This year I am celebrating five years since the publication of my bestselling romantic comedy, Another Cup of Coffee. So much has happened since I sent off the original manuscript to my publisher. Never did I think it would be accepted for publication- let alone become the first of a series of five books.
Celebrating Another Cup of Coffee’s birthday has caused me to reflect back over my entire writing career, which has spanned 13 years. There are so many things I wish I’d known back then...
1. Genre jumping. I wish I’d known how much hard work it was going to be to write four different genres and have three pen names to go with them. (Kay Jaybee- erotica; Jennifer Ash-medieval crime/romance; Jenny Kane- contemporary women’s fiction and children’s picture books).
To say I have a split personality doesn’t really cover it. Some days I have to ask my husband who I’m supposed to be today. It is so rare to hear anyone call me by my real name (which is not Jenny, Jennifer or Kay), that I often don’t respond straight away.
2. Coffee. I wish I had foreseen how much coffee I was destined to drink! Coffee is very much my creative fuel- and coffee without chocolate is simply wrong. My coffee consumption increases significantly when writing books in the Another Cup of Coffee series – it’s impossible not to crave the black gold when writing about fellow coffee addicts. I fear for my insides!
3. Thick skin. I wish I’d known what a thick skin I’d need. From people who take pleasure in telling me that I’m not as attractive as my publicity photos (I know!), to those review trolls who enjoy attacking authors personally rather than reviewing their work...writing can be a world where the upper lip needs to be regularly starched and stiffened.
4. Disappointments. Boy writers aren’t half promised a lot- and then let down. From film deals to increased rights and money from coffers that are already empty. It took some getting used to – now I believe nothing until it is written down, signed and received in triplicate.
5. Success. It sounds crazy, but the occasional bouts of popularity when new novels come out can be as tricky to handle as disappointment. Don’t get me wrong; it is fantastic, but the attention can take some getting used to, especially for someone as introverted as I am.
6. Series. If I’d known that Another Cup of Coffee was going to be such a big seller, and was destined to become a series of five books (Another Cup of Coffee, Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds, Christmas at the Castle, Another Glass of Champagne), then I’d have written script notes at the same time so I could turn it into a film (Hope that happens one day.)
7. Jason Connery. I wish I’d known that I was going to meet Jason Connery when selling books at a Robin of Sherwood conference (1980’s series for ITV). Then, rather than the embarrassing guff I came out with as he came to buy a copy of my novel, Romancing Robin Hood, I might have said something witty and memorable.
8. Pens. It is really important to have a good set of pens specifically kept for book signings. Nothing worse than ink blotting occurring on a fans brand new book. (Apart from spelling their name wrong!)
9. Smiling. Writing talks and book signings are very happy events- I love them. However, they do engender a lot of smiling- after a few hours this hurts. Facial exercises prior to events are a must.
10. Addiction. I wish I’d known just how much of an addiction writing is. I am totally obsessed with my writing life. When I’m not writing my own novels, I am teaching other people to write them. It is wonderful- but I suspect I love it rather too much as I rarely work less than 60 hours a week. I am even more addicted to my writing than I am to coffee. Shocking but true!
Another Cup of Coffee blurb
Thirteen years ago Amy Crane ran away from everyone and everything she knew, ending up in an unfamiliar city with no obvious past and no idea of her future. Now, though, that past has just arrived on her doorstep, in the shape of an old music cassette that Amy hasn’t seen since she was at university.
Digging out her long-neglected Walkman, Amy listens to the lyrics that soundtracked her student days. As long-buried memories are wrenched from the places in her mind where she’s kept them safely locked away for over a decade, Amy is suddenly tired of hiding.
It’s time to confront everything about her life. Time to find all the friends she left behind in England, when her heart got broken and the life she was building for herself was shattered. Time to make sense of all the feelings she’s been bottling up for all this time. And most of all, it’s time to discover why Jack has sent her tape back to her now, after all these years…
With her mantra, New life, New job, New home, playing on a continuous loop in her head, Amy gears herself up with yet another bucket-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest...
If you’d like to read, Another Cup of Coffee, it is available from all good book and eBook retailers, including:
From the comfort of her cafe corner in Mid Devon, Jenny Kane wrote the contemporary women’s fiction and romance novels, Romancing Robin Hood (2nd edition, Littwitz Press, 2018), Abi’s Neighbour (Accent Press, 2017), Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2016), and the bestsellers, Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), and Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013).
She has also written 3 novella length sequels to her Another Cup of... books: Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle (Accent, 2016). These three seasonal specials are now available in one boxed set entitled Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection (Accent, 2016).
Jenny is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015).
Jenny Kane is the writer in residence for Tiverton Costa in Devon. She also co-runs the creative writing business, Imagine. All of Jennifer and Jenny Kane’s news can be found at www.jennykane.co.uk
- Jennifer Ash https://www.facebook.com/jenniferashhistorical/
- Jenny Kane https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011235488766
- Imagine www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk
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