It's certainly been a busy year for Jane Lovering publishing 2 books so it's my absolute pleasure to welcome Jane back to the blog to talk about her new book How I Wonder What You Are which has just been published as an eBook, paperback will follow next year.
“Maybe he wasn’t here because of the lights – maybe they were here because of him …”
It’s been over eighteen months since Molly Gilchrist has had a man (as her best friend, Caro, is so fond of reminding her) so when she as good as stumbles upon one on the moors one bitterly cold morning, it seems like the Universe is having a laugh at her expense.
But Phinn Baxter (that’s Doctor Phinneas Baxter) is no common drunkard, as Molly is soon to discover; with a PhD in astrophysics and a tortured past that is a match for Molly’s own disastrous love life.
Finding mysterious men on the moors isn’t the weirdest thing Molly has to contend with, however. There’s also those strange lights she keeps seeing in the sky. The ones she’s only started seeing since meeting Phinn …
Can you tell us a little bit about How I Wonder What You Are?
How I Wonder What You Are (or HIWWYA as it’s so oddly known because it actually takes longer to say than using the words) is set on the North York Moors, where jilted fiancée Molly teams up with the phobic, anxiety-ridden astrophysicist Phinn Baxter to investigate some mysterious lights in the sky over the village of Riverdale. It features a horse called Stan, who has the build and disposition of a hall table, a septic tank, snow and a lot of scenery.
Where did the inspiration come from for Phinn to be an astrophysicist?
I’m quite interested in astrophysics, although I’m rather more of a quantum theorist. I would have loved to have taken physics further, but I’m a bit hampered by my total lack of any kind of mathematical ability, and, seriously, there are a LOT of sums in physics. So I gave Phinn the kind of job I’d have loved to have been doing. Also, I needed him to have some expertise that might be perceived to be glamorous, if you didn’t actually understand what he really did – I never got to use the line ‘brain the size of a planet, and I should know’, but I could have done…
What does a typical writing day look like for you? Do you set yourself a daily writing target?
I don’t set targets because I hate failing. I write in the afternoons, when I get home from the day job, but sometimes other things interfere with the writing process, like…kittens. Terrible for interfering are kittens. And the need to eat HobNobs. So I sit down and write, and sometimes it’s WIP writing, sometimes it’s blog posts or Q&A’s like this, and sometimes it’s watching videos of kittens. But don’t tell anyone.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I am the biggest pantser you could ever meet. I don’t mean that I have big pants, although actually, one of my writing tips would always be ‘wear big pants’ because if you aren’t comfortable you’ll never write anything, but I also work by the seat of my pants. I am rubbish at plotting – I start a story with a handful of people that I throw on the page and wait to see what they’ll do. Sometimes it’s great and they all start interacting with each other and dynamics appear and relationships form. Sometimes they just wander around aimlessly, pointing at things, which is usually when I resort to the HobNobs and kittens.
When you’ve finished writing a book, do you treat yourself to a reward?
I am quite big on rewards, so I tend to reward myself when I start writing a book, I reward myself when the first draft is done, when I send it off to my agent, when and if it gets accepted I have another quick reward, and when it actually comes out I have another one. That’s probably how I come to have five cats, a lot of empty bottles and no biscuits in the cupboard.
If you could write collaboratively with anyone else, who would it be and why?
I would be absolutely the WORST person in the world for anyone to collaborate with. I’m bossy and opinionated and I always think my ideas are right, plus, after having five kids, I can shout quite loudly. So if I wrote with anyone they would have to have the patience of a saint, a calm and collected personality, absolute faith in themselves, and be very hard of hearing. If anyone knows this person, please post them to me because, never mind collaborative writing, I may want to marry them.
Where would you perfect writing retreat be?
Somewhere warm. Honestly, I’m a martyr to my chilblains. With lots of food so I never need to go outside, no television because I get distracted by Tony Robinson, and comfy sofas to sit on.
We’re probably talking about a DFS/Sainsbury’s half way up a Greek mountain.
Jane was born in Devon and now lives in Yorkshire. She has five children, four cats and two dogs! She works in a local school and also teaches creative writing. Jane is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has a first class honours degree in creative writing.
Jane writes romantic comedies which are often described as ‘quirky’.
Her debut Please Don’t Stop the Music won the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year and the Best Romantic Comedy Novel award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/SU59KS
Amazon US: http://goo.gl/YBh4vl