We have featured Jane Green several times at CLC since we started the blog in 2010. And with her producing two books in one year, we are glad to have her back here so soon! (We just found out about her next novel, coming in June, so we'll be sure to schedule another visit then!) This time, we're featuring some questions from an interview she did with Sarah Hall Productions, along with some links to video clips, so you can listen to her lovely voice as she talks about writing, cooking, and health.
I read Saving Grace earlier this year, when I received a copy from Pan Macmillan. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be sharing a review soon. However, the icing on the cake (which would be a very delicious one, if Jane had any part in making it) was when I read the acknowledgements at the end and found both my name and Amy's listed there. I have always been a fan of Jane's novels and was not expecting such an incredible thank you message as being mentioned in this way. I literally cried when I saw my name in print. It was like having a favorite actor name me in their Oscar speech, but even better because this is immortalized on paper by an author I've loved ever since I read Jemima J over 12 years ago! In addition, Jane also mentioned me in an interview she did earlier this year for A Drink With. (Although now I feel the pressure to come up with good casting choices for Saving Grace!)
You can find out all you need to know about Jane by reading this interview, watching the videos, and visiting her at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Lots of special giveaways going on right here!
- Thanks to Sarah Hall Productions, we have TWO US versions of Saving Grace. (US/CAN/UK eligible)
- Thanks to Pan Macmillan, we have THREE sets of scented candles and hardbacks of the UK version of Saving Grace. (Open worldwide)
- Thanks to Tandem Literary, we have one copy of Tempting Fate and a set of eight wine charms (US only).
- And as a special treat in honor of the acknowledgement, I'm going to send a previous Jane Green novel to someone who hasn't read any of her books yet. So be sure to answer the bonus question on the Rafflecopter! I will personally choose a winner at random from those who are new to her books. (Worldwide. I will send an e-book outside of US/Canada.)
- Plus, enter to win Tempting Fate from BookTrib. (US/Canada)
A Conversation with Jane Green
On her new novel, Saving Grace…
Where did the inspiration for Saving Grace come from?
Initially from a bookkeeper we had employed who turned out to be dishonest, with a history of stealing we didn't discover until it was too late. I started to think about the assumptions we make that everyone we meet operates under the same moral code, and how betrayed we feel when that isn't the case. This led to creating Beth, who seems like the perfect assistant although Grace has a feeling from the start that she has another agenda, even though she appears so great, everyone thinks Grace is crazy. Including, after a while, Grace herself.
What was it about Grace as a character that intrigued you?
I knew nothing about bipolar disorder until three years ago, and have now learned an awful lot, which I wanted to explore on the page. Also, we have a propensity to repeat the patterns of our childhood; we recreate situations that are somehow familiar to us, and I loved the idea of Grace growing up in a difficult, volatile household, and how this would explain why she would remain married to a man like Ted. Many people reading the book would urge her to leave, but when you understand how walking on eggshells is entirely familiar to Grace, I think it helps you understand why she stays.
Grace's lessons were ones I had to learn the hard way, primarily that we should always trust our intuition; that when that little voice tells us something is wrong, we must listen to it, and that we have to be our own advocates when it comes to our health - do not ever let a doctor or health professional talk you into something you think is wrong, and inform yourself as much as you can. As a friend of mine who is very high up in the medical industry recently said: if a doctor tells you not to look up the medication on the internet, that's the sign of a bad doctor; go and find someone else.
Video: Watch Jane share a sneak peek into Saving Grace.
On Food and Cooking...
How does your love of food and cooking influence your writing?
There's always at least one character who is either a foodie or a cook, and I have included recipes in a couple of the books. I show the people I love that I love them by gathering them in my kitchen and feeding them, so no surprise that most of my characters do the same thing.
Video: Jane cooks a Chess Tart and discusses her love of cooking and food.
You revealed in an Op-Ed piece last summer that you’d been diagnosed with malignant melanoma. What made you decide to go public with your personal health information? And what’s the update on your prognosis?
Malignant Melanoma is the fastest-growing cancer in the world, yet one few people take notice of. Breast cancer survival rates are now so much better thanks to people realizing how important regular mammograms are, but few people think about their skin, or understand the importance of having annual check-ups. Malignant Melanoma is the most dangerous of the skin cancers, yet one that can be so easily prevented and treated if caught early enough. If I can help one person, have one person go to get checked who wouldn't otherwise have thought to do so, it has been entirely worthwhile to go public about my story. My own mole was 1mm, with mitosis. I had the wide leg excision surgery, and a lymph node biopsy. Everything came back clear, happily, so I am looking at a future filled with spray tans, and three-monthly check-ups.
Video: Jane discusses her own experience with misdiagnosis, over-medication, and her real-life inspiration for Saving Grace.
Are your characters ever based on people you know?
Sometimes, but usually only a visual snapshot, or the idea of someone I know. Within a couple of pages the characters have always taken on their own attributes and characteristics, and of course behave in ways the people you thought they were based on would never behave.
Video: Jane shares her real-life inspirations and influences on her writing.
That writing is your job, and has to be done every day, whether you feel like it or not. That the most important requirement is discipline; that you will be hit with writer's block over and over, and the only way to break it is to keep writing anyway. I would also add, write the story you need to tell rather than the one you think will be a bestseller.
Video: Jane discusses working in her "writing room" and her favorite writing spots.
Thanks to Jane Green for making us feel loved and for the lovely interview she did with Sarah Hall Productions that we were able to share on our blog. Thanks to Sarah Hall Productions, Pan Macmillan, and Tandem Literary for sharing Jane's books and prizes with our readers.
How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Worldwide (see Rafflecopter for eligible locations per prize). Giveaway ends January 4th at midnight EST.