Questioning Jane

What are you reading right now?

Elin Hilderand’s THE MATCHMAKER is by my bed.  James Handey’s WHAT I’D SAY TO THE MARTIANS is on the kitchen table and Paul Bailey’s THE MAGIC CIRCLE is in my bag.

What turns you on in literature?

Characters that become friends and beautiful writing.  I’m more interested in what motivates than what characters do sometimes.  Although I like a fast page turner when I’m in the mood too.

Have you been writing long?

I still have my first poems written at eight!  Writing has been an important part of my life ever since.

How’s DUTY OF CARE going?

Well, I’m at first draft stage.  I tend to over write to find characters voices and where the story is.  In my head its like a sculptor choosing the stone and cutting out a basic shape.  I have a strong sense of how I’d like the finished piece to look, but it will almost certainly change quite a bit along the way.  I love the next part, honing and carving the detail, then the story gradually makes a statement of its own and I let go.  Once the story is being edited and then read, it is a story for others to tell.

In your first two novels you created strong women with a lot to overcome, is that an important idea for you?

Yes, I love strong women and how we all react to adversity is fascinating.  In SLEIGHT OF HAND which I’ve recently finished, I have three strong male characters.  I am attracted to stories that speak about how people make sense of life experience.  In the past religion used to tell these stories to help us understand our life journey.  Artists have that privilege increasingly now and we are needed more than ever.

What are you going to do next today?

Make a fresh coffee and go to The Pod and write.  Would you like one?  I’ve got a couple of good books you could be reading!

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