Monday, 9 July 2018

MY WRITING DAY with Jane Isaac

I am delighted to welcome Jane Isaac to Off-the-Shelf Books today, to talk about her writing day! After He's Gone was published on 20 June 2018.

My Writing Day
By Jane Isaac

It’s six years since my first book was released (and eight since I first started penning novels) and my writing routine and lifestyle has seen many changes. In the early days, I wrote when the mood took me, fitted the words around my day job, my trusted computer balanced precariously on my lap, wherever I perched myself. I know some writers manage this juggling match brilliantly, but it’s always been a challenge for me and I found I was sacrificing more and more family time with every book. My daughter was getting older and kept reminding me she’d be off to university soon. I needed to make some changes, to spend more time with her. So, last year, I handed in my notice at the day job and made the decision to write full time, at least for a while.
My husband embraced my decision wholeheartedly and moved his guitars (well, most of them!) out of the spare room. A desk was installed, followed by a noticeboard, a computer and a chair. There’s plenty of colour in my new office. I’m the Queen of Post-it pads and have a kaleidoscope of notes attached to my whiteboard. The room doesn’t have much of a view, although I am accompanied by a bookshelf, the smallest in the house so I've filled it with my comfort books; those I can whip down and read when I'm looking for motivation. 
When I finished the day job, I imagined dropping my daughter at school in the morning and driving back through the country lanes while pondering plot points and character traits. In reality, I listen to the morning news while dashing back to walk the dog and complete my chores. It’s almost 9.30am by the time the dog and I traipse up to my office to begin work.
I’m prone to procrastination and find I can easily while away a couple of hours reading posts on Facebook or chatting on Twitter, so I have to be disciplined. I don't check emails or social media until I’ve made some progress on the scene I’m currently working on. I’ll work until 3pm when I have to do the school run and walk the dog. If it’s been a good day, I’ll be completely absorbed and forget lunch. If it hasn’t, I’ll have shifted about, snacked constantly, and dipped in and out of social media. Often I’ll be back at my keyboard in the evening, catching up with admin, or penning some more words. Occasionally I’ll have an event or a talk to prepare for.
My new title, After He’s Gone, marks the first in the DC Beth Chamberlain series. Beth is a Family Liaison Officer which offers an intriguing new angle on a murder investigation, for me. Liaison officers spend a lot of time with the family, updating them on the investigation and feeding back information and often get very close. And since most people are killed by someone they know or someone close to them, it affords the opportunity to unravel some really intriguing secrets! I’ve just finished the first draft of the second in the series, which is scheduled for release later this year, and am now working on an outline for a third. I find I plan more with every book; the whiteboard on the wall of my office is currently filled with drawings, photos, mind maps and notes for my new project.
Sometimes there’s a hiccup in my script, a moment's blindness. It happens. It's always happened. The only way I can cope with it is to remove myself and do something different like research a plot point, or a new scene. It’s lovely to go out and visit potential settings, meet with people for coffee, or read up for background. I probably do far too much of it, only a trickle will find its way into the novel, but I think it convinces my brain I’m still being productive when the words don’t flow!

About Jane Isaac
Jane Isaac lives with her detective husband (very helpful for research!) and her daughter in rural Northamptonshire, UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. Her debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the 'eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.' The follow up, The Truth Will Out, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by
After He’s Gone is Jane’s sixth novel and the first in a new series featuring Family Liaison Officer, DC Beth Chamberlain. The second DC Beth Chamberlain novel will be released later in 2018.
You can find with Jane at, on Facebook here and on Twitter - @JaneIsaacAuthor.

About After He's Gone

After He's Gone
By Jane Isaac
You can buy the book from Amazon UK here.

 ‘The safety catch on the Glock snapped as it was released. Her stomach curdled as she watched the face of death stretch and curve. Listened to the words drip from his mouth, ‘Right. Let’s begin, shall we?’ 
You think you know him. Until he’s dead.
When Cameron Swift is gunned down outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer: a dual role that requires her to support the family, and also investigate them. 
As the case unfolds and the body count climbs, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets. 
Even the dead…

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