I’m delighted to welcome Jan Jones to the blog.
|Jan Jones - Author|
Hello Jan, I’ve been looking forward to having you on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat for some time and it was great to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association's - Historical Romance Interest Group - on Facebook. But before we discover more about your latest release - A Practical Arrangement - here are some questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Hi Arabella, Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s lovely to be here. I write Regency novels set in Newmarket and London, generally with a dash of mystery and suspense, and quite often with a dark edge. I also write quirky contemporary mysteries and stand-alone contemporary paranormals.
Arabella: Are there any organisations, writing, or reader groups, you belong to? And, how do they support or help you in creating such wonderful, inspirational novels?
I’m a member of ALCS and the Society of Authors, but it is the wonderful Romantic Novelists’ Association that is a constant source of support. I joined many years ago when I was publishing magazine stories, but had yet to make the leap into long fiction. Back then, before the internet explosion, writing was a very solitary thing to do and I can honestly say going to my first RNA Conference changed my life. Nobody asked what I did, the talk was all about what we wrote. I came away with like-minded friends, masses of inspiration and feeling like a professional.
Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
In these weird coronavirus days I do a lot of reading standing in the queue to get into the supermarket! In general, though, I like to snatch a few moments reading on the sofa with my feet up during the day, and always manage a chapter or two in bed before I go to sleep.
Arabella: In your latest Regency release, A Practical Arrangement who is your favourite character and why?
I love my heroine Julia in A Practical Arrangement. This is the final book in a four-part series, so she had three tough acts to follow. She doesn’t think of herself as anything special: she isn’t daring like her friend Verity, or brave like Kitty or clever like Lilith, but her great talent is kindness. She is clear-sighted, genuinely interested in the people around her, and she is kind. Writing this whilst keeping her interesting was quite a challenge, but it is these very traits that help her and ‘team leader’ Benedict solve the overarching mystery.
Arabella: When writing a novel, how do you work? Are you a plotter or pantser?
It’s always into the mist with me, I’m afraid. I have my characters, my setting, the starting point and the approximate end goal, but the route is a complete mystery until I’m actually writing it.
Arabella: It’s your day off. The WIP (work-in-progress) is going to plan and you’re free to do what you like. Which would you prefer to do?
1) Spend a morning in the grounds of a stately home or historical building?
2) Find the nearest library and sit in a quiet corner with a research book?
3) Scour the local antique shops and flea markets looking for Regency bargains?
What is this Day Off of which you talk? Seriously, I love going around old buildings, peopling them with everyone who has lived there before, walking in their footsteps and imagining their stories.
Arabella: We all have a long list of books we keep meaning to read but never have the time for --- which book is a must read for you this season?
I find at the moment I can’t read anything new. I’m going back and re-reading all my familiar cherished favourite authors: Diana Wynne Jones, Ngaio Marsh, Mary Stewart to name but a few. When the world is in turmoil, I need memories of safer times.
Arabella: Which historical locations, cities or buildings have given inspiration when writing your Regency novel(s)?
Oh, Newmarket for sure, followed by Bury St Edmunds. I am very lucky in having a wealth of Regency buildings within a few miles of me.
|Bury Fair - 1808|
Arabella: What about your future plans? Any books or series in the making?
Having just finished the final book in a four-part Regency series that has absorbed me for the last two years, I’m having a break and working on a contemporary village cosy crime that I’m hoping will be the start of another series. This time, though, I will make them all stand-alones! After that, it’ll be back to the Regencies. I already have an idea - and a title - for the next one. The rest of it is somewhere in the mist.
Jan - Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat.
Having read your answers, I find it is so brave of you to start a novel with only the characters, the setting, and a rough idea of the beginning and end. But we all have our writing techniques and as long as they work…and our novels are written, I suppose that’s all that matters.
And about reading…I know what you mean. In these troubled times of COVID-19, we seek the comfort of the safe and familiar. My author/reading comfort is always the amazing Queen of Regency - Georgette Heyer.
Good luck with your novel - A Practical Arrangement
About Jan Jones
|Jan Jones - Author|
Jan Jones is an award-winning author who is passionate about romance. She is an active member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, organising the annual conference.
Jan writes contemporary romantic comedy, Regency romance, serials and short stories for women's magazines, and poetry. Her serials are now being published as novellas on Kindle.
Jan won the RNA Elizabeth Goudge prize in 2002 and the 2005 Joan Hessayon debut novel award with her contemporary romantic comedy 'Stage by Stage'. Her Newmarket Regencies have been shortlisted for the RNA Love Story of the Year / RoNA Rose three years running! 2010: 'Fair Deception', 2011: 'Fortunate Wager' and 2012: 'The Kydd Inheritance'. Her romantic suspense short novel 'Fairlights' was shortlisted for a Best Romantic Read award at the Festival of Romance 2014.
Jan lives in Newmarket, near Cambridge and bases a number of her novels locally because of the rich vein of interest and history in East Anglia.
Before she wrote stories, Jan was a computer programmer. Her original, classic 'QL SuperBASIC - The Definitive Handbook' describing the SuperBASIC programming language for the Sinclair QL, is now out of print - but electronic publishing has made a new edition possible. Retypng the book for the Kindle brought those days vividly back. Jan was astonished - and very thankful - to realise how far we have come in the last thirty years!
Jan’s Social Media Links:
I have an infrequent blog at http://jan jones.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/jan.jones.7545
I am on Twitter as @janjonesauthor
Blurb: A Practical Arrangement is the culmination of the Furze House Irregulars series!
When wealthy Benedict Fitzgilbert’s sister’s absence exposes him to Society husband- hunters, she suggests an assumed interest in her friend Julia Congreve as a practical arrangement to keep them off his back. But beautiful Julia is the epitome of a society butterfly, and Benedict is far too focused on hunting for the criminal mastermind ‘Flint’ to waste time on a masquerade. Unfortunately, the only way to distract Flint from the net closing around him is to make the arrangement appear real.
A Practical Arrangement is the eighth Newmarket Regency by Jan Jones. It is also the fourth and final story in the Furze House Irregulars series featuring women of spirit, women of courage, women who don't see why, in this male-dominated Regency era, they should not also play their part in bringing wrong-doers to justice.