Monday, December 11, 2006

Make-Believe Monday with Jane Beckenham

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I pleased to introduce Jane Beckenham. Jane writes for Treble Heart Books.

Jane, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Jane: Hi there, Right now I’m working on a Regency set in 1815, just before the battle of Waterloo. This is a real departure for me, as although I’ve written time travel/romances and contemporary romances, the Regency period is something quite new. But I’m loving it. I started it as a chapter for the Avon Regency chapter competition online and it’s grown into a story all its own.

Debra: Quite a few authors participated in the Avon competition. It will be interesting to see what stories come out of that.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Jane: Sleep! Really. Sometimes I find the best answers to writing quandaries and new ideas come just at about 5 a.m. when I’m starting to wake up. I love to think of characters and their names and dream up book blurbs and often a story evolves simply from that.

Debra: I'm convinced our subconscious works as we sleep, creating and planning. This time of year we all get less sleep than usual, with the holiday parties and extra things on our to do lists. Writers find it harder to write during the holiday season and this is a great remiinder to remember to get enough sleep. Thanks, Jane. I needed that reminder.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Jane: Usually by about chapter three. I’ve got to know them, and particularly the heroes I find by then I’m starting to fall for them big time.

Debra: There is something about chapter three. Several other authors I know experience the same thing (myself included)

Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?

Jane: Yes I did this in a manuscript – as yet unsold set in a make believe island off the Mediterranean, a mixture of an Arabic world and Spanish culture. Perfume was a big ‘industry’ for the island and so the research was great fun. So too was creating the country’s history and flavour etc.

Debra: Fascinating! I hope to read this one day.

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Jane: My recent release – Always A Bridesmaid ( began as a dream at the Romance Writers Conference here in New Zealand, I dreamt of the hero in his cupid boxer shorts rescuing the heroine from a hotel fire, I could see him so well. He made my toes curl!

Debra: Mmmm. I can just see this.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Jane: Only a story about Tina the talking doll. I loved my dolls.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Jane: Probably a time-travel going back to the past, but of course with a great romance in it, one where the true test of belief and love everlasting is tested to the limits, but of course will always come true. Think of the harshest thing a person might have to go through and life, and think of them succeeding, overcoming everything all because they absolutely love the other person so much, they couldn’t live without them.

Debra: Then, Jane, you must write that book.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Jane: I’ve always been a great daydreamer, thinking of myself in different situations, places. Dreams are free, they give us freedom to wander the world and be whoever we want to be just for this moment in time. Isn’t that a wonderful thing we have the chance to do, and as often as we want to.

Happy reading everyone.
Jane Beckenham

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Always a Bridesmaid - by Jane Beckenham
Be My Valentine - by Jane Beckenham
Woman of Valor - by Janelle Benham
Available through Treble Heart Books
Coming soon: Leap of Faith - by Janelle Benham

Jane Beckenham lives 'down-under' in New Zealand, a land also known as Aotearoa. As a mother to two daughters (teenagers!!) and wife to Neil, life is a round of playing mum's taxi service, hoping she can conjure up a gourmet delight for the evening meal and scraping every moment at the computer, all the while wondering what her hero and heroine are up to behind her back!

Jane, thank you for visiting us here on Make-Believe Mondays to share a bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

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