Wednesday, 19 October 2016

My Films For Halloween

I do like to get my Halloween freak on. It's pretty much the only thing I celebrate (no birthdays, no Christmas, no Easter, no olympics). One of the things I do is watch horror films in the days leading up to Halloween. These are the ones I've picked this year. What will you be watching?

I've yet to choose my Halloween book, but with my heaving shelves I'm spoilt for choice. Maybe the 1979 novelisation of Alien by Alan Dean Foster, or a re-read of The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (1971).

Updates (22nd October). So far I have watched:

The Falling: not a great choice, since it wasn't really horror, just a drama about neurotic schoolgirls. I kept expecting horror to kick in, but despite playing with horror tropes (witchcraft, madness, discipline, ghosts) they were all pretty weakly portrayed, before being cast aside as ornament. I'd heard of it from Rolling Stone's 10 Best Horror Movies of 2015. That's the problem - it set up incorrect expectations. If I had just expected drama I'd have been fine.

Goodnight Mommy: a great horror film, clever and restrained and well acted and worthy of wider attention ... but I had to stop watching before the end. That's not like me, but I was unable to continue, having already covered my eyes for part of it. It's possibly the first time that has happened to me in a horror film! Still, if you want to see something horrible without it being overly gratuitous (so the opposite end of the spectrum from Hostel) then I would recommend this. Especially if you're tougher than me!


Thursday, 13 October 2016

What Should You Buy For The Ghoul Who Has Everything?


I mentioned my new horror/thriller book covers recently. Here's what they look like in print! One of them would make a cool present for that person you're friends with ... you know the one, thingummy ... oh, your lover, is it? ... or, maybe they're a relative of yours rather than a friend? ... whatsername ... whatsisname ... yeah, that's the one! Anyway, I'm sure they'd love a copy. Dead sure. Especially as one of the books is a recommended Halloween read.

You can buy them almost anywhere.


Friday, 7 October 2016

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

What Books Influenced Me?

Today I crawled out of bed, tired from a night of fighting aliens, dodging chainsaws, and seeking public approval (or just book sales), to find I'd popped up on another great blog. Visit Bloomin' Brilliant Books to find out what books influenced me, then stay on Abbie's site a while for all the other great articles and reviews. See you there.
Here's a backup of the post.

I’m thrilled to be joined by author Karl Drinkwater today who is telling us all about his author influences.

KD pic[320739]

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, and any ghost stories (especially the Armada Ghost Books edited by Mary Danby). I would climb the weeping willow to read the latter. I also adored Harry Cat’s Pet Puppy (George Selden, 1975). I remember crying at the end of it. I really should read it again one day, and buy copies for presents.

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I loved it. I made up stories from an early age, read continuously, and always came top in English classes. It was the only subject I did well in at secondary school, and I often contributed fiction and poems to the school magazine, Urmstonian. Though I cringe when I re-read them now.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I read horror books for escapism and literary books for style. I write in both genres so that works out well.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
Well, I write in two genres already, which is seen by many as a no-no. Though some of my work mixes the two, so maybe the twain shall meet.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
I think the pure readability of Stephen King and Dean Koontz inspired me a lot in my teenage years when I spent all my pocket money on their novels. I wanted to be able to write books where the reader forgets it is a book. Some of my thriller/horror works have been compared to Koontz, and the more character-based stories to King, so maybe a teeny bit of their magic rubbed off. One of the short stories in my last collection was called Just Telling Stories and was a mini-homage to some of the creepy tales that seasoned my imagination.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Strangely, no, not any more. I tend to enjoy individual books – even when I really enjoy one it doesn’t mean I’ll always seek out other works by that author. If you think about it, any author who writes a lot has two options. One is to keep writing to the template that made them famous, because it sells and it is what readers expect. Downside: the books become increasingly familiar and predictable. The effect is diluted. The other option is for the author to try new things. Downside: they may annoy fans by not fulfilling their expectations. If every book is different there’s no guarantee that every book is good. Either way, I try to read great books regardless of who wrote them, rather than follow just one author. I enjoy trying new things in my own writing, so have created novels about finding love in Manchester, and about being chased across a Welsh island by murderers; stories about haunted museums, and about a child trying to show love to a parent whatever the cost. One end of the spectrum to the other.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
The opening to The Descent by Jeff Long wowed me. I couldn’t understand how he’d achieved such a gripping effect. The whole book was good but couldn’t match the ever-so-subtle menace of the opening, stuck in an icy cave in mountains during a storm.
Sometimes books that take an escalating concept and just push it to its max can amaze me in the way they achieve the effect. For example Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, or the wildness of Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (lovely cover and book design on that one too).

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
I joke that my two Manchester novels, Cold Fusion 2000 and 2000 Tunes explain how I came to leave Manchester (they are set around the time that I moved from there to Wales). I say no more.

image001[320740]TurnerThey Move Below

About Karl Drinkwater
Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but has lived in Wales for nearly twenty years, ever since he went there to do a degree: it was easier to stay than to catch a train back. His longest career was in librarianship (twenty-five years); his shortest was industrial welding (one week).
Sometimes he writes about life and love; sometimes death and decay. He usually flips a coin in the morning, or checks the weather, and decides based on that. His aim is to tell a good story, regardless of genre. When he is not writing or editing he loves exercise, guitars, computer games, board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice and zombies.

Amazon Author Page

A huge thank you to Karl for taking part!


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Close To Home

Today I'm the first guest for the new "Close To Home" blog post series on the lovely book blog jaffreadstoo. In the series different authors from The North (of England) will talk about "what being a Northerner means to them both in terms of inspiration and also in their writing". Find out why I kept an axe under my pillow, and what advice was given to pretentious people round my way.

Here's a backup of the post.

Today please welcome Manchester Author
Karl Drinkwater

Is a person shaped by the place they grew up? If so, and assuming writers count as people (a truth not universally acknowledged), then we’re bound to find out more about a writer when we look at their past. Even a random sample of dates could be informative.

I usually talk about my early childhood. But let’s start later than that. What about my teenage years? Two memories spring to mind.

1. I was the non-conformist class comedian rebelling against authority at Urmston Grammar School. It was a boy’s school so I didn’t know anything about girls until I first fell in love at 16. Maybe that’s why I write about relationships a lot now.

2. After my father died it made me the man of the house. I kept a hatchet under my pillow, something school friends didn’t believe until I showed them. I explained that if a burglar tried to climb into mine or my sister’s bedrooms I’d cut his fingers off. Maybe that’s why I write about darkness a lot now.

That’s me, I’m just like everyone else: half romantic, half obsessed with apocalyptic survival. It’s a comfortable mix. But maybe my teenage years explain why I write in two genres, that thing writers are told they MUST NEVER DO. (Oh, I sometimes got in trouble at school, so you can add rule-breaker to that list. Only got caned once though.)

Although my thriller/horror writing gets most publicity (Turner, Harvest Festival, They Move Below), my last two literary novels were set in Manchester in the year 2000, often around the city centre. They’re Cold Fusion 2000 and 2000 Tunes, and I see them as love letters to Manchester: its music, its city, its people, whilst also being critical of some aspects. And they’re also more traditional love stories, after a fashion, about nerds and difficult people being able to find love and happiness and contentment. Shades of my own life sneaking in there again – impossible to separate the work from the worker.


The novels are concerned with place and how it shapes us, particularly in 2000 Tunes where the character of Mark gradually perceives the city of Manchester as switching from being a supportive home to being a prison of memory and lost glory. Only the promise of a new place can offer the chance to change behaviours and start again.

Both novels have many scenes set in the city centre (as it existed in 2000): often the same places and themes, but with different outcomes. Cold Fusion 2000 can be particularly tricksy. It was fun for me as a writer to play with reader expectations and assumptions, even if the ending comes as a surprise that requires re-evaluating what went before. That plot twist is an exception: I normally think of these two literary novels as being more character- and theme-focussed than plot-focussed, which makes it too measured for some readers, but compellingly believable for others.

Manchester is the home of many social movements. It’s where The Vegetarian Society started. I liked that radical and questioning side to it (and went vegan when I was at South Trafford College). I also loved the frequently down-to-earth nature of the people, at least where I lived. If you had any pretensions you were told to “shove them up yer arse”. It prevented you getting too big for your boots.

Obviously there are downsides to the city – like everywhere else, we’re seeing loss of green spaces, litter, urban blight. The little green park in Urmston where I used to sit in and eat my lunch got turned into a two-storey car park. The field I walked past on my way to work is now covered in houses. Piccadilly Gardens was once all flowers and bushes; it got concreted over; then they eventually stuck a token bit of turf on top of that (along with extra concrete walls to make it look like a prison). As a child I lived in a house by some fields; then the diggers moved in and widened the motorway until it almost touched our back garden and I had trouble sleeping (and then doing well at school) because of the continuous traffic. Independent shops replaced with supermarkets; cafes with Starbucks and Costa. Progress? The impact of globalisation, and its footprint of making everywhere the same, hits as hard in Manchester as anywhere else.

But sometimes the bad is something to rebel against. And even then, it shapes us.

©Karl Drinkwater

All photographs by kind permission

Huge thanks to Karl for kicking off my Close to Home feature and for sharing his thoughts about Manchester so eloquently.


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Copyright Restrictions On Books

Image by stevepb via Pixabay

A librarian approached me the other night. No, it's not the start of a joke. She said she'd seen me on the CLA excluded list. I think she suspected me of being a primadonna. I'm not, generally (except during band practice when I can't find my plectrum - I mean, how is it possible to lose it every ten minutes?). I chose to be on that excluded list because I want to make life easier for people - I allow far more re-use of my work than would be the case if it was included in a CLA licence.

The CLA excluded authors list. I'm in good company.
Note that this list is not comprehensive - any author who hasn't given the CLA/ALCS permission to re-licence their work is excluded, and many of them will never contact the CLA, or even know about it. Despite best efforts, this list can only ever be an incomplete snapshot.

If you are new to the acronym CLA, here's some background: it stands for The Copyright Licensing Agency. The law allows a certain amount of copying and re-use of published works. The CLA sell licences to allow a bit more than that without the threat of the CLA or relevant publisher taking legal action - though that only applies to the subset of authors and publishers they represent.

Here are some of my thoughts about this setup and the CLA, in no particular order. 
  1. As we saw above, in many cases a CLA licence is not required since the law allows a certain amount of use under the "fair dealing" provisions.
  2. A CLA licence is not all-encompassing, and can only cover authors and publishers who opt in and register with their partner organisations the ALCS and/or PLS. Lots of work is excluded but is not on the exclusion list, e.g. works from many non-trade-published authors. So even if you have a CLA licence, copying work that isn't registered (beyond what the law allows) would be illegal, and unfortunately there are new works being published everyday that aren't covered by a CLA licence, and no easy way while stood at a photocopier to check what is covered. I've worked in numerous educational institutions, and been in hundreds of libraries (workplace, school, FE [college], HE [university], business, private, national, public). An academic library might have thousands of staff and students using copiers every day, and if you sit by a photocopier and watch people use it, the process is the same in each case: approach the copier, slap book or journal on, copy, walk off (possibly reshelving the book or journal, possibly leaving it by the copier for a friendly, intelligent, lovely and gorgeous librarian to deal with). I've never observed anyone stop by the copier and try to browse the CLA website on their phone to check if the CLA licence allows them to copy that specific item. It would be horrendously complicated and impractical, which is why I've never seen anyone do that. Yet it is the only way to be sure that what is being copied is something that they are allowed to copy. It's a mess, frankly, and a bit of an elephant in the room, the thing we know but can't acknowledge. And it's one of the reasons why I think it would be better if the law allowed much more re-use than it currently does, so there would be no need for organisations to buy these extra licences (not just the CLA here - see my licensing society post for examples of other annual licences that organisations might be pressured into buying), taking chunks from budgets that could have gone on buying more books.
  3. Unfortunately organisations like the CLA/ALCS campaign for tighter copyright laws and more restrictions, rather than the way I would like things to go. I support many more concessions for re-use in particular circumstances, and removal of restrictions, so the CLA/ALCS/PLS etc have opposing views to those of authors like me. See my licensing society post for more on how this all works, and why I - as an author - don't take part in it. They don't represent me, whatever their websites seem to claim.
  4. I am sure staff at organisations such as the CLA work hard and mean well in acting in the interests of those that have joined them. They're probably really nice people, and I imagine I'd happily have a drink with any of them. But I don't agree with the CLA as an organisation prosecuting institutions which don't have a CLA licence. It all seems so mean-spirited and sneaky. And when applied to education e.g. FE and HE libraries, it seems totally wrong. Let's think about this for a moment. Suppose a university has a canteen that still uses proper cutlery rather than wasteful takeaway packaging. And a student takes a knife and tries to rob a bank with it. Then stabs someone with the knife when their meticulous and supposedly-foolproof plan goes wrong. Would you prosecute the university, because their knife was used in the crime? Or the student? I think it is pretty obvious that it would be ridiculous to prosecute the university. They hadn't known of, condoned, or committed a crime. They're not responsible for someone abusing their trust and using their property for an illegal purpose. But when it comes to copyright, common sense goes out the window. Suppose a university or council or library has a photocopier, for copying things within the limits the law allows (maybe with guidelines displayed on a poster by the machine). And a student or visitor copies beyond what the law allows - maybe a few chapters of a book about their favourite band. Again, the organisation hadn't known of, condoned, or committed a crime. They're not responsible for someone abusing their trust and using their property for an illegal purpose. It is the individual who is at fault. Yet it is the organisation that the CLA would persecute. (I was advised by more than one practitioner that the CLA generally use means other than prosecution to pressurize public and private bodies that don’t take up licences or who don’t comply e.g. encouraging students to "grass", occasional threats, audits etc.)
  5. Note the error in the image that starts this post. That list should just have a single line for my name; Organic Apocalypse (all works) should be in the publisher list below, not the author list. I contacted the CLA again about correcting that.
Anyway, back to the librarian. As I said to her at the time, I want to use the copyright page of my books to ALLOW more than the law permits, rather than use the page as most publishers do to try to RESTRICT actions. (Honestly, I'm so sick of books which say "No part of this book whatsoever may be reproduced blah bah blah without permission from the publisher" - liars! The law allows certain uses under the fair dealing provisions, such as quotation for purposes of review. Duh.) As an example, the CLA Licence in the past allowed institutions to copy up to 5% of a book. Apparently, starting this academic year, this will be increased to 10% of a book. For comparison, I allow 50%. I mean, I absolutely love it when my work is re-used for education.

So I'm proud of the copyright pages that will be used in my future books, as reproduced below. Hopefully you'll find it more straightforward and refreshing than most copyright pages.

Organic Apocalypse Copyright Manifesto

Organic Apocalypse believes culture should be shared. We support far more re-use than the UK law and licencing organisations currently allow. We respect our buyers, reviewers, libraries and educators. You don't need to sign anything or pay for a licence to get the extended rights below.
  • You can copy or quote up to 50% of our publications, for any non-commercial purpose as long as the source is acknowledged. So it's okay to do that for purposes such as review, criticism, study, assessment, research, teaching, education, parody, or just to say "Hey people, isn't this book amazing?"
  • You can sell our print books when you've finished with them. (Or pass them on to other people: share the love.) You buy, you own.
  • We don't add DRM to our e-books (though some third-party distributors do - wherever possible we opt out of such restrictions). Feel free to convert between formats (including scanning, e-formats, braille, audio) and store a backup for your own use.
  • Libraries: our print books can be freely loaned to the public, and sold on in booksales at end-of-life. Also, we don't inflate the price for libraries: you pay the same for a copy as anyone else. 
This is based on the situation in the UK: if your local law allows more than we state above, that's great! Local law then takes precedence over this.

Note to librarians and educators: all Organic Apocalypse titles are excluded from CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) licences. We believe the law and CLA licences are too restrictive, and should allow far more re-use and sharing. If we joined the CLA we would have to restrict what we allow people to do with our work, and we won't compromise on that. So until the law becomes fairer in terms of allowing more re-use and sharing of copyrighted work, this manifesto is the best we can do. Times are hard, libraries and schools are closing: we do our bit by being as flexible and fair as possible. Peace and love and keep up the good work.

Updates Since I Drafted This Post - 2016-09-22 17:29

When I first drafted this post and ran it past a number of professionals in this area I had just thought the CLA were a bit clunky. But at the moment I'm rather furious.

This afternoon the CLA responded to my email about point 5 above, concerning them having incorrect information on their website.

Firstly, they said they don't update the publisher list any more (even though it is still openly available with no caveats). It is "an old list of Excluded Works that is no longer maintained/updated".

The confusing CLA site. Apparently visitors are meant to know that the author exclusion section is still used but the publisher exclusion section isn't. Image from 2016-09-22.

Instead people have to search yet another system of theirs (one which you can't browse - so you can't see a list of all excluded items, only search for ones you already know of). This makes me think of endless rabbit holes.

So far, so bad.

Then the CLA refused to add Organic Apocalypse to that database of excluded publishers, unless I jumped through unnecessary hoops by creating an account on a third party site that I have no interest in, and apparently the CLA want me to inform this extra site about every single book that is excluded, rather than it being a blanket exclusion. Apparently only then will the CLA fulfil their legal obligation to list excluded works. Which, basically, stinks.

And it leads to the situation where the CLA know certain works are excluded (e.g. all Organic Apocalypse-published titles, now and into the future), but the CLA refuse to communicate that to the people they sell their licences to. Also they sell licences by making it seem as all-encompassing as possible: so they are profiting from the implication that the licence covers works that they are fully aware it does not cover.

It is the CLA that sells the licence; the CLA have been informed that all works by a publisher are to be excluded. If they refuse to acknowledge that, and try to create extra barriers to acting on it, then they are profiting by selling rights they are not permitted to sell. So a warning to those who pay the CLA for a licence: by omitting excluded publishers it means the CLA licence's excluded works are inaccurate, and you have no way of knowing for sure what is included or excluded in a CLA licence.

The other thing that stinks is the lack of parity between how you opt in, or opt out.

Suppose you don't want to licence the CLA to re-sell some of your rights? You should not have to do anything, since by default they have no permission. But they require you to tell them specifically; and even that is not enough in some cases like this, where they try to send you off to register with another organisation.

Whereas suppose you do want them to re-sell some of your rights? No need to tell them about each book. Or do anything. Or even know about it, or agree with it, or be happy about it. Unless they specifically hear from you, they continue regardless.

The systems to "opt out" are made much more complicated and onerous, even though the CLA have no right to include your work automatically. Basic truth: you don't have to "opt out" of something you never agreed to "opt in" to in the first place. But that is exactly the position the CLA etc put you in.

I will update this. Hopefully it is a misunderstanding on their part and can be quickly rectified, but at the moment ... (Sigh). I hope I don't have to look into my options for dealing with the barriers the CLA are putting in place, but they are preventing me from exerting my rights. This experience just reinforces my decision to keep barge-pole length from their licences (and connected organisations such as the ALCS and PLS). Let's hope they correct this and respect the rights of authors and small publishers.

Updates Since I Drafted This Post - 2016-09-23 11:38

Resolved now, but I am tired (went bed at 6am, we authors are nuts) so I may add further details on another day. Thanks to the CLA for eventually acting on my request. I still think the CLA should make it clear from their first page that the CLA licence only covers authors and publishers that opt in, and they should link to both a full browse list and a searchable version of that opt in list from that homepage statement; and also link to the opt out list and explain that it is a guide, but only the opt in list is comprehensive. Still, enough progress for me to put my sabre away.


Monday, 19 September 2016

New Covers For My Darker Works

It's obviously the month for posts about book cover design - my own, and that of others.

As part of updating my existing books I have made small changes to the interiors (and in the case of Turner, added a bonus chapter). Then on to the wrapping: new covers too, all in the same style.

Turner has had a few covers in the past, often beautiful (e.g. this and this); however, I wanted to see whether marketing it with something more grimdark grungy might lead to sales.

Anyway, here are the new covers - e-book, and wraparound print covers. What do you think? I'm already making notes for future tweaks!


Monday, 12 September 2016

The Importance Of Cover Design - Jane Davis

Recently I wrote about book cover design in relation to my own books, a topic I often return to. Keeping to that theme, I am going to hand this post over to fellow author Jane Davis, to talk about the importance of cover design to her and her work. It's a pleasure to welcome Jane here, especially as she hosted me on her site a few months ago. Over to Jane!

The Importance Of Cover Design

One of the other huge joys of self-publishing is choosing how to present your work. Given that mine is difficult to categorise, I was conscious that I needed a strong brand. Of course, cover design is just one element of brand, but it’s a vital one nonetheless. An author has only eight seconds to grab a reader’s attention, so first impressions really do count. Rather than start from scratch, I chose to use elements from the cover of Half-truths and White Lies as building blocks: the font and the strong photographic image, repeated on the spine. The brief I gave cover designer Andrew Candy was that my books should look like a set you’d want to collect. I was thinking of my own bookshelves: the novels of John Irving; Frank Herbert’s Dune series; classic Penguin paperbacks. I wanted that certain something that would make people say, ‘Oh, another Jane Davis.’

I’m always absolutely clear about what I don’t want. My novel, These Fragile Things, is about a family in crisis when teenage daughter Judy claims to be seeing religious visions. But that’s only one element of the storyline and I didn’t want to exclude readers who wouldn’t normally read Christian fiction. I chose a butterfly with a broken wing, which represents transformation and hints at vulnerability.

For the cover of A Funeral for an Owl, perhaps the most literal of all my book covers, I had the image of a boy in mind, and my search for the right face took a long time. I was thinking of Ken Loach’s film adaptation of A Kestrel for a Knave (the wonderful Kes), and U2’s album cover for Boy. I provided Andrew with five separate images and precise instructions about where to put each one, but the end result was still a surprise. I sat on it for a couple of days but didn’t ask for a single change.

As I learned to trust Andrew’s instincts, my briefs grew more complex. For An Unchoreographed Life, my novel about a ballerina who turns to prostitution when she becomes a single mother, I wanted to avoid any hint of erotica. Told partly from the perspective of a six-year-old, my story has more in common with Henry James’s What Maisie Knew than Belle de Jour. Describing a scene where my main character Alison comes face to face with a stag, I asked if it would be possible to combine the image of a ballerina with a deer. Andrew’s answer was yes, but only if I could find the right woman and the right deer, otherwise it would end up looking like a photoshop ‘bodge-job’. So that was my challenge. The final image suits the book perfectly: a woman who hasn’t been able to let go of her past and wears a mask.

The design for An Unknown Woman needed to show a woman undergoing an identity crisis. I wanted it to represent the difference between the way we see ourselves and how others see us, but also to hint at a complex mother/daughter relationship. I came up with the idea of two halves of a woman’s face and Andrew suggested adding a cracked mirror. I sourced the image of the younger woman, but it was Andrew who found picture the older woman, and then used his technical wizardry to manipulate it so that they look like one and the same. The cover has won two awards and I have no doubt that it contributed greatly to Writing Magazine’s decision to name An Unknown Woman as their Self-published book of the year.

For my latest release, My Counterfeit Self, I chose an image by Sergiy Glushchenko/500px, which had already won an award for underwater photography. Water is a repeat theme within the novel, but there’s also the sense of falling, the sense of disaster and shock. My main character, Lucy Forrester, is a political poet whose main cause is CND. It struck me that the bubbles coming from the woman’s mouth already looked a little like a mushroom cloud, but could be manipulated. I particularly liked the idea of the mushroom cloud coming out of the poet’s mouth.

If asked for a short-list of the key elements of my cover designs, I would say that they have to be instantly identifiable, inclusive and - I hope - intriguing.

-- Jane Davis

About Jane

Jane Davis is the author of seven novels. Her debut, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as ‘A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.’ The Bookseller featured her in their ‘One to Watch’ section. Six further novels have earned her a loyal fan base and wide-spread praise. Her 2016 novel, An Unknown Woman won Writing Magazine’s Self-Published Book of the Year Award. Compulsion Reads describe her as ‘a phenomenal writer whose ability to create well-rounded characters that are easy to relate to feels effortless.’ Her favourite description of fiction is 'made-up truth'.

Jane lives in Carshalton, Surrey, with her Formula 1 obsessed, beer-brewing partner, surrounded by growing piles of paperbacks, CDs and general chaos. When she is not writing, you may spot Jane disappearing up the side of a mountain with a camera in hand.

Her latest novel, My Counterfeit Self, is released on 1st October 2016, but can be pre-ordered at the special price of 99p/99c.

‘A compelling portrayal of the bohemian life of an activist poet, the men she loves, and the issues she fights for.’ Eleanor Steele

Jane's social media links: