Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nancy Jardine - Scottish Writer!! Don't you love it?!?

Nancy Jardine here today! Brought up in Scotland, in the Glasgow of the nineteen fifties and sixties, little vernacular gems surrounded me. A favourite aunt had a saying about my nose always being in a book. "Ye'll read yer brain intae train aile." Loosely translated she predicted in years to come my brain would become the slushy mush of coal tar oil that was left on the train tracks after a steam train had passed by! So far I don't think that's quite happened, and I feel deprived if I'm not reading. 

Which of your books is your personal favorite and why?
My historical novel, The Beltane Choice -published 4 days ago- was the first novel I wrote, though not the first published. It will hold a special place in my heart. The published version is nothing like the first draft, but it’s a favorite since I’ve learned so much about writing during the editing processes.

What kind of writing rituals do you have?
I’m pathetically challenged about this. I check emails, write blog posts etc while I drink my morning java, but I’m not disciplined enough, yet, to call a halt quickly to the marketing aspects of writing. Need to work much faster on that!

What process do you use to develop your characters?
I’m a pantser, by nature. Through a process of osmosis, I now acquire images of my characters early on by purchasing them from my favorite royalty free image site. By doing that, I find I can describe them better-but I can also use the images later when I make my book trailer videos and/or in my own blog posts. I always make sure the license is okay for those uses. That’s a little bit of recent experience talking-this time last year I was such a novice at everything when my debut novel was released.
Tell us about your latest or upcoming vacation.
My latest vacation was a surprise five-day trip to Holland! I absolutely adore Holland and was champing at the bit to go. I lived there for 3 years, around 1980, but hadn’t been back to visit since 2002. A visit to Holland was perfect timing, since I’d just sent off a mss which included a scene that took place in Amsterdam. I was desperate to ‘walk through’ my scene in real life, rather than just through the text I’d recently completed.
Now imagine this with me…I live in Scotland. An hour on an airplane takes me to Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. Yay, I thought! A quick hop over the North Sea and we’ll be there in no time. Didn’t happen! We journeyed by luxury coach instead- a 10 hour trip to the ferry terminal in England. My husband planned it that way, so I’d get lot of rest, and a break away from the keyboard. It was a nice idea but that didn’t happen, either. I was doing first edits-so the laptop went with me. Ever tried to write on a laptop squeezed into a coach seat? It’s possible; the coach even had wi-fi, but the battery was dead within a few hours. No problem, though, I topped it up on the overnight ferry (A now very luxurious ferry compared to years ago!)
On arriving in Holland we visited old haunts, and saw a few new places we’d not visited before. But I was desperate for that visit to Amsterdam.
My latest mss was a complex romantic mystery. The h/ h travel to various European cities-Amsterdam being one of them. I’d written in a scene, set on the Kalverstraat, a long pedestrian only shopping street, in central Amsterdam. In my memories there was a cute little Poffertjes Stall, the mobile van colorfully decked out like a carousel, selling those fantastically tasty tiny Dutch pancakes topped with melted butter and powdered vanilla sugar. 
We tramped up and down the busy Kalverstraat. NO Poffertjes stall! I was gutted. The vacant lot where the mobile van had always been parked had been built upon-a small shopping mall now in place. I couldn’t believe the Poffertjes stall was gone. The minute I got home I rewrote the scene, minus the pancake stall.
That novel is being published by Crooked{Cat}Publishing in Dec 2012, with the altered scene in place! The moral of my tale? Even when writing fiction, if you want authenticity, be careful of your facts. During the early 1980s that Pancake stall was almost an institution, but places can change so much….

What are the contents of your purse?
Empty coffers make a lot of noise? I gave up the day job last year to write full time, after the publication of my debut novel. Do you hear groans and moans? I sure do a lot of that, but it was the right time for me for other personal reasons. The pennies need to roll in to fill that coffer, though I’m realistic enough to know that’s not going to happen immediately! The point is that the trickle has started so…in my terms, that’s huge progress. That first published novel was a milestone, for me!

The Beltane Choice:

Can the Celtic Tribes repel the Roman army?
Banished from the nemeton, becoming a priestess is no longer the future for Nara, a princess of the Selgovae tribe. Now charged with choosing a suitable mate before Beltane, her plan is thwarted by Lorcan, an enemy Brigante prince, who captures her and takes her to his hill fort. Despite their tribes fighting each other, Nara feels drawn to her captor, but time runs out for her secret quest.

As armies of the Roman Empire march relentlessly northwards, Lorcan intends to use Nara as a marriage bargain, knowing all Celtic tribes must unite to be strong enough to repel imminent Roman attack. Nara’s father, Callan, agrees to a marriage alliance between Selgovae and Brigante, but has impossible stipulations. Lorcan is torn between loyalty to his tribe and growing love for Nara.  

When danger and death arrive in the form of the mighty Roman forces, will Nara be able to choose her Beltane lover?

The Beltane Choice is available from: 

Crooked Cat Bookstorehttp://bit.ly/SViLCQ

amazon.co.uk -   http://amzn.to/Rqg7yY 

amazon.com   http://amzn.to/UdT8v0

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/221383


  1. Hi Brenna.It's lovely to be visiting you today. What a fantastic looking blog you've got here!

  2. Enjoyed your post Nancy! Every time I join you for a blog I learn something new. Congrats on taking that leap of writing full time...I'm sure you'll succeed. Much success to you and your latest release :)

  3. Hi Christine! There's always something new to learn, isn't there? Thanks for the good wishes! Best to you too. :-)