Meet Jane Beckenham, author of fabulous romances.
Tell us the title of your book and where we can buy it?
Well I’m really excited because my ebook, Desperately Seeking Santa is going into print for Christmas…and you know that’s only 13 weeks away – scary thought!
What is your book about? What genre is it and will you be writing another one in that same field?
It’s a holiday romance, contemporary. My heroine, Mandy Brookes who works as assistant manager of an upmarket store, is required to dress as Mrs Santa for the store’s Santa Grotto. Trouble is the normal 90year old Santa is drunk, so there’s a replacement. Then, they get locked in the store, and Santa isn’t who he appears to be, but the man she dumped at the altar five years earlier.
What inspired you to write your book?
I love holiday stories, and I wanted to write something fun and flirty, and Desperately Seeking Santa is the result.
How long did it take you to write it?
I normally take about 2-3 months, depending on what other writing stuff is going on, edits etc, for my other books.
How much time do you spend editing and what is your method?
I write a really quick first draft, and then do at least five full read throughs, editing, editing and more editing. I also have two great critique partners who will read chapters for me.
Do you belong to a critique group? What is your opinion of critique groups?
Yes, as I mentioned above I have two partners, we swap a chapter a week mostly, but more if required when we’re in deadline mode. I like having crit partners, but I must say that you have to have the right ones that work for you. And I personally believe that I need to have partners who are aiming at the same line as myself, or at least have a very very clear understanding of the that line.
How do you market your book?
I mostly do yahoo groups, a little bit of advertising, but do public appearances, libraries etc. And I’ve been asked to speak quite a few times at different writers’ groups, so that’s nice. I’m in New Zealand, so it’s a small market and very difficult. All my books are in ebook format first, then print, but NZs for the most part don’t even know what an ebook is, so that does make it harder on the home front.
Do you have an agent? Was the process you went through to gain an agent difficult?
No agent at the moment, but I am trying. I recently pitched to Melissa Jeglinski of the Knight Agency and she requested a partial – that went off yesterday actually, so fingers crossed.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you believe reading is important for writers?
Love Sandra Hill, Sophia James. Yes, I think writers must keep reading, but that said, I’m struggling to keep up with that at the moment.
Do you have any advice geared toward the writing, or publishing of a book for our members?
Only that try and remember when you’re deep in edits, and it’s midnight, why you do this. It’s because you love it. Because you have to. It’s kinda funny, because this morning I just finished edits for my book Hiring Cupid – Samhain – and I sent them back then found myself sitting at the computer, thinking, what now? I feel lost without a writing project on the go.
Thought I’d give you a small teaser for Desperately Seeking Santa
Santa leaned against a railing of silky teddies and thongs, all pink fluff and feathers along with black lace and faux fur. Mandy blinked several times. The guy didn’t move. The look on his face, humor and downright daring indicate he knew exactly what he leaned against. But still he stayed there. His arms crossed his chest, pulling the red suit across his broad shoulders. The fabric stretched and Mandy’s eyes widened. This was no weasely old man Santa and she wondered for the first time, what lay beneath all that fake Santa stuff?
“The phone lines are down,” he said, suddenly breaking into her heated thoughts.
Mandy shook her head, tendrils falling loose across her face. It tickled and she roughly brushed it away, tucking it behind her ears.
“Don’t do that.”
Her hand stalled, a strand of hair still between her thumb and forefinger. “Pardon?” Had she heard right, the guys voice was kinda muffled beneath all those whiskers.
“I liked it like that.”
Her brows puckered. Liked? Mandy snapped her thoughts closed. “The phone,” she prompted.
“The phone lines are out. Must have hit the mobile phone tower too, because can’t get a signal on my phone. The storm has struck so it looks like we’ll have to stay the night.”
“You want to what?” Shocked, Mandy gaped at Santa. “Sleep here?” She took a quick inventory. Not a bed in sight. “You’ve got to be joking. Besides, it’s Christmas Eve.”
“Got anywhere else to go?”
Mandy’s jaw dropped, but no words came out while a stain of heat scalded her cheeks. She didn’t have anywhere else to go No family. No life. Christmas as far as she was concerned was a non-event. But she wasn’t about to admit that. She tucked her suddenly fidgeting hands behind her. “Don’t you?” she questioned as a counter-defense.
Desperation hiked up ten-fold. “But we’re locked in, everyone’s gone home. What’ll we do?”
“Told you. Sleep.”
Mandy stared into the dimness all around them, expecting, praying a security guard would walk out of the increasing darkness. “”You can’t sleep here. This is a department store.”
“Sure I can. There’s a bed, isn’t there?” he said pointing towards the Santa grotto.
“That’s Santa’s sleigh!”
“Bed, sleigh, what’s the difference?” He shrugged and his bushy white brows wiggled. “You’re a mite picky for someone stuck in a department store, don’t ya think?” He strode towards the sleigh and without thinking she found herself following him. Santa was in full force tossing out presents…well boxes of various sizes and colors intended to grant every child’s desire, as she side-stepped the elve’s mushroom stand.
“Which side do you want?”
Happy reading everyone and many thanks to Kim.