Delighted to be joined tonight for Friday Night Drinks by my fellow RNA member and someone I have been lucky enough to meet IRL (She’s lovely!), author Jane Lacey-Crane.
Hi Jane, thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?
Thanks for the invite – I don’t get out much these days! Mine’s a large gin and tonic, then I’ll probably move on to a nice glass (or two!) of Prosecco.
Perfect! If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
Probably to the cinema – I love going to the movies – and then out for late night doughnut! There’s a drive thru Krispy Kreme not far from where I live, with a drive thru Starbucks next door. Perfect!
Great evening. If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
I would love to go out for the evening with Stephen Fry – I think the man is a gentleman and a genius. I’ve met him before – when I was working for Waterstones in Central London – and he was such an entertaining man. And so genuine. As for our female companion – I think I’d have to invite Victoria Wood. She was such a brilliant writer and performer, and she wrote some of the best female characters on TV. A legend – and gone far too soon.
Victoria Wood would also be my choice for this question. So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
I’m currently working on my third book for Aria Fiction; it’s a contemporary romance that takes me right back to my roots in East London, just like my first book Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s did. It’s an area that’s very close to my heart and I love writing about the location and the people. I get to draw on my memories of growing up in East London, surrounded by family that made their livings working in the markets of East London.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing/blogging and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment was probably getting my first contract with Aria. I submitted through their website submissions portal and was blown away when my editor got in touch and told me that she wanted to offer me a three-book contract! After years of waiting, and almost giving up a few times, to hear that news was mind-blowing.
My biggest challenge came straight after – writing the second book! It was torturous – I lost all confidence in my abilities and was convinced that I obviously only had one book in me, and I’d got nothing else worthwhile to say! Thankfully, my editor was very supportive and encouraging and talked me down off the ledge!
So interesting and encouraging to read about your writing journey. What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
I think I want what most writers want – I want to carry on writing, and I want as many people as possible to read my writing! But since you asked – I’d also like my books to sell millions of copies and be turned into Netflix movies. I’d love to write a screenplay. Oh, and I want to be asked to star in one of the films as well. And win an Oscar for my performance or my screenplay. Either would be fine – I’m not fussy. It’s always been my secret ambition to be an actor too. You did say I could be as ambitious as I liked, didn’t you?
Aim high! What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
The book I’m currently working on is keeping me very busy and I’m excited about where that’s going to take me. I have a rough idea of plot, but these things have a habit of changing – depending on where the characters want to take me. I’m also working on a website, which is exciting but daunting since I’m not very technical, so I have only the vaguest idea of what I’m doing! I’m hoping to be able to start a blog on the site so I can bore people with more of my inane witterings on a range of subjects and I’m also going to be putting some of my short stories on there for people to enjoy.
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
My favorite place in the world has to be New York – I love it there so much. That’s the reason I chose to set a large part of my second book there. I’ve been there twice and I’m going again in a few months to visit my sister, who currently lives there. I’d love to travel all over the US in a camper van if I could. Maybe one day – when the kids are grown.
It is also my plan to do a huge USA road trip when my kids have left home! Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
One thing that people might not know about me is that I once dressed up as a six-foot bunny rabbit in a leopard print bikini and tried to crash Prince Charles’ birthday party at Clarence House. Make of that what you will!
Okaaay. Lol. Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
Oh blimey, that’s tough one. I read a lot – obviously! – and my tastes are very varied. I would say, if you’ve never read any of Nora Roberts standalone romantic suspense novels then you’re missing out on a masterclass. The Search is one of my favorites. Also, there’s a book called Folly by Laurie R.King which is a really gripping read. It’s about a woman who takes herself off to an island to build a folly, all by herself, but there’s a sinister presence watching her every move. I read that book years and years ago but it’s stayed with me.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR WORST FEARS AREN’T ALL IN YOUR MIND?
Rae Newborn is a woman on the edge: on the edge of sanity, on the edge of tragedy, and now on the edge of the world. She has moved to an island at the far reaches of the continent to restore the house of an equally haunted figure, her mysterious great-uncle; but as her life begins to rebuild itself along with the house, his story starts to wrap around hers. Powerful forces are stirring, but Rae cannot see where her reality leaves off and his fate begins.
Fifty-two years old, Rae must battle the feelings that have long tormented her–panic, melancholy, and a skin-crawling sense of watchers behind the trees. Before she came here, she believed that most of the things she feared existed only in her mind. And who can say, as disturbing incidents multiply, if any of the watchers on Folly Island might be real? Is Rae paranoid, as her family and the police believe, or is the threat real? Is the island alive with promise–or with dangers?
So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
A pint of water and 3 Ibuprofen as soon as I get home and then two cans of Coke Zero in the morning. Usually sorts me right out. When you have kids, you can’t afford to have a hangover!
Ain’t that the truth! After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
Drinking tea in bed, watching Cary Grant movies, and eating masses of toast and chocolate digestives.
Jane, thank you for joining me this evening, it has been wonderful and I hope to catch up with you at an RNA event soon.
Jane’s second book, The City of Second Chances is out now and you can get a copy here. If you would like to read my review of the book, you can find it here.
Has she already met The One? What if Mr Right had come along at the wrong time…?
Evie Grant is forty-five years old, a widow, and single mum of two children about to leave the nest. Suddenly alone in the family home, Evie realizes she hates her job, hardly goes out and hasn’t had a date since who knows when…
So it feels like fate when the opportunity arises for a girls trip to New York City. Staying with her sister on the Upper East Side, Evie is enchanted by a snow-covered city consumed by preparing for Christmas.
Bobble hat firmly on, Evie is walking through the city one day when she bumps into Daniel Roberts, Hollywood heartthrob and one-time boyfriend of hers.
It’s now or never for Evie – but she open her heart to the possibility of a new beginnings and true happiness once again…?
Born in London, Jane’s writing career began in cable TV, writing true crime documentaries. More recently, Jane has contributed to an anthology of short stories and written two weekly crime serials. When she’s not writing, Jane loves to read good books, binge watch TV boxsets and drink tea. And wine.
If you would like to learn more about Jane and her writing, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Next week I am having Friday Night Drinks with author and sports journalist, Jamie Paradise, so come back then.