It gives me great pleasure to introduce author Jane Risdon!
First, tell us, in your own words, a little about you.
Hi Patty, firstly thanks so much for having me here. It is indeed a delight.
Until I was able to take up writing full time I was in the international music business. With my musician husband, I was involved in the management of recording artists, singer, songwriters, musicians and record producers and also responsible for placing some of their material on soundtracks of movies and television programmes around the world.
After a lifetime in the music business we decided to ‘retire’ so we could both pursue our own lives for a change, instead of concentrating upon the lives and careers of others. I was able to write – something I’ve always dreamed of doing.
I am first and foremost a crime/thriller writer, however I do dabble in other genres when the story dictates. One such genre was Women’s Fiction and the novel Only One Woman, which I co-wrote with life-long friend, Christina Jones, using our experiences in the late 1960s music scene in the UK to create a story around three main characters; Renza, Stella and Scott. The novel was published in Paperback and ebook by Accent Press in May 2018.
My husband and I have been together for 50 years (this year) and we have one son and three grandchildren.
Where do you live?
We are nomads and live in England at the moment, but possibly that will change again soon.
Who, are the special people in your life?
My husband, son and his children.
Do you have any pets?
No. Our lives are too nomadic for any pets.
What are your likes, and dislikes?
I like lots of things. I love reading, music, photography, writing, The News (addict), politics, astronomy and science of all kinds, history, general knowledge quizzes, walking, the countryside, old buildings, churches and villages.
I love quirky characters in everyday life, people who are creative and talented. I love ‘doers,’ and not moaners.
I dislike those who have no concern or consideration for others. I do not like crowds. I dislike the cities and prefer not to spend time in them longer than necessary. I hate intolerance and injustice and I suppose I have the English sense of fair-play inbred in me.
What are your hobbies?
I don’t have time for hobbies as such, however, I love to walk and take photos and I am also researching family history so I guess you might call these hobbies.
What keeps you going?
Fear of giving up. I never give up. My husband and family keeps me going.
What is your favorite song?
Having worked with music and songs for 50 years I can honestly say I don’t have one favourite and I can never think of any single song when asked this.
What is your favorite movie?
I have a few: Some like it Hot: Calamity Jane – anything with Doris Day: The Odd Couple, and more…
What is your favorite book?
Again I have read many since the age of 4 and don’t really have favourites. I loved Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier when young so guess that is one of my first ever favourites.
Who is your favorite author?
Another difficult one. I love Agatha Christie, Daphne Du Maurier, Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, Michael Connolly, Peter James, John Le Carre, and so many others.
What is your favorite food?
I am not a foody, but I do enjoy a good salad without lettuce.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite affirmation?
I don’t have one.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Smokers. I cannot stand being forced to breath in their toxic air. Be it ‘normal’ cigarettes or the more exotic illegal sort.
What do you think your best strengths are?
I get knocked down and pick myself up again and again and again.
How do they help you in your work?
I got used to rejection in the music business, it is dog eat dog and once down the dogs make sure you cannot rise up gain. I am stubborn, I plough on and on. If you believe in something nothing can stop you. I have not suffered rejection with my writing, but it will come I am sure.
What are your weaknesses, and, how are you working on making them stronger?
I am a soft touch. I am far too empathetic. I worked in a tough, brutal industry, male driven usually and I don’t have much experience of the world of women. I tend to think like a man and I need to soften my thinking if that makes sense.
What is your dream for the future?
To see my great grandchildren come into this world. It is a long way off as my grandchildren are all pre-teens.
How, does that relate to your work, as a writer?
I suppose I’d like to leave a legacy for them so they can have something tangible of me – my writing. The music my husband created as a musician is his legacy. We have the legacy of the material our artists created under our supervision. This would be for me in my own right – to leave my writing for them when I have gone.
Why do you write?
I enjoy it – sometimes. I’ve always wanted to do it. I love words.
What inspires you?
So many things. It can be an overheard conversation, a news headline, an experience from my time in Hollywood and the entertainment business – the movers and shakers of this industry are amazingly inspirational (the unbelievable things they’ve done) are just fantastic for plotlines. I love anything to do with espionage and organised crime, and get a lot of inspiration from keeping an eye on what is going on in the world of spies and criminals.
What is your preferred way of communicating?
I love a good natter. Nothing beats a face to face chat but these days I rarely see anyone in person, so Facebook and Instagram are a blessing (sometimes a curse too). No one phones anyone I’ve noticed.
Is there anything about you or your work that you’d like to share, that I’ve not covered here?
As a crime/thriller writer first and foremost I’ve undertaken 7 Forensic Science and Criminal Justice courses to help me with my writing. I don’t write police procedurals but it is good to know the right way things are done. TV series can be so misleading when it comes to forensics.
I am publishing my first collection of crime short stories before Christmas, called Undercover: Crime Shorts via Plaisted Publishing. I’ve had some fab reviews for the collection already – prior to publication. I hope to publish it soon.
I’ve contributed to 15 anthologies with my short stories since 2012 – some have been ghost stories, others crime. Some have been in aid of charity, so this collection is special as it contains all my own work.
I’ve written a lot of Flash Fiction – published on-line, and also articles for on-line magazines and newsletters – Indie Publishers Newsletter and The Writers Newsletter – and have a series, In The Mix, which is published monthly in The Writers Newsletter.
I was published in 2014 with Accent Press – two anthologies featured my work: Shiver and Wishing on a Star.
My co-authored novel (Women’s Fiction) called Only One Woman is published by Accent Press May 2018, and I wrote it with Award winning, best-selling bucolic frolics author, Christina Jones, who is a lifelong friend who was fan-club secretary to my husband’s band back when and we always wanted to write together. She wrote romance and I wanted to write crime.
We didn’t see how that would work until I found some old diaries, photos, and fan-mail belonging to my husband and his band. I started to write about the gigs, the fans, and the tours and what it was like to live in England in the late 1960s with the music, fashions, the huge world events taking place and the social changes happening.
I soon realised I had started to write a novel and that it could be a romance. I decided to write it from the POV of a young girl – Renza – anxious to leave home, who falls in love with a guitarist who comes to live near her. I sent it to Christina and she loved it and wanted to co-author it with me and she then fitted her story of Stella, into the book.
The title comes from The Marbles hit of 1968 – Only One Woman – and I managed to get the lead singer – now iconic rock vocalist – Graham Bonnet – to write the foreword. The song, Only One Woman, was written for The Marbles by The Bee Gees and his foreword is a fascinating insight into how this came about. Graham went on to sing with Rainbow, Alcatraz, Blackmore, and many other legendary rock bands. He now has his own band – The Graham bonnet Band.
I have several short stories and novels on the go at the moment including my series of novels: Ms Birdsong Investigates, about a 40 something former MI5 Officer who is sacked when a joint operation with MI6 goes wrong. She moves to a rural location where she tries to figure but how to get back in to the Security Services. A woman goes missing and she sees her chance. However, she is soon up to her neck in Russian Mafia people traffickers, Ukrainian gun and drug smugglers and murder. The first book has been in with my publisher for ages whilst Only One Woman was being published so I am re-writing parts of all three books as time has passed and some of the events it includes are old news now.
I’m busy as you can see and I hope that your readers will take time to discover my work and enjoy it. I’d love to hear from them.
Patty, thanks so much for having me as your guest. It has been a blast. Jane xx
Bio with links:
Biography for Jane Risdon
Jane Risdon writes mostly Crime Thrillers, often set in the music business or with an organised crime or espionage element. With a former career in the international music business managing songwriters, singers, musicians, and record producers, she often draws upon her experiences in Hollywood and SE Asia for her plots.
She is also the author of short stories which have been included in 15 anthologies to date, as well as in magazines and online newsletters. She also contributes articles and writes flash fiction.
In November 2018 Jane publishes her first collection of short stories – Undercover: Crime Shorts – via Plaisted Publishing House.
She also has a short story – The Gift – in Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 published 31st October 2018 via Plaisted Publishing House.
Jane is married to a musician and, with author Christina Jones, has co-authored Only One Woman, set in the UK Music Scene of the late 1960s and using her experiences married to a musician in the sixties, as background research. This is Jane’s first outing into writing Women’s Fiction and the paperback and was published 24th May 2018. It is also available on most good digital platforms as an e-book and in Waterstones branches.
Jane’s Amazon Author Page with all her books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8
Author Blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2/
Only One Woman: UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP
Waterstones Paperback: ISBN: 9781783757329
YouTube Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018: https://youtu.be/4W2t9sLhW0A