Friday, January 13, 2012

Contemporary Fiction from Jane Richardson

Today's guest is MuseItUp author, Jane Richardson talking about her recent release, Edinburgh Fog.

AUTHOR:  Jane Richardson
BOOK TITLE:  Edinburgh Fog
PUBLISHER: Muse It Up Publishing

1) Tell me a little about your book.  Edinburgh Fog is the story of Greg Morton, and his chance encounter with the former love of his life Julia Brady.  I say ‘former’ – by that I mean, never forgotten.  I should add, it’s also the story of Tellers’, the successful bar-bistro Greg runs in Edinburgh.  Tellers’ is very much a character in the story too!

2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?  It’s loosely based on a real story, something that happened a long time ago to a friend of mine.  She had a summer-long romance with a wonderful man, but as summer ended, they both decided they had to go back to their ‘real’ and very busy lives.  They lived miles apart in different cities and were both very get-go, aspiring professionals in full-on-careers, and moving on seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  Well, needless to say, they both regretted it, but by then, a lot of water had flowed under the bridge and they simply put it down to experience.  A number of years later, quite by chance, they met again in a different city in another part of the world – the rest, as they say, is history!

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?  I’m very much part-time, my household and personal circumstances dictate it that way, but that suits me fine – our lives go through so many phases and right now, my children are my big priority.   I write as and when I can grab a moment, making notes of ideas or just getting a hundred words down at a time when I can.  When I do have a big chunk of time, I’ll get a lot done and be very driven to write until it’s all on the page. 

4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?  I’m not even sure that I ever did know!  I’ve written all my life, sometimes creatively and sometimes for work – although I have been lucky in that the two big careers I’ve had in my life have both been in very creative industries, so that part of my brain has always been fully occupied!

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?  Hmm…good question!  I think maybe the idea that you should grab your chances whenever they come along – you may never have that chance again in your lifetime.  Having said that, there’s no point in having regrets or dragging your emotional baggage around for the rest of your days – it will only impede you.  So maybe what I’m saying is,  live each day to the best you can!  Those themes seem to come up in a lot of my writing.

6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?  I prefer to write contemporary fiction – I can relate better to women in the here and now, their lifestyles and the way they cope with the 21st century, and I hope my understanding and interest in all of that comes out in my writing.  Having said that, I’m writing a story set in two time periods, now and in WWII – but the contemporary part of the story and the characters in it are very much informed by the WWII sections, so there I go again, bringing it all back to the present day!

8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.  Ah – see my answer about Edinburgh Fog!  Many, many parts of my writing are based on real-life experiences, my own or those of my friends.  On the other hand, a lot of it is simply ‘made up!’

10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?  As far as Edinburgh Fog goes, I lived in Edinburgh for many years and loved it.  The people are smart, forward-looking, and have the driest sense of humour I’ve ever known.  I tried to incorporate a lot of that into the story.  As for Tellers’ itself, it’s very much based on one particular bar I used to visit when I lived in the city, and combines the best of that and all my other favourite places from that time.  Edinburgh is hugely historical but also massively modern and cosmopolitan – I wanted to get that feel across in the story. I hope I got it right!

12) What about your book makes it special?  Maybe the idea that true love will always win out in the end – and I hope the fact that you can both laugh and cry as you read the story, and be left with the ‘warm fuzzies’ and a great big smile by the end!

14) Where can people learn more about you and your work?  At my blog: .

15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?  If you’re writing contemporary fiction, you have to be open to the world around you.  That sounds obvious, doesn’t it?  Yet I’ve read many contemporary books, and especially romances, where the characters seem oblivious to their environment, their attitudes are far from contemporary, and the women especially don’t seem to have progressed much considering the changes that have happened to women in society since the 1950s!  Listen, watch, record, interperet.  Be real.

16) What’s in the future for you?  Well, I’ll still be writing, of course!  But every day brings something different, especially when you have kids at such important stages of their lives, as both of mine are right now, so I’ll be spending a lot of my time with them.  I try not to think too far into the future, though.  I know next year is likely to hold a lot of challenges and changes for me, so I’ll be taking each day as it comes.

Edinburgh Fog – Blurb
When Greg Morton returned to Edinburgh, it was to follow his dream of opening the smartest bar-bistro in town. Now Tellers’ is a huge success—but the truth is, deep inside, it means little without the love of his life.

Four years ago, he left Julia Brady behind in London to realize his business ambitions in his Scottish home town.  By the time he’d recognized his mistake and admitted to himself he wanted her back, the grapevine told him Julia had moved on—and Greg had to face the fact that he’d been a fool.
When Julia appears out of the blue in Tellers’, he knows the only thing he should do is walk right up to her and say hello.  But it looks like someone else has their sights set on her, and he’s a quick worker.
Is Julia about to disappear from Greg's life a second time - this time, for good?

Edinburgh Fog - Excerpt:
“Another pot of coffee, boss.”

Ben shattered Greg’s getaway plans as he slapped his notepad on the marble bar-top. “And Mr. Smarty over there says could that be with hot milk, because he wants a macchiato caldo, not freddo. I told him the milk comes hot out of the machine anyway, and is Freddo no’ that wee bloke with the big feet out Lord of the Rings? Don’t get smart-arsed with me, pal, is what I really wanted to say.” Ben curled a lip and turned to face the growing crowd in the bar as he waited for Greg to top up another coffee jug. “Mind you, for a smart arse, he must have something.”

Greg glanced over at the object of Ben’s ire. “How’s that?”

Ben gesticulated with his chin towards Julia’s table. “Look at him! Manky wee ginger git, and he’s got those gorgeous babes with him. What’s he got that I haven’t?”

“Well, let’s think.” Chrissie wandered over from the other end of the bar to join in the conversation. 

“Wit? Intelligence? Charm and personality?” she offered, giving Greg a sly wink. Any opportunity to wind up Ben about his ways with women usually wasn’t to be missed, but tonight Greg’s heart wasn’t in it. He pulled out a wooden tray inscribed with the Tellers’ logo and set the coffee pot down. “Probably just friends from work.”  He half-filled a stainless steel jug with milk, jammed it under the foamer nozzle and let it rip.

Chrissie wrinkled her nose and nodded.  “He doesn’t look like the world’s greatest lover to me, Ben. Your crown’s safe, big man.”

Ben grinned as he reached for the tray. “Aye. You’re right there. Watch me go.”

Greg frowned. “Go where?”

“To show lover-boy how it’s done, what do you think?” He flicked a look over his shoulder. “Those babes’ll be nibbling their complimentary biscotti from my hand before I’m done. Man, oh, man...gimme an older woman any day. There’s no substitute for experience. What age do you reckon?”

“Twenty-nine,” Greg said, with much more precision than he’d intended to let show. “Or thereabouts,” he added lamely, relieved Ben hadn’t noticed the fact that Greg could have given him Julia’s date, time and place of birth too, had he asked.

Ben tipped his head, weighing up the facts. “A bit older than my usual conquests, but then, what’s life if not a challenge, eh, boss?” He balanced the tray high on one hand and sauntered in the direction of Julia’s table, six-pack abs and butt muscles on display, looking like a walking anatomy chart.


  1. Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, Penny!

    Jane x

  2. Hi, girls and loverly interview. I found the whole basis for the story so intriguing. Fate intervenes, doesn't it? Good luck with your new book and your writing.

  3. Lovely interview - this is one on my TBR list, Jane, especially since I live in Scotland!

  4. Lovely interview, Jane and Penny! I particularly like your advice to 'be real' when writing contemp fiction.

    Good luck to you both and to our lovely publisher, Muse!

  5. Jane, it's a pleasure to have you here. Congrats on your release.