Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Friday, 5 July 2013

Jane Richardson

A Warm Welcome to Jane Richardson
Scots-born Jane Richardson has – amongst many other things – worked as a management trainer, a holistic therapist, and a deputy stage manager in the wonderful world of opera. Now married to a fabulous man she met while working in the theatre, she’s a full-time mum to their two gorgeous kids and lives with her family in the historic seaport of Hastings on the beautiful south coast of England. She loves walking on the seashore, cooking up feasts for friends and family, good movies and great books, and planning family holidays to her favourite country, Italy. She writes stories about men and women, love and relationships and hopes quite simply that people will like them.
Here's the blurb for Jane's latest release: A Different Kind of Honesty
Always the one who ends relationships before they’ve barely begun, it’s way out of character for Maggie Lawless to take a risk with a man she hardly knows…the man she meets in a seedy New York City diner has a truth about him, a sincerity like no one she’s ever met before. Tony Valentino is an FBI agent fresh from a long-term undercover operation that’s left his life in tatters. His marriage over, separated from his children and with nowhere to call home, he’s frustrated and angry. All that keeps him going is the sweet memory of a brief encounter with a beautiful woman, though it wakes him from crazy dreams that leave his mouth dry and his sheets soaked with sweat. When he meets her again, it’s obvious the fire that burned so briefly between them never really went out...but as their affair rekindles, both Tony and Maggie find the very people they thought they could trust are the first to turn against them.
Before treating us to an excerpt, Jane Reveals:
From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write 'A Different Kind of Honesty'?
Inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere.  It can be a conversation overheard on a train, a snippet in the newspaper, or reading or watching another story and wondering what might have happened if the characters had decided to take another journey instead of the one they did.  The inspiration for the book I’m working on right now came from one moment in type – I was standing in a field one evening beside a rural cottage my family rented for a while, watching a WWII Spitfire flying overhead as part of an air show taking place in the town nearby.  I was holding my daughter on my hip, she was just a toddler then, and I found myself wondering about the other women in the past who might have stood in the same spot, watching a war plane fly by, and wondering if their husband was safe, and if he’d ever come home.  A tiny moment in time can start of whole string of stories.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
It must be a bit of both – I have the idea in the first place, but once your characters are fully-formed and you know them as well as can ever be, then they can drive along the story in the sense that you just KNOW how they’d react, what their next move would be.  You have to be careful, though, and not let the characters run away with the story, especially the secondary characters – if you don’t watch out, they can take over!  There’s a character like that in A Different Kind of Honesty – Danny Chang is the heroine’s best friend, and he’s naughty, hugely lovable, and just such fun to be around, but I had to rein him in or he would have been just too much.  Great fun to write, though!
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I’d like to think they’ll still be thinking about the characters some time after they’ve finished the book, and with a good feeling inside.  If a reader recognises something of themselves in a story – that moment when a reader can say, ‘yes, I KNOW that feeling!’ then I’m very happy.
What do you think are the main ingredients for a successful book?
Good, controlled writing, and a book that’s been well edited – by which I mean a reader shouldn’t notice either of those things!  Writing that flows well, and dialogue that sounds natural and unstilted.  A believable plot, but one that will still take the reader by surprise.  A range of emotions, too – everything
Do you have a writing routine?
Not any more!  When my children were younger and went to bed early, I’d write in the evening for a couple of hours.  Now they’re older, as that, along with the fact that we home-educate, well, you can imagine that takes up a lot of time, not just with the work we do at home together, but the many activities, workshops and visits outside of the home that we’re involved in.  By the end of the day, I’m pretty much done in – happy, but done in!  So these days, I write when I can.  If I can have a few pages done in a week, that’s real progress for me!  But I’m very happy with that, right now the children’s education comes first.
Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?
I need peace and quiet.  I can’t even deal with music in the background, my annoying butterfly-brain just hooks into the melodies and any handle I had on the story is gone!  Having said that, music is always, always a huge part of anything I’m writing.  Each story has its own ‘soundtrack,’ and I’ll often compile a cd of the music that goes with a particular story to play in the car on in the house during the times I’m not writing.  It somehow keeps me connected with the story, especially when finding consistent writing time isn’t easy.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received? 
It was ‘just get on a write!’  Can’t argue with that!
How do you like to spend your free time?
I’m lucky to live in an area with lots of wonderful walks, we can choose to be right by the sea, or we have some wonderful country parks with wild woods and space to breathe deeply.  The dog and I will just get up and go, and within minutes, we really are ‘away from it all.’  Besides that, my hubby and I are in the process of renovating a 1930s house we bought last year.  Most of the original features were removed years ago, and it would be an enormous job to replace them all - not to mention the somewhat prohibitive cost! – and so we’re trying to redecorate as sympathetically as we can and restore something of the original character back to the house.  That means I’m spending a lot of time sourcing things like classic fabrics, pretty china and lighting, prints in period frames, and so on, and it also means I get to research architecture, illustrators and designers in order to pull it all together.  It’s great fun, and it’s lovely to feel we can bring the house up-to-date but still be true to its heritage.
What would you most like to accomplish this year?
I’d like to get a lot further on with my writing.  And – whisper this one – I’m on a diet, and would like to lose at least another 10lbs!
What is your culinary speciality?
I really love to cook, especially Italian food, so it will be something like linguini with garlic and lemons prawns – quick, healthy and really delicious.  My family would probably vote for my roast chicken Sunday dinner, or our good old home-cooked old fish and chips!
Now A Taste of Jane
From A Different Kind of Honesty – Chapter 1
“I don't want to lose you, Maggie. Really I don't!”
Detective Sergeant Danny Chang shuffled along the corridor on his knees, his hands clasped over his heart in a frenzy of unbridled passion.  “Please! You want me to beg? Look at me—I’m begging.”
Maggie Lawless sighed. “Aw, come on, Danny. You know how much I love you. No matter what happens, we'll still be friends.”
“Ha! You say that now, but when you've finished with me you'll crumple me up and toss me aside like a used tissue. You're just like all the others!” Danny threw himself face down on the floor and sobbed, his shoulders heaving in distress. Maggie stepped over his prostrate form and leaned against the swing doors at the end of the corridor.
“You're a nut, Chang.” She shoved a door open with her shoulder and walked through backwards, laughing.
Danny picked himself up and brushed the dust from his already grubby jeans. Pushing the door open further, he stood aside to let a young female constable pass, eyeing her curvaceous bottom appreciatively as she scuttled by in too-tight uniform trousers. Maggie folded her arms and watched his undisguised lust with an amused smile.
“You never miss a shot, do you?”
“Life's too short,” he answered, flicking his over-long fringe out of his eyes. His sleek, glossy hair gleamed with the black-blue sheen of a crow's back. He watched the WPC’s retreating form as it disappeared around a corner. “So anyway—what's all this crap about you leaving?”
Maggie shrugged and turned away. “I never said I was actually going.” She loosened the belt of her damp raincoat and shook her hair out of the collar as she walked down the corridor.  “All I said was I feel like a change. That's all. You know, try something different.”
Danny fell into step with her, slipping off his battered leather pilot jacket to reveal a T-shirt that might have once been white, but had long ago washed out to rain-cloud grey. A ladder of rips ran down the left leg of his jeans. One of the tears gaped open, revealing a knee with every step he took.
“Don't do it, Maggie,” he pleaded. “It won't be the same without you. I'll really miss you if
you go.”
“Danny, you haven't seen me in six months.”
“Ah, but I thought about you every day and most nights. Dreaming of running my fingers through your soft auburn hair, losing myself in those beautiful baby blues. What do you think kept me going, up there in Miserable Manchester?”
“You really are a loony, you know. What are you now, thirty-two, thirty-three? You're the youngest dirty old man I know.”
Maggie was only pretending to be serious. She and Danny Chang had been friends since day one at Police College. They'd laughed, cried, and got roaring drunk with each other, more often than not all on the same night. But never anything more, not even so much as a drunken snog, never mind a chaste kiss. If asked, Danny would have said their friendship was too valuable to spoil. Maggie would have said she’d trust him about as far as she could throw him with the wind behind her. Either way, they were best friends who told each other everything.
Most things, anyway.
Their pace slowed as they turned the corner, where two rows of doors faced each other across the corridor. A particularly evil variety of one hundred percent nylon carpeting covered the floor. After walking across it, you had to be certain to neutralize yourself on a wooden surface before touching another living soul for fear of zapping them half-dead with static shock.  Maggie rapped her knuckles on a mock-teak door with a black plastic nameplate announcing in white letters the lair of Detective Inspector Rachel Arden.
“I wonder what she wants?” Maggie whispered. “She only just caught me, too. I was trying to sneak off early. I haven't had a free weekend in ages.”
“Yeah,” Danny agreed. “And it's Poet's Day.”
“Poet’s Day?”
“Yeah, Poet’s Day. You know. Piss Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday.”
From Night Owl Reviews,
‘Jane Richardson has written a riveting story with unexpected twists and turns... A Different Kind of Honesty is a fast-paced tale filled with strong relationships and unexpected twists and turns... A Different Kind of Honesty is a fast-paced tale filled with strong relationships and unexpected drama, with a fascinating plot that will leave you breathless.  This story is well worth reading!
Many thanks for regaling us today, Jane. Great to meet you and I love the look of 'A Different Kind of Honesty'
Wishing you huge success!


  1. Sounds like you're a very busy lady, Jane! Great excerpt :)

  2. Thank you, Megan, and thanks so much for inviting me to your beautiful blog!

    Jane x

  3. Hi Jane,

    I enjoyed the excerpt, it's a real teaser. Hope the sun is shining in Hastings? Haven't been down there since 2006.

    Maz. ^j^

  4. Hi Marion, thanks for coming over - and yes, the sun IS shining in Hastings, we're set for a beautiful weekend. Hope it's out where you are. ;-) Great to see you.

    Jane x

  5. Hi Jane and Megan,
    Lovely blog, Megan -like the scatter of birds.
    Jane, I am looking forward to your next story. I particularly enjoyed 'A Different kind of Honesty' and 'Edinburgh Fog.' Good luck with your house restoration!

  6. Wonderful interview. I too love to cook, I get so bored with the norms of daily meals :). Loved the excerpt!

  7. Hi Lindsay and BK, good to see you both. Yes, it is nice to experiment with meals, isn't it? I probably read as many recipe books as I do novels!
    Thanks for coming over. :-)

    Jane x

  8. Some thought-provoking comments about inspiration.

  9. Thanks, Mike. Good to meet you,

    Jane x