Q&A with Jane Markland

Today I’m joining the blog tour for Cielo. I’m sharing my Q&A with the author with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell and the team at SpellBound Books for inviting me on the blog tour and to Jane Markland for answering my questions!

Have you always wanted to write?

Yes from childhood, I spent most of it in the local library, and wanted to do the same, escape into a different world, anywhere, with anyone. 

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

I’ve done almost every job, working with animals (horses, dogs), had a decorating business most of my life, and have worked in shops, cleaned, worked in kitchens, and now work as a secretary in a hospital. I can’t say they’ve helped me with writing, although I do tend to think back to people I’ve met in life, some of them from work.

What was your inspiration for Cielo?

Cielo was deep inside my brain probably for a long while. I worked with nurses a few years ago, who treated patients for addictions, both drug and alcohol, that job gave me the background knowledge to tackling the issues in Cielo. Nathan is a complete mix of people I knew as patients, he’s a bit of me too, and I wanted to write a hero (more than anything) who much of society would spit on and describe as ‘the underclass’. That is so wrong and my main hope is that Cielo will change some minds and readers will ask questions on how we see people who lead different lives to our own. 

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

Nathan built himself, I wrote a few scenes with Max (none in the final version) and he grew into the character you will read about in Cielo. He had many traits of people I have known in my working life, he’s got a bit of me too, the gardening obsession!  Max is based very loosely on someone I knew a long time ago, including the way he talks. He was almost too easy to write and I had to constantly check him, to make sure he didn’t take over the story. Both main characters have evolved over different drafts and I feel that I know them very well now. 

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

Definitely a pantser, I can’t do plots, I simply can’t. I make up a character and the setting, for me the setting always comes first, before the people. I write silly nonsense scenes and decide how it’s going to end, then write randomly and put it all together later. This does need a lot of editing, and without Scrivener I couldn’t write at all. 

How did you research Cielo? Did you enjoy it?

Not too much research for Cielo, it’s a classic cliché case of writing ‘what you know’. There was one particular part I had to research but I can’t reveal that, you’ll have to read and guess which part of the story it is. 

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

So many, Patrick Gale for characterisation and dynamics in family, Armistead Maupin for storyline and happy and sad throughout, Iain Banks for voice, setting and twists. 

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

Prince, my absolute hero musician and trailblazer of all time, Alexei Navalny, for courage and ideals, and Billy Connolly for laughs.

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

Anyone who votes or is a Tory – no explanation needed as to why. 

Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Cielo?

Nathan would be played by Billy Price (Sid in Hollyoaks)

Max would be Jake Gyllenhaal

What do you like to do in your spare time?

All the usual I’m afraid, reading, walking, gardening, being with my family and watching my local football team play.

What is next for you?

I am re-writing book two, just had note back from my editor/mentor and will be adding little bits and pieces before hopefully submitting it to agents at the end of the summer.

Favourites:

Book?    Jane Eyre 

Film?       Brokeback Mountain

Band/Singer?   Nothing but Thieves 

TV show?   Any thriller/police drama 

Colour?   Green 

Place?   Norwich 

Biscuit?  Chocolate or ginger 

***

Cielo is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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