Jane Dawkins by Rose Brungard (Romance at Heart.com):
I have asked Jane Dawkins
to grace us with an interview and she has graciously acquiesced to my request.
She is currently working on her third book, a Regency Romance called One Perfect
Afternoon, but currently has two wonderful books out that follow Jane Austens
Pride and Prejudice, called Letters from Pemberley and More Letters from Pemberley.
How may readers contact
By email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to me at
1408 Petronia Street
Key West, FL 33040
Do your fans' comments
and letters influence you in any way?
Not really, though I always enjoy hearing from readers.
Why did you decide
to write romance novels?
Actually, it was my agent who threw out the challenge following the success
of my two Jane Austen sequels, Letters from Pemberley and More Letters from
Pemberley. Having tried very hard to emulate the language and style Jane Austen,
and be true to her characters, I found that writing a novel in my own voice
with my own characters very liberating and great fun.
How much of your personality
and life experiences are in your writing?
Very little indeed. My heroines are mostly strong young women-even head-strong.
As a former extremely shy shrinking violet, I wish I had been more like them
as a young woman.
Generally, how long
does it take you to write a book?
My first two books were researched and written over several years. One Perfect
Afternoon was done in three months.
What is your writing
I use a laptop computer and sit outside on the front porch or out back by
our pool-rarely at a desk, though I always sit at a desk for editing and correcting,
because it is just more convenient to go through the ms that way, and for
the ease of using a proper mouse.
Do you have a set schedule
for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I definitely just go with the flow.
What about your family,
do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant
My wonderful husband knows not to bother me when I am writing.
What do you do to relax
and recharge your batteries?
Reading, painting, ceramics, movies, theatre, walking the dogs.
Where do your ideas
I wish I knew the answer to that one!
Do you feel humour
is important in women's fiction and why?
I think humour is important, period! It is also one of the hardest things
to put across successfully in fiction, I think. Tragedy and tears are much
easier to get right. Our actor friends say it is exactly the same in the theatre.
What are your thoughts
on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
I dont find them difficult to write, but I definitely belong to the
less is more school. I think my love scenes, and certainly my
sex scenes are suggestive rather than explicit, which to my mind makes far
more erotic reading.
What kind of research
do you do?
Thats my favourite part of all! So far, my books have been set in the
Regency period in England (my native country) and I love to try and get things
right. I am so grateful for the resources of the Internet, which enable me
to get information very quickly. For instance, in Letters from Pemberley,
knowing that balls would often be arranged to coincide with the full moon,
thus enabling guests to arrive and leave with some light to guide them safely
(assuming the sky was clear, of course) I wanted to know when the full moon
appeared in July 1813. An email to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich gave
me the answer in a matter of hours! To most readers this would hardly matter,
but it gives me enormous satisfaction to be correct.
What does your husband/wife
think of your writing?
He is very proud and most supportive.
Do you ever ask him/her
Not while I am writing, usually, but I always ask his opinion on the first
draft of a book.
Please tell us about
yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
Born in Palestine, I grew up in a small country town in Wiltshire, which borders
Hampshire where Jane Austen lived.
- My husband, Chuck, and I live in Key West, in Florida, with the two most
wonderful golden retrievers in the entire world.
- Hobbies are painting, reading, ceramics, walking, movies, theatre.
Fill in the blank favorites - Dessert. City. Season. Type of hero. Type of
Apple crumble, Key West, summer
What are some of your
favorite things to do?
Do you have a favorite
author? Favorite book?
Jane Austen. Pride & Prejudice
Who are some of your
Barbara Kingsolver, Maeve Binchy, David Lodge, Nick Hornby, Zadie Smith
Who, if anyone, has
influenced your writing?
Are you a member of any
author groups - RWA, critique groups, etc.?
Where do you see yourself
in five years?
Three books. Two already published, one to be published in 2004.
After you've written
your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and read it?
What book for you has
been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
One Perfect Afternoon was the easiest and the most fun. The hardest: my latest,
still in progress.
What are the elements
of a great romance for you?
Great writing first and foremost.
Are you in control
of your characters or do they control you?
I am definitely in control-I think! Though once they have established themselves
on the page, I may have to change my mind about what I originally thought
they might do in the story.
Have you experienced
writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
Yes, several months worth. I just set the ms aside and didnt get too
anxious about it. When I returned to the ms, it was as if I was reading the
story for the first time and the wheels started turning again, thankfully.
What is the most rewarding
thing about being a writer?
Seeing your words between covers is very exciting.
If you weren't writing,
what would you be doing?
Painting, ceramics, learning another language, perhaps.
Any words of encouragement
for unpublished writers?
Just keep at it!
Jane, thanks you so much for this look into your life, and your incredible
books. I know that I enjoyed Letters from Pemberley, and More Letters form
Pemberley, and I am looking forward to reading One Perfect Afternoon. Thanks
you for taking the time for me, and our readers and members, Jane. It is greatly