Good morning everyone and welcome. Today I am featuring author Jen Silver, author of The Circle Dance and her new just released book, Running From Love. Jen has so many interesting things to share about herself. Recently I reviewed her book, The Circle Dance. Check out the link below to read more.
Come join us and meet this amazing woman, whom you’re going to love.
“A book does not come to me as an idea, or a plot, or an event, or a society, or a message; it comes to me as a person. A person seen, seen at a certain distance, usually in a landscape. The place is there, the person is there. I didn’t invent him, I didn’t make her up; he or she is there. And my business is to get there too.”
From The Language of the Night by Ursula K LeGuin, an essay entitled ‘Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown’
Who is Jen Silver? Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My parents moved around a lot and my childhood involved moving house numerous times and countries twice. I was born in England but they emigrated to Canada when I was four, then moved back a few years later after my younger sister was born. They then went back to Canada after deciding they weren’t missing anything here so my high school and college years were spent in Canada. Then I moved back to England myself in my twenties, stayed a few years and went back to Canada. My final move (probably) was back to the UK in the 1980s. I met my wife in 1987 while we were both working in London. So, this year we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary. We moved ‘oop North’, as they say here, twenty-three years ago and haven’t looked back.
I’d never considered myself to be a sporty person, so it was with some surprise that I found I enjoyed playing golf when I was introduced to the game in my mid-forties. I took up archery about seven years ago. I’ve also dabbled in martial arts—five years of Taekwondo, two years of Tai Chi. And nowadays, along with the golf and the archery, I enjoy taking part in boxercise classes.
I always loved writing and had drawers full of unfinished stories before I took the plunge and submitted something to a publisher.
It’s hard to believe that I now have six published novels to my name, and several short stories.
What is Running From Love about?
This is the synopsis:
Sam Wade returns home from a business trip to discover her wife of just two years has left her for another woman. Beth, a high school teacher, wants a divorce so she can settle down with her new (closeted) love, head teacher Lydia Carmichael.
To take her mind off the break-up Sam accepts an assignment to learn to play golf at the newly opened Temperley Cliffs golf resort in Cornwall. Beth and Lydia also plan their first summer holiday together.
Coming out, at whatever stage in one’s life, is never easy. Several characters in the story have to make decisions that will affect not just their respective partners but also how the wider world sees them. There is more than one way to run from love; from never having to make a commitment and say those magical three words, “I love you”.
Find out what happens when this diverse group of people find themselves together—and sport, betrayal, jealousy, and love form an unforgettable fusion of emotions.
The story is a mix of romance and golf. In the first draft, I got a bit carried away with the golf aspect and the beta readers indicated they wanted more romance and less about the game. I hope I got the balance right in the final version. I will have to wait and see what reviewers have to say about it.
What was the deciding factor for your book title?
As with most of my books to date, it’s from a song lyric. I can’t recall which song this came from, but I was listening to Mary Gauthier’s albums during the time I was writing the book, so it may be one of hers. I thought of it as a working title and thought it might change by the time I’d finished the novel, but I found that it worked for the theme of the story.
What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters?
I always look at trying to make them like real people. I’m sure most authors do as well. But I can’t really get too excited about the lives of highly successful rich women falling for each other as they are not really in my sphere of existence. So, I try for a mix of lifestyles, occupations, and backgrounds…and see how they connect.
What is your favorite attraction in Yorkshire and why?
I love the countryside. We live in a deep valley with a road, a river, a canal, and a railway running through it. There’s a lot of history here as well. The people are lovely too.
Do you have anything specific you want to say to readers?
Read my books. Review them. Tell other people about them. If you like them, that is.
Me: Authors appreciate reviews and it shows them that you care.
Can you describe the moment the last time you got a hole in one on the golf course?
There hasn’t been a first time, yet.
Would you like to share anything about your love for archaeology? Can you tell us about your last dig?
I’ve had the pleasure of digging at a predominantly Roman site called Vindolanda near Hadrian’s Wall for the last four years. It was while I was researching pottery for my debut novel, Starting Over, that I came across the Vindolanda website and discovered they had a volunteer programme where you can sign up to excavate for two-week periods between April and September. People come from all over the world to take part and it’s a great experience.
Although I had finished an initial draft of the book by the time I first went to Vindolanda, I was able to incorporate some of what I learned there in the next draft.
Who is your favorite character from all your books and why?
Asking an author this is like asking a mother to name her favourite child. I have to like the characters to be able to write about them. Even the ones that readers may not find likeable, there’s always something in their character that’s redeemable. I think that’s why I would find it hard to write a detective novel. But if I do have to pick one character, I would go with Robin from Starting Over, and the other books in the trilogy. She kick-started the whole story and I know she’s often not liked by readers because she cheats on her partner, Ellie, over a long period of time. So, why would I like someone who cheats? Well, because I know that deep down she wants to change and through the course of the story she has that chance. I know in real life that may not seem too plausible, but I wanted to put a positive spin on it and maybe put some doubt in readers’ minds as to whether or not she can eventually maintain a monogamous relationship. (Robin is sexy as hell too, and rides a motorbike.)
What was the last movie you saw in the theater? Would you recommend it?
I don’t often go to movies. I think the last one I saw was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And, of course, I loved it because I’m a Star Wars fan – particularly of the original three movies.
Which authors do you follow and what do you like about their writing?
I read a lot and obviously follow a number of lesfic authors whose books I enjoy. But I would like to mention a non-lesfic author because her books are rich in history with lashings of humour…and tea. This is Jodi Taylor who has written a series of books under the heading “The Chronicles of St Mary’s”. St Mary’s is a historical research establishment where they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’ (or what we call ‘time travel’). This premise gives the author a chance to revisit many historical events to find out what really happened. Some examples are: Troy, Battle of Hastings, Agincourt, the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria, and the Cretaceous period to observe dinosaurs in the flesh. It’s all a bit mad, but good fun.
What is your favorite part of being an author? The least fave?
I enjoy writing, thinking about the characters, and seeing how the story develops. In common with most other published authors, the marketing is the hard part. Nowadays we have to rely on ratings on Amazon, maintain a constant presence on Facebook and Twitter, write regular blogs, and also try to get some reading gigs that may generate publicity.
What is next for you?
As of the timing of this interview, my next destination is the Golden Crown Literary Society Conference, which is in Chicago this year. There I will be joining other Affinity authors: Renee MacKenzie, Ali Spooner, Annette Mori, and Angela Koenig…plus all the other delegates: readers, writers, and publishers. This will be my third time and I enjoy meeting up with old friends and new on each occasion.
I’m also involved with Happy Valley Pride, a weeklong festival held in Hebden Bridge, which is near where I live. This is only the second year for the event. It was well received by the community last year and the plans for this year have grown from that experience.
This year I’m hosting a reading evening, sponsored by Affinity Rainbow Publications. It’s called ‘Lesbian Writers Read’ and is taking place on 8 August from 7 to 9pm at Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge. Four other authors are taking part: Lise Gold, Cari Hunter, Robyn Nyx, and Brey Willows. I think this is possibly the first event of its kind in the town so I’m hoping it will go down well.
Excerpt from Running From Love (Chapter Six)
Andi felt awkward intruding on the other woman’s obvious sadness, but she didn’t want to just walk away. Although they had only met briefly, she sensed a bond between them. Nothing sexual, just a kind of kinship. And she hoped Sam wasn’t thinking of throwing herself off the cliff. She didn’t want that on her conscience.
“Um, look if there’s something you want to talk about, I’m here. Sometimes it’s easier to unburden yourself to a stranger.”
Sam gave her the flicker of a smile. “This is a job for me. I’m getting paid to do this. But I don’t know if I can now that she’s here.”
This sounded intriguing.
“You’re getting paid to learn how to play golf?”
“Yes. I do in-depth research, usually for film or television companies. Sourcing locations, providing historical and cultural background as required. This job is for a writer who either can’t, or doesn’t want to, play golf herself. But she wants to sound knowledgeable when writing about it.”
“Couldn’t she get that from watching golf or reading magazines? And there’s loads of instruction videos on YouTube.”
“I know. But she wanted more than that. Maybe trying to understand why people do it, why they are so passionate about it.”
“That’s a tough one. But not easy for non-golfers to fathom.”
They stood together looking out over the ocean. The wind was starting to cut through the light jacket Andi was wearing.
“You said you didn’t think you could do this now, because…?” Andi wasn’t sure Sam would answer as she had gone quiet again.
With a heavy sigh, Sam finally spoke. “Because my ex is here. I didn’t know she was even interested in golf.”
“Yes, ah. And her new girlfriend is joining her later this week.” Sam spat out the word “girlfriend” as if it left a bad taste.
“How long were you together?”
“Fourteen years. We got married two years ago in April.”
“Shit.” Andi didn’t know what else to say. Long-term relationships had always been a mystery to her. She had known Freya for many years but that worked because they only met up a few times each year. She wasn’t sure she could handle Freya’s intensity full time.
Andi touched Sam’s arm. “We should probably be getting back or they’ll be sending out a search party.”
Read the first chapter here.
Before you go, make sure to check out Jen’s links, including her blog, which you can subscribe to.
I want to thank Jen for stopping by to chat. Her new book, ‘Running from Love’ is now available and I’m looking for discussion on this story, so feel free to leave a comment below. We’ve enjoyed having you visit.
Until Next Time,
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