Originally trained in fashion design, Jan first worked for the House of Worth in Mayfair, London in 1958. She then moved on to wholesale fashion. Marriage to an army officer took her to Germany for three years. Later, back in civilian life they moved to Singapore; “another amazing experience”, as this has proved valuable ‘grist’ to her writing ‘mill’.
After a painful divorce she survived 6 years with two kiddies as a one parent family – a tough period, which she has drawn from in her fiction writing. She’s had many jobs; you name it, Jan has had a go! Her last was sales rep for a designer spectacle frame company, until redundancy finally allowed her to pursue her writing ambition.
She has a daughter Jayne, son Justin, and two beautiful granddaughters Abby and Alexia, all of whom she’s extremely proud.
Jan has been happily married to Mark for 33 years, and they live in a converted barn in rural Yorkshire.
A FACE TO DIE FOR (Kindle, July 2012)
THE SECRET (Kindle January 2011)
JOANNA (Kindle 2012)
ONLY HUMAN (ghosted autobiography for black American soul singer/songwriter, Tommy Hunt Paperback, Bank House Books (December 2009)
Visit her blog: www.janwarburton.blogspot.com/
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration for all my books has so far always come from past experiences that life has thrown at me, including places and counties I’ve travelled to, some of which I’ve lived in for a while, like Singapore, Germany, Greece, Spain, and at home here in the UK, I’ve lived in Hampshire, London and now in Yorkshire. I also went through a divorce over 38 years ago and ended up surviving 6 years as a one parent family… a tough period from which I’ve been able to draw so much in my novel writing, particularly my first effort, which got shelved until more recently. This has now been completely re worked, and was recently published entitled JOANNA, a spin off from A FACE TO DIE FOR.
My writing style is not too specific, other than to say it usually has a strong love element. But I don’t write category romance… i.e. fluffy Mills & Boon sort of romantic novels. My books have quite an edge and are always quite character driven, also I especially like to write about true to life sort of people that most readers, particularly women, can relate to. They are therefore often flawed characters in some way, as indeed I believe many of us are, and I like to portray them with all their hang ups, “warts and all”.
Tell us about your writing process.
I never fully plot any of my books. I get a bit of an outline in my head first, plus my main characters, and then I decide on a sort background for them to function in. For me, this is usually a career based one, and then I decide on the locations I want to use as background settings. These are usually places and countries where I’ve lived, or visited regularly, and which I know really well. I try to start at a point in time which is fairly pivotal to a critical early part of the sort of storyline I want to develop, so it can soon start unfolding.
I did once tried to plot the complete story for a book before I began writing it, and it honestly was the worst thing I ever did, because I found it far too creatively restricting.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters soon very real to me and I can find myself talking and acting out scenes in my head and even my dreams. I usually find that in no time at, all the characters begin to tell the story for me, and slowly the storyline unfolds and comes to life. Automatically, I find by this time that my thoughts are soon developing in certain directions, to create what will finally become the complete story and thus enable me to fully create the journey for my main characters to go on.
Occasionally this means I’m also able to include a viable subplot. But here I have to be careful not to go off too much on a tangent, and so it will often need reigning in, to stop it getting out of control. This is the only way I can creatively work.
I also find I write scenes cinematographically; as if I’m watching them on a TV or film screen… to make them as realistic and believable as I can. This also helps me I think to make the dialogue scenes particularly more natural and life-like.
What advice would you give other writers?
Put your bum on the seat and just start to write. Write anything, because it’s amazing what great possibilities can sometimes come out of just a few notes and thoughts. Then to keep on writing and exploring new ideas for whatever you fancy doing… short stories, articles, full-length books, whatever. Also I advise writing initially about what you know best and about places you know well, to give authenticity to your work. Most importantly, even if success does seem to be eluding you, you must never ever give up. A true writer is compelled to write anyway, and it should be a real passion! For me it most certainly is.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
In 2009, due to some of the kudos the autobiography ONLY HUMAN, I was commissioned to write for singer songwriter,Tommy Hunt, had given me, I found myself a publisher at last, for my romantic novel THE SECRET. Well, things were moving along well with it and it was eventually professionally fully edited and just about ready to go to print when, to my horror, the publishing company folded. Here I was with a novel absolutely all ready to publish, but no publisher!! It was so frustrating, especially as I knew time was not on my side any more.
Anyway, I couldn’t find myself another print publisher, and so with the early advent of digital publishing in the United States and then pretty soon the phenomenal arrival of Amazon’s Kindle eReader and eBooks here, about 3 yrs ago, I finally saw my chance… I WOULD PUBLISH IT ON KINDLE!
Hooray! My book would not go to waste! So THE SECRET was my first eBook to be e-published, and I really haven’t looked back since. I have even developed quite a Kindle readership.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The publishing industry changing all the time… particularly now that even mainstream publishers are eagerly embracing the digital phenomenon of ebooks. Just about every book comes out as an ebook now at the same time as it’s published in print. This is because so many people now own ereader devices or tablets on which they store their books for convenience. I personally see a distinct decline in fiction hardback books, although paperbacks will still exist for those who still like to read a printed book.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Romantic fiction with a bit of an edge, and show biz autobiography ghost writing
What formats are your books in?
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