This morning I'm delighted to welcome author Jane Linfoot to the blog to talk about her latest book High Heels and Bicycle Wheels which Tanya reviewed earlier this month.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book High Heels and Bicycle Wheels?
High Heels & Bicycle Wheels is sexy chick lit, with a whole lot of humour and emotion thrown into the mix. It’s fresh, it’s different, it’s got explosive chemistry, and a fab summer feel, which makes it a great beach or poolside read, but it’s also fab to read when you’re at home and want to dream. Think camper vans, beaches, a hot successful, complex pro cyclist hero, Jackson, whose demons are overtaking him, and a determined heroine, Bryony, who is used to being in control, and isn’t going to give that up without a fight.
It’s two strong people, thrown together, on a road trip neither intended to go on, discovering a lot about themselves on the way, and finding that one summer will change their lives forever. And it’s about the last bit of growing up you have to do, before you’re ready to commit.
We first met Bryony in The Right Side of Mr Wrong, did you always know that you wanted to write her story?
Bryony marched onto the page fully formed in The Right Side Of Mr Wrong and she refused to go away until I’d given her a story of her own - and it’s a humdinger of a story, which I thought, at times, was never going to end.
Where did the inspiration come from for them to travel in a Campervan together?
I used to have a VW camper van myself, and they are so hip and iconic, it seemed an ideal way to throw Bryony and Jackson together. Fireworks guaranteed ;)
Are you currently working on a new novel? If so, are you able to give us a hint as to what it’s about?
I’ve got a lot of things bubbling....some of them include revisits to characters and places we have already seen, and one or two are very different.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
I always plan to write non stop, from after breakfast until I go to bed, but usually this thing called life gets in the way, so the reality is a long way from the ideal. Whatever happens, I always dash off on dog walks to stop me and the dog from seizing up, and they’re an integral part of the writing process, because they are when my ideas for then next scene happen. If I’m on my own at home and writing, I’ll often forget to eat. Whenever I notice my chaotic house, I wish I prioritised housework more.
Are you a plotter or do you just start writing and see where the writing takes you?
Before I begin, I like to know my beginning, my characters and their character arcs, my plot, and main plot points, and the ending. Then I set off. After that I colour in the rest as I go.
If you were going to look back on your career in the future, what do you hope to have achieved?
Looking back I’d be very happy to know that people had enjoyed reading my books – that’s my priority, and anything else is a bonus. I think this is a business where success comes from a combination of hard work, raw natural talent, and luck. For big success, it’s crucial to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right book, and no-one can easily predict the where, when and what of that. I’d like to think that whatever the outcome of my career, I’d given my writing the best shot I could.
Are there any authors who inspired you when you were starting out on your writing career?
I picked up Kate Walker’s book on writing romance in the library one time, when I was looking out for ideas for write-in-class exercises for my local creative writing group, which was without a tutor. Once I got Kate’s book home, I started to read it, and couldn’t put it down. The next thing I knew I was writing romance.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Never give up.
When you’ve finished writing a book, do you treat yourself to a reward?
The trouble is, it’s hard to know when you’ve actually finished.... Is it the first time you type THE END, when you finish the first draft? Is it when you press send, the first time you mail your manuscript to your editor? Or when you send back a particularly gruelling set of edits? Or maybe when you’ve finished checking the final, final, final proofs? Or is it when you pick up your book in a bookshop?
There’s a strange sense of relief after each of those stages, and I celebrate by getting in the car, and driving with my favourite track of the moment blasting out very loudly, and singing along. Usually by this point we’re well past out of wine and chocolate.
But my main reward at the very end, is dedicated reading time, where I catch up on all the books I haven’t had time to read whist I’ve been working on my own book.
Where would be your idyllic location for a writing retreat?
Somewhere warm, but not too hot, and picturesque – I wouldn’t say no to Provence.