Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Jill Mansell

jill stationery

The recent post on pencil cases attracted the attention of TWR readers and super-successful writer Jill Mansell, who explained writers often are obsessed with stationery too…she is, so we couldn’t resist asking her to tell us more….

So Jill, what’s with all the stationery?

“I’ve written 25 books so far, all by hand – it’s the only way that works for me. I use fountain pens and green Pukka Pads and get through them at a rate of knots. Buying fountain pens on the internet is always risky as you can’t test for hand-feel and scratchiness, but I still do it anyway – I’m an addict.

My Harley Davidson pens by Waterman (bottom left) have been brilliant. My Special Edition silver Bics (top right) are bought in bulk, 50 at a time, because I give them away to friends. Black Sharpies are for signing books. Red pens are for edits. The Stabilo is for writing on the Post-Its, which I use to plot my books along a timeline – my plotting handwriting is very different from my normal handwriting, which people always find weird.

I store my handwritten novel pages in various ring binders. Notebooks are my greatest love and I have many, all filled with novel ideas, plot details, names, funny stories, embarrassing situations and interesting snippets of information that might be used in future books. My favourites are the Christian Lacroix notebooks, so beautiful in every way, although the coating on the pages means – again – I can’t write in them with my fountain pens and have to use a Stabilo or Pilot Hi-tecpoint. (I always buy black ink pens, never blue.)

The other thing I can’t be without is lip salve, and the delicious Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid is my new favourite.

Oh, the gold leather document folder is from Anya Hindmarch – won on eBay!

And if anyone’s wondering, my 21 year old daughter deciphers my handwriting and types up my novels for me. This is why there are no explicit sex scenes in my books…”

If any of our readers haven’t read your books, which ones would you suggest they start with?

“I write feelgood fiction, romantic comedy with added drama and multi-generational involvement. (People have compared my novels to films like Four Weddings and a Funeral – I like to make my readers laugh and cry.)

My latest (and favourite so far, for both myself and my readers) is called Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, but it’s not out in paperback until the end of June. A new reader could try To the Moon and Back, or A Walk in the Park. As a reader, I love the books of Marian Keyes, Jenny Colgan and Lisa Jewell.”

I have a bulk order coming from Amazon….



  • Lesley says:

    What is it with everyone and blue ballpoints? So precious and faddish, you lot.
    I’ve never seen or heard of anyone getting the vapours over the use of a BLUE ballpoint, or to worry at all about ink colour!
    What a riot.
    Mind you, I cannot abide getting anyone’s autograph in Sharpie, or as we Australians call them (preferring to eschew the American brand), black Texta.
    Ms Mansell also lost her opportunity to say she always fills her fountain pens with purple ink, too.

  • I’m with you, Jill. Call me precious and faddy, but I can’t write with a blue ballpoint. Or indeed blue anything (I generally prefer a rollerball gel pen – black, medium nib).
    We are writers, these are the tools of our trade. We spend all day every day with them, so they need to suit us. Besides, if a tennis pro can have a lucky racquet, then why can’t we have a lucky pen?

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