Friday, 1 August 2014

Debut Spotlight: Janine Cobain

Today it's my absolute pleasure to be doing a debut spotlight feature for one of my regular guest reviewers Janine Cobain whose debut novel How Will You Remember Me? is published in eBook format today and will be published in paperback later in the year.

Janine Cobain was born in Teesside and lived there until moving to Belfast in 2005. A former pupil of Conyers School in Yarm, she was always a prolific reader, and recently rekindled her love of writing.

How Will You Remember Me? is her debut novel.

"I wear many hats - wife, mother, grandmother, reader, writer, friend - but underneath each, I am still me"

Are we in control of our own life, or will fate always win in the end? 

When Catherine Harvey's marriage ends in divorce, she finds solace with her best friend Jessica in Belfast. Seven years on, she has her material and physical needs covered, but her heart is firmly locked away. 

After the death of her ex-husband, and lustful designs on a sexy stranger, Catherine feels ready to share her life with a special man, all she needs to do is find one. 

Connor Maxwell returns to his home town, after twenty years in emotional exile, to rebuild his life after suffering a devastating loss. 

As his world begins to heal, it brings him far more than he bargained for. 

How many times will destiny cross their paths before it gives up?

Can you tell us a little bit about your debut book How Will You Remember Me?
How Will You Remember Me? is a serendipitous tale of love, life, and loss. Catherine Harvey moved to Belfast after her divorce, and seven years later she has her material and physical needs covered. After the death of her ex-husband, and lustful thoughts about a sexy stranger, she realises she is ready to share her life with a special someone, all she has to do is find him.

Connor Maxwell returns to his hometown after suffering a devastating loss, and attempts to put his life back together. As his world begins to heal, it brings him far more than he bargained for.

How Will You Remember Me explores the idea of fate, and of everything happening for a reason, but when something truly awful happens can it ever be justified?

I am donating my royalties - 10% of sales - to Mind Your Mate & Yourself, a not-for-profit organisation in Northern Ireland who help people struggling with their everyday life by raising self-esteem, self-awareness, and encouraging self-care and self-respect. The founder, Ray Cunningham, is an exceptional, and insightful individual who has given me some brilliant guidance over the last few months, and I hope to help them, help others.

Where did the inspiration come from?
When I was younger, I used to write a lot, often as a way of dealing with emotion, usually through poetry although I wrote a novella at 14 but never let anyone read it, as I didn’t have the confidence. I have always had a love of books, and even though life got in the way of writing, I always managed to read. Last year, I read the draft of a friend’s novel and it blew me away – an incredible story, based on his own experiences, and he graciously let me become involved in his creative project; to get the novel published, take it to film production, and write the soundtrack. Editing Volunteer rekindled my love of writing, and I started reviewing books too. The more I read, the more I wanted to write and taking inspiration from Gary McElkerney (Volunteer’s author), and encouragement from my husband, I gave it some serious thought, and the plot was formed.

Are you currently working on a new book? If so, are you able to tell us anything about it?
No, or should I say not yet… I enjoyed writing How Will You Remember Me?, and I am wondering whether I have another in me!

What does a typical writing day look like for you?
There is nothing typical about any of my days! I’m a wife, a mother of three, step-mother to three more; two of whom live with us, a grandmother, I work full time, and I’m heavily involved with, so, I write whenever I can get five minutes!. 

What I have found is that I form the scene in my head first, I run through the conversations, the feelings, the sights and sounds. When I’m writing, my husband asks constantly if I’m OK, because I seemed ‘distant’, and I had to explain that I was listening to a conversation in my head, between two people that didn’t exist! You can imagine what kind of crazy he labelled me when I told him I had cried at the death of a character! I would often text myself when inspiration strikes with an idea, a location, or a stonking line of dialogue. 

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Write a book that you would want to read; make sure end up with something you love. If you love it, you can sell it.

If you could go on a writing retreat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
In How Will You Remember Me? Catherine has a cottage in Donegal that she retreats to and I would love to go there! The cottage is fully-formed in my imagination, and it would be perfect as a writer’s retreat!

I would also love to visit Tuscany, I have this image in my head of sitting at a wooden patio table, under a cream linen parasol in the warm evening sun, looking down over a rolling hillside and the twisting line of cypress trees, with a large glass of Chianti, and who wouldn’t be inspired to write there?

How Will You Remember Me? is published on eBook on 1st August, and paperback on 1st October by Write Path NI Limited.

You can connect with Janine on twitter @JC2703, or on Facebook

To find out more about Volunteer by Gary McElkerney you can connect on twitter @TUCCOfficial or

1 comment:

  1. Well done on your debut novel, Janine! I'm from Teesside too and currently writing my own debut, it's a great feeling to finally put words to paper. I wish you every success xx