Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spotlight on Jayne Bartholomew, Author of Love, Lies and Lemon Cake

Jayne Bartholomew has written a number of excellent books in the horror genre, but now she's back with something a bit different. Those that love romantic comedies are going to love her latest book Loves, Lies and Lemon Cake, which happens to be a romantic comedy. I had a chance to ask Jayne a few questions:





When did you begin writing?

My father used to work for IBM and I remember he kept some really old type writers in the garage; one of my earliest memories was as a six year old trying to see how quickly I could type my name. I was fascinated by the golf ball mechanism that spun around before bashing out a letter.

I did the odd short story growing up but I started my first novel when I was fifteen as a form of escapism when exam revision became too much. I called it ‘Space Hoppers, Dance of the Guinea Pigs’ and finished it sixteen years later. It took me another five years to summon up the courage to self-publish it which was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

I now type at around seventy words a minute and my latest book, ‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake’, took just over a year from start to finish – that’s what I call progress!

What genres do you write? 

‘Space Hoppers’ was hugely influenced by all the Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett I was reading at the time and is science fiction / humour. I have a series of horror short stories called ‘Twist and Scream’ which is more Tales of the Unexpected than slasher. Currently I’m really enjoying writing romantic comedy and ‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake’ was so much fun to write I started on the next one as soon as it was published.

I have thoughts about scenes or stories at very inconvenient moments and once I have an idea it becomes a brain-itch until I can put it down on paper. I’ve learned to keep a notepad and pen in my handbag at all times!

Who do you imagine you're telling a story to as you write? 

My imagination is really visual so I’ll daydream a scene in my mind and then write what happened. It feels a bit like cheating because the act of writing for me is like jotting down a movie that I watched rather than sweating away at inspiration. I’m probably telling the story to myself and keeping everything crossed that other people will like it.

What's your latest book about?

‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake’ is about a group of people, some of them friends from choice and some flung together, and what happens when there are problems with communication, compulsive competition entering, a demanding super-model and some chemically uplifting sabotage in the tea room.

At some point in the book, probably about mid-way, I think the characters took over and dragged me along for the ride. I adore them all, even the naughty ones, and as the scenes unravelled I found myself chuckling over my keyboard and occasionally wiping away a tear.

I find it tricky to describe a book without giving too much away but I will say that I do love a happy ending!

Which authors inspire you?

All of them. It takes a huge amount of courage to put so much of yourself onto paper and then present it to the public.

What's your favorite book? 

Do I only get to choose one? ‘Guards, Guards’ by Terry Pratchett had me crying with laughter, ‘The Shining’ by Stephen King kept me up all night, completely unable to put the book down, ‘Clear your clutter with Feng Shui’ by Karen Kingston because it literally leaves me buzzing with energy. I like to be drawn into a book to the point where all my senses feel involved.

As a treat I’ve promised myself that as soon as I finish writing my next book I’ll take a month off to just read, and now I’ve developed something of a book addiction. I can’t seem to stop buying books and watching them line up on my shelves is a great incentive to get writing!

Why did you choose independent publishing? 

 
To start with I did try and be traditionally published but it was an expensive process and took ages to hear back. There’s something very depressing about a rejection letter that’s completely impersonal! A friend of mine said he’d self-published a medical book so I thought – why not? I’m pretty whizzy with computers so it wasn’t hard to create a book cover and Amazon makes the process of self-publishing very easy. I’m so used to the process now that it takes under a couple of hours to get a book formatted to upload and voila – published author!

I like the control I have over my work as an indie author, no-one tells me what I can and can’t do and I set my own deadlines. I’ve promised myself that I’ll write three books this year and I’m holding myself accountable by charting progress on my blog (jaynebartholomew.com). Exciting stuff…

What one piece of advice would you offer other indie authors?

Have patience. All careers begin somewhere small and writing is no exception. When I first self-published I was thrilled if I sold a couple of books a month and now I can actually see that it might be possible to be a full time author in a few years.

Whatever happens – keep writing!

 
About the Author:

I didn't set out to write books. To start with I wanted to do something sensible with psychology. Unfortunately while training to become a psychotherapist I started to visualize guinea pigs abseiling down window blinds to the theme tune of Mission Impossible and realized I was probably on the wrong career path. My first book, 'Space Hoppers, Dance of the Guinea Pigs', was published in September 2012. There's no dancing, it's not a children's book and the few guinea pigs that feature go ninja. Wait till it comes out in 3D...

Rather than be sensible and stick to one genre I fancied going from space humour to horror and I've been having a lot of fun pulling together a series called Twist and Scream. Volumes one to five are available individually and there's an omnibus edition that includes volumes one to four. Volume six is in progress.



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A lot can happen in a year. 

Mark is struggling to juggle redundancy with an extremely expensive supermodel fiancée who wants a show-stopping wedding in Las Vegas. 

After years on the move, Kate returns to her home village and unknowingly brings a problem from the past with her. 

Penny yearns for a little more spice in her marriage to the vicar, but when she does find something that excites her, it’s not quite what she expected. 

There’s sabotage in the tea room and Laura’s in a coma. 

Love, Lies and Lemon Cake is a cheerful and uplifting look into village life. Go on, have a nibble… 

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