Welcome to fellow writer, Jane Risdon
Jane, please tell readers a little about yourself… I’m a crime writer who dabbles in other genres. My background is in the international music business. Many of my stories are music based. ONLY ONE WOMAN (Christina Jones Jane Risdon) is set in the late 1960s UK music scene.
What first inspired you to write? I was a lonely child although I was the eldest of six children and reading was my salvation, and writing stories or making them up in my head helped keep me sane. I loved adventure stories and often thought I might write one of my own one day. I was drawn to crime thrillers and spy novels early on and this is still my favourite genre.
My inspiration comes for many sources: my love of crime/espionage which I follow in the news – addicted. Also my background in Hollywood and similar international entertainment centres is a great source of material. I use my knowledge and experiences as a base for many stories and I worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the height of The Cold War so there is plenty of material to fall back on if stuck. I am a people watcher too – great fodder for a writer.
Being involved in artist, songwriter, and record producer management as well as music production – placing soundtrack music into TV/Movies – and constantly travelling with bands and artists, recording, and doing live shows, wasn’t very conducive to writing, so I kept putting it off whilst I concentrated on the acts I managed.
My husband is a musician and after we decided to call it a day with touring etc., I decided to catalogue our memorabilia. I found myself writing notes about events, people and places and soon this turned into a story which was going to be a crime story – one of dozens I have written and had published in various anthologies, online newsletters and magazines. I soon discovered it lent itself to a story about the late 1960s music scene and to tell it I needed to have a romance featuring two girls in love with the same guitarist. This turned into ONLY ONE WOMAN and is published by Accent Press. Best-selling and award-winning author, Christina Jones, joined in with another character once the plot and main characters had been established.
What was your first piece of creative writing? How old were you? As I recall – and it is a long time ago – I wrote a story for an English Literature project at school and it was about fireworks – don’t recall the content – anyway, I won a school prize for English Literature and Language which was a gift voucher for £100 to be spent on books. I recall I got into trouble because one of the books I purchased was RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE, which was classed as a bit racy. I think I was 11.
Which writers do you particularly admire? I adore Agatha Christie and Daphne Du Maurier – such wonderful story tellers. Kathy Reichs is a favourite and inspired me to take 7 Forensic Science and Criminal Justice courses with various universities, online, so that when writing about crime I could better understand processes such as decomposition of a body and the identification of a skeleton etc., and how criminals are detected, caught and punished. I especially enjoyed learning about miscarriages of justice.
I enjoy Michael Connolly, Peter James, David Baldacci, Karin Slaughter and many more too numerous to mention. If I could write half as well as them, I’d be in heaven.
What do you love about writing? Getting stuff off my chest. It is a great form of therapy, especially if I get to kill off a character! I enjoy reading my work back and then putting it out there for others to read, though I must admit I nearly die a thousand deaths when I publish anything.
What do you hate about writing? Typing. The physicality of getting a story written. I just wish I could think it and it would write itself on to a screen.
Describe your portfolio of writing. My portfolio is very varied: I mentioned ONLY ONE WOMAN (Women’s Fiction novel) with co-writer Christina Jones, published by Accent Press in paperback and eBook, and it is in Waterstones too. We won an award for best collaboration.
I am published by Accent Press and have also been included in two of their best-selling anthologies: SHIVER and WISHING ON A STAR. I’ve just published a crime collection: UNDERCOVER: CRIME SHORTS, published by Plaisted Publishing House in eBook and will be in paperback soon.
I’ve written dozens of short stories – Crime/Thrillers mostly – for various print/ebook edition anthologies, including Ghost stories for anthologies. Several of these have become best-sellers on amazon etc., and have won awards. I have also written mysteries. My short stories have been recorded by actors and broadcast.
Also, I have written a couple of time shift crime stories featuring pirates and modern day drug smugglers.
In addition to all the above, I have written for numerous online magazines and newsletters and often include a short story with some of the posts. You can find my work via my Amazon Author Page.
What is your proudest achievement?As an artist manager it would have to be Billboard Top 20 chart entries in the USA and Rock Radio number One hits in the USA. Number One chart hits in SE Asia, Taiwan, and Singapore and other countries.
As an author, I guess getting such a fabulous reactions to ONLY ONE WOMAN – to date fifty three 5* reviews in the UK – and also receiving praise from former detectives and authors for my crime writing. Priceless.
The foreword was written by iconic singer Graham Bonnet – he had a hit with the Bee Gees penned song Only One Woman – and went on to sing with Rainbow, Alcatraz, Michael Schenker and Richie Blackmore and others – and I am not trying to decide who to invite to write a foreword for the sequel…it will have a song title too.
What is your current project? I completed a series before ONLY ONE WOMAN was published, called MS BIRDSONG INVESTIGATES, but due to publishing deadlines it was held back. I am now re-writing the series as I feel I am so much better at writing and some of it needs updating as it is set in the world of MI5 and MI6 and their roles have changed since I began the series.
It features a former MI5 officer – Lavinia Birdsong – who is ‘retired’ under a cloud when she’s still in her late 30s, and who is trying to find a way back into the Security Services when she comes across a murder which leads to Russian Mafia people traffickers, Ukrainian drug and gun smugglers and more.
Fans of my first book are calling out for a sequel and I am writing that at the moment. The book takes the band, Narnia’s Children, Scott, Renza, and Stella into the early 1970s. I am working on this now and have several short stories and other novels on the go too. I cannot help it!
Anything you’d like to add? I’d ask that anyone interested in my work looks at my Amazon Author Page, my Accent Author Page and my Author Blog on WordPress for more in-depth information. I am multi-genre I guess, with a penchant for Crime.
Thank you for joining today, Jane – and good luck to Lavinia Birdsong and your WIP!
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8
Accent Press Author Page: https://accentpressbooks.com/collections/jane-risdon
WordPress Author Blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com
GoodReads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon
(ONLY ONE WOMAN Facebook Page)