Recently I have published a review on the book Three by Jane Blythe which is the 3rd installment in her Count to Ten series. Actually there has been a few reviews on this blog featuring this Author’s work and I thought we could spend a little time getting to know her.
A conversation with Author Jane Blythe
Q. So you are a writer with a black belt in Taekwondo and a 200+ collection of teddy bears. That is awesome but also cracks me up, what else can you tell us about you?
Haha! Yeah the black belt and teddy bears do sound like a bit of an odd combination! Well I also love the beach, and the snow, and I am currently taking horse riding lessons, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And I absolutely love to bake, especially anything chocolatey! I have two adorable but super energetic Dalmatians, Ivory and Pearl. My favorite colors are pink and yellow, which anyone who has ever received an email from me can attest to because I have my default font color set to pink!
Your pups are adorable! I have seen you post their pics on Facebook.
Q. You write within the genres of mystery/crime/suspense and romance what draws you to writing within those genres?
I love the excitement of the crime genres, I like to see a riveting mystery unravel, packed full of suspense and thrills, and mixed with the amazing character development that often comes with romance! From my love of reading books like that came my love of writing them!
Q. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
To date I have written a complete series of five books, the Detective Parker Bell Series, and the third book in my Count to Ten Series has just released. Hmm . . . that is such a hard question!! I would have to say that my very first book, A Secret to the Grave, will always hold a very special place in my heart because it was he first book I ever completed. I really loved writing Tessa and Parker’s story because they were both very mixed up people with a lot of emotional baggage, but over the five book series they did learn and grow, but unfortunately their story does not have a happy ending!
Q. Let’s talk about your newest release, Three, the third book in The Count to Ten Series. What sort of research did you have to do to make this story come alive?
Three was a fun book to write because it incorporates the villains from both One and Two, and I have to say that One’s bad guy is one of my all time favorites, he was so smug and obnoxious that he was fun to write! Most of my research when I write has to do with the crime aspects of my books, things to do with forensic evidence, or autopsy findings, or methods of killing someone. In this book, in particular I touched base with an anesthetist that I met when I recently had surgery who had helped me with some information for a later book in the Count to Ten Series, to check a few things about the injuries and treatment one of my characters would need after she was attacked.
I can only imagine how you start those conversations!! Hmmm, by the way…..😊
Q. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Knowing how much to recap from books One and Two, because Three follows the story of the killers from these books I needed to put in a reasonable amount of information so any new readers understood who the killers were, while also trying not to give away everything so that those readers would still want to go back and read the first two books. Hope I got the balance right!
Having read your latest release, I can say that in my opinion you got it right.
Q. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I really love writing series, they’ve always been my favorite to read because I love really getting to know the characters and see them develop over time, so when I started writing it was just natural to me to write my own series. I think my favorite part of writing a series is seeing the effects of the incidents that happen in the book have on the characters, often in a standalone book everything is wrapped up at the end and we get a happy ending, with a series we can pick back up with the characters and see what life has been like for them after the happy ending and see whether the ending was so happy after all. Of course there are also a few difficulties, the biggest one I find is deciding how much information about previous books to include in the next book, I want there to be enough to catch up new readers but not too much to be repetitive to readers who have already read earlier books.
Q. Do you find it hard to kill off your characters?
Haha . . . hmm . . . actually I have gotten a bit of flack from some people for killing off one of the main characters at the end of the final book in my Detective Parker Bell Series . . . so nope! Well sometimes I feel a little bit bad about it but if it’s the way the story goes then it has to happen. Actually the next book in the Count to Ten Series will see us saying goodbye to one of the characters too.
Q. Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
I am a planner. A big planner! I usually start with a very brief story idea. Next I get to work on my characters figuring out who they are and what their back story is. After that I’ll work out the plan for the series, how many books, how do I want it to end, and what are my story ideas for each book. When I’m ready to work on a specific book I start by writing the story in 50-100 words, this helps me really figure out exactly what the main point of the story is. Then I’ll write a slightly longer outline, approximately 250 words, this helps me flesh out the story a little more. After that I plot out each scene with dot points, this helps me work out the flow of the story, making sure I reveal information throughout the book and don’t do an information dump in any one spot. Any specific notes or ideas I have for a scene will get written beside its dot point so I don’t forget. After that I’m ready to get writing!
Q. What are you working on now?
Well I took a bit of a break from my Count to Ten Series because I’ve already written books four-six, so I started work on a trilogy about identical half-triplets. Its been really enjoyable working on a whole new set of characters and their stories. I also have plans for two spinoffs from the trilogy featuring some of the secondary characters as main characters, and a continuing series again including secondary characters from the trilogy.
Q. What does your writing space look like?
My writing space is the couch, with my laptop on my lap, one of my doggies curled up on either side of me like adorable spotty bookends, and an old DVD playing in the background for background noise!
Q. What do you do in your free time when you aren’t writing?
Baking, horse riding, shopping, reading, beach, snow, friends, family and doggies!
That is very active and I am jealous about the horseback riding, sounds fun!
Q. If someone is brand new to your work, what book do you think they should start with?
I would stay start with A Secret to the Grave because its my first book and the first book in that series, or start with One because it’s the first book in my new series.
Q. Are there any nuggets of wisdom you can impart to aspiring writers?
If you love writing so much that you would write even if no one ever read what you’d written then keep writing and never give up!
Thank you for your time Ms. Jane, it was most lovely getting to know you!
Looking for reviews of books from this Author?