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 sorts 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 in the tearoom I’m chatting to historical writer, J.P. Reedman. Welcome Janet.
Thanks for the invite to your lovely tearoom, Paula.
Now we have our refreshments, let’s start by asking you when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
I have always had a deep, abiding love of the past. One of my first stories was about Cleopatra–I was five.
What writing elements do you think are your strongest points, and what would you like to do better?
I am very strong on visual imagery. If I describe a castle that actually existed but is ruins now, I want my reader to see that castle as it was through a picture painted with words. My weakest point used to be dialogue but I have improved with practice and got away from too much ‘ye olde English’ type conversations.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
My current one is about a very wicked medieval lady called Mabel; legend calls her the ‘mother of the Devil’! I have another project planned for 2020 which involves the rewrite of an epic fantasy I wrote in the early 80’s. I threw away the original draft as it was impossible to work with–but I cannot get the characters and landscapes out of my head. It still begs to be written!
Choosing only five of your favourite authors. Can you list them in order 1 begin the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?
A mixture of fantasy and historical fiction writers–Tolkien (epic, mythology, worldbuilding), Alan Garner (folklore and sense of place), Susan Cooper (same as Garner), Rosemary Sutcliff (historical fiction deeply associated with place and memory), Sharon Kay Penman (looking at historical characters in new ways.)
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
In my historical fiction, all my books are based on actual figures and most are written in first person from the MC’s viewpoint. I never thought I would write in either 1st person or about real people, but things turned out very differently, and I now enjoy writing both!
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
I grew up in Canada, moved to the UK in 1992, was in an episode of a TV series with Johnny Depp, and worked twelve years at Stonehenge!
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
I don’t set myself a target but I make sure I write at least *something* every day.
How many hours in a day do you write?
Two or three. Other time is filled by Twittering and other book promo.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
My first name is Janet. Some of my early poems and stories from the 1980’s are still floating around the Internet under the name Janet P. Reedman. I went to ‘J.P.’ because I was afraid men wouldn’t buy my novels about the Wars of the Roses, imagining that they were festooned with romantic scenes or something! In fact, I write better battles than bedroom scenes!
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I endeavour to get out three books a year, with maybe a couple of short stories or novellas in between, so roughly about 4 months, though in reality anything between 3-7.
Thank you for joining me, Janet, our driver, Brutus will run you home when you’re ready to leave.
If you want to find out more about J.P. Reedman’s writing and books check out the links below:
LONGSWORD’S LADY: http://mybook.to/elasalisburyMedieval Babes series (Little-Known Medieval Women) http://mybook.to/medievalbabesWars of the Roses: I RICHARD PLANTAGENET SERIES: http://mybook.to/Richardseries
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IRichardPlantagenet
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.