Writing, Work and Wine with… Jane Wenham-Jones

Those who are sharp-eyed and read my last author post with Peter Jones may have noticed that I failed to publish a post last Wednesday. Oops, sorry about that… other stuff prevented me from getting to my blog, but in my defense I did appear on the Romaniacs blog again (with some lovely authors); here’s the link if you’re interested http://theromaniacgroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/tuesday-chit-chats-the-romaniac-cut/

So, to get back on track… Jane. I have both her books on writing, ‘Wannabe a Writer? and ‘Wannabe be a Writer We’ve Heard Of?’ and would recommend them as they’re accessible, funny and packed full of great advice for aspiring authors. I also heard Jane speak at last year’s RNA Conference and it was a sunny interval in a day darkened by a horrid hangover!DSC_3189-Edit-2-Edit

Jane’s novel ‘Prime Time’ has just been shortlisted for the Romantic Comedy category of the RoNA’s (Romantic Novelists Association awards). For more info about these awards – fantastic recognition for romantic writing – see this link http://www.thebookseller.com/news/rona-romantic-novel-year-shortlists.html

So, here’s the intro…

Jane is the author of four novels, two non-fiction writing guides, and a contributor to numerous short story anthologies and non-fiction titles. Her short stories have also appeared in Bella, Best, Chat, My Weekly and many more.

A prolific speaker, she also broadcasts on radio, works the after-dinner circuit, talks to writers groups and conferences, and has worked as a celebrity speaker on P&O’s cruise ship, Arcadia. She has hosted the RoNas for the last two years and presents events at the Guildford Book Festival each year. As an interviewer/chair, she has presented panels and been “in conversation with” dozens of authors and personalities including Julian Clary, Richard Madeley,  Judy Finnigan, Jenny Eclair and many others.

As a freelance journalist, she writes a column for her local paper, monthly advice piece for Writing Magazine and Just Jane for Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special. She has also written for The Guardian, The Bookseller, Booktime and other newspapers and magazines, and her TV Credits include Ready, Steady, Cook; Loose Lips; Kilroy; Just for Starters and others.

Q. Welcome Jane, I’m afraid I can only offer you virtual wine – but it’ll have to do! So, please tell us about your writing. What genres do you write? Do you have an agent, and what are your most memorable writing successes and rejections? 

A. I have published four novels, two non-fiction books and a mini-non-fiction book – 100 ways to Fight the Flab – The Wannabe Guide to a Better Bottom that has just been released on kindle.

I have an agent now but sold my first two novels to Transworld – back in 2000 – without one. That was probably the most brilliant day of my writing life. But every little success is a thrill.

My most memorable rejection was for my first novel (later sold to Transworld – see above), which one agent described as “unfunny and dull”. (I made a small plasticine model of her and stuck pins in it) 🙂

Prime Time small

Q. Love it, very creative! Can you describe your writing journey to date in less than 50 words? 

A. A series of ups and downs and stiff drinks.

Q. Much the same as the rest of us then… (though I’m not sure I’d call wine – my favourite guilty pleasure – a stiff drink)… And what about your top three tips for writers? 

  1. 1) Hang in there
  2. 2) Remember: today could be the day.
  3. 3) Marry someone rich.

Q. Great – I’m definitely there with the first and second but have failed abysmally with the third! I’m happily married and very much in love (pass the sick-bucket) so unless he hatches a get-rich-quick scheme I’m stuffed… *wanders off to talk to hubby about that idea he had the other day and check he has bought a lottery ticket…* Sorry about that, where were we? Oh yes, right, please tell us about your work.  Do you write full-time or have a day job that’s not writing related? What’s a typical day for you?

A. In theory I write full-time and that is my job. Tho I also do a bit of speaking and interviewing and presenting and teaching.

A typical day is getting up early, failing to get dressed till 11a.m, fiddling about on the internet until 2pm and then having to panic because I’d promised a column before 5pm… 

Q. Lol, oh dear. Then again, procrastination seems to be the watchword for writers. Lastly, can you please tell us what your favourite wine is? 

A. Macon Blanc Villages – or any good white burgundy. (Must be unoaked). I also like Italian whites – Frascati etc. Or reds – a good Rioja takes some beating. But pretty much any Italian red is fine too or if going French, a Fleurie.

Q. Wow you sound like a pro… 

A. My third novel One Glass is Never Enough  is all about WINE – based on my two years co-owning a wine bar. Every chapter is named after a different wine, with the description of the wine reflecting the action in that chapter….

Ogine second cover

I may well have to check that out… Thanks Jane for popping in for a chat, it was lovely to have you here. 

If you want to find out more about Jane you can go to her fab website at janewenhamjones.wordpress.com follow her on Twitter @janewenhamjones or find her on Facebook via https://www.facebook.com/janewenhamjones. More about how and where to buy her books are available via her website, and 100 Ways to Fight the Flab – The Wannabe Guide to a Better Bottom is on Kindle and via Amazon website now at http://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Ways-Fight-Flab-ebook/dp/B00AVWLYG6/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359198607&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Hope you enjoyed this post, more guest authors coming soon.

For now, happy writing, Nikki x

P.s I must also add (sorry, Jane) with regards to the RoNA’s my congratulations to my Aunt, Sue Moorcroft for being shortlisted in the Contemporary Romance category (eek!) Christina Courtenay for her short-listing in the Historical Romance category, Katie Fforde (Contemporary Romance) and all the other very worthy authors shortlisted, so of whom I’ve had the luck to meet.


4 thoughts on “Writing, Work and Wine with… Jane Wenham-Jones

  1. janewj says:

    Thanks for doing this, Nikki and I am full of congrats for lovely Sue and the others too! All great writers and good friends. Reading back my witterings about wine I should just make it clear that I do know Rioja is SPANISH – the way I’ve expressed it sounds as tho I think it’s Italian. Had probably had too much when doing the interview…. 🙂
    Thanks again jxx

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