Hello Marian, thanks so much for inviting me here to chat about my writing. I really appreciate it.
Marian: What inspired your latest book?
Jane: Only One Woman is co-authored with award-winning, bestselling author Christina Jones. She and I have known each other since we were in our teens when she became fan-club secretary to my husband’s band – he was my boyfriend then. We have always wanted to write together, but I write mostly crime/thrillers and she writes romance (Bucolic Frolics) and we didn’t have time, nor any idea what we could write about. Then the penny dropped. We know about music and the Sixties music scene, so we’d write about that. Several years passed – she was busy with contracted books and I was working with our recording artists, songwriters and record producers and we – my husband and I – were never in one place long enough for Christina and I to get together. Eventually we decided we had to make time. We agreed we’d set our story in 1968/69 and we’d write it from the POV of two young girls in love with the same lead guitarist. That way we knew we could reference lots of music, fashion, and world events from 1968/69, and use our musical knowledge and experience in the story so that it would be much more than a love triangle.
Marian: Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Jane: I have had a varied career – most of it in the international music business – and have witnessed and experienced some fantastical events, so finding topics to write about is never a problem. I get ideas from the News, over-heard conversations, things I am told, things I and others have experienced. Hollywood is a fabulous source for a writer. Music, movies, television, and all the money and power permeating from the epicenter of the entertainment world. Money and power corrupt and we are seeing evidence of that with the sexual harassment scandals unfolding there now. I’ve also worked in various Government agencies – when much younger – all of which is good fodder for a crime/thriller writer which is what I am – mostly – when I am not writing about loved-up guitarists.
Marian: How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Jane: Tee-hee-hee. Well, this is a hard one to answer truthfully. Only One Woman is a work of fiction but Christina and I do draw upon experiences. I met and married a lead guitarist and Christina, who was a short story writer and rock journalist for Teen magazines at the time, was hired as his fan-club secretary.
I used old diaries and tour schedules, post cards and letters from my husband’s time with his band for reference material when writing about 1968/69 – just to help give flavor and authenticity to the story. We have shared memories of events during our long friendship and of course she had her own career interviewing rock and pop stars which I am sure has given her plenty of material to draw upon.
In my career in the music business I have met some of the most colourful, charismatic, outrageous and downright terrifying people your imagination could conjure up. Books have already been written about many of them, without any litigation being heaped upon the writers. And I have a wealth of material too. I also have a vivid imagination. I know the entertainment business: making movies, videos, television series and records – I’ve experience of those who are the movers and shakers. It would be hard not to be inspired and influenced by them and no doubt elements creep into my stories. I couldn’t possibly comment. Read my short stories and you’ll see what goes on.
Marian: Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
Jane: Scott is a drop-dead gorgeous musician who has oodles of sex appeal and a wicked glint in his eye. He comes from a broken home and ever since has been responsible for his younger brother now they’re living with their father – until he decides to join his mother in Jersey for a holiday. Whist there he joins a band and decides to stay on the island, but his mother has a new family and he soon realises he is not wanted. His band become his family and they get signed to a manager and set off for England, fame and fortune, leaving a few broken hearts in his wake. He cannot resist a pretty face, but he is also quite ‘proper,’ trying hard to do the right thing by both Stella and Renza. Lonely and seeking love he seems to be unable to say no and his emotions are intense. He is honest and keeping secrets hurts him.
Marian: Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Jane: I can only write from the POV of Renza – we have two main characters in Only One Woman – the other is Stella written by Christina.
Renza is young but wise beyond her years. She is mother-hen to her 5 siblings and her life is spent helping to care for them – she is much older than they. Her father is working abroad and the family are set to join him in the late summer for a 3 year stay: her mother works part-time, so Renza’s life is pretty much taken up with family duties. She doesn’t really have any friends, has never had a boyfriend and is rarely allowed out socially. She is lonely, resentful, but resigned. She’s offered an apprenticeship with a National Newspaper but her parents who are very strict won’t allow her to take it up – they need her with them overseas. She is dreading leaving England and her elderly Nan whom she worries about. She is reliable and dutiful but she is also a doormat for her family, allowing her needs to be over-ridden by them.
Marian: How far do you plan ahead?
Jane: I write by the seat of my pants. An idea pops into my head – usually the title or a character’s name – and off I go. It comes as I write. I have hardly any notes to help, though I might draw a map so I can remember who lives where etc and I might list names, eye and hair colour – that sort of thing – because I am terrible at recalling who is who sometimes. I often take photos when I am out walking and these serve as visual notes of locations sometimes…. A great setting for a shallow grave set in a forest for example. But that is about it. Planning is probably the sensible way to go. But I’m unconventional.
Marian: Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Jane: Only One Woman tells the story of two girls in love with the same musician, but there can be Only One Woman…Scott has to decide.
Renza meets lead guitarist Scott when his band arrive in England from the Channel Islands, to record and tour…it is love at first sight for them both. But she is about to move to Germany with her family for three years, so they only manage to share two magical months together before she leaves; both declaring undying love for one another.
Stella is convinced she is about to die on the operating table on Monday and her best friend, Vix, decides she needs to spend her last night on earth having fun. Vix drags Stella to a local gig where Narnia’s Children are playing and Stella falls head over heels for Scott as soon as she sees him on stage. The feeling appears to be mutual when they are introduced during the gig, and therein lies the problem…
Author Jane Risdon
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8
Only One Woman Accent Press
Only One Woman Facebook
Renza and Stella’s Playlist on YouTube