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Good to meet you…author Jenny Kane

Another cold and frosty morning here in Yorkshire today, but it’s turned the sky a lovely glossy blue. My guest Jenny Kane has travelled almost the length of England to be with me, and I have the perfect treat to offer her on this chilly morning: a plateful of scones with cream and jam, and a pot of tea.

When I have scones and jam, the jam goes on first, and then the cream. I’ve a feeling, though, that in Jenny’s part of the world, it’s the other way round round!

Welcome to Yorkshire, Jenny!

jenny kane, another cup of coffee, helena fairfaxWhereabouts in England do you live, Jenny?  After a nomadic decade of living all over the UK, I am now tucked away in the South West of England, between Devon’s Exmoor and Dartmoor.

What a lovely part of the world! In that case, definitely the cream on the scone first. (And for those who don’t know about this rivalry between Devon and Cornwall, this article explains all!)

Where is your favourite place in the world?  That is a very difficult question. It has to be either Crathes Castle, and its associated Deeside scenery in Aberdeenshire, the bleak beauty of Dartmoor, or the splendour of the Peak District. There is no way I could choose between those three places. All of them are just beautiful.

They’re all beautiful, I agree, and just show the wonderful variety of scenery to be found on our small island.

Being a writer is a great job.  What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?  I’ve had a great number of jobs over the years, but the worst was my very first one when I was 15 years old.

Working in a Welsh hat factory, my task was to stand next to a huge vat of emulsion glue for three hours at a time, throw in large squares of black hat flat, poke them with a long stick until they were covered in glue, and then- I kid you not- I had to fish the felt out with a pair of tongs and squeeze it through a mangle!

Once I’d done that I had to place the hundreds of squares over an open fire to harden, before they could be shaped into the traditional Welsh hat shape!

Health and Safety most definitely had not been invented back then. I cannot begin to describe the awful stench was, or how high I felt by the time I finished a day’s work- and all for £1.50 an hour.

That sounds terrible! I’ll honestly never look at those Welsh hats or those little Welsh dolls in the same way again!

What book do you wish you’d written?  Kate Griffins’, Kitty Peck and The Music Hall Murders. It is a fantastic book.

What an interesting choice. I hadn’t heard of this author before. I love the intriguing title.

What’s your favourite song?  Another tricky question! I love a wide range of music. I tend to like individual songs rather than specific artists or albums.

I’ll go for David Bowie’s Let’s Dance. I adore it- it gives me shivers down my spine each time I hear it.

Great choice.

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them?  I would like to meet Richard I, and ask him what the hell he was playing at!! He spent less than a year in England during his ten year reign, and then wondered why the country was going to ruin. Of course- if I could go back in time and ask him, I’d never really have the nerve to say a word. It isn’t a conversation I can imagine anyone surviving!

Another interesting answer. Like you say, I think you’d have to have a lot of courage (or foolhardiness!) to pose the question.

What’s your happiest childhood memory?  Walking around White Leaf Cross woods, near Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, with my late Grandad and his Labrador, Brandy. We’d happily wander and chat for miles and miles when we got together.

A lovely answer. It’s so nice that you got to know your grandfather in this way, and keep these memories of him.

If you had to marry a fictional character from film, television, or books, who would it be?  I honestly can’t think of anyone! I am notoriously picky!!

What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?  That the only person who can make things happen for me, is me.

jenny kane, another cup of coffee, helena fairfaxAnd finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website

At the moment I’m in the early stages of writing the next novel in my Another… series.

Set in the Pickwicks coffee shop in Richmond, London, the first in the series, Another Cup of Coffee, was followed by two Christmas novella’s, Another Cup of Christmas, and then (more recently), by Christmas in the Cotswolds.

Five years on from my first visit to Pickwicks, the novel Another Glass of Champagne, will (with luck!) be out in Summer 2015.

In the meantime, my brand new standalone contemporary romance novel, Abi’s House is due to be released in the Spring.

Details of all my novels, novellas, and my children’s picture books, can be found on my website.

If you’d like to visit Pickwicks for the first time, and savour a cup of coffee with Kit, Amy, Jack, Peggy, and the rest of the team, then you can buy Another Cup of Coffee from all good bookshops and online retailers including-

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Many thanks for inviting me over today Helena.

Jenny xx

* * *

Thanks so much for dropping in, Jenny. It’s been lovely getting to know you and your Pickwicks novels. I hope you have a safe trip home to lovely Devon.

If you’ve enjoyed Jenny’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

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20 thoughts on “Good to meet you…author Jenny Kane

  1. The scone debate is a very serious issue!! Actually- I’m with you Helena about jam then cream- but then I am not from Devon, but merely passing through. The best scones in the whole world- that I’ve found so far- are in Scotland! I used to work at a place up in Aberdeenshire where they made Mars Bar scones- SO YUMMY! Thanks ever so much Helena, been lovely dropping by. ne more scone before I go? xx

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    1. Oh wow – Mars Bar scones! They sound fabulous! I visited my nephew in Germany recently and he asked me to bring some scones and clotted cream. We both put the jam on first. But don’t get us started on the pronunciation debate!
      Thanks for dropping in. Lovely to get to know you!

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  2. What a good interview, Helena and Jenny. I can’t remember reading one of these posts with quite so many delightful British names. All those syllables make me smile. I love scones, but they’re not on my diet these days. And only with jam, please when I eat them. :) The series titles are so fun, Jenny. Good luck with all your writing. I’ll share. :)

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    1. Thanks very much for dropping in, Marsha. Our place names are quite funny sometimes – even to us! I have a lovely bowl of gooseberry fool you could try instead of scones. It’s one of my favourites, too, possibly even more than scones :) I hope all’s well with you, and thanks for your comment!

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  3. Thanks everyone- it was a job I’ll never forget- and it makes good story fodder!! Ohh- I love gooseberry fool- sadly I can’t eat fruit or veg, so won’t be trying that! Best stick to scones!!

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  4. What a delightful interview. I felt I was transported from Florida right into your “small island,” Jenny, your memory of walking with your granddad touched my heart. Sadly both of my grandfathers passed before I was born, so I never had such a memorable experience with them. Googling gooseberry fool. And, dumb American has to ask what we would call “cream.” Is that butter for us? Jenny, such clever titles for your Another series. Best wishes with ALL your stories!

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    1. Hi JQ, I lost one of my grandfathers before I was born, and my Irish granddad (Pop) died when I was 12. I have very fond memories of him, and Jenny’s memory touched my heart, too. I wish I could have got to know both of them.
      A fool is a little like a yoghurt – maybe not good for some diets, but if you are on a carb-free diet then it’s allowed. The cream we have traditionally with our scones is almost a butter. It’s a thick, yellow cream called “clotted cream,” but a normal whipped cream will do just as well (like you get on top of hot chocolate).
      It would be lovely if we could share kitchens one day and try each other’s favourite recipes.
      Thanks for dropping in from the lovely warmth of Florida!

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      1. Thanks for the info on the cream. I was especially interested in the gooseberry fool because my dad loved gooseberry pie. Not sure I ever tasted gooseberries. The yogurt sounds great!

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  5. What a lovely interview I love Jenny’s books and now have an insight to her. The scones made me hungry. I live in the states and I doubt that our scones are anything like what you have. I have never put any jam or cream on them. Very interesting.

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  6. What wonderful responses from you all! I love scones- I have made a wide variety over the years, including raspberry and white chocolate scones, lemon and coconut, and even sausage and cheese scones- so yummy!!! No cream on the savoury scones mind- that would be yukky!! I have spent today sorting out PR for my next novel, Abi’s House- you can get a peep at the cover here- http://jennykane.co.uk/blog/cover-blurb-reveal-abis-house/

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  7. Helena and Jenny, my friends and I were discussing scones today when I told them about your post here. We pronounce scone to rhyme with own. None of us are too familiar with scones, so I clicked on Helena’s recipe and emailed it to my friends. We’ll see which one of us will actually take action and make them. Thanks for sharing the recipe again.

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    1. Hi JQ, thanks for letting me know you downloaded the recipe. I hope the scones turn out well. It’s a simple recipe, but actually not so easy to make excellent scones. It’s easy to overwork the dough. The scones are best eaten fresh, with butter or cream and jam (jelly).
      In the north of England we pronounce it “sconns.” And we insist that we are correct :)
      Thanks again for letting me know. If you do try the recipe, please let me know how you go on!

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