I’m delighted to welcome Jane Lacey-Crane to the blog.
Hello Jane – It was lovely to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association. It’s always a pleasure to discover authors with new releases and to help share their tidings. But before we discover more about your latest release - The Little Shop on Floral Street – here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Arabella: You’ve got an idea for a story but it has yet to take shape. Where do you start? Do you concentrate on the location in the story, or developing the characters personalities, or are there other key points you might consider?
Jane: To be honest most of my story ideas begin with a ‘What if?’ question. For my first book it was ‘What if you discovered that the father you thought abandoned you had actually been in prison? And what if your childhood sweetheart came back into your life and told you he’d never stopped loving you?’ My most recent book, The Little Shop on Floral Street came from the question, ‘What if you were forced to go home and face some hard truths about who you are and where you come from?’
But I do also think location is important. When I knew my second book was going to be a Christmas romance, I knew there was only one possible location for it – New York City! – and the story really grew from the setting.
Arabella: In your latest release, The Little Shop on Floral Street, what is the overall theme or premise, and what made you choose this topic?
Jane: The overriding theme for my newest book is the idea that we are all truly products of our upbringing, and although we might think we move one/grow up/move away, where we’re from is still a key part of who we are. In the book my main character, Grace Watson, is forced home by a family tragedy and she struggles to deal with the fact that she abandoned everything and everyone from her past in an effort to become someone else; someone she doesn’t even recognise anymore. It’s about family and it’s about returning to a place where you are known and can be the authentic version of yourself.
Arabella: You’re stuck in a lift and it’s a two-hour wait before a pain-free extraction. What emergency rations would you like to be sent down the lift shaft?
Jane: Really strong tea! I drink pints and pints of it during the course of the day. I can’t write without a massive mug of tea to keep me going. It has to be made with tea leaves not a teabag and it has to be made in a teapot, not in a mug! I’m quite fussy about my tea, as you can probably tell. And of course, with all that tea there must be cake or biscuits – any type, I’m not too fussy, just as long as you don’t present me with Bourbon biscuits! It’s probably a controversial opinion but I don’t understand why anyone would choose a Bourbon biscuit.
Arabella: You’ve arranged to meet up with friends and family for an afternoon of fun. Where do you go and what do you do?
Jane: My ideal day would involve a trip to the cinema or the theatre, a stroll around a market, preferably secondhand or vintage, and then finished off with a nice meal. I love Greenwich Market in London. It reminds me of being a university student and rifling through the stalls looking for cheap books and clothes. That’s been the hardest part of lockdown for me – not being able to do the things I enjoy with the people I love the most.
Arabella: The moment we are published, a career path is usually envisaged. Do you have any aspirations or ambitions for yourself and any future novels you might write?
Jane: I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want all of my books to be huge bestsellers that are then adapted for TV or film! I think if most authors are honest, they would admit that they want their work to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. But I was already in my early forties when I got my first publishing deal – it took a long time for it to happen – so I’m pretty grateful and happy to be able to have the chance to get my words out there at all. And if a TV or film producer suddenly decides that my books would make great movies, I’d be more than happy to throw on my screenwriter hat and have a crack at a screenplay or two!!
Thank you for sharing some of your writing secrets with us, Jane. And your ‘What if you…?’ tip is certainly a great starting point and will definitely have to be explored when I begin the next manuscript.
Wishing you all the best for your latest release - The Little Shop on Floral Street
About The Author: Jane Lacey–Crane
|Jane Lacey-Crane Author|
I’ve been writing for as long as I could string a sentence together and I always dreamed of becoming a published author, but it felt like an unachievable dream until I joined the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme in January 2017. That was the thing that really made me think I could really do it. I’d written the beginning of the story that would grow into ‘Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s’ as an entry for a competition on Good Morning Britain. It never got anywhere but I really thought the story had legs and could go somewhere so I carried on with it. After rewriting it based on my manuscript report from the RNA, I started submitting to publishers who didn’t require you to have an agent. I was over the moon when Aria Fiction offered me a 3- book contract in October 2017!!
The first book, Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s, was set in East London, where I grew up, and featured characters that were inspired by some of the people I knew back then, and for my third and most recent release, The Little Shop on Floral Street, I’ve returned to my roots in London again. The book tells the story of the Watson sisters, Grace, Hope and Faith, and their relationships with each other, and the complicated family dynamics that have played a significant role in where they are in their lives.
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Book Blurb The Little Shop on Floral Street
In the wake of tragedy, two sisters have to piece their family back together again...
Grace never thought she'd have to return home to Floral Street. Having spent most of her life building a successful career in London, she's done everything she possibly can to avoid the flower stall that's been in her family for generations. But when tragedy hits, she's got no choice. It's time to face the demons of the past and support her family.
Faith has returned home after years travelling the world. The baby of the family, she always struggled to find her place. She thought that her life would be different after a trip across the globe, but as she settles back into life in her childhood room she has to come to terms with the fact her life isn't quite what she expected. And she has no way of getting out of the rut she finds herself in.
Faith and Grace have never seen eye-to-eye, always clashing, never forgiving. But they might just find a way to understand one another, to fight their way through their grief and come out stronger. By opening up, they'll discover they aren't so different at all. And family will always be there for you.
Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, David Nicholls and Kerry Fisher.
Released 13th August 2020