Today I have the lovely Jane Richardson in my virtual lounge and we are eating a nice continental breakfast while we book talk. Before we start, here is a bit about her.
Scots-born Jane Richardson now resides in a historic seaside town on the south coast of England. After a couple of super careers, the last of which was her dream job of working as a DSM in professional theatre and opera – where she met her gorgeous husband! - she’s now an incredibly busy, home-educating stay-at-home mum to two gorgeous kids. When she gets the chance, she loves to write, read, listen to music, walk in the sunshine and the breeze, paddle at the edge of the sea, cook and share food with family and friends, talk, chat and listen, catnap, write and read some more. She’s also very fond of lemurs!
Morning Jane. I hear that you have a book hot off the press. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Hi Margaret! Yes, that’s right, I have a story called Edinburgh Fog which has been released in e-formats by MuseItUp Publishing.
The central character is Greg Morton, a real grafter who’s worked hard to achieve his dream of running the best bar-bistro in Edinburgh, a fabulous place called Tellers’, which is housed in a former bank one of those beautiful old Georgian buildings you see all over Edinburgh. Sure, Greg’s been successful in business, but he’s sacrificed a lot for it over the years, not least a relationship he once had in London with the beautiful Julia Brady. When Julia appears out of the blue one day in Tellers’, Greg knows this is one and only chance to win her back….but someone else has his sights on Julia now. Greg’s going to have to work fast, or lose Julia a second time, for good.
The story means a lot to me because I lived in Edinburgh for many years and I have such fond memories of the place – the settings, the characters and Tellers’ Bar-Bistro itself are all based on people and places I knew there. There’s something very magical about Edinburgh, and I do think it’s just the sort of place a story like this one about Greg and Julia could happen.
It is my belief that when a book touches an authors heart, that's what goes into it. This novel is special, I'm sure it will do well. I know an editor at Museitup Publishing. It' got to be a great publishing house if she works there lol So what’s next on your writing agenda?
I’m revising a previously published novel and I’m still deciding what I’m going to do with it! The idea of self-publishing intrigues me, and it seems far simpler for authors to do it now than it was even just a few years ago. The quality of self-publishing has improved every which way, I think it’s a real, viable option for authors. Having said that, I’m thrilled with the publisher I’m with now, and particularly with the editor I worked with there, and I wouldn’t have that input on a self-published basis. So, there are lots of big decisions for authors these days!
Other than the revised book, I’m working on another story set in Edinburgh Fog’s Tellers’ Bar. One of the secondary characters from that story is getting her own story, and I’m loving it enormously.
Once that’s done, I’m returning to another project I’ve had on the back-burner for a while, a story set in two time periods in the same place, Sussex, in the present day and in WWII. The seed of this story planted itself when I was living in a beautiful rural cottage on the Sussex coast. One summer, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew right over the cottage on its way to a local air show – a Lancaster, a Hurricane and of course the iconic Spitfire plane. Later that same night I watched the Spitfire do a solo exhibition flight over the coast, and of course, I began to think of all the women who’d stood maybe right where I was standing then, watching their men fly into battle and wondering if they’d come home safe. The story began there and then – and of course, with my love of contemporary fiction, I wanted to tie one woman’s WWII story in with the present day too. It’s a big project for me, and I just hope I can do it justice.
I think self publishing is really picking up speed nowadays. A lot of authors seem to be going that route. Anyway, I digress lol Pick your favourite character from your new release and tell us about them.
You know, I love every single character in Edinburgh Fog, so I really can’t pick just one of them – so if I may, can I pick Edinburgh itself? It’s the most beautiful city. Steeped in history, as you know, the very stones seem to resonate with all the souls that have gone before. In different parts of the town, you can imagine so many different parts of history – Scotland under the reign of the ancient kings, or the cradle of science, philosophy and learning during the age of enlightenment in the 18th century. You can see the run down, impoverished parts of the city on one side and the elegant, genteel Georgian buildings on the other, with all their contrasts. The Edinburgh of today, the Edinburgh I spent a long time in, is still vibrant, a centre of commerce, finance, art, theatre and music – it’s a wonderful place. Above all, it’s the people and their wonderful, wry sense of humour that I absolutely adore – and I like to think they’ve always been that way, right through history.
Being an author isn't easy, especially if you are just starting out. What is the best marketing advice you can offer?
Getting to know other writers and helping them as much as you can will also help you. It’s a two-way street. I’m a great believer in the expression, ‘ candle loses none of its light when it’s used to light another,’ so never be afraid to use your time and space to showcase other talents. You will all benefit!
I so agree with that Jane. If authors just spend a few minutes helping each other along this rocky path,everything can be gained by it. I spend a lot of time helping where I can and I've met some wonderful people because of that.
Here's where we get upfront and personal lol We love a good story here, so tell us where you met your partner?
Ah! Well, both my partner and I have background in the theatre, but in different places. I was working freelance for a number of local theatres in Sussex, and was spending some time working on a charity production in a theatre in Brighton. He was literally between jobs at the time – he’d just left a position in one of the biggest theatres in London and had just a week before he was due to take up another post at a new and very exciting theatre also in the city. He was staying with friends in Sussex and came along to help out on the charity production, and that’s how we met. If we hadn’t both had the week in the same place, I guess we wouldn’t ever have met each other. We got married a few years later and held out wedding reception in – yes, you’ve guessed it – the same theatre in which we met! So I think that/s maybe what you’d call a romance story!
I'd call that synchronicity lol Before you eat and run, where can any followers find you?
You can catch me at my blog, Home Is Where The Heart Is, and I’m always happy to hear from readers by e-mail at jane (at)janerichardson(dot)co.uk I’m on Twitter too, where you find me as @Gimmeahugyou.
Edinburgh Fog is available in all e-formats from MuseItUp Publishing.
Thanks for popping by Jane.