Guest Post: Jane Risdon (crime author) #damppebblesTakeOver

Welcome, welcome, welcome!  I am delighted to have crime writer Jane Risdon join me today on damppebbles. Welcome to my little blog Jane, I’m thrilled that you were able to stop by.

Emma, thanks so much for the opportunity to post on your blog today. I am thrilled to bits to be here.

For those who have not come across me before here is a little information about how I came to be here:

My name is Jane Risdon and I am a Crime writer. As far as I am aware there isn’t any cure.

jane

I began writing seriously some 5-6 years ago having worked in the International Music Business for most of my adult life, with short spells early on in my career at the Ministry of Defence, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Atomic Energy Research Establishment and Social Services – not as a Social Worker I should add.

Having married a Rock musician whilst very young and having a son early on, we’ve led a crazy life as you might imagine. With the way the music business was back in the early days of our marriage someone had to earn a regular salary; me. Later on when his successful band split-up he and I ventured into Recording Artist and Producer management, with the management of Songwriters, Singers and Musicians all over the world, but mainly in the USA and Asia as well as Europe. Our artists all had American Recording Contracts and some wrote music for Television series and Movie soundtracks, and therefore we worked with varied genres of music.

fave recording studio

A favourite studio in Los Angeles

As you can imagine life on the road constantly touring and performing, or doing personal appearances, Press events etc., or being stuck in an aeroplane travelling thousands of miles a week, recording or working in various countries on projects which took up our time, day and night, for months, was pretty full-on. Time off was a distant dream. Tiredness, jet-lag and unrelenting pressure from Record Companies to have our acts write, record and tour – ‘give us the hits.’ – were our constant companions, as well as mainly young men in their late teens early twenties, with all that brings to the table. Although we managed females too and boy, what a handful they could be. Anyway the point I am making is that there was little time off and certainly limited time for anything other than sleep when not in meetings in Hollywood, London, Taipei or Singapore. Writing was a distant dream for me; something I would get round to doing ‘one day when I get time.’

singapore

Singapore

baywatch

On the set of Baywatch

Once life had slowed down somewhat and I had time to take stock, I allowed myself to dream of writing full time, something I’ve wanted to do since I was very small when I always had a book or a note pad and pencil in hand. I lived in an imaginary world growing up, the eldest of six children – all my siblings were much younger – with little time for myself or privacy. I read mostly action and adventure stories and loved Enid Blyton, Robert Louis Stevenson and Biggles, and later writers like Agatha Christie, Daphne Du Maurier, Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane and John Le Carre, whose writing was magical for me. These authors fuelled my imagination and I desperately wanted to be them. I also wanted to act like Katharine Hepburn, dance with Fred Astaire, and sing like Doris Day or Sarah Vaughan. We all have our dreams.

My writing career – if you can call it that – began modestly. I wrote on the computer for my own amusement and the only time in the early days I allowed a friend to read what I’d written, put me off having a go again for years. She said I didn’t write like me. I had no idea what she meant but it stopped me trying again. Later an old friend of my husband’s – and mine – who had been his band’s Fan-club secretary and a successful Rock journalist, got chatting to me about writing. By this time she was an award winning author. Once she heard I was dabbling she offered to read my work. Cripes! I nearly passed away in horror. However, after a while I plucked up courage and she got to read lots of pieces I’d written, which varied from full on Crime to Humour and what I call Observational stories. I won’t bore you with the details, but she loved what I’d written and encouraged me to continue writing and to get serious about it.

Eventually I tried my hand at Flash Fiction which was published online and well received, and later several of my Short stories were included in various Anthologies – in print and eBooks – published by various publishers. In 2014 I signed a contract with Accent Press and was included in two of their anthologies. Sometime in late 2016 or early 2017 a novel, Only One Woman,’   which I have co-authored with our life-long friend, Christina Jones, will be published by Accent Press.

guitar

I am deeply into writing a series of novels about a former MI5 Officer, Ms Lavinia Birdsong, who is ‘voluntarily’ retired from the Security Services and moves to a rural Oxfordshire village to lick her wounds. In the first novel ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ she finds herself embroiled in the search for a missing woman which brings her into contact with Russian Mafia, People Traffickers, Ukrainian Gun-runners, and someone she thought she’d well and truly left behind in her former life.

white horse

This book has, so far, taken me four years to write. Apart from taking a tumble down the stairs soon after I started it which left me unable to dress myself, let alone write, due to a messily broken shoulder and collar bone, I have started to re-write it after attending a family wedding at a huge stately home. Until the wedding ‘The Divine Ms B’ – as I call her – was a sort of 21st century Miss Marple with attitude, but events at the wedding changed all that and I was inspired to write a completely new story; well two more actually. This meant that my original book had to be re-written to encompass the two new books and their story-lines and the way Ms B was portrayed. Her back story changed somewhat. She’d become tougher, more physical and cleverer; her role at MI5 had become more important. So that is where I am at the moment with her. Writing book one all over again.

wedding

The wedding venue with a secret

Since I started Ms B all that time ago my writing has improved, so I think, and so has my confidence. I’ve even started to Blog and to use Twitter. It’s funny, but as the manager of recording artists and so on, doing huge deals with some of the most important companies in the world, working with the Movers and Shakers in Hollywood and bashing heads with some of the most infamous Music and Movie business legends, you’d think I would find writing a breeze, after all I have managed Rock and Thrash bands well known for their ‘challenging’ behaviour. But it is the hardest thing I have ever done. When I’ve been working with songwriters or with record producers in the studio it wasn’t me actually having to come up with the lyrics or the music or the bravura productions, although I have contributed on all fronts, but ultimately I didn’t have to perform the material and front it. Writing is so much harder. It is up to me, alone; no-one is going to conjure up a story or character for me or slog it out at the computer. No-one is going to do the difficult research for me, and although I have an editor and proof-reader to call upon at my publishers, it is down to me ultimately. I won’t have a ‘me,’ a manager, guiding my career, promoting me, working themselves ragged twenty-four seven, year in year out, pushing only me and my talents. The publisher can only do so much. I have to come up with the goods all on my own. It is terrifying. It is the biggest challenge I’ve ever had.

Having said all that, I am having a blast. The best time. I am my own boss. I don’t have to babysit testosterone laden young men, or stroppy females with PMT, and I don’t have to sit and negotiate contracts with a guy well known for having ‘Family’ ties (think about it) or sit opposite attorneys with guns and baseball bats on their desks, ready to deal with pushy managers who won’t take no for an answer. I have avoided the concrete boots, the horses head in the bed and the foundations of the latest Los Angeles freeway. I have survived earthquakes, mud-slides and floods, fires, tornadoes and riots and, so far, touch wood, the plague of locusts. See, I told you writing was the biggest challenge I’ve ever had.

In October 2016 I have a Short story in an anthology ‘Madame Movara’s Tales of Terror.’ In aid of Save the Children my story is called ‘Haunting Melody’ and is music-themed.  Some, but not all of my stories have their origins in music – not a surprise really, considering – I have so much experience to call upon. Indeed many of my Crime stories are music-based or have a touch of Espionage about them.

If I have whetted your curiosity you can find more about me and my books on amazon:

My Amazon Author Page | My Accent Author Page | My Author Blog | My Facebook Author Page | My Twitter |

The Books:

Madame Movara’s Tales of Terrormadame movarapublication Oct 2016 featuring
Haunting Melody by Jane Risdon

Wishing on a Star

wishing

Published by Accent Press featuring
Merry Christmas Everybody by Jane Risdon.

Shiver

shiver

published by Accent Press featuring
The Haunting of Anne Chambers by Jane Risdon

 

In A Word: Murderin a word

published by Margot Kinberg featuring
Dreamer
and  Hollywood Cover Up by Jane Risdon

I Am Woman (vol 1)i am woman

published by FCN featuring
The Look by Jane Risdon

Telling Tales tellin tales

published by MoonWorks featuring
The Debt Collector and The Ghost in the Privy by Jane Risdon

*****

And to come 2016/2017

Only One Woman  

By Christina Jones and Jane Risdon
Published by Accent Press

*****

Thank you so much for joining me today Jane and for telling us about your exciting journey to writing.  I can’t wait to read your Ms Birdsong Investigates book as it’s set in my home county!  I live just down the road from The White Horse.  I’ve also added the Madame Movara anthology to my wish list as I do love a bit of horror.

All of Jane’s books are available on Amazon so pop on over to her author page and have a look.

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21 thoughts on “Guest Post: Jane Risdon (crime author) #damppebblesTakeOver

  1. Hello and thanks for dropping in and reading my interview Bibliophilebookclub. I am really happy you enjoyed it. I try! I hope you will keep an eye out for the divine Ms B when she eventually decides to have done with me. appreciated. Have a fab day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous interview with an equally fabulous lady. I may be biased as we are related, however, I am always learning things about Jane’s life.
    The music business is a fascination for us, and Jane’s experiences are certainly entertaining!
    Such a talent Jane, I am going to have to meet Ms Birdsong in your books. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Shaz, thanks so much and thanks for taking time out to pop in here. I know how busy you are. Glad you enjoyed the piece and that I have entertained you today…all I aim to do. Be careful you might find yourself in a Ms B book…inspiration comes from near and far! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Titillation is the answer John, a little now and again doesn’t do any harm. Thanks for dropping in and whilst I am here today I must ask readers to drop over and see your wonderful piece on my blog at some time. Thanks for the good wishes and the very same to you too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great to find out more about you here, Jane. Your Ms Birdsong series sounds intriguing. I love the idea that you were hit with inspiration at a wedding. Can’t wait to find out more. All the very best with your writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yep Helena, at a family wedding. Huge house in 6,000 acres and such a romantic setting. But I soon found a few things in the house which made me begin to think about the real use of the house and who actually owned it. I asked the reception staff….I wasn’t wrong. I did an article for writer James North a while back (see my blog for links to his site) and the answer is revealed in there. Thanks so much for taking time to come here and read this, much appreciated. The same to you with your writing Helena. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Jane Risdon and commented:
    I have been nattering (again) about crime writing, inspiration and working in music, not to mention horses heads, concrete boots and the influence they’ve had on my writing…drop in to damppebbles and say hello. Thanks Emma Welton for hosting me. I had a blast!

    Like

  6. Loved your takeover piece, Jane. Funny, how we all seem to come to writing from such an odd collection of former lives. You, one of “M”‘s former hench-folk and a rock musician manager (the one would seem to be a perfect preparation for the other). I came to this from a long career writing humorous ads & commercials and managing creative departments in ad agencies around Los Angeles. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your piece and, speaking as a reader and fan, I’m thankful that you’ve finally gotten the time to yourself to write. Keep on; you’re insanely good at it (Let me know if you guys ever decide to start managing writers, though. No worries — I gave up destroying hotel rooms years ago.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OMG! Hotel rooms, just been talking about that. Actually more like breaking elevators on the way down between floors in NYC and being stuck for 5 hours. One claustrophobic record company guy, 5 excitable musicians and me. Hanging between floors at an odd angle and peculiar creaks coming from the cables…I am sure you know exactly what it is like. Crazy world and thankfully behind us now. Thanks for your kind words about my writing…I try. You on the other hand, are a master of the story and character and so funny too. Good job I know those folk and places I get a vivid image every word you write. Thanks for being here. Much appreciated. I hope you liked the little piece of Dreamer. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Gosh, you know I’ve read interviews of yours and obviously your website and know your general background, but this interview really fleshed it out – you’ve lived a really interesting life, Jane. Great interview and well done on getting so much out of life and so many achievements! Love reading your stuff X

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am pleased you enjoyed it Samantha. Glad you took time to come over here, much appreciated. Yep, life has been a bit ‘out there’ at times. It lifts me and encourages me when you say you love reading my stuff. Makes it worth the slog. Very grateful. Looking forward to your interview on my blog on 29th July – will be so interesting for readers too. Thanks again. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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