JQM PRESENTS A BLOG POST INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR Jan Foster
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
By day, I juggle consultancy work with my family, but by night I confess, I sneak off, into the past. I have a penchant for sprinkling history with magic, which is fueled by coffee and Cadburys. When not writing, I like to take my dogs and small monsters into the countryside, especially if there is a castle or historic building there with a cosy coffee shop in which to escape the rain of Manchester, England.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?
Being curious mostly! I’ve always been interested in history, and more importantly, what it can teach us about today. Fantasy allows the writer to ask trickier questions, the What if’s. Sometimes these are very human questions like what if you wanted an heir and couldn’t have one, what might that feel like? What if you believed one thing all your life, then found out it was a lie? Fiction allows us to explore these ideas. Having fantasy mixed into the equation is even more inspiring, because you can give characters some really tricky problems to explore. Like wings, what a pain when wearing corsets is a social requirement! You can make them dependent upon blood alone – how handy if the Catholic church regularly ‘lets blood’ as a cure. My stories verge on alternative history, and the challenge for me is skirting with how far can I go with having the characters witness or participate in real historical events without it actually changing the course of history as we know it.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS? WHY?
I don’t have one favourite author – too eclectic a taste! I am a huge fan of historical fantasy, so Deborah Harkness, Jodi Taylor, Diana Gabaldon, and pure historical fiction are my go to authors when I have the urge or time to disappear into a book. When I’m writing in an ‘era’ I try and read a lot of both fiction and non fiction books set in the same time so I can get a feel for how they describe something, the setting etc, as it helps to keep my mind focussed on what was happening around that time. For fun though, I love thrillers and medical mysteries, like Jeffrey Deaver, Scott Mariani, Patricia Cornwell. I will confess to a huge collection of Stephen King and Dean Kootz as well.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS? WHY?
My comfort read is Jean M Auel – the Clan of the Cave Bear series. It’s not my favourite book but it’s a great story and it’s what I retreat into myself when I just need something familiar to hide away into. As a reader, I want to be taken into another world, an escape, so as a writer, I want my readers to have that immersion also. I therefore read very little with contemporary settings these days, I’ve found as I’ve grown older, I don’t want to deal with modern day issues, I want the escape from reality!
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE LITERARY CHARACTERS? WHY?
I probably should put something ‘learned’ or classical here, like Jane Austen’s Emma, or Gandalf, but, I do love a strong lead, like Kay Scarpetta, Ben Hope, and Bruno Giordano (SJ Parris) – wily, tenacious, cunning and get the job done! I feel like I’d want them to have my back – fight for me if I ever got in trouble or murdered, or find out whodunnit.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW AUTHORS AND/OR ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Get used to AIS – it stands for Arse In Seat. The words won’t write themselves; you actually have to be there, ready to write, for them to get onto the page. Sounds obvious? Hard to do sometimes, but very necessary. Of course, words might come at other, inopportune times, but to get a novel written, you have to make time to actually sit down and write them.
IMAGINE ONE OF YOUR BOOKS IS ABOUT TO BECOME A FILM OR TV SHOW. WHO IS YOUR “DREAM CAST?” AND WHO DO YOU ASK TO CREATE THE SOUNDTRACK?
Oh I love this questions! #totalaspiration but here we go… Aioffe – Angelina Jolie (when blonde, like in Eternals!) Joshua – Chris Hemsworth (Thor version – why not!) Nemis – Eleanor Tomlinson (only blonde, but I love her angular features and she just seems feisty!) Fairfax – Eddie Redmayne (Newt Salamander-esque) Henry – Tom Hiddleston (as he was in the Night Manager) Jeffries – Derek Jacobi Lana – Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity in Matrix) Lady Hanley – Judy Dench (yeah, ok, I can dream!)
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH POTENTIAL READERS?
I’d really love you to check out my Naturae series – and let me know what you think! I’m currently toying with my morally grey character, Henry Fitzroy, and what he’s going to do next, so if anyone has read Anarchic Destiny, drop me a line and let’s have some fun speculating! You can follow me on social media @jan.foster.author and I always reply to messages!
WHERE CAN WE GO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR LITERARY WORKS?