Friday, 27 April 2012

A Day in the Life of an Author - Guest blog by Jane Isaac

I am honoured and very excited to present this guest blog by the incredibly talented Jane Isaac, author of 'An Unfamiliar Murder'. A novel I urge you to buy if you enjoy exciting thrillers that leave you guessing until the last page.  She has posted her website url so please be sure you visit and if you are so inclined leave a comment on her blog. Thank you Jane for allowing me to feature you here.

First, I would like to thank the wonderfully talented Bernadette Davies for inviting me to grace her blog presence. I have been a huge plan of her blog, stories and poetry forever, and feel honoured and humbled to accept the invitation.

A Day in the Life of an Author

I can still feel the bounce in my stomach the day I received the email offering me a contract for my debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder. I still pinch myself to believe that it is all true. I’d dreamed of the day I would get published, the day I would see my book on the shelf in Waterstones, receive feedback, reviews, do book signings...

Book promotion is an ongoing basis and something I’ve had to fit into my already hectic daily schedule. Once I’ve bundled my daughter off to school in the mornings I spend half an hour on the computer dealing with emails, answering messages, tweets etc. Then it’s off to the day job for me. (Like many new writers I squeeze my writing into my marginal time.) I usually return around three and run around the field with my incredibly naughty, but wonderfully lovable Labrador, Bollo. Then, back onto the PC to catch up again with social media, whilst welcoming my daughter in from school and cooking the dinner, occasionally to disastrous results (luckily my guys are very easy going)!
The evening time is when I start to think about the real love of my life: my fiction. A few evenings a week, around 8pm, I sit at the PC for an hour or two, gather my thoughts, and spend some time either researching, editing, or writing a new stretch. I don’t give myself a daily word count – if I manage 1000 words it’s a bonus – but prefer to write in scenes. Depending on their complexity I can research for hours, days, sometimes weeks before I am ready to get the words on the page.

For me, one of the most interesting elements of novel writing is research and it’s incredible what direction that can take. Most recently, I had a meeting with a former Murder Detective, watched several episodes of Top Gear, and listened to rap music on YouTube; all in pursuit of my goal!

It may seem that I don’t have much time to write, but my characters are never far from my mind and often in the supermarket queue, or by the pool during my daughter’s swim class, I’m jotting down notes that will later form some prose in my next novel, the sequel to An Unfamiliar Murder.

One of the wonderful things about becoming an author and sharing your work are the lovely messages you receive from readers through Face book, email, Twitter, telling you how much they enjoyed your book. They still both surprise and thrill me, and I’m so touched that people have taken the time to get in touch that I like to respond to them all individually.

The day my books landed in Waterstones, Kettering was a very exciting moment for me. Seeing my book sit on the shelf above one of my favourite crime authors, Peter James, is still an exhilarating moment, every time I visit the store. I have my first book signing there on the 26th May and am really looking forward to it.

Jane Isaac’s debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, was published by Rainstorm Press in February 2012. You can learn more about Jane, read her blog and an excerpt from her novel on her website at

Follow Jane on Twitter and you can also download or order her book from Amazon here: UK and USA


Jane Isaac said...

Thank you so much for allowing me to grace your blog presence, Bernadette:) I really enjoyed penning this piece for you!

SJIHolliday said...

Lovely bit of insight, interesting that you write in scenes rather than words on page. I tend to be like this and can get demoralised if I try to do words per day, but then again it does push me on! Everyone writes differently is what I am discovering more and more! Nice piece, Jane and thanks Bernadette for sharing :)

Jane Isaac said...

Thank you, Susi. I do find it more manageable to write in scenes, but I have to admit that my eye does whisk across to the word count too;-)

James Garcia Jr said...

Hello, Bernadette. It's good to meet you. My buddy, Jane, invited us over to check out this "Day in the Life" post. It's crazy how we writers attempt to stuff so many things into one day, and I was very interested to see how Jane managed.
Thanks for sharing, Ladies.


Jane Isaac said...

Aww - thanks for reading Mr James:)

Bernadette Davies said...

Thank you all for your comments and it's lovely to meet you too James. :)
I for one found it very interesting and enjoyed learning how you go about writing...for me it's always been about words per day, but clearly there are many different ways to get the task done.
Once again, thank you Jane for your insights and allowing me to post this.

Kristin Celms said...

Hi Jane, I so much enjoyed your guest post detailing how you write. I'm fascinated to hear stories such as these! I was especially interested and intrigued by how much research you do. Though I consider myself a bookish person, I end up giving research short shrift for some reason (perhaps it's due to my day job!). You have given me a new impetus to fit more research in, and perhaps it will help me write a deeper, more layered novel as well.

Amberr Meadows said...

Thanks for the great interview with Jane. She's a doll, and it's always fun to learn more about her.

Jane Isaac said...

Thanks Bernadette, Kristin and Amberr! I really enjoyed writing this piece and I find it fascinating how we all have different approaches to our writing, yet reach the same goals.