Friday 22 May 2015

The Book Cycle with Jane Lovering

I am pleased to welcome, Choc Lit favourite and multi award winning, Jane Lovering, onto the blog, to talk about the recent book cycle for her latest novel, How I Wonder What You Are.
How I Wonder What You Are was conceived during a long, damp ride across the North York Moors. When you (well, by ‘you’ I mean ‘your horse’) is plodding through sodden peat and you are soaked to your sturdy underwear by a persistent low-flying drizzle, your mind tends to wander a bit, and mine wandered towards naked men. You know how it goes… And I wondered – what would I do if I found a naked man out here, in this weather?
Apart from point and laugh, of course.  Why would he be naked out here? Why wouldn’t he at least put some trousers on, even if it was only to stop me laughing?
And what would I do with him if I found him?
So began the process of writing the book.  I am not a great plotter.  In fact, forward planning further ahead than my next HobNob tends to be beyond me, I more sort of…point myself at a story and see what happens. I’ve always wished I could be one of those writers who has colour-coded Post Its and marker pens for each plot point and character, but I’m usually hard pressed in this house to find so much as one serviceable biro, so I don’t think it’s ever going to happen, quite honestly.  So I normally start with a couple of characters, in this case, Molly and Phinn. I knew I wanted Phinn not to be a traditional hero. I don’t really do those kinds of men who are billionaires despite never going to work, with huge muscles and a tendency to tell women what to do, so I made Phinn as far away from that as possible; a PhD Astrophysicist.
 I wrote the body of the book in six weeks, as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Because I’d already got the characters sorted in my head the actual writing came fairly quickly, once I have the people, the plots tend to sort themselves out while I sit back and eat biscuits. The main surprise while writing was how much Stan the horse managed to work himself into the book until, at the end, he plays a pivotal role.  But, I suppose, this is one of the problems of never plotting a book, sometimes characters won’t stay in the pigeonholes that the storyline dictates; they are like divas, always demanding that they are ‘in more scenes, darling’, until you give in and let them have their own way, and the book either flies or fTalls to pieces underneath their weight.
Caption: The two dogs are usually the reason Jane can’t find a biro!
Once I’d finished my fast write-through, I tweaked about with the storyline, while my wonderful beta-reader told me what was wrong with it (she lives in Spain, so she’s safe. She can criticise my work without having to worry that I’ll go round to her house and post pooh through her letterbox) and then I tidied it up and sent it out to my publisher.  
How I Wonder What You Are is a book I’m very proud of. It champions the unlikely hero – a man on anti-depressants, with a tendency to drink too much but mostly it champions a small, stout and bad-tempered horse called Stan. Horses make great heroes, I’ve found. Now, pass me the HobNobs…
Thanks Jane, for talking us through your book cycle for How I Wonder What You Are, which was recently published by Choc Lit.
Book Summary
It’s been over eighteen months since Molly Gilchrist has had a man (as her best friend, Caro, is so fond of reminding her) so when she as good as stumbles upon one on the moors one bitterly cold morning, it seems like the Universe is having a laugh at her expense.

But Phinn Baxter (that’s Doctor Phinneas Baxter) is no common drunkard, as Molly is soon to discover; with a PhD in astrophysics and a tortured past that is a match for Molly’s own disastrous love life.

Finding mysterious men on the moors isn’t the weirdest thing Molly has to contend with, however. There’s also those strange lights she keeps seeing in the sky. The ones she’s only started seeing since meeting Phinn …
To find out more about Jane Lovering:


  1. Fab post, Jane and Viv. And I love the way your pens reflect the colours of your book covers, Jane. I look forward to reading How I Wonder What You Are :-) xx

  2. Love the fact your writing process is similar to mine i.e. random and dependent on tea and biscuits! Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Angela Britnell


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