Author interview 167 – Jan Foster


Jan Foster

England

Age 47

By day, Jan juggles consultancy work with family, but by night she sneaks off, into the past. Her penchant for sprinkling history with magic is fueled by coffee and Cadburys.

Jan writes in between being a mum and a small business consultant. She volunteers reading with children in her local school and helping them find the joy and escapism in books. Passionate about getting kids active, she writes the Mitch and Mooch series to support children with not only reading and comprehension, but also encouraging them to try out new activities. Jan loves history and folklore, which has fed into her historical fantasy ‘Naturae’ series of novels. Only slightly obsessed with Vikings and Tudors, Jan thoroughly enjoys research trips and burying her head in books to flesh out the details of these time periods in her novels. That’s her excuse and she is sticking to it!

Jan is based in the North West of England and tries to drag her family and dogs out into the wilds or into windswept castles as much as possible – when it’s not raining!

You can follow what Jan is up to on social media @janfosterauthor or check out her website for more details on publications and other articles or short stories written by her www.escapeintoatale.com

Annabella’s secret destiny was never meant to come between them, but after a century of hiding in Tudor England, a violent confrontation with a shadowy figure from her past leaves her heartbroken and alone in a realm she hated.

Once a mortal, when homebody Joshua loses Annabella, only his belief in her innocence and the kindness of strangers keeps him alive. In a dangerous quest through the turbulence of Reformation England to find his love, he thinks he only has to survive long enough to save her. But not everyone is what they seem, and he finds himself questioning his own faith as much as being a fae.

Kept a prisoner, Annabella refuses to comply with the future envisaged for her until a darker secret threatens to destroy the realm and fae immortality. The fate of an entire race rests on their shoulders, but can destiny be changed? Rebellion, danger, and intrigue threaten the future in a thrilling journey, weaving Tudor times with magical fantasy.

Disrupting Destiny – forever isn’t certain, trust no-one…

Romelia:   WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE AN ACTIVIST, AND WHAT KIND?

Jan Foster:   Probably one of my two main characters, Aioffe. She can be a bit flighty but she really cares about equality in (during the Tudor age) quite a male-dominated age. She comes from the background where it is literally all about the Queen, women are as strongly placed as men, and although she shouldn’t interfere with the ‘real world’ I suspect she would if given the opportunity.

Romelia:   DO YOU PLAY MUSIC WHILE YOU WRITE – AND, IF SO, WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

Jan Foster:   No – I have to have silence! In my mind, I’m in the 16th century so unless I’m doing something in court or churches, music is more of a distraction.

Romelia:   HAVE PETS EVER GOTTEN IN THE WAY OF YOUR WRITING?

Jan Foster:   I have two canine companions who snuggle up on the sofa in my office and shoot looks of ‘stroke me’ every time I look over at them! Sometimes, the little one, Peanut, will want a cuddle so badly she jumps up on my lap and snuggles down there. This was fine when she was a puppy and small but now her legs splay out and she kind of gets in the way. The other one, her mother Honey, is a total scavenger and I cannot leave any food on my desk or as soon as I’m away from it, she’s up there, messing up papers and chewing bookmarks! Luckily I’ve not had an issue (so far!) with her walking all over my keyboard and accidentally doing something awful like deleting a manuscript!

Romelia:   IF YOUR BOOK WERE MADE INTO A MOVIE, WHICH ACTORS WOULD PLAY YOUR CHARACTERS?

Jan Foster:   My dream cast would be….

Aioffe – Angelina Jolie (when blonde!)

Joshua – Chris Hemsworth

Nemis – Eleanor Tomlinson

Fairfax – Eddie Redmayne

Henry – Tom Hiddleston

Jeffries – Derek Jacobi

Lana – Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity in Matrix)

Romelia:   HAVE YOU EVER KILLED OFF A CHARACTER YOUR READERS LOVED?

Jan Foster:   Almost – but I’m a bit of a tease and quite often my characters get into life-threatening situations and the reader might think they are dead – cliffhanger chapter – but then they realize they aren’t. I have, however, had beta readers and friends ring me up in tears pleading for their lives!

Romelia:   WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN ABOUT WRITING?

Jan Foster:   Nothing will get written if you don’t actually be present at your chosen mode of writing. Or, AIS (Arse In Seat!).

Romelia:   WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE WRITING SKILLS?

Jan Foster:   I’m always learning, and like to think each book is better than the last. I read a lot and hope that subliminally good writing styles and structures infiltrate through. I also read books about crafts and take workshops where I can.

Romelia:   WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO HELP OTHERS CREATE PLOTLINES?

Jan Foster:   Start with characters and what arc they are going to have. Look beyond what happens on page one; every character has a backstory that they bring into the story, which affects how they react to any given situation. It’s actually one of my favourite things to do, work out their history even if most of it isn’t actually detailed in the book.

Romelia:   WHAT HAS HELPED OR HINDERED YOU MOST WHEB WRITING A BOOK?

Jan Foster:   Helped – scrivener, without a doubt. Hindered – children!

Romelia:   DOES WRITING ENERGIZE OR EXHAUST YOU? OR BOTH?

Jan Foster:   Energize definitely – when you are on a roll, it’s hard to stop thinking about it!

Romelia:   WHAT IS THE BEST MONEY YOU’VE EVER SPENT WITH REGARD TO YOUR WRITING?

Jan Foster:   Purchasing Scrivener and Pro-Writing Aid.

Romelia:   WHAT ARE COMMON TRAPS FOR NEW AUTHORS?

Jan Foster:   I think many people start with a plot, and that can work, but in order for a novel to have substance, there needs to be more. Characters drive a plot, not the other way around.

Romelia:   HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO YOU WRITE?

Jan Foster:   It depends – I also have another business so for me it’s a constant juggling act!

Romelia:   WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BLOGS OR WEBSITES FOR WRITERS?

Jan Foster:   I found Reedsy when I was starting out and did a lot of the free courses they have on there which really helped. I also found out about Kindlepreneur which has a lot of helpful articles about self-publishing on it as well. Joanna Penn is another favourite and her book was a great start with the actual business of being an author and discussing the various options for publication. She continues to provide a fantastic resource base with insightful articles and videos on her website.

Romelia:   AT WHAT TIME OF THE DAY DO YOU DO MOST OF YOUR WRITING?

Jan Foster:   Ideally the morning – I love nothing more than starting the day knowing I can write all day…. Sadly that isn’t as often as I would like! Writing often gets shoved in between other things like clients or children or chores (the three dreaded c’s!).

Romelia:   HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH CHARACTER NAMES FOR YOUR STORIES?

Jan Foster:   Most of my names are based on popular names of the period I write in, and some are actual people.

Romelia:   DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN WRITING CHALLENGES ON SOCIAL MEDIA? DO YOU RECOMMEND ANY?

Jan Foster:   I did Bryan Cohen’s 5 day Amazon Ad challenge which was fun and insightful. I’ve repeated it a few times to keep up with changes but I generally don’t spend a lot of money on advertising right now.

Romelia:   IF YOU HAD THE POWER TO CURE A DISEASE OF YOUR CHOOSING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Jan Foster:   Dementia – I have witnessed several friends suffer from their parents gradually decline into it and it is heartbreaking.

Romelia:   WHEN YOU’RE WRITING AN EMOTIONAL OR DIFFICULT SCENE, HOW DO YOU SET THE MOOD?

Jan Foster:   By writing in absolute silence, I can really focus on what’s happening on the page. Any distraction is a big no-no and kills the zone.

Romelia:   WHOM DO YOU TRUST FOR OBJECTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF YOUR WORK?

Jan Foster:   I am lucky enough to work with several beta’s who are very experienced for first impressions, but an editor should give you constructive feedback as well.

Romelia:   WHAT BOOKS DO YOU ENJOY READING?

Jan Foster:   A wide range – I love a lot of historical, both fiction and non-fiction, and I also love thrillers, especially legal or medical.

Romelia:   ARE THERE ANY BOOKS OR AUTHORS THAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER?

Jan Foster:   I was introduced to historical fantasy as a genre by Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy and I haven’t stopped reading this genre since. It took a while for me to think, Oh yes, I love history and fantasy, and I could be good at writing that genre in particular. But when I did, it was like a penny dropping, and it all fell into place. I’ll probably branch out into other genres in the future, but I’ve got to love the genre or I don’t think it would work as well.

Romelia:   NAME AN UNDERAPPRECIATED NOVEL THAT YOU LOVE.

Jan Foster:   Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M Auel. Still a classic to me, still amazing, and the research and theory behind how she imagines life in the Stone Age to still stand the test of time. It was my first introduction to the kind of story which is also a journey through history and it’s still my go-to comfort read.

Romelia:   TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY FROM YOUR ADULT LIFE.

Jan Foster:   Yesterday, my dog (yes, the greedy one!) found she could open the cupboard, pull out a cereal box, and have herself a little midnight snack. This morning, I found out that my breakfast was in the dog – an entire, brand new unopened boxful! This afternoon, having swept the crumbless floor and shredded cardboard, I will mostly be walking the dog with a large supply of plastic bags and trying not to laugh as she waddles along like she is once again pregnant. ** Thankfully no dogs were harmed in the typing of this episode (according to the vet!).

Romelia:   DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES. TELL US SOMETHING WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU AND SOMETHING YOU HATE ABOUT THE WORLD.

Jan Foster:   I’m guessing that most people reading this won’t ‘know’ me at all! So I’ll let you into a secret – I like dying my hair pink sometimes because it makes me feel like a fairy.

I hate very few things but racism is one of them.

Social Links

Websites:       www.escapeintoatale.com (Author Website)

                        www.mitchandmooch.com

Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/janfosterauthor

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B084LF154S

Blog:               https://escapeintoatale.com/short-stories-and-articles/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/escapeintoatale

Goodreads:     https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20093349.Jan_Foster

Instagram:      https://www.instagram.com/jan.foster.author/

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JanFoster

LinkTree          https://linktr.ee/janfosterauthor

Subscribe to my newsletter https://www.subscribepage.com/mailingsubscribe and I’ll send you a free copy of the Naturae Series prequel Risking Destiny (a full length novel set in Viking Age Orkney!) to enjoy!

Fancy getting Advance Reader Copies of all of my books? Join the Launch Team here https://www.subscribepage.com/naturaelaunchteam

Book Links:

Disrupting Destiny – Book 1 www.books2read.com/disruptingdestiny

Anarchic Destiny – Book 2          www.books2read.com/anarchicdestiny (preorder)

Risking Destiny               – Prequel             www.books2read.com/riskingdestinyMitch and Mooch Try Swimming www.books2read.com/mmts

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