INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JANE RISDON!
Please help me welcome author, Jane Risdon, to Jemsbooks.Blog Segment, Interview an Author.
It’s lovely to meet you, Jane. Welcome.
Hello Janice, thanks so much for letting me tell you and your readers something about myself.
I’m married to a musician who I’ve been with since I was very young. Life was hectic and I was the main bread-winner for many years when he was touring and recording. Crime/thriller writing was something I’ve always wanted to do since a small child, but life got in the way as you can imagine. Enid Blyton started me off, with Robert Louis Stevenson and Agatha Christie feeding my yearning for adventure I suppose.
Later my husband and I went into management of artists, singers, songwriters, and record producers and we placed music on to soundtracks for movies and television. Yet again we spent almost all our time on the road – in planes and tour buses – in recording studios or sound-checking, giving concerts or filming videos and doing live promotions on radio, television, and video stations from Los Angeles to Singapore, and from Taiwan to Texas to Torquay, and everywhere in between. My time was well accounted for and writing wasn’t possible. Babysitting testosterone fuelled males and hormone raging females takes one hundred percent of energy and time.
About 8 years ago we decided to step back and take stock and it was then I decided if I was going to write, it was then or never. I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute towards several anthologies – crime mostly – including two for my present publisher, Accent Press. In 2014 they also contracted to publish Only One Woman which I wrote with best-selling award-winning author, Christina Jones. This novel is Women’s Fiction with no crime in it at all surprisingly. Christina and I have known each other since we were in our teens. She was fan-club secretary for his band and that is how we met. We’ve always wanted to write together but she writes bucolic frolics and I write crime – no meeting of minds there we thought.
jjspina: It sounds like you have had an exciting and busy life on he road with your husband.
My inspiration for a story comes (usually) from my own experiences and often from when I was working at The Foreign and Commonwealth Office when young, and my life in the music business working mostly in Hollywood. I recall something that happened, or I’ve heard or read about – a news report perhaps. Quite often I get the main character first, a name, or an occupation. The rest seems to just flow from the ether. I compare it to the process of song-writing and recording – the magic comes as if from nowhere. Most of my crime stories have music, espionage or organised crime as a theme.
jjspina: I’m happy to hear that you began your career writing – doing what you always wanted to do. Good for you!
Inspiration for Only One Woman came when I was going through some fan mail, tour schedules and old diaries which I had kept from the times my husband and his band were together. Also, some little touches came from my own experiences later on working with artists; I can get inside their heads.
Going through the memorabilia I started to make notes under date headings so that I could show my husband, and it was whilst reading these later that I started to form a story around them. Eventually I wrote what was to become Only One Woman. I couldn’t manage to fit a murder into the story but it struck me that it could be a story of two girls in love with the same musician, Scott; a social history of the late 1960s and with world events and lots of music and fashion references throughout. I soon realised I needed another voice and so I sent the finished story to Christina who loved it and realised this was the book we could write together – our experiences in the music scene back when would be just perfect.
jjspina: That is a wonderful idea to collaborate with another writer. You never know what you will discover together when you join forces.
She wrote her character, Stella, around those I’d created and fitted her side of the story to Renza’s – my main character.
Only One Woman is written from two points of view and describes the UK music scene and how the era changed the lives of the two girls and their peers forever.
Only One Woman was published May 2018 in paperback (stores) and for e-book (Kindle). The foreword was written by iconic rock singer, Graham Bonnet, who sang the 1968 hit of the same name, written for him by The Bee Gees. He is a legend in the music business having sung with bands such as Rainbow, Alcatraz, Michael Schenker, Ritchie Blackmore and others. He now fronts his own band, The Graham Bonnet Band.
jjspina: Sounds like a fascinating story with definite undertones of your life on the road with a musician.
There are calls for a sequel to Only One Woman and although one isn’t officially planned I have begun writing a rough draft. But we shall have to see.
My main interest is crime and for the last few years I have been working on a series called Ms Birdsong Investigates. Lavinia Birdsong is a former MI5 Officer who is ‘voluntarily’ retired when an operation goes wrong. She ends up in a rural village where she is going nuts with boredom trying to think of a way to redeem herself and get back into the Security services.
When a young woman goes missing she cannot help herself, she begins to investigate and soon she is on the trail of Russia Mafia people traffickers, Ukrainian drug and arms smugglers, and of course – murder.
Book one – Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder in Ampney Parva is in with my publisher and two other books are almost ready to follow it.
I also have several other novels ‘on the go,’ as well as a number of short stories I am deciding what to do with. I may self-publish those.
My audience for Only One Woman is the generation who grew up in the 1960s or anyone who loves that era. Men and women love it and several have read it more than once, which is nice.
My audience for Ms Birdsong and my other stories is anyone who loves a good yarn, a believable plot, and real characters, and who reads the same crime/thriller and espionage books as I do.
I don’t write Police Procedurals although I have undertaken seven online Forensic Science, Criminal Justice and Archaeology courses to enable myself to better understand the processes involved in investigating murder, identifying bodies and bringing criminals to Justice.
I enjoy photography and often use photos of locations as visual notes for my locations and settings. I love history, science and astronomy – basically I am a curious person and just love to learn and understand the world around me. I love to read.
Advice is something I don’t feel qualified to give to others. However, if you want to write, do it. Keep doing it and don’t let anyone put you off. You are dead a long time, don’t wait.
As for unusual talents, well, I can spot talent, nurture it and put it in front of those who matter. I can hear a hit song – even when it is sung in Mandarin and Cantonese – and I can help produce one. I know the process of song –writing and recording which, to tell the truth, is not dissimilar to writing stories.
jjspina: Good advice, Jane. You definitely have a good ear for music. It must be from all the years listening to music traveling with your husband. That’s quite a talent.
If I wasn’t a writer I would be enjoying an early retirement, travelling and taking photos. All the years we were touring and travelling the world, I rarely ever took photos – lack of time. I think I’d do that with my husband and see more of our grandchildren and son in Los Angeles.
jjspina: I hope one day you get to do all that and more in your retirement.
Biography for Jane Risdon
Jane Risdon writes mostly Crime Thrillers, often set in the music business or with an organised crime or espionage element. With a former career in the international music business managing songwriters, singers, musicians, and record producers, she often draws upon her experiences in Hollywood, Europe and SE Asia for her plots.
She is also the author of short stories which have been included in 14 anthologies to date, as well as in magazines and online newsletters. She also contributes articles and writes flash fiction. Two of the anthologies she has contributed towards are award winners.
Jane is married to a musician, has one son and three grandchildren who live in Los Angeles.
With author Christina Jones, Jane has co-authored Only One Woman, set in the UK Music Scene of the late 1960s and using her experiences married to a musician in the sixties, as a source of research and information. This is Jane’s first outing into writing Women’s Fiction and the paperback and was published 24th May 2018. It is also available on most good digital platforms as an e-book.
Jane and Christina recently received the Wild Dreams Indie Publishing Award for Favourite Co-Written Tale.
Synopsis for Only One Woman:
ONLY ONE WOMAN
Christina Jones and Jane Risdon
Steeped in the music and fashions of the era filled with the effects of social change and world events, Only One Woman is more than a love triangle and guys will love it as much as gals.
One boy, two girls, and a journey through the heady, mad, rock ‘n’ roll of the late1960s.
June 1968: Renza is reluctantly preparing to leave school – and England. Her family are moving to Germany and she really doesn’t want to go, but her parents say she’s too young to stay behind so she’s resigned to facing a new life abroad. But then the four stunningly sexy boys who make up pop band Narnia’s Children move in next door and leaving the country is absolutely the last thing she wants to do…
Renza falls head over heels for drop dead gorgeous lead guitarist Scott, and he for her, but after a whirlwind of gigs and parties and a romantic summer of love together and despite trying every trick in the book to stay in England, Renza has to obey her parents and go.
Before she leaves for Germany, Scott says he will love her forever and asks her to marry him. Renza – of course – says yes but it will have to be a secret until she’s old enough to leave home and join him.
December 1968: On the night that she believes will be her last alive, Stella meets Scott at a local dance where Narnia’s Children are playing. Scott’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen, and she falls in love at first sight – and he seems to be attracted to her, too. Because she’s ill, and has no idea what will happen in the future – and despite being told about Renza – she thinks if this one night is all they have, then she’ll take it.
As the colourful, exciting final year of the sixties dawns and Narnia’s Children start to hit the big time, Renza struggles with her new life in Germany, only living for Scott’s letters and phone calls and managing to sneak the occasional trip home to see him, while Stella, recovering from her illness, spends more and more time with Scott and the band, slotting herself happily into the “Renza-free” parts of his life.
As 1969 plays out in a rainbow swirl of music and fashion, Renza and Stella – who have never met but are aware of each other’s existence – both realise there will come a day when he has to choose between them, and sadly know there can be only one woman for Scott…
Jane’s Social Media Links:
Jane’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8
Author Blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2/
Only One Woman Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RenzandStella/
Only One Woman Blog: https://onlyonewomanblog.wordpress.com/
Jane’s Book Links – go to my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8
Only One Woman: available on most online digital platforms including Kobo, Barnes & Noble etc., for Kindle and Paperback.
Amazon UK/USA/Australia/Germany/ France and others:
Simon & Schuster: ISBN: 9781682994252
Only One Woman is available in Waterstones and good indie book stores upon order.
Paperback in Waterstones etc. ISBN: 9781783757312
Only One Woman just received an award from
Thank you, Jane, for coming today. It was a pleasure to learn more about you and your new book. Please feel free to come back again when you have another book to share. I wish you all the best with your future endeavors. I also want to add a special good luck also to your co-author, Christina Jones. Congratulations to both of you on the book award from First Annual Indie Awards!
Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about Jane Risdon and her new book. I hope you will check out her book and links above.
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