Coming to the Bingergread Cottage is another writer friend of mine from FB but I’ve baked an enormous cake because she has some really big news to share.
Welcome to the Cottage, Jan. Sit down and dig in, I’ll get you a cup of something. Ignore the dog, she’s very friendly but don’t give her cake, she’ll spit it out and leave it on the floor!
So, come on, spill the beans. What is your fab news?
Thanks so much for inviting me to the cottage, Ailsa. That cake is seriously impressive. Don’t mind if I do! And what a lovely dog!
Yes, Lily, she loves cuddles and meeting new people – takes after her mum!
As for my exciting news – well, on Saturday March 14th I discovered that I’d won the Choc Lit and Whole Story Audio Books Search for a Star Competition. To say I was elated is putting it mildly. Choc Lit were offering me a contract! My first novel As Weekends Go (working title) was really going to be published. Cue much celebrating both at home and online (and more than a few tears of joy, I can tell you …). It still hasn’t really sunk in. I’m still grinning away like a fool at anyone who even half looks my way.
Wow! Well done. That is amazing. Explain a bit more – what does it all involve?
Well, it means that I get to join the incredible Choc Lit Family whose team, headed by Lyn Vernham, has given me the biggest of welcomes, as have all their fabulous authors. My novel will be published later this year in both digital and audio format. It was so lovely to see my first official Press Release. As we speak, I am awaiting my edits from Choc Lit and cracking on with Book Number 2.
Now tell us about your work. How did you start writing, how long have you been at it and what inspires you.
As Weekends Go is a multi POV tale – three interwoven stories – about two couples and the emotional havoc created during and beyond their eventful weekend clash of agendas, involving a ‘girls only’ trip to York, a Brighton sales conference and a Spanish stag do.
The idea sprang from a script I composed as part of a creative writing course assignment via The Writers Bureau. Following much secret plotting, research and feigning of passion for the customer accounts I was supposed to be reconciling during the day job, the chance finally arose to put pen to paper.
Whilst studying and writing, I attended as many author talks, and literary events as I could, and connected with writers and readers on Facebook and Twitter, where I learned of and subsequently joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. My novel received a glowing critique from my RNA reader, whose suggestions and advice were invaluable and it gave me the confidence to start submitting it for potential representation and also entering it in competitions. I also became one eighth of online group blog The Romaniacs who have given me no end of love, support and encouragement.
So many things inspire me: reading my favourite authors’ books, blog posts – both writerly and non-writerly subjects. Everyday life fascinates me, how people interact and react. Friends, family, colours, music, photographs, nature – I love walking and do some of my best thinking and plotting when I’m pounding the streets!
What about you? Any wee facts about Jan we can glean from you?
I live in South East London with my lovely husband Dave and motley crew of cuddly toys. Dave and I had originally met when we were teenagers, went our separate ways for a few years, then re-met by sheer chance at a mutual friend’s birthday party and now here we are …
I’m a typical Libran (so I’m told!) – take an age to make a decision and always strive for the perfect balance in everything, hence the bobbing and dipping of the scales (I make a great peacemaker!).
I’m very open-minded about anything astrological, spiritual – from cosmic ordering to crystals to The Secret – it all intrigues me, no end.
I love Tigers.
Finally, do give us the links to find your work, blog, social media etc.
My novel will be published by Choc Lit and Whole Story Audiobooks
I am on Facebook – Jan Brigden
And on Twitter @Briggy44
It’s been lovely having you, Jan and once again, hearty congratulations. Do come back any time and tell your friends. The Bingergread Cottage’s door is always open to pals for a chat.
Ailsa, it has been a pleasure. Many thanks for inviting me and for your good wishes. Both the company and the cake were fab! ? Jan x