Today I am featuring Jane Caro on my blog. A big thanks to UQP for giving me the opportunity and to Jane for answering my questions.
Just a girl to those around her, Elizabeth is now the Queen of England. She has outsmarted her enemies and risen above a lifetime of hurt and betrayal – a mother executed by her father, a beloved brother who died too young and an enemy sister whose death made her queen.
Not knowing whom she can trust, Elizabeth is surrounded by men who give her compliments and advice but may be hiding daggers and poison behind their backs. Elizabeth must favour head over heart to be the queen her people need. But what if that means doing the one thing she swore she would never do: betray a fellow queen, her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots?
1. How did you come up with the ideas for Just a Queen?
I had the central idea when I began writing the first book of the (hopefully) trilogy – ‘Just a Girl”. I knew I had to write a genre novel to get published and I thought I could do an historical novel. I loved Elizabeth 1, and knew I’d enjoy researching her. I wanted to write in her voice so I could really get inside her character and what it felt like to be her.
Then – I just started writing with a couple of good biographies by my side to give me the chain of events and it (to my surprise) just flowed.
2. Describe your writing process? Are you a planner or do you write by the seam of your pants?
Seam of my pants and snatched hours whenever I have the time.I have always had to fit my writing around work and parenting, so I have grown used to it. I mostly write on weekends at our farm in the country away from interruptions.
3. What makes you happy?
Writing, finishing writing, getting published, inter-acting with readers. Debating ideas. Spending time with my family and friends. Good wine, good food, good company. Trashy TV, reading, theatre, movies. Driving to my farm singing along to my ipod at the top of my lungs.
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just do it, don’t agonise, don’t try to be great, just get it on the page.
5. What are your writing goals?
Finish editing my next book, a memoir for Pan Mac ‘Plain Speaking Jane’ by the deadline – its due out in October. Begin writing the third installment in my Elizabeth 1 trilogy ‘Just Flesh and Blood’ and then do the same approach with Mary Wollstonecraft (maybe called ‘The Right Woman’)
6. When aren’t writing, what do you get up to?
Speaking, travelling, tweeting, reading, watching trashy TV, writing articles and still, occasionally, ads.
7. What are your favourite books?
Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden, The Poisonwood Bible, The Signature of All Things, True History of the Kelly Gang, Burial Rites, The Life of Charlotte Bronte, Cranford, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Persuasion, Emma
8. What is the most important this you’ve learnt in your writing journey?
You can do it! You can conceive a big, hairy, audacious goal and you can pull it off. It takes perseverance and determination and work, but it can be done.
Suspend judgment of yourself, just do the task as best you can and don’t worry about how good or otherwise it may be.
If it interests you, it probably interests others. If it amuses you, it probably amuses others. If you are passionate about something, chances are there will be others who are passionate about it too.