Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Special Writers' Weekend Post: An Interview with Jane Lovering


Welcome to a special weekend author interview, with fellow Samhain author Jane Lovering (you're gonna love this one...)!

Hi Jane! Can you tell us a little about your background?

My background? Well, received wisdom has it that I was constructed out of pure steel in a shipyard, but recently I found family documents which indicate that I was, in fact, born. In Exeter, the county town of Devon, in the lovely South-West UK if you please! I have one brother, who is made of toffee and is therefore soluble, and a mother who denies all knowledge of both of us. But then, she thinks she’s a teaspoon, so what can you do?

LOL...Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

My latest project is currently undergoing an identity crisis. It was conceived under the title ‘Beethoven Complex’, but my agent thought this title desirous of ‘fluffification’. After much wrangling (which I like to think I won, at least my agent started crying and had to retire hurt, arm dangling uselessly), it now sports the rather racy little title ‘Don’t Stop the Music’. It’s about a woman who’s hiding from her past, and a man who’s hiding from his. It’s not the same past, you understand, well, it is from a purely linear-time point of view, but…oh, you get the picture.

Anyway. They are both hiding, separately, and then they meet. And hide from each other. Psychologically, I mean, it would be a pretty odd book if it consisted of people dodging under blankets and behind trees when they saw each other coming – I actually think that’s the plot of Richard Curtis’ latest RomCom. There’s biscuits in it. The book, I mean, not the RomCom.
And in June I have ‘Slightly Foxed’ coming out in paperback with Samhain, there’s even more biscuits in that one, and a bad-tempered cat called Grainger. There’s also a Work In Progress, under the title ‘Unconventional Behaviour’, which at the moment only contains a small number of biscuit-related episodes. So, I’m keeping busy, what with the writing and the raffia-work these nice people keep giving me…

I'd say you're keeping busy, indeed! Now, how do you go about developing your characters?

First draft is about getting the story down, and once I’ve done that I have to tweak people to make sure they are consistent. I have to admit that tweaking attractive men in the interests of consistency has to be one of the perks of the job. But mostly my people come, fully formed, with the storyline, I like to call my brand of fiction ‘psychological romance’, because the story tends to come from within the characters, rather than from outside. So my characters are ridden with flaws and odd twitches and things. And also seem to go to the toilet more than romantic heros and heroines conventionally do. But that’s probably because of all the biscuits.

OK, what advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Read. Read everything you can find, apart from the label in your vest, because that’s embarrassing when you get caught doing it. And then write. All the time. Practice, practice, and then read some more. Oh, and I can recommend reading books you hate – there’s nothing to spur you on to write like reading a really awful book. So. Yes. Read. And write. And biscuits, biscuits always help.

Yep, pratice - I'll agree with that! Important question now: how do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

I’m not sure I do. My children complain about having nothing but pizza for dinner every day for a week and I have to fight the spiders just to get into the bathroom, but I reckon if you ignore the housework and show the kids how to work the oven, things balance out. I’ve got a day job where I am to be found in the mornings, then I get home, walk the dogs (I’ve yet to train them into walking each other, but I’m working on it), spend half an hour failing to do any housework or cooking but manage to get my e-mails done, then spend the rest of the day writing.

I’m sure that I wash and eat because no-one has complained about the smell, but I can’t work out when I do it. When I’m asleep, I suspect. But I must admit that I get a bit…well…tetchy when people tell me that they would write a book, ‘if they had the time’. I wrote my first novel (it was rubbish, but at least I wrote it) when I was doing time as a single mum of five kids under eleven. If that’s ‘having time to write’ then…………. (insert appropriate end. Go on, it’ll be good practice for you).

Jane, thanks a bunch for being here today! Readers, want to know more? (Of course you do...) Visit her website right here!

6 comments:

Marianne Arkins said...

OH... what a great way to start the day. Jane, you're a hoot!

Cat Marsters/Kate Johnson said...

That's so strange, Jane, because my brother is made of fudge and my mother is a small tray of raspberry puddings. I never knew we had so much in common.

Diane Craver said...

Jane,

That's so true about people saying that they'd write a book if only they had the time. I started writing with 6 kids at home but they were older than some of yours at the time.

I'm glad you MADE the time to write - I'm sure you had to go without sleep at times.

Great interview!

Mary Ricksen said...

People have no clue how hard it is to write and publish a book.

Wake me up when I'm done.

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