Jane lives in North Yorkshire with her five children, three cats, two dogs and an ever-increasing number of bacteria. Jane believes housework happens to other people, and writes romantic comedy novels in a frantic attempt to avoid being asked to ever do any. She works by day in a local school, writes in the evenings and never watches television, unless it’s Doctor Who. She is published by Choc Lit publishing.
Her novel ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’ was voted Romantic Comedy of the Year and overall Romantic Novel of the Year for 2012.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I have written stories for as long as I can remember – I used to write ‘alternative endings’ to books I enjoyed, as a child. I’d be so disappointed that the book was over that I’d try to prolong the fun by writing more…and more… honestly, if Enid Blyton had known what I was up to she’d have sued me! That kind of proto-fanfic carried on until I began having my own ideas for stories, which got longer and more involved and, whoops, before I knew it I was writing novels! Very, very bad ones of course – I hadn’t worked out the whole ‘characters have to grow and change’ thing, but I got there in the end.
Then I started writing the kind of thing I wanted to read, on the grounds that, if I never got published, at least I’d had a good time.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I very rarely have the luxury of a whole day for writing, because of that pesky day job that pays the bills, so I have to turn up and look as though I’m doing something. But I am lucky in that I don’t mind never eating, so I work mornings only, and the afternoon is given over to writing…hah, listen to me, it’s mostly given over to Facebook, Twitter, reading the Fortean Times Message Board and exchanging lurid e mails with friends. But I do manage to turn out a book a year, so I must be doing some work. Possibly in my sleep, or something.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I remind myself that I’m a single mum with a day job that only pays half the bills. If I don’t get books out then I can say goodbye to running water and electricity and hello to typhoid and writing books with a biro. There are still times when the story just doesn’t want to come out, but I can use those times to concentrate on getting my face over to Twitter a bit more, and eventually I can coax the words onto the page. If all else fails, I read a couple of books until I’m full of words again.
4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? Absolutely not. I start a story with a handful of characters, an opening line, and maybe a scene or two, and see what happens. My subconscious usually has a good handle on what needs to happen though, and I’m always surprising myself with the way that things I write early on in the story almost as throwaway lines become really important later on. My subconscious is a lot more intelligent than I am. Also better looking, and not so addicted to marshmallows.
5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advise to aspiring authors? I’d been sending stuff everywhere for years, and getting positive feedback but no offers. I had begun to think that I was never going to make it, I mean, really, really this close to giving up and taking up a less humiliating hobby, like jigsaws or something. Finally I submitted to Samhain in the US, who liked the British Voice, and bought my first two books. That got me an agent, who sold me to Choc Lit, and the rest, as they say… So my advice would be – if you want to do it, don’t give up. You need the hide of a buffalo and nerves of titanium though. Also a constant supply of gin.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Winning Romantic Novel of the Year in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. Apparently it was a fabulous evening, but I was too drunk to remember. I do remember giving a speech though, in which I might have talked about wee…
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish.
My last novel was Hubble Bubble, published in June last year. Here’s the blurb…
‘Be careful what you wish for…
Holly Grey joined the women’s group to keep her friend out of trouble – and now she’s knee-deep in hassle, in the form of apocalyptic weather, armed men, midwifery and a sarcastic Welsh journalist.
Kai has been drawn to darkest Yorkshire by his desire to find out who he really is. What he hadn’t bargained on was getting caught up in amateur magic and dealing with a bunch of women who are trying really hard to make their dreams come true.
Together they realise that getting what you wish for is sometimes just a matter of knowing what it is you want…’
This year I’ve got two books coming out, in June it’s ‘Falling Apart’, the second in my vampire series. I’ve got a blurb for that one too…
‘In the mean streets of York, the stakes just got higher – and even pointier.
Jessica Grant liaises with Otherworlders for York Council so she knows that falling in love with a vampire takes a leap of faith. But her lover Sil, the City Vampire in charge of Otherworld York, he wouldn’t run out on her, would he? He wouldn’t let his demon get the better of him. Or would he?
Sil knows there’s a reason for his bad haircut, worse clothes and the trail of bleeding humans in his wake. If only he could remember exactly what he did before someone finds him and shoots him on sight.
With her loyalties already questioned for defending zombies, the Otherworlders no one cares about, Jess must choose which side she’s on, either help her lover or turn him in. Human or Other? Whatever she decides, there’s a high price to pay – and someone to lose.’
And then, at the risk of boring you all rigid, in December my stand-alone novel ‘How I Wonder What You Are’ is released. You can guess what’s coming next, can’t you? Yep, blurb-city…
‘Maybe he wasn’t here because of the lights – maybe they were here because of him …”
It’s been over eighteen months since Molly Gilchrist has had a man (as her best friend, Caro, is so fond of reminding her) so when she as good as stumbles upon one on the moors one bitterly cold morning, it seems like the Universe is having a laugh at her expense.
But Phinn Baxter (that’s Doctor Phinneas Baxter) is no common drunkard, as Molly is soon to discover; with a PhD in astrophysics and a tortured past that is a match for Molly’s own disastrous love life.
Finding mysterious men on the moors isn’t the weirdest thing Molly has to contend with, however. There’s also those strange lights she keeps seeing in the sky. The ones she’s only started seeing since meeting Phinn …’
Bet you’re sorry you asked now.
8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Spare…Time… I know the words, I just can’t put a meaning to them… Well, I try to stay outside as much as possible, to avoid housework, so I enjoy riding horses and I’m hoping to learn falconry later this year. I walk, away from the housework mostly, with my dogs
and…do you know, I’m not really sure what I do. Not housework, that’s for sure.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Get out there. People love to meet authors, so attend everything you are invited to, taking along your cards and bookmarks. Hand them out, leave them in conspicuous places (I have a friend who regularly travels to Holland and leaves my bookmarks on the ferry). Talk to people, not just about writing, and that applies on Facebook and Twitter too, nobody wants your books forced down their throat, but if they like you they’re more likely to buy. Be likeable. Be friendly. Be nice to everybody because you never know who might end up being influential – never be rude, however rude someone is to you (which is a good thing to remember in life, generally. Nothing makes a rude person crosser than someone who refuses to descend to their level).
Never badmouth. Tell the dog, yell it into a cushion, but never take to Twitter to denounce someone who’s rejected you or given a bad review. Reputations are lost in a second and you can never get them back, and if you get a reputation for being unprofessional then no-one in the industry will touch you with a stick, even a very long one.
And enjoy it. Honestly, don’t moan about what a hard job writing is (even if it is). There are people out there whose day jobs make writing a novel look like drinking sangria on a sandy beach. Look, it’s indoor work, no heavy lifting, and nobody is making you do it, so, even if dragging your novel out is like pulling all your teeth out with a blunt spanner, try to enjoy it. I mean, what other jobs do you get to do in your pyjamas, with a gin in one hand and a TV remote in the other?
10.How would you describe your writing style? Well, I always describe my books as ‘psychological romance, with jokes’. I write character-led romantic comedy, which some people try to call chick lit, although I disagree. Everyone who knows me says that I write like I talk, and they can ‘hear’ me reading my books to them, which always makes me wonder what they do when they get to the sex scenes…. never like to ask. Apparently, I have a very strong ‘voice’. It’s probably all the shouting I have to do.
Website and blog http://www.janelovering.co.uk