It is my pleasure to introduce author, Jane Risdon, who has come along to ‘Patricia’s Pen’ to chat about her writing. Without further ado, it’s over to Jane.
Patricia, thanks so much for inviting me to contribute. I really appreciate it.
I’m a late starter where writing is concerned. I spent years wanting to write but being in the international music business put the brakes on my ambitions. Once I retired I had the freedom to let myself go and before long I was published in many anthologies and signed to a traditional publisher for my short stories and co-written novel with Christina Jones, Only One Woman (Headline Accent).
However, I consider myself a crime/mystery writer — writing the romance, Only One Woman, came as a surprise, but I find the story dictates the genre and I can write in many genres I’ve discovered. My music experiences both in 1960s and throughout my career, helped greatly when writing this novel set in the late 1960s UK music scene.
I’ve written many short crime stories over the years and I decided to put some of those not used for anthologies into a collection of my own, Undercover: Crime Shorts (Plaisted Publishing). There are dozens still on my computer. I have several half-completed novels on there too, including a sequel to Only One Woman.
Recently I signed with an Agent who is looking to place my series of novels featuring a former MI5 Intelligence Officer — Ms. Birdsong Investigates. The first novel is Ms. Birdsong Investigates Murder in Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka. At present I’m working on two other books in the series.
My experiences working for the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as other government departments earlier on in my life, has given me so much material to call upon. Ms. Birdsong was screaming to be written. The Cold War, the ‘Troubles,’ in Northern Ireland, other world events were all filed away waiting for the day when I could write.
The kidnapping of Geoffrey Jackson, British Ambassador to Montivideo, by Tupamaro Guerrillas, and the expulsion of Soviet Embassy diplomats from the UK in a tit-for-tat move against the expulsion of British Embassy ‘spies,’ from Moscow, were all gifts from heaven for a would-be crime/mystery writer who would later add a dose of espionage to her stories occasionally.
Imagine how exciting it is to be Positively Vetted (PV) by a Special Branch commander who had been instrumental in tracking and arresting the husband-and-wife spies, the Krogers, who were part of the famous Portland Spy ring in the early 1960s – my imagination went into over-drive.
Later, working in Hollywood and around the world, I found more material for my writing than I ever imagined. Where there is power and money, there is crime, and intrigue. I’ve read many books giving true accounts of corruption within the entertainment industry in Hollywood — I don’t have to look far for inspiration for my material: some characters I know, and some I know about.
As a writer I’m never short of inspiration or potential material for my stories. I use my own life experiences, or those of others quite often. Write what you know they say.
About Jane Risdon
Jane Risdon is the co-author of ‘Only One Woman,’ with Christina Jones (Headline Accent) and ‘Undercover: Crime Shorts,’ (Plaisted Publishing), as well as having many short stories published in numerous anthologies and writing for several online and print magazines such as Writing Magazine and The Writers and Readers’ Magazine.
Jane’s collection of crime stories, ‘Undercover Crime Shorts, was book of the Month onvirtual library and festival site, MYVLF.com, and her live video interview features in their theatre. She’s a regular guest on international internet radio shows such as theauthorsshow.com, chatandspinradion.com and The Brian Hammer Jackson Radio Show.
Before turning her hand to writing Jane worked in the International Music Business alongside her musician husband, working with musicians, singer/songwriters, and record producers. They also facilitated the placement of music in movies and television series.
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