Q&A with Jayne Rowney

Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for I Can’t Sleep. My post is written with thanks to Jayne Rowney for inviting me on the tour and for answering my questions!

Have you always wanted to write?

I always enjoyed writing, and had ideas for books from when I was at primary school. Somehow I never committed the time until my mid-thirties. I might not have been ready back them. I am now! 

What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?

I trained as a midwife, which definitely influenced my previous novel, Ghosted, in which the main character is a midwife. I left midwifery to become a project manager, and the project planning and time management skills I learned and used in that role definitely help me to organise my writing and marketing. 

What was your inspiration for I Can’t Sleep? 

I actually suffered from insomnia about ten years ago, for a six-month period. My doctor prescribed various drugs, one of which made me completely lose track of my actions. I woke up on the sofa one night to find that I had prepared a meal and left it on the table and lit a row of tealights, which I fortunately had left in a safe place on the mantelpiece. I had no recollection of what I had done. I thought this would be a perfect starting point for a psychological thriller. 

How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?

My characters create themselves. I usually start with a general idea of a person or a situation, and see what happens. I haven’t based any of my characters on real people…yet! 

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m part-plotter, part-pantser! I always have my eye on the big picture, and I have some of the scenes that I will include to tell the story in mind. The things that happen in between tend to happen organically as I am writing. I like to get an idea and go with it. 

How did you research I Can’t Sleep? Did you enjoy it?

The main research I did for “I Can’t Sleep” focussed on the effects of sleep-deprivation and insomnia, and the treatment of these conditions. I knew a little from my own experiences, but I had to read up on a lot too. It was interesting reading, for sure. The workings of the mind can be fascinating. I hope this comes across to my readers. 

Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?

I read a wide range of genres, so it is difficult to pin down my favourites. I have been influenced by popular psychological thriller authors, and one of my favourites in the genre is Gillian Flynn. “Gone Girl” is a superb book, with so many twists and turns, but I loved “Dark Places”. I want to write the kind of book that other authors read and say, ‘I wish I had written that’.

If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?

I would need to invite three people who would talk to, and bounce ideas off, each other, and I would sit and listen. 

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

I don’t enjoy small talk, so I wouldn’t enjoy being stuck in a lift with anyone. One more reason to take the stairs! 

Who would play you in a film of your life?

If you squint a little bit I can pass as a less glamorous Monica Bellucci, but she is a little older than I.  I would like to be played by Anne Hathaway.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I am not writing I like to spend time with my OH by the sea. I read a lot, and I also enjoy playing poker. The protagonist in my next book, after “I Can’t Sleep”,  will be a poker player. 

What is next for you?

I am planning to apply to study for a PhD, starting later this year, exploring appropriation and the social and cultural responsibilities of authors. 

I also have plans for two further psychological thrillers, and I can’t wait to bring my ideas to the page. 


Book? My all-time favourite is “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt. I first read it shortly after it was published, and I have reread it every year since. I love the characters and the story and the whole feel of the novel.

Film? One of my favourites is The Prestige, with Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. It’s a movie with twists and turns and a non-linear narrative. The actors are perfect and the story is so well plotted.

Band/Singer? I have been a fan of Tori Amos ever since I listened to “Little Earthquakes” as a student. My go-to album is “Boys For Pele”.

TV show? I rarely watch television. I only own one because I enjoy playing RPGs on the PlayStation.

Colour? I love shades of blue. From the blue-black  of the night sky to the blue-green of the sea.

Place? I love Yorkshire and the area around Holmfirth where my mother lives, but I always longed to be by the sea. I now live on the South Coast of England and there’s nowhere that I would rather be.

Biscuit? I stopped eating sugar two years ago, so no biscuits for me, thanks!


I Can’t Sleep is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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