My guest today is an amazing, multi-talented woman, who knows how to put people at ease, make any interview shine AND write a damn good novel! Please welcome the fabulous Jane Wenham-Jones!
KD: Jane, you truly are a woman of many talents. Your website is very inspiring, especially your story! Fiction, non-fiction, columns, mags, telly, radio. I have to ask, which part of being Jane Wenham-Jones, multi-talented professional woman, do you like best?
JANE: My problem is that I love it all and there aren’t the hours in the day! I really do enjoy interviewing other writers and doing the presenting/chairing panels events, that I do at Guildford Book Festival, Romantic Novelists’ Association conference etc. Would love to do more of that. I just co-hosted the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards with Peter James. And then I’m doing an “in conversation with” Tim Bentinck (David Archer in The Archers) end of March – that will be fun too. But I have to say I’m feeling it’s time to start writing another book and ought to be chaining myself to the desk….
KD: What does Jane Wenham-Jones do for inspiration?
JANE: Gets out and about with a glass in her hand…
KD: I could paper my house with the rejections I received from agents before I finally got publishes, also without an agent. So your experience of getting published without an agent really resonated with me, as I’m sure it does with lots of writers. Do you think the un-agented route to publication is the maverick route or do you think it’s the wave or the future?
JANE: I think it may be the necessity of the future! It can be really hard to get an agent and as you know (I tell the whole ghastly story in Wannabe a Writer?) I ended up with a two-book deal with Transworld, without one. But I always advise other writers to try their very best to get an agent first. I have one now and wouldn’t be without her (even if she is terrifying – I don’t call her The Fearsome One for nothing).
KD: Which do you enjoy most, writing fiction or writing non-fiction?
JANE: I think I find non-fiction easier! But it is very satisfying to sit and look through a novel one’s dreamt up oneself.
KD: You said on your website that you find writing novels very difficult, what do you do to ‘make it happen?’ Have you worked out a specific method that will get you there in spite of the difficulties?
JANE: I call it MIND THE GAP (again outlined in Wannabe a Writer? Sorry to mention that again but you don’t have to buy it dear reader – your library should have it) (If you’ve still got one of course :-/). Basically you keep going whatever happens and write yourself notes in capitals in the gaps….
KD: A lot of us writers are introverts and have to really fake the extroverted part of public readings and appearances. What about you? Do you fake it? You certainly make it look like the easiest most natural thing in the world.
JANE: I kept faking till it became real… Now I am the most dreadful show-off.
KD: Other than having your first novel published, what’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in your writing life?
JANE: Oh gosh lots of things. I get excited quite easily. Getting my columns was lovely, writing my first non-fiction book. Blagging an invite to the British Book Awards and rubbing shoulders with all those fabulous authors. Interviewing some big name writers at Guildford Book Festival. Being booked to speak about writing, on a cruise ship headed for Barbados…
KD: Wow! Definitely sounds like you have a lot of exciting things to choose from! Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
JANE: My own murky past mostly.
KD: In your book, Wannabe a Writer?, you’ve got over a hundred contributors who are writers, some quite famous, like Jilly Cooper and Frederick Forsyth – nothing like advice from the best! What, in your opinion, is the best piece of advice any of the writers who contributed to Wannabe a Writer? gave?
JANE: Oooh you’ve mentioned it now! Well done
Well I rather liked Michael Buerk’s tho my mother was horrified. The best advice anyone can give to any writer is to WRITE. And quite a few said that in various different ways.
I liked Zoe Sharp’s advice too: Therapy’s cheaper!
KD: It definitely is! Tell us about your latest novel, Prime Time.
JANE: Prime Time is about PMT and Daytime TV and being a woman of a certain age who doesn’t want to give in to slippers and curlers just yet….
Here’s the blurb – it’s set in my home town of Broadstairs as well as in London.
Laura Meredith never imagined herself appearing on TV– she’s too old, too flabby, too downright hormonal, and much too busy holding things together for her son, Stanley, after husband, Daniel, left her for a younger, thinner replacement.
But best friend Charlotte is a determined woman and when Laura is persuaded on to a daytime show to talk about her PMT, everything changes. Suddenly there’s a camera crew tracking her every move and Laura finds herself an unlikely star. Wined, dined, and pampered, she begins to see the charms of a younger partner herself. But as things hot up between her and gorgeous TV director, Cal, they’re going downhill elsewhere. While Laura’s caught up in a heady whirlwind of beauty treatments, makeovers and glamorous film locations, Charlotte’s husband, Roger, is concealing a guilty secret, Stanley’s got problems at school, work’s piling up, and when Laura turns detective to protect Charlotte’s marriage, things go horribly wrong.
The champagne’s flowing as Laura’s prime time TV debut looks set to be a hit. But in every month, there’s a Day Ten …
KD: Wow! Sounds like quite a romp! Definitely one for the must-read list. So tell us, what does 2012 have in store for Jane Wenham-Jones?
JANE: I guess I’d better do some work at some point…
I don’t know what the crystal ball shows but what I’d like is the editor of a national newspaper to phone me up and offer me an agony aunt column. I love doing “Talk it Over” for Writing Magazine and am now longing to get my teeth into some non-writing problems too. I see myself as a cross between Mrs Mills and Marje Proops – with attitude. Any takers?
KD: They’d be insane not to, Jane! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing good stuff about writing, reading, and your fabulous new novel, Prime Time! It’s been a pleasure having your.
Buy Link for Prime Time: