Interview with Jan Edwards

What do you read for pleasure?
There is no easy answer to that as I read pretty much across the board, depending on my mood. There are plenty of classics on my shelves, along with main stream fiction. I also read a lot of crime, fantasy and horror. I have far more reference books on local folklore, myths and legends than I should because that is a particular passion.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the wilds of Sussex but spent my teens in South London, which I hope has given me a fairly balanced perspective on both urban and rural living. My parents were both celts (Welsh mother and Scots-Geordie father) meaning we had little by way of relatives close by. Friends became far more important as a support network and that can only expand horizons!
When did you first start writing?
So long ago I can't recall. Childhood story telling began in the infant school Monday News sessions. Lacking family I seldom had tea with granny or similar to give as news so I started talking about the animals around the farm and that led to an orphaned mouse that I started to rear whose exploits got bigger and more bizarre by the week. Total fabrication! (Little mouses, for instance, do not ride bicycles... )
Describe your desk
Ordered chaos. Pretty much a reflection of me I suspect.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. The screen is easier on my aging eyes than the my tablet :-)
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is as important as the contents of any book. Those who know your work will take a look because of the name but that book cover it is often the first contact with new readers.
My cover design choices are made simpler because Penkhull Press have two very talented designers. Unless you are an artist yourself covers by a pro designer is always a good move. That said I do have some input. I like to ensure that my covers reflect the style and mood of the contents.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Winter Downs (out on 3rd June 2017) is a WW2 crime novel. It came about because I recall being snowed in on several occasions at the farm and as an adult the image of finding bodies in all that snow was not beyond the realms of possibility. The story just grew from that and grew into a full blown novel.
What do your fans mean to you?
Writers often write purely because they have the need to write, but it seldom stops there. From ancient times we as a race have told stories around the hearth and books are just an extension of that. Being a storyteller is a great joy and when I write, though I plot in the vaguest sense, seeing the tale unfold is as much a surprise to me as to my readers. Knowing/hoping that my audience is as enthralled is immensely satisfying.
Published 2017-04-19.
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