Hello Jane. Welcome to my blog. Tell me a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Exeter, then moved to North Yorkshire, where I, sadly, continue to grow outwards, surrounded by pets of most species and a lot of children. Which are mine, it’s not like I collect them or anything… I write romantic comedies for Choc Lit, which are described as ‘quirky’, which I think is just a polite way of saying ‘peculiar’, and I have a day job in a local school as a Biology technician, which is a polite way of saying that I deal in hearts and lungs and could probably become a serial killer if I put my mind to it.
Which book have you inherited from the generation above you? Why is it special?
When I was a child, my mother gave me a bundle of books that she had had when she was young, things like White Fang and Old Yeller. I’m not sure why, since I used to get so emotional about sad books featuring animals that, when I was five, my parents had to tape shut the pages of my Fairy Stories book so that I couldn’t sob myself to sleep over the Ugly Duckling any more. Anyway, I must have become desensitised by the time my mother gave me her books, because I remember seizing upon them as though they were food for my starving soul which, since my long-suffering father used to traipse to the local library twice a week to feed my reading habit, was a bit of an over-reaction.
And among these books was one which, for some reason, made its home in my soul. It was called ‘Henrietta’s House’ by Elizabeth Goudge. I lost my original copy and recently re-acquired it in paperback format, purely for the pleasure of revisiting those childhood days, when I was innocent and had a waistline. It’s funny, charming and atmospheric, and it’s one of those books which, when I remember the story, I get an odd little ‘tingle’, like the one I get when a particularly good idea for a novel strikes me. It would probably never make the Hot 100 of Children’s Books, but I don’t care, because this is my choice, so there.
Which book would you leave to the next generation?
That is much harder. Part of me thinks I should come up with something erudite and clever to make me look scholarly and deep-thinking, but, since everyone who knows me knows that I am really only interested in biscuits and pictures of kittens doing cute things, this would be seen through in a moment. So, I would opt to pass something else down to my descendants, something that they’d actually enjoy reading, not slog through thinking “Wow, Great-great grandma was a bit of boring old cow, wasn’t she?” and I think I might have to cheat, pending an enormous Omnibus edition, and ask for the collected works of Sir Terry Pratchett. Wonderful, wonderful books that tell stories of a world like ours, pointing out our faults and foibles in a way that makes us laugh rather than take offence. Long after he is gone (here’s hoping that that is a very long way off indeed) his books will carry on being engaging and amusing (and relevant), so, yep. The as-yet unproduced Terry Pratchett Omnibus would be my choice.
Great choices Jane. A Pratchett Omnibus would be great. It’d be very heavy though – and quite possibly shaped like an actual Omnibus.
Jane’s new book is Vampire State of Mind (It’s a great read, incidentally). You can buy it on Amazon- here.
You can find Jane at http://www.janelovering.co.uk/, on Facebook or on Twitter @janelovering.