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!
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.
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.
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-
Many thanks for inviting me over today Helena.
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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!