- an author, small business consultant, mother, landlady and frequently a sensible shoulder to
cry on – not necessarily in that order!
Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
By day, Jan juggles consultancy work with her family, but by night she sneaks off, into the past. Her penchant for sprinkling history with magic is fueled by coffee and Cadburys.
When not writing, Jan takes her dogs and small monsters into the countryside, especially if there is a castle or historic building there with a cosy coffee shop in which to escape the rain of Manchester, England.
Jan, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
I totally would have a pet dragon in my garden and just ignore what the neighbours say – I love to fly and if I can’t have wings, then the idea of hopping on a fire-breathing beast sounds just perfect! My daughter would say a Pegasus, but meh, fire breathing is pretty much the go-to for magical powers right? No one is gonna argue when you park it outside the supermarket, whereas a winged horse would just have kids hanging around wanting to stroke it!
Dragons are a classic for a reason! (But, I can’t fault the usefulness of pegasi)
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I wrote plays and scripts for many years during college and loved it, but then the real world of work
hit, and my writing was very business orientated. When I became a mother and it wasn’t practical for me to return to my former job, I realised that I didn’t actually want to! All I missed about work was the writing so it seemed like the obvious choice of career for me then.
So glad you found your way back to your writing!
What do you like to read?
I love historical fantasy, obviously, but I’m also a mega fan of thrillers – medical thrillers, or mystery
thrillers. I love the pace of them, their unputdownable nature. I’m also a sucker for anything pure history – fiction or non-fiction, and ‘literary fiction’ – the old school classics. Actually, I’ll read anything from regency romance to steampunk and dragons. I have a wide palette!
Ha! I’ve been nudging my way from dragons to regency romances myself.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
There’s a right way.
I’m not sure these days if there are any commonly ‘accepted’ pieces of advice? I self-publish and so I think that there is a higher degree of tolerance for ‘do what works for you’ rather than, ‘you must do this to succeed’. Everyone has their own reasons for writing and success can be measured in a
multitude of ways. I think the advent of social media alongside the explosion in self-publishing –
producing a quality piece of work that stands alongside their contemporaries from traditional
publishers – has proven that there are many differing ways to share your voice.
You’ve caught my secret — it’s always “do what works for you.”
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that works for you
Don’t be afraid to take a break.
Some days, if the words aren’t flowing, it’s ok to just call reading a book in another genre entirely, or watching a TV show, Research. Your brain needs a break to avoid burn out and you might just find something in whatever you do inspirational. Even if it’s, ‘I can write better than this!’ That can be surprisingly motivational!
So true. I can force myself for brief periods (like NaNoWriMo), but life can’t stop for my writing — especially since I have a dayjob and family and friends…
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
In a paranormal Tudor England…
Disrupting Destiny (The Naturae Series: Book 1)
She thought she was safe. Hidden. Happy.
She was wrong.
And now her life, her race, and her heart will pay the price for trying to disrupt destiny.
Once a mortal, when homebody Joshua is torn apart from his wife, only his belief in her innocence and the kindness of strangers keeps him alive. In a dangerous quest through the turbulence of Reformation England to find his lover, he finds himself questioning his own faith as much as being a fae.
Heartbroken and alone, Annabella refuses to comply with the future envisaged for her until a darker secret threatens to destroy the realm and fae immortality.
The fate of an entire race rests on their shoulders, but can destiny be changed?
Rebellion, danger, and intrigue threaten the future in a thrilling journey, weaving Tudor times with magical fantasy.
Anarchic Destiny (The Naturae Series: Book 2)
A forgotten heir… A Queendom in crisis… Chaos will reign
A witch’s prophecy goes unheeded, and Joshua and Aioffe struggle to keep control of shifting allegiances, disruptive visitors and threats from the wider Tudor world. The price of an heir to bring them, and their Queendom, back together is a sacrifice… their marriage or their loyalty.
Denied his crown and place in the human world, Henry sets his sights on claiming what was due to him, even if that means hurting everyone who was loyal to him before.
Chaos will reign…
Risking Destiny (The Naturae Series: Novella)
Fae Queen Lana is furious when Vikings slaughter her humans, but her downfall has only just begun. Ordering her warriors to capture their alluring leader in the vain hope that she could prevent future attacks, she reluctantly risks everything to save her race and keep her crown.
But destiny, love and magic will cause more chaos yet in the secretive world of Naturae. From the ashes of destruction, a new villain will emerge to battle hope itself…