1. Where were you in your writing career 5 years ago?I was already a published writer of short stories and my debut romantic comedy novel Stage by Stage had been published the year before and had won the RNA Joan Hessayon Award. Since then, the publisher has discontinued the imprint, so I’ve moved into Regency territory. I have continued to write short stories for women’s magazines.
2. Where did you get the idea from for this particular book?Fortunate Wager came from the character of my nearest town, Newmarket, in Regency times, and from Caroline, who was a secondary character in Fair Deception but who wanted a book of her own! She is the daughter of a gentleman trainer, who would like to train racehorses herself. Unfortunately, this is not allowed in 1817 Newmarket.
3. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?Still writing. Still being published. I’d like to move into contemporary-with-laughs territory
4. Which was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?I recently re-read Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. I wish I’d written most of her books, but this one most of all as it is my favourite
5. Was there any particular author or book that made you want to be a writer?I don’t think so. I always knew I was a storyteller.
6. Do you find writing love scenes giggle-worthy or cringe-worthy – or neither?Neither. I love them. When they are right for the moment in the story, I find the right words.
7. What's the most romantic moment of your life so far?That first kiss. That’s always the most romantic moment.
8. What do you wish you'd known about being an author before you were pubbed?Nothing, really. I went into it without preconceptions.
9. What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?To go with my own voice. My own advice would be to never give up.
10. Tell us about your latest release.The Kydd Inheritance is the prequel to my Newmarket Regencies. It stars Nell Kydd, desperate to hold together the family estate in the light of her brother’s disappearance and her evil uncle’s machinations. When Hugo Derringer shows up, she would like him to be friend rather than foe, but she is unsure what his motivation is for helping her.
11. What’s next for you?I’m currently writing the third of my Penny Plain gentle mystery serials for People’s Friend, I’m also writing an atmospheric serial for Woman’s Weekly and the 4th Regency. Also polishing up a contemporary. And I have a sheaf of short stories waiting for a moment to write them. I’m sure there used to be more hours in the day…
The Fortunate Wager and The Kydd Inheritance are both published by Robert Hale. You can find Jan at her website and on her blog, where there are links to all her books, and you can follow her on Twitter.
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