Due to an unfortunate incident with an excitable cocker spaniel, a doorbell and a collision between an iMac and a wooden floor (neither of which came out of the altercation well), I did not manage to get my anticipated Friday Night Drinks post up last week so, instead, I am going out on a school night and having Tuesday Night Drinks with author and fellow RNA member…..Jane Cable.
Jane, welcome to the blog and thank you so much for being gracious about the postponement of our night out. Now we have finally got round to it, what can I get you?
Hi Julie – thanks for inviting me. Actually I’ve brought along some champagne because Another You was published last week. It’s my first with Sapere Books so I’m really excited.
Congratulations! I will happily drink to its success with you. 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?
It would definitely be my local pub, The Victory Inn at Towan Cross. It just has to be the friendliest pub in Cornwall so you’d be welcomed with open arms. I’d probably take you on a Monday though, especially the first Monday in the month, because that’s book club night.
Oh, that would have been yesterday. I would love that. 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?
Despite writing slightly ghostly stories I don’t really believe in disturbing the dead. I’m very keen on history and archaeology though, so perhaps Michael Wood and Alice Roberts. It should turn out to be a fascinating evening.
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?
As I said when I arrived, my third novel, Another You, has just been published. It tells the story of Marie, a pub chef trying to escape from her poisonous marriage, and how the sixtieth anniversary of D-Day changes her life in ways she could never imagine. It isn’t a dual timeline but the effects of World War Two definitely have an impact on the present in some unexpected ways.
The book didn’t start that way, however; it was the beauty of Studland Bay in Dorset that inspired me. But as I delved deeper into the history of the area the wartime story was so poignant it was just screaming to be told.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment was back in 2011 when The Cheesemaker’s House reached the final of the Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. It was a big achievement which involved two television appearances and judging by notable writers such as Cathy Kelly and Jeffery Archer. My mother had persuaded me to enter and I think it was the proudest moment of her life too.
In terms of challenge, it was undoubtedly getting a publishing deal. In general the industry is wary of ghosts when it comes to romantic fiction, although generally I find readers love them. For a long while I thought ‘you write well but…’ would end up being my epitaph!
I love a ghost in a romance story! What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, it’s just us talking after all!
I would like one of my books to become a bestseller and not just on Amazon. I’d love to see paperbacks with my name on sitting on the three-for-the-price-of-two table in Waterstones.
Everyone’s dream (well, amongst writers, at least). What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
I’m in the process of editing my next book for Sapere. Like Another You, Winter Skies looks back to World War Two, but this time through the eyes of an archaeologist with a real talent for picking the wrong men. Rachel is so feisty she’s a joy to write and I’m sure readers will relate to her.
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?
Oh, I love to travel too, but we’ve only really had time for long trips since moving to Cornwall a couple of years ago and giving up our business. That means the bucket list is incredibly long but we’re planning a trip to the States for 2021 which will take in Tucson (where my great great uncle was killed by Apaches), a tour of Texas wineries, walking in the Colorado Rockies (I see Estes is on your bucket list too!) then on to Seattle and Puget Sound.
To pick one favourite place is hard – we’ve had some brilliant trips; an archaeological tour of Orkney was well up there, as was Iceland to see the Northern Lights. I guess overall it would be the Maldives. We’re keen snorkelers so we’ve been a number of times, but most recently we swam with Manta Rays and it was incredible.
Sounds like you have an amazing trip planned. Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
When I was in sixth form I entered the Miss Cardiff competition for a dare and had to parade around the Top Rank dance floor in a swimsuit and high heels. Not my proudest moment.
OMG! That might be the best secret we’ve had on this feature so far. Are there any photos? 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’?
Only one? That’s so hard. Watership Down stands the test of time and isn’t just for children, but I suspect you’ve read it. I’d guess the same goes for Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers, so how about Tracy Rees’ The Hourglass? It was the best book I read last year.
I have this on my TBR but it hasn’t made its way to the top yet. 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?
Honestly… not to drink too much in the first place! But soluble paracetamol before bed is a good thing if the headache’s already starting.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
We had a pretty perfect weekend in February when my bestie and some other close friends came to stay to kick of the celebrations for her 60th birthday. We walked for miles, played the fool on various beaches and had a fabulous lunch in Padstow. I’d just improve the weather and upgrade our choice of restaurant to Paul Ainsworth’s No 6, which is one of my favourites.
That sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for joining me, albeit belatedly, it has been a wonderful evening.
Jane’s new book, Another You, is out now and you can buy a copy here.
Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself…
Marie Johnson fell in love with The Smugglers pub when she first moved to Dorset with her husband, Stephen.
But when Stephen’s wandering eye caused the breakdown of their marriage, and the costs of running the pub started to mount, Marie felt her dreams crashing down around her.
With local celebrations planned for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Marie is hopeful things will turn around.
But she could never have predicted the ways her life will soon be changed forever.
A charming American soldier walks into Marie’s life, but it becomes clear nothing is really as it seems…
Why is Marie suddenly plagued by headaches? Is her American soldier everything he seems to be?
Or could the D-Day re-enactments be stirring up something from the past…?
Jane Cable started to take her scribbling seriously when the manuscript that would become her debut novel reached the final of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. After that she took time out to hone her craft and with two successful independently published novels under her belt is delighted to be joining Sapere Books.
The timing is perfect because last year Jane and her husband fulfilled their dream of moving to Cornwall and, despite the obvious distractions of surf, sand and the great outdoors, she has now become a full time author.
Jane writes contemporary romance with a twist of mystery and a glance back over the shoulder at the past. More than anything she is inspired by a place, delving back into its history to find stories which resonate with her modern characters – and her readers – alike.
An enthusiastic member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Jane also writes a weekly column about publishing and books for Frost online magazine. Connect with Jane via her website, Facebook and Twitter.
This Friday, bizarre and unlikely accidents permitting, I will be joined for Friday Night Drinks by debut author, Gail Aldwin, please do join us.