Today’s guest is Jane Lovering, who hails from the UK (told you we are a diverse bunch). I struggled with what to write about Jane. After all, it’s difficult to come up with something to say about someone you’ve never met. So I went to her website and read her bio. And fell in love. Or maybe I should say I fell in laugh. I hope she doesn’t mind that I snagged a section but after reading the following I felt an absolute kinship with her:
Finally, the savages were tamed, with a mixture of unlimited chocolate biscuits and regular whippings, and I felt once more able to return to the world of Being a Writer. Closeted in my little room, with its view of the pockmarked half-acre of garden and wearing only unsuitable hair, I wrote.
The children brought one another up.
Vienna remained a savage, sadly, and we have no choice now but to poke food under her bedroom door twice a day…
So without further ado, meet Jane Lovering:
Being a writer, basically, is dancing on the table with your trousers off, in your second-best knickers. Not the writing part, obviously. That’s shutting yourself in a dark room, muttering and laughing to yourself and talking to people no-one else can see. But then the work has to be sold and that’s where the table-dancing comes in.
Depending on the kind of person you are, one or other aspect of the job becomes favourite. You are either a compulsive show-off, for whom the words ‘Book Signing’ occasion tremours of excitement and a desire to have enormous photographs taken of yourself, or you are the social recluse who keeps public appearances to a minimum; ie, turning up at your own kids’ birthday parties.
I, as you can probably tell, fit into the first category. Although I’m not averse to a few hours alone, self-publicity is something that comes as second nature. Well, first nature, actually, it’s a good job I’m a writer and therefore have something to publicise, otherwise I’d be a social pain in the backside.
‘Mentioning the book’ has become an occupation in itself. I am now unable to perform even the simplest social interaction without dropping into the conversation that I am a writer, that I have two novels published by Samhain, and that they are called Reversing Over Liberace and Slightly Foxed. At the merest glimmer of interest (and that includes my subject not actually running away) I will mention that these are both romantic comedies. Any further encouragement (ie, they still aren’t actually running, although they may be sidling a little) and I will tell them both these books are now available in paperback.
They’ve usually got away by now, but I am shameless in pursuit. I can project a tagline (‘Life, love and unlikely legacies’ – Reversing over Liberace, ‘They say you’ll know when you’re in love – what if you don’t?’ – Slightly Foxed… see what I mean?) over several hundred yards, and woe betide anyone who actually Asks Me What The Book Is About. Because I will tell them. Even if it means missing the bus.
One day, maybe, I will wake up and find that I have turned into the reclusive type of writer, forced into publicity with a rigid grin and a terrified expression; a sweaty tight grip on my signing pen and a dread that someone might ask me where I get my ideas from. But for now, I will dance on that table in my M&S briefs whilst shouting loud and proud “BUY MY BOOKS!”
Leah here jumping in with a bit of translation. M&S = Marks and Spencers (do you have them down in the States?) They’re sort of like a Sears. Anyway, Jane’s giving away a copy of Slightly Foxed (which sounds like it would be a perfect beach read):
They say you’ll know when you’re in love. What if you don’t?
Alys, a single parent and certified romantic disaster area, is always falling for unattainable men—the latest one being the dead author of a “borrowed” book of poetry. When she reluctantly returns the book to its rightful owner, she meets Leo. He’s very much alive, very much attracted to her and, well, it’s love at first sight.
After all, she’s a single mum with a boring job in a bookshop and, as her daughter puts it, gravity’s not going to hold off forever. Leo’s got the financial stability she’s been craving and he looks like an aftershave advert. So it must be love.
Then there’s Piers, whose spontaneity draws her like a magnet. But is it love she feels, or just his infectious love of life? Before she can choose, an unexpected source threatens to lay bare the lie she has been living for the last sixteen years.
With happiness close to slipping out of her grasp, Alys is forced to ask herself whether she’s ever really been in love at all.