I am delighted to have been given the chance to interview award-winning Choc Lit author, Jane Lovering. Jane’s latest novel, How I Wonder What You Are was released on 7th December (click here to get your copy) Here Jane tells us what we can expect from her latest release, gives us the lowdown on her ‘Yorkshire Romance’ series and introduces us to a horse called Stan…
Thank you for having me! My name’s Jane Lovering, I live in North Yorkshire in a house that’s 90% dust and 10% pet, with a roving collection of quite large children. I write books for Choc Lit that people sometimes call ‘Romantic Comedy’, and my hobbies are marshmallows and shouting. I like kittens and HobNobs (but then, who doesn’t?) and dislike carbohydrates. Yes, even the fried ones.
Can you tell us a bit about your new novel, How I Wonder What You Are (released 7th December 2014 with Choc-Lit)?
Ah. I wondered when you’d ask. How I Wonder is set in a village on the Yorkshire moors, where our heroine, Molly, is licking her wounds as a deserted fiancée. Phinneas Baxter is a man who redefines the word ‘hero’ by being a Prozac-taking, too-much-vodka drinking phobic about just about everything. He and Molly get together to try to solve the mystery of lights in the sky. There’s also a horse called Stan.
How I Wonder What You Are is Book 4 in your Yorkshire Romance series. For anyone who is yet to read any of the previous books can you tell us a bit more about the first three novels in the series?
The ‘Yorkshire Romance’ series is linked by location, rather than character or story. All the books are either set, or derive from the North York Moors (which is where I live and very handy for research, being right outside the door). Please Don’t Stop the Music is set in York and villages nearby, Star Struck (whisper this) is actually set in Nevada, USA, but both lead characters are from Yorkshire, and have been shaped by events that took place there. Hubble Bubble is set in North Yorkshire and the woods therein. That one has witches in. Amateur witches, who get what they wish for in very odd ways.
Your fabulous 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. What did it feel like to have your first novel win these awards?
Well, it was a fabulous excuse to drink far too much wine very frequently. I was totally gobsmacked at winning, and I pretty much continue to be gobsmacked to this day about the whole thing. It was astonishing and a huge honour. Plus, there was chocolate.
Being able to root around in people’s psyches. Love is something that everyone has in common, but every single person experiences it differently, and finding out why and how a particular character falls in love in a particular way, is fascinating. I like taking people to pieces and putting them together again to see how they work…er. I mean fictionally. You understand that, don’t you? Yes. Fictionally. Totally.
You’ve also contributed to two collections of short stories, Choc-Lit Love Match and Kisses and Cupcakes. Do you find writing short stories easier or more difficult than full length novels?
Short stories are haaaaaaaarrrd! Sorry. That sounded a bit whiney, didn’t it? But they are, it’s really difficult to get characters established and action to happen and people to fall in love in 80,000 words, let alone a fraction of that. I am in awe of those who manage it successfully. I can only do short stories if I take a run up and sort of….vault into the middle. Actually, I’m the same with puddings.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
I wish I could give you some tale of scribbling down a few whimsical ideas that got picked up and made a national success, but, sadly, I did it the same way as most people. I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. Threw most of it away. Wrote some more. Joined the RNA, met some helpful people who encouraged me and…there you have it. Not exactly all down to hard work, because it’s not hauling coal, but…tough, sometimes.
Who are your favourite authors and what books do you enjoy reading?
I read almost anything, if pressed. My brain doesn’t do well if it’s not constantly employed, so I have reading material dotted around the house to stop it getting into mischief. I love Terry Pratchett (but who doesn’t – not naming Sir Tel as one of your favourite authors is a little suspicious…), Jenny Colgan, any and all of the Choc Lit authors, Benedict Jacka, Justine Robson.., I have to stop now otherwise I’ll just keep going. I love Sci Fi, speculative fiction, crime, historicals, steampunk…yep, I’ll stop again now.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’ve just subbed a book called I Don’t Want to Talk About It, which features a little girl and her hobby horse Light Bulb, and I’m currently knee-deep in my WIP, currently titled Crush. It’s set around an old house which belongs to the Heritage Trust and the hero is a lad called Josh who flies a Lanner falcon called Bane, and also has a non-flying owl called Skrillex. There’s quite a cast of characters, from lovely Amy, who runs the tea shop and her ‘frenemy’ Julia, to a strange grandmother and a dodgy administrator.
Thank you so much for participating in the interview, Jane, I’m delighted to have you on my blog and really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.
Thank you for having me. Sorry about any stains I might leave, they usually sponge out, you know…
…On that note – A huge thank you to Jane Lovering and Lu at Choc Lit. ♥
“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 …