Today, in celebration of our anthology’s launch, I’m interviewing my friend, co-author and fellow Romaniac Jan Brigden. As one eighth of the Romaniacs, Jan’s quirky sense of humour and endless kindness are always much appreciated within the group and by all her other friends too. I don’t see her nearly often enough, but here are some of her thoughts. Thanks for answering my nosy questions, Jan!
s1) When did you discover your talent for typo-busting and so on?
At work, I suppose, although I’ve always had a good eye for detail. Typos seem to shriek at me from the page. A previous boss used to call me his ‘chief checker’ and would get me to run an eye over any mammoth reports he sent out. More recently, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed proofreading some of my writing friends’ novels, and intend to obtain a professional qualification.
2) What are you most proud of writing?
My first novel. It has taken me ages. Too much stop-starting and tweaking and thinking, “I’ll never get there” and then bursting with pride and excitement that I persevered, received a glowing report from the RNA New Writers’ Scheme reader, and am now on the verge of submitting it in the hope that someone loves it enough to publish.
3) Who is your writing hero/heroine?
Ooh, I have several from different eras, for various reasons. To pick one of each, I’d say Bill Bryson for making me laugh out loud whenever I read and re-read his travelogues, among other works, and Lisa Jewell whose stories, characterisation and writing voice I absolutely love. It was Lisa’s invaluable encouragement that inspired me to pen my own novel.
4) What/where would be your ideal writing space?
Probably sitting in a comfy chair at a big desk in a nice warm peaceful hotel room with beautiful views of the countryside. Or the sea. Either would be heavenly!
5) What/who makes you laugh?
My husband on a daily basis with his quick, dry sense of humour. My best friend when we reminisce about hilarious times past. Corny jokes. Re-runs of old sitcoms such as Only Fool and Horses, Frazier, etc. And, of course, my fellow Romaniacs.
6) How has being a Romaniac affected you?
It’s given me more confidence both as a person and as a writer and has blessed me with seven super-supportive, fabulously talented buddies whom I cannot imagine being without.
7) Are you a lark or night owl when it comes to writing?
A bit of both. It’s quite noisy where we live so I tend to be guided by that.
8) What are you reading at the moment?
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Finally!) and loving it.
9) Do you always finish a book even if you’re bored?
I used to feel guilty if I didn’t stick with a book as I truly appreciate the hard work that goes into producing it, but I get so little time to read for pleasure now, that I do occasionally *ahem* skip the odd paragraph or two. Thankfully, it’s a rarity.
10) Complete this sentence – A Romaniac is …
A giver and receiver of unyielding friendship, support, endless laughs and writerly reassurance, whose cake tin overfloweth.
Thanks, lovely Jan – have another piece of chocolate brownie before you go? No/ Well, I’ll just pack you
some up for the train then. Much love xx