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 it 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 Jenny to the tearoom. Welcome.
Thank you for inviting me for a chat, Paula. The tearoom is amazing and look at all those cakes. Mmm.
Yes, the cakes are too lovely. I hope your freshly ground coffee is to your liking. My first question is can you choose five of your favourite authors and list them in order 1 begin the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?
Only five…. Okay, right Jane Austen for her wit and comedy. Barbara Pym, for the same. Anne Tyler, for her celebration of the uniqueness of the ‘ordinary’ person. Kate Morton for her incredibly complex plots and intriguing mysteries. And A J Pearce for the fantastic Mrs Bird – a novel I adored from beginning to end for the wonderful way she conjured up wartime England in the 40s with great sensitivity and tremendous humour.
When reading your work through do you ever find that your daily mood swings are reflected in your writing?
Not really – more the other way round. If my writing is going well, it’s a good day for me.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
My characters are, of course, entirely imaginary and most definitely bear absolutely no resemblance to anyone (are you a lawyer?!).
(Nope 😂 Sorry I don’t do trick questions)
What did you learn when writing your book? In writing it, how much research did you do?
I tend not to do that much research. My book Three Hundred Bridesmaids is set in 1976, a year I remember really well, and it’s always a surprise to me that a novel set in the seventies now counts as historical fiction.
(Yes, I was surprised to find that out to as my novel is set in the late 60’s early 70’s.)
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
I’d like to say they might be surprised to know I’m passionate about music and love playing the piano and choral singing – but since my writing is chock full of musical references, I think they’ve probably already guessed that!
Did you uncover things about yourself while writing your books. Whether that be a long forgotten memory, a positive experience etc.
I have discovered that my tolerance to being interrupted while writing is rather low.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Write and write until I am starving/desperate for coffee, then write and write some more. Repeat…
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
No, I could never be that organised!
How do you select the names of your characters? Do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
I have a lot of fun with my characters’ names, which are often influenced by their occupations. I often think I know everything about them but, in common with a lot of my author friends, the characters tend to surprise me and tell me parts of their back story I was unaware of. Sometimes they even introduce me to their friends and insist they are allowed into the story as well.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
How long is a piece of string? I’m afraid I don’t really have an answer to this, except to say that the time is getting shorter as I become more experienced – and especially since I discovered how to work the speech to text function on my tablet. It’s really changed the way I work.
Thank you for joining me in the tearoom, Jenny. If you would like to find out more about Jenny’s work please click on the links below.
Link to Three Hundred Bridesmaids https://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Hundred-Bridesmaids-romantic-novella-ebook/dp/B07TZRSWJ4
It you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.