Today in this series I have posts from Jan Harvey who writes split time novels and Paula Harmon who writes Irish romance novels. Perfect reading on what is currently a snowy day for many.
Jan Harvey – It’s Going To Be Busy
I have a very exciting year ahead of me with a variety of projects to look forward to.
My second book is written and will be published in September. It draws on the themes of the The Seven Letters in many ways however, instead of The French Resistance, I have explored the human stories behind the Special Operations Executive. I came across these when I was researching the social history aspects of World War 2, a subject that intrigues me. Once again it is a split time novel set in The Cotswolds and Liberated Paris in 1945 with the two stories linking together to culminate in a dramatic ending. I thought the ending was not as heartbreaking as the final outcome for poor Claudette in The Seven Letters, however, my first ‘test readers’ have reported that it is very moving and has left them deep in thought for days afterwards, so I may be wrong!
I was honoured to win prizes in short story competitions last year and this led to a new collaboration with theatre maker, Adrian Brooks. Our exciting project, ‘Allotment’ will see professional actors reading six of my short stories whilst the characters appear one-by-one in a diminutive, yet beautifully constructed theatre. Seeing the characters emerge from someone else’s viewpoint was quite a significant moment for me, but Adrian has worked his magic to perfection and I am really delighted with the results.
I am also a professional artist and I am taking part in two exhibitions in 2018. I am hosting one at my studio, as I usually do for Oxfordshire Artweeks, exploring the theme ‘New Horizons.’ The second exhibition is at The Earth Trust in Long Wittenham near Dorchester-on-Thames, where a trio of paintings of the nearby Sinoden Hills, will be on display. I paint in acrylics and watercolour, but my new medium is fused-glass and I am fortunate to be tutored by glass expert, Helen Slater.
This year I would love to learn more about poetry. I have always been very moved by the war poets and it is something I would enjoy exploring further. I was lucky enough to hear Pat Winslow reading her work this year. I also attended a performance by Selena Godden at The Chipping Norton Literary Festival. Both are very inspiring ladies.
I have a full and busy twelve months ahead of me and that’s just how I like it, but my New Year’s resolution is most definitely to read more. I have just finished ‘Out Stealing Horses’ by Per Petterson, and I am still living inside the book because it was so captivating. The writing was perfect, the story steady and slow and the characters were absolutely convincing. That’s how I like my books so I am on the look out for more of the same for 2018.
Buy a signed copy of The Seven Letters here: https://www.janharveyauthor.com/shop
About the book:
When Claudette Bourvil is recruited to the French Resistance the last thing she expects is that she will be sent to work in the heart of Paris to spy on senior Nazi officers.
Claudette learns how to survive in a city ravaged by war, where the citizens are murdered on the whim of the occupying force. Constantly under threat of discovery, and in danger of losing her life, Claudette risks everything when she falls in love with the wrong man, the worst kind of man.
Over seventy years later, in rural Oxfordshire, Connie Webber discovers seven letters linked to a famous playwright, Freddy March. The letters will eventually lead her to Paris where she discovers the horrific reason behind Freddy’s life long depression. As his mother’s story unfolds Connie uncovers a dark past that the city has tried to erase from history.
Jan Harvey is an author and artist living in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. After thirty years working as an editor and designer of business magazines, Jan became a full time writer in 2011. Her first novel, The Seven Letters, was published in February 2017.
Jan is working on her second novel due for publication in Autumn 2018.
When Jan is not writing or creating art she enjoys reading, watching old black and white movies and dog walking.
Paula Martin – My hopes for 2018
I’m hoping 2018 will be a more settled year for me, after the upheaval of 2017. Last April I received the devastating news that my publisher was closing due to ill-health. I’d been with her for over 5 years, and she and her team were the most supportive and friendly people any writer could ever wish to work with.
For several months, I felt as if I was floundering in quicksand as I wondered what to do with my nine published novels, but, as they say, ‘when one door closes, another opens’ – and in this case, the door was opened by Tirgearr Publishing, an independent publisher based in Ireland.
In November, I was thrilled when they re-published four of my novels – which just happen to be set in Ireland! These four books are stand-alone stories, with different heroes and heroines, but they are all linked in some way to ‘Mist Na Mara’, the Victorian house which featured in the first of the series.
My main priority at the start of 2018 is to finish the fifth book in my ‘Mist Na Mara’ series. I started writing this last January, but lost the motivation to continue it in the middle of the year. Now, after what seems a long time in a dark tunnel, I can at last see the light at the end, and am determined to finish it in January, 2018.
I’m also hoping that Tirgearr Publishing will be willing to re-publish some of my other novels this year. Since it’s several years since I wrote these, I’ll be spending some time editing them again before I submit them.
After that, I have another new novel simmering in my mind. I actually wrote a couple of chapters of this during my ‘floundering in quicksand’ period. After setting my last five books in the west of Ireland, I’m looking forward to a different location for this story, as my hero and heroine will be visiting some of the wonderful castles in Yorkshire and also trying to solve a medieval mystery.
Paula Martin had some early publishing success with four romance novels and several short stories, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She returned to writing fiction after retiring from teaching, and is thrilled to have found publishing success again with her contemporary romances.
‘Mist Na Mara’ series (all set in the west of Ireland):
Book 2 Irish Intrigue: Can Charley and Luke reconcile their differences and find love?
Book 3 Irish Secrets: Will Kara and Ryan find a way to heal the rifts created by all the secrets?
Book 4 Irish Deceptions: Can Ellie and Dan overcome the obstacles threatening their future together?
Available from: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Martin_Paula/ (this has links to all the major e-book distributors)
Coming Soon (I hope!) -Book 5 Irish Shadows: Will the shadows of the past destroy any chance of a future together for Rose and Liam?