Saturday 13 July 2019

The Hippo Hangs Out . . . . with Jane E James

I'm delighted to welcome Jane E James to The Hippo today. I recently read her latest book The Butcher's Daughter (a review of which is currently a work in progress, sorry Jane! ) and I just had to get in touch with her to ask if she could spare some time to pop in for a chat and I was thrilled when she agreed!

As always let's kick things off with an introduction.

Photo courtesy of Jane E James

Best-selling author, Jane E James creates chilling reads that appeal to fans of psychological thrillers, mysteries and dark fiction. Jane loves to weave tense and haunting tales that stay in the reader's mind. All her books are standalone novels.

Jane recently signed a two-book publishing deal after her 2nd novel, The Crying Boy (a compelling suspense thriller inspired by actual events) became an overnight best seller on Amazon, knocking both Stephen King and Dean Koontz off the top suspense spot.

When she isn't writing (or reading) Jane enjoys living 'the good life' in the countryside. Rebecca, Carrie, The Woman in Black and Wuthering Heights are among some of Jane's favourite reads.

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Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I kind of already do. My real name is Jane Richards but that is my husband’s surname and I didn’t want to use this for my writing name, so I chose my late mother’s maiden name instead as a way of honouring her. I also loved the sound of Jane E James. The E is for Elizabeth.

What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am friends with many authors, but I do socialise more with those who live locally to me, such as Tony Forder, Ross Greenwood and Eva Jordan. I also went on a week-long writer’s retreat with LJ Ross, Sarah Denzil (Dalton), Betsy Reavley and Nicky Black (Doherty). We had an amazing time. You should have seen the number of bottles of wine we polished off. My fellow author friends are so giving of their time and they constantly inspire me to be a better writer. 

That's a great list of authors and I've been lucky enough to meet L.J.Ross and Nicky Black myself. I can't reveal my sources but I'm reliably informed that this is evidence of the aftermath of your visit to the writer's retreat!  😉

Do you often hear from your readers and what do they say?
Hearing from readers is my favourite thing of all. It means everything to know that somebody has engaged with my characters and appreciates my work. Readers keep me going through all the ups and downs. They are the true superstars. 

That's a lovely thing to say Jane. You also never know what a lift you might give an author who could be having a bad day and that email might make their day!

What’s your favourite motivational phrase?
‘Say yes to everything’. It’s the mantra I try to live by as it takes me out of my comfort zone.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing etc come from?
I was one of six siblings and ours was a very busy household, so I used to love spending time away from the others, reading a book. To be honest, I am still a bit of a loner—although you wouldn’t think so if you met me in person as I am very friendly and outgoing.

Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents?
I once auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent with my incredibly talented performing dog. Sadly, I lost him, aged 15, just a few months ago and I miss him terribly. I am also a qualified dog trainer (retired now) and I used to assist the police with their dangerous dog incidents. 

Wow, did your audition make the tv show? So sorry to hear about your fur baby though. 💔

If you were an animal in the zoo what would you be and why?
I would be a wolf. I have always been fascinated by them. 

Describe yourself in five words.
Self-doubtful (cheating a bit with this one I know as not strictly one word)

Do you have any bad habits?
I aim to be good. I do yoga and walk a lot. I also try to eat healthy organic food cooked from fresh but sometimes I just crave Domino’s pizza, Monster Munch and wine. I am also partial to a crisp sandwich. 

What is your guilty pleasure?
Catherine Cookson and The Nolans. 

Photo found on Google

 ♪♫*•♪ I'm in the mood for dancing, romancin', Ooh, I'm givin' it all tonight! ♪♫*•♪ Oh sorry I got a bit carried away there Jane! 😳

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As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I'm currently writing my review for The Butcher's Daughter, but don't wait to read it on my account, it's fabulous AND it's currently available to download for only 99p so here's the blurb:

Trust no one. Not even yourself.

When Natalie Powers returns home for the first time in thirteen years, she must convince everyone she has fully recovered from the mental illness, which has seen her institutionalised for most of her young life.

But instead of being welcomed back, Natalie enters a baffling world of deception. She must fight her way through the lies in order to discover the truth about her mother’s sudden disappearance sixteen years earlier. To do this, Natalie must also try to make sense of the hazy memories from the past that continue to haunt her.

In the village of Little Downey, everybody appears to harbour a mysterious secret, including her father, Frank, the village butcher, who refuses to discuss the circumstances surrounding Natalie’s mother's disappearance, but who can Natalie trust if not her own father? Especially when it becomes clear her protector and confidante, Dr Moses, is not all he appears.

Meanwhile, a spate of unexplained clifftop suicides has seen the seaside resort go into decline. Are the villagers somehow involved or is something more sinister at work?

Determined to find out what happened to her mother, Natalie must make sure her own frailty and self-doubt does not catapult her back to the mental institution before she can uncover the truth…

You can find out more about Jane, her books and connect with her using the links below:

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Jane for taking the time to hang out with me today, it's been fun getting to know you. Watch out for my review of The Butcher's Daughter coming very soon. 😉

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