I’m very pleased to welcome Jane Isaac who is answering the Author in the Spotlight questions today. Jane’s most recent novel Before It’s Too Late was published by Legend Press on 1st June 2015 and you can order a copy here: Before It’s Too Late Her first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, was re-released in March and you can order a copy here: An Unfamiliar Murder
First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
Hi! I live in Northamptonshire, UK with my husband and daughter where I can often be seen trudging over the fields with my Labrador, Bollo. My passions are reading, writing and travel. I started writing books in 2007 and my fourth (How did that happen?) novel, Beneath the Ashes, will be released by Legend press in November 2016.
What inspired you to start writing?
Some people have a fixed idea of their calling from a young age. I never did. The turning point for me came fifteen years ago when my husband and I took a year out to travel the world and a friend gave me a journal to keep as a present. This journal was to become my most treasured travel companion (apart from my husband of course). The photos we took drew on memories but, even years later, when reading the diary I could smell spices in Kuala Lumpur, hear the street music of Bangkok and feel the thick heat that pervades the wonderfully clean Singapore.
Realising the power of words, my love affair with writing began. I enrolled on a creative writing course and started writing articles for newspapers and magazines. It was during this time that I started writing fiction and embarked on my first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, which was initially picked up by an American publisher. And I’ve never looked back.
Tell me about your journey to publication
Like many writers, I’ve had rather a rollercoaster ride to publication. When I finished my first book I was still studying creative writing with the Writers Bureau. My tutor read the sample chapters and recommended that I send it to a small publisher called Crème De La Crime who accepted submissions from unpublished writers. They responded within a week to say that they couldn’t accept new submissions, having just been taken over by a large publisher, but they enjoyed the piece and suggested I send it to a couple of agents who were interested in new crime writers. I really didn’t expect to hear anything, you get so many rejections in this industry, so I was stunned when they both wanted to sign it!
To cut a long story short, after a lovely day at their Kensington offices I signed with one of the agents and they submitted the novel to the big publishing houses. The result was disappointing: We had lovely feedback, they all seemed to like the work, but nobody offered to sign the novel. My agent suggested I submit to the independent publishers and I signed with US based Rainstorm Press within a month.
Rainstorm Press were only able to distribute books online in the UK, so when I finished my second book, The Truth Will Out, I decided to throw myself back into the slush pile and try for a British publisher. Luckily I received an offer from London based Legend Press and my relationship with them still continues. They really are a lovely team to work with.
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
In Before It’s Too Late, a Chinese student is abducted from the dark streets of Stratford upon Avon and kept in a disused pit in the surrounding Warwickshire countryside. We follow her story as she is kept captive, and the rest of the novel through the eyes of Detective Inspector Will Jackman as he seeks to find her.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I find titles incredibly difficult to come up with. The latest novel had several working titles but none of them really fit and it wasn’t until it was completely finished that panic set in. So, I had a huge brainstorming session with my husband and Before It’s Too Late cropped up. With Jackman set in a race against time, and the kidnapper lurking in the background trying to change the course of the investigation, it seemed to convey the sense of urgency.
How do you plan to celebrate/did you celebrate publication day?
There’s such a build up to publication day that it almost feels a little like a birthday. Friends, both online and nearby, are always so sweet and supportive, sending lovely messages and good wishes. I like to have a small party, usually at a nearby bookshop, to celebrate with local friends and family, and it usually features a book themed cake too.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I’ve just started working on the third DI Will Jackman novel. This one is shaping up nicely and will involve a number of visits to the local Courts for research over the coming months which I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully it will be ready for publication in 2017.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings. A beautifully written, emotive psychological thriller.
What are you reading just now?
At the time of writing (February 2016) I’m just about to start Between You And Me by Lisa Hall. If the opening is anything to go by, it’s going to be a cracking read.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I read books on the Kindle App on my phone predominately, but my favourite method will always be the ‘real book’. I love the smell and feel of books and have 5 bookcases in my house, most of them double skinned. As for timings, it can be any time of day, but I do have a busy family life which allows more time during late evening for reading.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
You can reach me on Twitter: @JaneIsaacAuthor , Facebook: Jane Isaac Author , or email through my website at www.janeisaac.co.uk
Thank you so much for interviewing me on your blog. I really enjoyed answering your questions!