Interview with Jane Isaac

Jane Isaac

Interview Date: 5/4/2012


Jane Isaac’s debut psychological thriller, An Unfamiliar Murder, was released in February 2012. Two of her short stories will appear in crime anthologies, due to be released this summer, by Bridge House publishing and Rainstorm Press.

Jane lives in rural Northamptonshire, UK with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, and believes that life should be an adventure!

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

Eleven years ago, my husband and I took a year out to travel the world and were given a travel diary to record our daily events. Reading it back, years later, made me realise how evocative writing can be and how the words on the page re-created wonderful memories. I signed up for a creative course in 2007 and never looked back.


If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

I would love not to have to sleep :)  I squeeze my writing around a day job and a family. And the best ideas fly into my head at night time. If I could forego sleep I would complete my work in progress in no time!


Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I’m a great people watcher and fascinated by how human beings react when major events hit their lives. My stories are born out of this interest. I find behaviour, personality and motivations of individuals very intriguing, LOL!

Kev's response:  I agree, part of what I (try to) focus on in my writing are the characters, and their reaction to events based on their own personality and history.  It's fun exploring their minds.


Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

With my debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, I started with an idea that developed throughout the book. I am currently working on the sequel, and established characters required some pre-planning in the form of a loose outline, but once again the plot and characters take their own delicious twists and turns as the story unfolds.

Kev's response:  I'll share something with you, after 6+ novels, characters can really have their own minds.  :)


Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

A schedule? Never! My lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to a schedule and I do only write when I’m inspired. In a psychological thriller every word is important, so I never impose a word count, preferring to research and write in scenes.


Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

It’s no secret that I have a penchant for crime fiction. I just love to read a good page turner and strive to do the very same in my writing.

Kev's response:  Wouldn't the alternative to read a non-page-turner?  That could get frustrating if the pages wouldn't turn....


What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I love building and layering my characters, and watching them react to events as the story builds. I like to make them as real as possible, they could be you or I, so that readers feel their journey.

My main characters in An Unfamiliar Murder, DCI Helen Lavery and Anna Cottrell, became very dear to me and leaving Anna behind at the end of the novel felt like losing a close friend, LOLJ


Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

Hmmm. Nope!


Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I’ve highlighted my hair since I was sixteen. I’ve absolutely no idea what my natural colour is these days!

Kev's response:  Me neither!  I keep wondering about the white ones....


Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

When I started writing fiction, I had several projects on the go at once. However, now that I write regular blog posts, I prefer to concentrate on researching and writing one novel at a time.


What are your current projects?

I am currently working on the sequel to An Unfamiliar Murder which also features DCI Helen Lavery, and enjoying stretching her character further.


Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

You can find out more about me, my work and read an excerpt from An Unfamiliar Murder on my website at There is a contact page there too, and I love to hear from readers and writers alike.


Kev's response: Jane, thank you for your time, and I wish you the best on your sequel!

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