‘Never underestimate the ability of the human race to be disgusted.’
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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?
There was no conscious decision. I have just always written. It’s as natural as breathing.
Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?
Many. Too many to list. I think every time you read a well-written book it leaves a bit of itself inside you.
Tell me about your book / series.
I have chosen to talk about the Joss and Ben books: Ghosts, lies, and gourmet cooking.
Joss and Ben Beckett run a pub and live a happy fulfilled life. They wouldn’t be at all upset if stuff stopped happening. But at ‘The Fair Maid and Falcon’ very little is as straightforward as it seems.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
A lot. I’m not prepared to divulge numbers…
What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?
It’s pretty pointless. Mind you, writing a banned book seems rather a lucrative ploy.
Tell me about a principal character in your book(s). What makes them memorable?
Let’s run with Joss Beckett. She’s a Michelin starred chef who doesn’t believe in the supernatural. Or at least that’s where we start. She is mostly memorable for her warmth, and the occasional outbreak of potty mouth.
Indie, or traditionally published – and why?
Indie. Because it allows me to make my own choices.
It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?
No brainer. Read and read, and learn and learn
Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.
Bad. The times when nobody seems to want to buy your books. Good. Everything else. Except editing, which sucks. And promo, which is a black art.
Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?
I’m actually neither. I usually have a beginning and an end set. The middle is a bit more fluid. And as to what I think of how anybody else writes, basically I don’t. That’s their bag.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Maybe. But if I told you I would have to kill you.
Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.
Cooking. I love cooking. Also eating. Hence the pot belly. But. Cake. I need no more excuse than that.
What are you writing at the moment?
Right now I’m answering some questions. *Giggles* Also the eighth Dai and Julia novel with my lovely co-conspirator E.M. Swift-Hook, some short stories, one sequel, a crime novel, and probably something else too…
What’s your opinion on the belief that indie books are badly edited and lower quality than traditionally published?
That’s such a stupid generalisation. There is good and dross in every field.
What is your favourite genre to write, and why?
Short fiction. I love the constraints of word count. It makes for taut sparely complex prose and when I get it right I feel so good.
If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created? Why / why not?
No. I’m far too old to move from my armchair. Anyway, Dog wouldn’t let me.
If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?
Maybe publish earlier in life. Maybe not.
Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what do you like?
I listen to anything that is going on around me. I’m one who cannot write in silence. I am a fan of heavy metal, Gilbert and Sullivan, Dire Straits, and seventies pop, among other bits and pieces. I can never sit still if ‘Born to be Wild’ is playing.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I can concentrate enough to properly format books.
Tell me three unique things about you.
I can swear in at least seven languages.
I once won a prize for being a cute baby.
I am allergic to fish.
Jane, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!