Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit the clubhouse is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today I’m welcoming Jan Jones to the clubhouse tearoom. Welcome Jan.
Thanks for invite me to this lovely tearoom. This tea is delicious, thank you.
I’m glad it is to you liking. May I start by asking you When you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
I have several genres: Regency, contemporary, cosy mystery. I write whichever of them appeals to me at the time. I would usually write several in one genre before reviving my batteries by switching to another. I write the sort of things I like to read.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
My latest project is a new cosy village mystery series. I have had the idea in the back of my mind for quite some time, but I needed to finish my latest Regency quartet first
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
Oh, so many. So very, very many.
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter, or let the characters lead you.?
I never write a synopsis until I have finished the book, and only then if it is really necessary. I start with the characters and the setting, then I write the first scene and take it from there.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
No. All my characters come out of my head. I think about them to such an extent that they become real to me and take charge of their own actions. If they had been even remotely based on actual people, that facility would be lost.
What did you learn when writing your book? In writing it, how much research did you do?
I do masses of research. The perfectly ordinary things I don’t know never fails to surprise me.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing
I have to get routine chores out of the way before I start to write or they weigh on my mind and distract me. Once I have started, I keep going as long as I can. Some days this is several hours, some days it is several minutes. I don’t have a set word count, I simply carry on until the scenes dry up for the day.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I used to write some of my short stories under a pseudonym when I was being regularly published by Loving magazine. Partly this was because the editor didn’t want it to look as if several stories each month had been written by the same person, and partly it was because I was running a playgroup at the time, so it was better for the warmer stories to appear under my alter ego.
How do you select the names of your characters and do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
The names come by themselves. If they aren’t right, I can’t write the story. I know a lot about my characters to begin with, but I learn more as I write the book.
How long on average does it take you to write a book ?
How long is a piece of string? With luck, head-space and a following wind, about four to six months
Thank you very much for joining me today, Jan. Our driver Brutus is ready to take you home as soon as you are ready to leave, but you are welcome to stay as long as you like.
If you would like to find out more about Jan’s latest Regency series the four-book Furze House Irregulars the first one is A Rational Proposal
Her latest standalone novel (set in the 1990s) is Different Rules and her blog is at http://jan-jones.blogspot.com/
It you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.