1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)
I’m British, but lived a good chunk of my life in South Africa. A few years back I suddenly yearned for home, so I up sticks and moved back home and now live in the smallest county in the UK called Rutland. I live with my partner Peter Barker, who is a professional landscape artist (look him up!) in a dinky little stone built cottage in the village of South Luffenham where it overlooks fields of sheep and birds flock every day. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? Well shall I let you into a little secret: it is!
2. How do you choose names for your characters?
Names are really vital and I changed my characters names many times until I got the perfect fit. It worked for me, but it may not work for some.
3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?
You mean they’re not? Seriously though, the scary part about that is that they are more real to me than my own neighbours!
4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?
No, I have tried, but I find I can’t concentrate.
5. How long have you been writing?
About five years.
6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.
It dawned on me years ago when I’d leave messages pinned to friends’ doors that could never be short and succinct; they would always end up as long as the Dead Sea Scrolls. I always had a story to tell, whatever shape or form.
7. Do you have a muse?
No not really. I have a few authors whose books inspire me when I feel a bit low and unloved, but other than that, no, it’s a lonely journey. And I have a huge confession to make. I very rarely read, (a) I’m too busy writing my own stuff, (b) I find myself analysing the style too much, and (c) I get bored and want to get back to my own adventures.
8. How do you improve as a writer?
Just keep on writing and writing. Writing is like an apprenticeship; the more you hone and sharpen you gain confidence. I’m still doing it. Every time I look back on my work, I find more ways to improve, every single time!.
9. Writing quirks or superstitions?
None, I’m afraid.
10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
I’m doing a follow up on Walking on Marshmallows. I was in two minds, but I have so many more adventure to fulfil.
11. What book are you reading now?
The Help’ which is a very moving story, but I generally love humour, so every now and again I dip into a couple of old novels I bought at a charity shop. One in particular: Pastures Nouveaux by Wendy Holden, a ridiculously funny pastiche of characters and situations. This author is a very, very clever writer, and beyond funny.
12. What genre do you write in?
Contemporary women’s fiction with lots of humour and gutsy characterisation.
13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?
Honestly, I wing it as I go along and let the characters take me where I’m going.
14. Do you know how your stories will end?
I thought I did, but the characters take over, veering much to my own surprise in a totally different direction.
15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?
Both: my stories are always laced with humour, but weaved with practically every inescapable human emotion there is.
16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?
Actually, I forget about eating when I’m writing, so for those who want to lose weight take up writing.
17. Tell us about your other passions.
Beyond writing: three daughters, art, Peter, wildlife, beautiful jam-packed gardens, the sight and soundlessness of drifting snow, good wholesome food and a glass of wine, British dramas, The Great British Bakeoff, Strictly Come Dancing, amateur dramatics – which translates to me making a total arse of myself- and to let off steam I’m the member of our local choir.
18. What’s something interesting about you?
I used to be a Playboy Bunny .
19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.
“Hello Sleepy Head
Guess what? You’re mad, and you drive me mad, but I’m mad about you…
Happy Anniversary, darling.
Mmmm…a little shiver passed through Angie as she thought back to earlier that morning – Matt waking her with the spongiest of kisses, their eyes locking, mouths seeking each others out and intensifying and intensifying and intensifying into the biggest, most frenzied, most delicious tongue-duelling sno –
‘Stop! For the love of God, stop!’
There was a split second’s confusion, during which Angie let out a hideously girly scream, did a dithery pin-toed cha-cha then slammed with wild abandonment into the well-padded contours of her mum’s arse.
‘Mum! Jesus Christ!’ she staggered about, finally righted herself. ‘What the hell?!’
‘I can’t do it!’ wailed Bridie dragging a theatrical hand up to her quivering mouth.
‘Do what?’ hissed Angie, glancing about with utter embarrassment as she bent down to retrieve one of about thirty try-ons she’d been carting about– in this instance a pair of elasticised slacks for the fuller figure (size 18-masquerading-as-12).
‘I can’t bear it, this place, it’s horrible.’
By this place Bridie meant Oxford Street’s Top Shop: totally upbeat and crammed with every conceivable accessory of inner, outer and under wear, but notorious for inducing heart attacks for anyone with even the slightest disposition of feebleness.
‘But you wanted to come here,’ said Angie, trying to conceal an exasperated eye-roll.
‘I know,’ said Bridie, looking sheepish for a second before spouting forth. ‘But I didn’t know it was going to be like this!’
‘Mum, don’t be so bloody ridic—’
‘I can’t do it,’ said Bridie, hysteria mounting again. ‘It’s vile! It’s the devil’s lair! You have to get me out of here!’
Angie narrowed her lips and gripped the strap of her handbag until her knuckles turned white. Get her out of here, did she just say: get.her.out.of.here? Where the hell did she think she was in the bloody jungle lying on a makeshift hammock on I’m a Celebrity. When only milliseconds ago she’d been swanning up and down the aisles and inspecting labels (with her ridiculous, pretend glasses on) as if she was bloody-bleeding-pissing Kate Middleton’s personal shopper.”
End of sample
20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?
I am more than grateful to the people who have downloaded or purchased my book Walking on Marshmallows which is available on Amazon. And will be even more grateful if you read the next one and give me some feedback! You can contact me on My Blog – Janey’s Jottings, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – or best of all flex your fingers and get a review on Amazon; it only takes about thirty seconds!
Great! Thanks so much, Janey, and good luck!!