyone who has searched for family skeletons or delved into the depths of personal and family psychology. Nicely produced, easy on the eye, even illustrations when you lose track of who is who. Well-written in a chatty approachable style. Read it!
5 Mar 2013 5.0 out of 5 stars Phew. I’m emotionally drained! By Single Dad Format: Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase Just finished reading Chasing Shooting Stars and I feel emotionally drained! An incredible story written by an incredible story teller. Don’t be fooled – this is not a just book about researching a family bloodline, or simply a travelogue based in South America (although fascinating in itself) – it’s a journey into the very soul of the author, exploring a dark family ‘secret’ that impacted on her and her extended family for many years. It also demonstrates just how important close family really is. So much so, In fact, that it’s made me re-think my relationship with my own brother, and I am grateful for that. Genuinely interesting and highly entertaining – a real mad romp in fact. Personally, I love it!
5 Mar 2013 5.0 out of 5 stars In Argentina By Gaucho Format: Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase Argentina. I’ve always liked the idea of the place. For years I’ve had a guide book to Buenos Aires on my bookshelf but I’ve come to realise I never am going to get there. Instead, Angela Jeffs has made the journey for me, searching for traces of her grandfather, who spent much of his life there. So, she gets to stay with real Argentinians, a cousin and her family, in a way that I wouldn’t have, and the cousin takes her to places like the Tigre Boat Club, which was once the British rowing club, that I might not have known about. How intriguing. And I’m only a third of the way through the book – there’s more to come.
July 29, 2013 5.0 out of 5 stars Format-Paperback & Kindle/Amazon Verified Purchase A wonderful read! by Jacinta Hin. A wonderful and beautifully written book full of wit and unexpected turns. Angela draws you into her world and adventure, in search of her grandfather’s mysterious past. You’ll be traveling with her, page after page, discovering new family members, unearthing secrets of the past, traversing the exotic terrain and streets of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. The author is a superb writer, who is at her best when she finds herself in trouble or reflecting on her state of mind. Her ability to show all of herself, sharp and unfiltered, is uncanny and makes for fascinating and often humorous writing. Once you start reading, you will not be able to put this book away!