Saturday 17 January 2015

I recently read Jane Lovering's latest book: How I Wonder What You Are. It was another fabulous book and Jane kindly agreed to an interview. First of all - here is my review - Yet another Five* review!


“Maybe he wasn’t here because of the lights – maybe they were here because of him …” 
It’s been over eighteen months since Molly Gilchrist has had a man (as her best friend, Caro, is so fond of reminding her) so when she as good as stumbles upon one, lying comatose, on the moors one bitterly cold morning, it seems like the Universe is having a laugh at her expense.
But Phinn Baxter (that’s Doctor Phinneas Baxter) is no drunken layabout, as Molly is soon to discover; with a PhD in astrophysics and a tortured past that is a match for Molly’s own disastrous love life.
Finding mysterious men on the moors isn’t the weirdest thing Molly has to contend with, however. There’s also those strange lights she keeps seeing in the sky. The ones she’s only started seeing since meeting Phinn … 

I've read all Jane's books and this one was equal to, if not better than them all. I love the touch of magic/supernatural in them and the humour. The humour is fantastic. I laugh out loud and in a couple of places ended up crying with laughter. 
Molly and Phinn are fabulous characters and their conversations are a scream. How they meet is just off the wall! They are also very damaged people and this side of their relationship is dealt with very sensitively. I confess I had to read the speech from Link twice to see what Phinn heard but then it all made sense. And Molly's hatred of her mother wasn't explained until halfway through the book, which kept me on my toes! 
I also liked the fact that the lights remain a mystery.
I recommend this book wholeheartedly :)

And here is the interview with the wonderfully funny Jane Lovering:

Her caveat at the beginning: I rarely seem to give a straight answer to anything apart from ‘would you like another biscuit…)

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how the writing started?

 I'm not altogether sure how I started writing..I mean, I know how, obviously, I had a pen in my hand and I started making wordy-type scratches with it, but the whole ‘writing process’ thing continues to be a bit of a mystery.  I think it all started <pulls up a chair, lights a pipe and puffs slowly> when I fell so deeply in love with some literary characters that I used to try to continue their stories after the book ended. <Puffs thoughtfully> I’d read my way through the Exeter children’s library by the time I was about eight, so there were a lot of characters to work with. 

Apart from the writing, I work in a local school, where I disguise the mayhem I cause by wearing a white coat and carrying things up and down.  I live in a crumbly old house, but that’s fine because I'm pretty crumbly and old myself, with a floating collection of nearly-adult children who hove into sight at the smell of a roast dinner, a resident poltergeist,  three dogs and five cats. Which may explain the poltergeist, now I come to think of it.

2. The story in How I Wonder What You Are is unusual - where did the idea for the lights come from?

 I have no idea where my ideas come from. Really. The whole ‘lights in the sky’ thing came as part of the package when Molly and Phinn arrived in my brain – I think there’s a giant ray out there somewhere, beaming these things into my head, it’s only the need to earn a living that stops me from donning a tin-foil hat.

4. This is the 4th of a series of stand alone books set in Yorkshire - why there?

 My books are all set in Yorkshire because that’s where I live, which makes research a hell of a lot easier.  Also, the North is a neglected literary part of the world – apart from your Brontes and everyone who likes to write about men in kilts, there’s not a lot of fiction set up here.  Plus we’ve got York and the moors and the coast, and Whitby and everything… I’m beginning to sound as though the Tourist Board are sponsoring me now.  But it’s an interesting place, it’s underused, and I can do my location research from my bed, so that’s pretty much why.  Oh, and if the Tourist Board do want to sponsor me, I would be very grateful. They can pay me in Hobnobs, if it makes it easier…

3. A lot of books are described as romcom's but yours truly are very funny. Have you always had a strong sense of the ridiculous? And has it ever got you into trouble ;) ?

I never really think of my books as romcoms.  To me, they are just life.  Maybe I just have a very strange life…I know that some people can’t understand, given the level of chaos I normally exist in, how I even get up and dressed in the morning, but I do. Mostly. All right, sometimes I’ve still got my slippers on at lunchtime, and I once forgot to put my pants on, and I’ve often had it pointed out to me at work that my top is back to front, but I’m up and dressed.

4. I love the way your heroes and heroines are all damaged - this makes them very human. How do you decide what the problems are and are they based on personal experiences?

I don’t consciously ‘pick’ my heroes and heroines, and the problems that they have are part of the whole package that arrives in my brain (see also, Beaming, Tin-Foil Hat, Giant Death-Ray).  I’m pretty nearly convinced that these people actually exist in another universe, and their life-stories sort of ‘break through’ to me when I’m doing other things, like trying to remember to put my pants on, and where I left the HobNobs. One day the people themselves are going to break through too, probably waving lawsuits and injunctions.

5. You have written two very genres - the Yorkshire Romances and The Otherworlders series, which do you prefer writing and why?

I don’t have a favourite between the contemps or the paranormals.  To me, the paranormals are just stories about people too, it’s just that some of the people are more..err…fangy than in the contemporary novels.  People are just people, after all, whatever has happened to them, and I always want to make my characters as ‘real’ as I can, so even my paranormals are really just people trying to get along amid the Kit-Kats and paperclips of everyday life.  Just with zombies, that’s all.

6. What are you working on at the moment? (Selfish reason for asking this - I'm praying there will be more Vampires!)
At the moment I am procrastinating hugely, but if anyone asks I’m working on a contemp set in a National Trust-type house, featuring birds of prey and a tea shop.  You may, or may not I make no judgements here, be pleased to know that the book I shall be starting after ‘Crush’ (for this is the title of the book known as ‘the one with the tea shop’ at the moment), will be the third, and final, book in the Vampires of York series.  Expect road trips, hiding, the death of a character, and a lot more biscuits.

I, for one, am delighted that there is another Vampire book on the way!!


  1. Thank you so much for having me over here, Annie! And thank you for the interesting questions, I'm just sorry that I mentioned HobNobs quite so many times...

  2. Have you considered a sponsorship deal with a biscuit company? Anyway, glad to hear more vamps are on their way. ☺