Who’da thunk it? Not me! Crime to Women’s Fiction – the journey.
I love reading and writing crime stories. It is a passion I suppose, ever since I was very young.
Adventure stories floated my boat and I found myself drawn to books that – back then before we were all so PC – were probably deemed more suitable for boys more than girls.
I loved the stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Ransome, Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, and later Chandler, Buchan and Hammett, and so it continues today with many of the modern Crime/Thriller writers filling my head with their fabulous stories.
And although I’ve dabbled in other genres, even written a couple of Pirate stories and Ghost stories, it never crossed my mind to write anything remotely ‘Romantic.’
Those visiting here of late will have noticed that there has been a ‘cover reveal’ for Only One Woman – a novel co-authored with me and a very old friend – Christina Jones – whose chosen genre is definitely Romantic fiction.
So what happened?
I should point out that
Only One Woman has taken 6 years to get to this point.
A lot of crime writing has gone on during this time and it will continue never fear.
Ms Birdsong Investigates is with my publisher now.
There are other books in progress.
OOW has been with our publisher, Accent Press Ltd, since 2014 but life has a habit of messing with plans and our plans have been messed with a lot.
We were supposed to publish it in 2014 to begin.
I guess you are wondering how did I get to co-author a book which is described as Women’s Fiction….now therein lies a tale.
Scroll back to the late 1960s and that is where the story begins.
Christina and I met when she became my – then – boyfriend’s fan-club secretary.
She was a Rock/Pop journalist and wrote short stories for Teen magazines, so she was a great choice for the job.
We’ve been friends ever since and have often talked about writing together.
Fast forward a decade of two: my life had continued in music and she had become a best-selling, award-winning author of what she calls ‘Bucolic Frolics.’
And she continues to write her own books too.
I returned to England to live, attended a few of her book signings in local bookstores and, as a result, I arranged two ‘Author Events’ at my local library for her.
She went down a storm, by the way, and we started chatting about what a blast it would be to record our memories of the 1960s in a novel – a work of fiction – using what we both knew of those times, and how it might be a fun to write about life in 1968/1969 in particular, and describe how the music and fashions back then were such a huge influence on our lives and those of similar ages.
But you know how it is; she became busy with deadlines for her books and I’d started writing my crime stories and there the idea hung – in the air – waiting for us to get a move on with it.
In 2012 I moved house and whilst packing and unpacking I came across a lot of old post cards sent to me by my then boyfriend, from exotic places he’d visited with his band. There were tour and gig posters and old diaries too. I began to make notes.
Those notes became the basis of a series of fictional diary entries and eventually Christina found time to join in and we began Only One Woman – named after The Marbles’ song written by The Bee Gees.
It soon became clear that I wasn’t going to be writing a crime story, however hard I wanted to fit dead bodies into it, and Christine wasn’t writing one of her famous comedic ‘Bucolic Frolics.’
This became something quite different.
Yes, it is a love story – triangle actually – and it is about a sexy lead guitarist who falls in love with two girls; one still at school and the other convinced her time on this planet is about to come to a halt on the operating table.
But it is so much more.
It is filled with musical references, how the live music scene was buzzing, and how the most amazing fashions were everywhere.
There was a vibe in the air, never to be repeated in latter years.
World events moved fast and the three of them experienced the excitement of the Moon landings, the Paris student riots and the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia and more.
Only One Woman is Women’s Fiction – yes, there is romance and so very much more.
If you lived through the 1960s this should ring so many bells for you and
if you didn’t we hope it will give you a better understanding of those who did.
Only One Woman is available for pre-ordering now on amazon.
and is available for pre-order in USA and Australia too.
Publication date is 23rd November 2017.
The Paperback and Audio book will be published May 2018.
OOW has its own Facebook Page where you can read snippets from the novel, enjoy music from that era and enjoy so much more.
Renza and Stella also have their own Playlists up on YouTube – their favourite music from the book.
Now you know how a crime writer managed to write Women’s Fiction.
We both hope you will remember Only One Woman when Christmas comes around and you are trying to think of gifts for those who lived the 1960s or wish they did.
Be there or be square.
Christina and Jane xxxx