Today I have Jan Edwards talking about her 3 books.
Jan is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands (UK). Her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, EU and US and include: The Mammoth Book of Dracula; Mammoth Book of Moriarty; Terror Tales of the Ocean and the MX New Sherlock Holmes Vols V, VI and VII. She was part of the script team for the Daemons of Devil’s End DVD.
Jan has two novels in print: Sussex Tales and Winter Downs: Bunch Courtney book #1 paper or Kindle editions. (#2 In her Defence due 2018). She also has two collections out, which showcase some of her many short stories published to date: Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties (supernatural) and Fables and Fabrications. She is also an editor of anthologies with Alchemy Press and others.
- What’s the first book you remember reading?
First book is tricky. It may sound odd but I don’t remember learning to read. Being the youngest in the family I learned from elder siblings bringing ‘School Readers’ home so it is really hard to recall what was the first. I would hazard a guess at ‘Janet and John.’ (The oldies here will remember them well!) Reading matter generally was the usual mix of Enid Blyton Shadow the Sheepdog stands out because my father was a shepherd. Plus Arthur Ransome and a plethora of old and modern classics thrown in.
- What book will always stay with you and why?
Again it would be tough to pick but Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome has to be up there. Captain Nancy Blackett was a hero of mine. She is a truly independent young woman who never stepped back to allow the boys to take centre stage. Quite the roll model for me at that time. The book that followed me from childhood into adult reading has to be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. There is something about it that reached across the ages, and, for me at least, provides quoted every bit as pithy and apposite as anything the Bard has to offer and the Rackham illustrations in my copy (now OP) were wonderful.
A ‘sticking’ book read as an adult? That is much harder to choose. Leaving aside the obvious classics such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, I am not sure books read in adulthood ever affect us in the same way that they do when we are young. That said if I have a book that really sticks it has to be Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons Why? I am not exactly sure. Perhaps because I was born and raised on a farm in Sussex so that it strikes a chord, and it is a fabulously funny read.
- One book you are looking forward to reading?
All of the books! I don’t have one specific author whose books I look for in particular. I have been waiting for the latest (last?) Dresden Files title for a couple of years now but when that will arrive is anyone’s guess. My good friend Misha Herwin’s new book, Shadows in the Grass, will be out very soon, initially as in e-format in late January, with the paper version to follow soon after. Plus oodles of crime titles of course. Peter May’s new book I’ll Keep You Safe should be something to look forward to.
Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously? In January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose.