I am delighted to be today’s stop on Jane E. James’ The Crying Boy blog tour! 🙂
Q&A with Jane E. James…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book (s) please?
Hi (waves). I’m Jane E James and I have written two books. The Long Weekend was my first novel and my 2nd, The Crying Boy, a suspense thriller inspired by actual events, was published on 31st March. I like to write atmospheric, suspense-driven mysteries/psychological thrillers with supernatural elements. One reader described The Crying Boy as ‘disturbingly dark’ and I really like that description.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
The ideas come relatively easily, usually in my dreams or when I’m relaxing in a bath with a glass of wine. I carry a notebook around with me and jot ideas down, otherwise I forget. I always find a solitary walk in the woods or along a windswept coastline inspirational too, especially when problem solving. To date, I have ideas planned out for my next three books.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Sometimes they are. For instance, Clayton Shaw from The Crying Boy has a few of my husband’s tendencies (I won’t say which ones) and this helped me warm to the character and bring out his best bits. The more important thing for me is visualising what they look like before I start. Once this is done, I am good to go.
How do you pick your character’s names?
Usually I’ll mix and match first and last names I just happen to like but if I can’t find a natural fit, I’ll Google a list of names and trawl through until I find one that feels right. I will change a character’s name later on, if I have to, to make him/her feel more authentic in my mind.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I still work full time so I have to fit it in around my home life, hubby and dog. Usually, Saturday is my full-on writing day, but I also write when I can – in my lunch hour at work, in the evenings instead of watching TV or skipping pub lunches out on a Sunday.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Stephen King, Susan Hill, Daphne Du Maurier, Jane Austen and The Bronte’s (not in any order).
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Daphne Du Maurier. I’d like to have tea with her on the lawn in front of the actual house that was Manderley in Rebecca and ask her why somebody so talented was always sad and melancholy.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes, I always head my head in a book even when I was eating, which used to infuriate my family. Because I was mad on ponies, I read a lot of Jill Has Two Ponies, The Brumby Series, Black Beauty and The Black Stallion – that sort of thing but that changed when I picked up The Secret Garden and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. After that my reading took on a much darker tone.
When did you start to write?
I’ve been scribbling away most of my life but took it up seriously probably around fifteen years ago when I went back to night school in London and did a diploma in screenwriting. I tried for years to break into writing TV drama and the BBC were very encouraging about my writing but I never got optioned. I also went down the route of trying to get an agent but nobody was really interested. Looking back, I can understand why as I wasn’t anywhere near ready at that stage.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Dianne Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale. I loved the book and the TV adaptation but the ending always baffled me.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Oh gosh. So many, but would have to be Wuthering Heights – so dark, troubled and atmospheric.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Mr Darcy, except we wouldn’t be having coffee – we’d be drinking lots of champagne in Pemberley’s drawing room, looking out across the big lake. He would of course admire my ‘very fine eyes’ and fall desperately in love with me.
What are you working on right now?
I’m about to get stuck into my third novel, which is another mystery/psychological thriller with a female lead. This one is called The Butcher’s Daughter. It’s probably my scariest and creepiest to date!
Do you have a new release do?
Unfortunately not, I still work full time so I’m not able to get books out very quickly. I anticipate the next one should be ready 18 months from now.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Apart from stress and worry that I’ve let my publisher and readers down? Usually, I like to flip through the pages of my shiny new paperback, which has my name on it (I can never get over that bit) and have a couple of relaxing glasses of bubbly.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
I love connecting with readers and other authors and those wanting to, can catch up with me on social media. I’m on Twitter and Facebook. Alternately, they can pop over to my website www.janeejames.com and sign up to my newsletter for regular updates.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Jane 🙂
Publisher: Bloodhound Books (31st March 2017)
The Crying Boy: a chilling new thriller
Clayton and Avril Shaw have lost their little boy and are still grieving when they move into Swallow’s Nest on the Yorkshire moors.
In their new house Avril discovers a painting and is intrigued by the history surrounding it. When she learns that the boy in the painting was deaf, like her dead son, she starts to try and communicate with his ghost.
Meanwhile, Clayton finds himself entangled in an equally undesirable friendship with a retired fire chief who knows more about the painting than he is prepared to let on.
Is The Crying Boy painting cursed and can numerous house fires be linked to it?
Struggling with their unstable marriage, the couple find themselves in further danger as an increasingly disturbing bond develops between Avril and The Crying Boy.
In a twist of events Avril’s irrational behaviour is brought to a dramatic halt when she discovers she is pregnant. With her affections once again restored for Clayton, she decides to dispose of the sinister portrait. But the cast off painting wants revenge and its anger towards Avril’s unborn child might just prove immeasurable.
Can Avril and Clayton live happily ever after or does The Crying Boy have other plans?