Morning everyone! Quite a few posts up this week, but I’ve also got a super cool interview with another super cool bestselling author! I got a chance to interview Jane Lark. Her many books include: The Secret Love of a Gentleman, The Scandalous Love of a Duke, The Passionate Love of a Rake, and of course, her bestselling book, The Illicit Love of a Courtesan (definitely deserves to be a bestseller).
Why did you become a writer? Was there an event/inspirational figure or ambition that pushed you into that direction?
I’ve always just loved stories. I loved reading from a very young age. I was one of those children who used to read with a torch under the covers at night when I was meant to be asleep. But not only did I love reading, I love story telling, I was forever making things up. Even at the age of eight, when a teacher read my ten-page story about crabs taking over the world, I was told I’d write books when I was older.
I tend to shift around genre’s. But my first love is historical stories. I have very vibrant images in my head of the ways of life over many era’s. It’s difficult then to chose a particular era. But my mind tends to fill itself up with stories of its own accord, and at the moment all the recent stories it’s written are spun from the Regency period which is when the Marlow Intrigues began, and of course that means I don’t need to keep doing lots of research (although I have already extensively researched both the medieval and Roman periods). I do enjoy writing contemporary books as well, though, if my mind picks up a good story line. It came up with a good one in Las Vegas this year, which I will write soon.
What is your goal when you begin writing a story? The sort of emotions you want the reader to feel when reading your book?
I like readers to join my characters on an emotional roller-coaster, so there will be sad and happy points. I challenge myself to write stories that stay with people, that they will always remember reading, and to do that they have to touch people emotionally.
When people end the story, I like to leave them with a little sadness at the fact they can’t stay with the characters for longer, because the reader has enjoyed their journey so much.
I enjoy so much about writing… Sadly it doesn’t pay enough to live off at the moment, but I wish it did, hopefully when more readers discover me it will, then I’ll go full-time, that would be amazing, to do a job I loved that much.
It’s so exciting discovering stories, they just come into my mind, and then the characters begin writing themselves.
And when I get stuck in points in stories, I never worry because I know when I’m not thinking about it, inspiration will suddenly hit.
When do you find the best time and place to write?
I have to write in the evenings and weekends as I work full-time in a day job. Two years ago, though, I would have said outside of work I just wrote constantly, yet I’ve had to slow down now, as I need some time to just live too. But I’m still known to write or edit when travelling in the car, if my husband is driving. So I can squeeze a little more writing time in 😉
What is your favourite book that you have written?
There are two at the moment. The Dangerous Love of a Rogue, because Drew lived in me with all his heart-broken anguish for ages, he was a very emotional character with a lot of anger to deal with. Then there is, I Still Love You, which is a contemporary story about a difficult subject. But I do know that the more I write the stronger my voice seems to be getting, so I think the books will keep getting better. She says, with fingers-crossed that’s what my readers think too, I keep getting positive feedback and good reviews, though.
Long ago I was charmed by Katherine, by Anya Seton, and I went on to read all her works, she’s still my favourite author. But out of modern books, One Day is the story that stayed with me most, but I didn’t enjoy David Nicholls second book at all, sadly.
You’re advice to prospective/new writers trying to break into this field?
Write for pleasure. If you want to write just begin, don’t put it off waiting for a perfect time or place.
And lastly, when I was trying to get my first publishing contract and was plastering my walls with rejections, someone said well if you don’t keep trying you’ll never succeed, so just keep trying, and if you are writing for pleasure then it’s not a chore.
There’s more to Jane than just writing, of course….
It used to be yellow, but in the last two years it’s changed to orange.
Used to be a daffodil, but in the last two years that’s also changed – how weird – the peony has now taken the lead.
Prawns and coffee and walnut cake – but not eaten at the same time.
Oh my gosh, I wish I had days off. I am currently working on that though fingers-crossed. Ummm, Saturday… No Sunday. Sunday’s we tend to go out and visit places, get a coffee, go for walk, walk around a formal garden or visit an old house; that’s my chill out day that I get to spend with my husband.
If you were to create your own fantasy land, how would you describe it?
It would be medieval, certainly. If I had any time in my life I’ve always thought I would get involved with re-enactment. When I go to their camps it looks like they are having so much fun. But Game of Thrones has captured what my imagination would picture already. I love how well they represent that world in the programme. It’s the truest representation I’ve seen in anything.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
All of it, I love living in fiction. As a reader you live it for the hours it takes you to read. I live the characters’ story for the weeks it takes me to write. So much fun 😉 #Leave-the-real-world-and-live-in-fiction.
Do you have a personal motto?
“It is what it is” that’s a phrase I use a lot, there’s no point fretting over what’s happened, or what your options are, you only have the options you have and you can’t change the past. Another one that is good for distressing is remember that your life path isn’t a tightrope, you don’t have to get every step exactly right, it’s more like a road 😀
Just thank you so much for inviting me over to chat!
Jane has a new book coming out soon, The Reckless Love of an Heir, so make sure you all check it out