Tuesday, December 13, 2016

5 Questions with Jane Jordan, Author of 'The Beekeeper's Daughter'

Jane was born in England, and grew up exploring the history and culture of London and surrounding counties.  After some time spent in Germany in the 1990’s she immigrated to Detroit, USA, eventually settling in South West Florida. She returned to England after a fifteen-year absence, to spend six years in the South West of England living on Exmoor.  Here, inspired by the atmosphere, beautiful scenery and the ancient history of the place, she began writing.
Jane is a trained horticulturist, and also spent time working and volunteering for Britain's National Trust at Exmoor's 1000-year-old Dunster Castle.  Gaining more insight into the history and mysteries surrounding these ancient places, and having always been intrigued by the supernatural, inspiration came for her fourth novel, The Beekeeper's Daughter, a supernatural thriller. 
Jane Returned to Florida in 2013, and lives in Sarasota.
Q: What’s inside the mind of a Dark Romance author?
A:  My work is a blend of dark romance, the supernatural with just a bit of horror thrown into the mix.  I like to write about forbidden and dangerous aspects of my characters, but the situations have to be believable, and I often draw on local myth and legend for inspiration.  I am not a fan of blood and gore for the sake of it, and in real life I would be as afraid as the next person to find myself alone in a remote ancient house at midnight.
As a writer I draw on happenings that are sometimes based on personal experiences, or from the stories I have been told to create ambitious stories with my own particular twist. I like my stories to bring an element of surprise.  To my mind romance and horror are perfect companions, and the supernatural is part of real life.
I have always been fascinated by haunted places and paranormal experiences. Storylines meander through my head all the time, and underneath the main story, subplots emerge.  When I am writing one book, I am generally working on another, or a short story.
Writing in this genre is a roller coaster of emotions.  My characters are real to me and I can imagine every conversation, every thought pattern that might emerge.  I have to see through their eyes and feel their passion. Connecting with each and every character on some level is important, as is finding a degree of compassion and understanding for even the darkest and most evil character. They are often the greatest characters to write about.
Writing allows me to unleash light and dark in equal measures.  My characters are memorable, some are moral and good, others dark and dangerous.  I like the juxtaposition of the two.  If the situations or characters I write about have a positive, negative or emotional impact on me, then, I know my reader will feel the same way.  
Q: Tell us why readers should buy The Beekeeper’s Daughter.
 A: This novel is a dark historical romance and thriller, a story where the horror creeps up on you, but by the time you realise, you are already hooked.  My stories never just fit one genre completely, and that is part of what makes them unique.
The Beekeeper’s Daughter is set on Exmoor in Victorian England.  For readers that have never visited or know nothing about Exmoor then, they will find a delightful insight into this beautiful part of South West England. Even in modern times it has aspects that are wild and untamed.  From deep wooded coombes (a narrow valley or deep hollow) to vast expanses of moorland covered with purple heather and golden gorse bushes. Towering cliffs plunge down to the water’s edge and rivers that meander under clapper bridges and through ancient forests. Exmoor is enchanting, a place of moods, where dense mists can quickly roll in from the sea and cocoon everything in an icy breath. 
Annabel is ‘The Beekeeper’s Daughter’.  She is also a bee charmer, although, her connection with the bees is both intriguing and alarming.   She has grown up surrounded by the beauty of wildest Exmoor, and her relationship with the blacksmith’s son, Jevan, is sensual and dangerous. Soon after Alex, a wealthy land owner, comes between them, a complex love triangle develops that pushes the boundaries of romance.
Annabel will do almost anything to save Jevan’s life, and soon finds herself in the midst of a haunting legacy. The witchcraft element is powerful and intriguing throughout the book.  This novel begins back at a time in history when they still burnt witches in Scotland, although, it was rare to burn a witch in England, instead of hanging them. Setting that first vital scene of a witch burning at the stake, is unforgettable, and the start of the mysterious legacy.  
Writing this story took me on a compelling and creative journey full of unexpected twists and turns.  I hope my readers will feel the same way.
Q: What makes a good Dark Romance?
A:  Strong, passionate characters that focus on the tragic or darkly emotional aspects of their love interest.  Dark romance often features aspects of the supernatural, such as vampires and witchcraft, it is a genre in which to explore the darker side of human nature.

I like to use an influence of gothic – either in architectural style prevalent in western Europe in the twelfth to sixteenth century or evocative of something gloomy and horrifying.  By combining these ideas and moods, I can create a darkly romantic story. 

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?
A: Chaotic.  I write when I can.  I have business commitments in the mornings, so I mainly write in the afternoons, although, I have been known to get up in the middle of the night and write.  Sometimes a storyline will keep me awake, even wake me up, and I just have to write it down.
Q: What has writing taught you?
A: To write as much as I can, and to write for myself.  If I believe in my work, then, my readers will as well. Never follow trend, unless it’s what you want to do anyway. I write about the things that mean something to me and in the genre that most interests me, not because it’s fashionable. 
It is not a reflection on me as a writer if someone does not like my work, that is just personal preference. The same goes for reviews. I believe in reading only the good reviews and don’t give a second thought to a bad one, better still, don’t bother reading them.
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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title:  The Beekeeper’s Daughter
Genre: Thriller
Author: Jane Jordan
PublisherBlack Opal Books
Find out more on Amazon and B&N
Beekeeper’s daughter Annabel Taylor grows up wild and carefree on the moors of England in the late 1860s. A child of nature and grace with an unusual ability to charm bees, Annabel follows in the footstep of her mother Lilith, a beautiful witch.  With her closest friend and soulmate Jevan Wenham by her side, Annabel’s life is a life filled with wonder and curiosity. But Jevan, the son of a blacksmith, lives his life on the verge of destruction, and his devotion to Annabel probes the boundaries between brutality and deep desire, passion and pleasure. When Jevan leaves Exmoor to pursue an education in London, Annabel’s world shatters.  Devastated without Jevan, Annabel is sure her life is ending. But everything changes when she crosses paths with Alexander Saltonstall. The heir to the Saltonstall legacy and son of Cerberus Saltonstall, the wealthy landowner of the foreboding Gothelstone Manor, Alex is arrogant and self-assured—and enamored of the outspoken Annabel.  Even though the two are socially worlds apart, that doesn’t stop Alex from asking, or rather demanding, Annabel’s hand in marriage.  But when Annabel refuses, she is forced into an impossible situation. To further complicate matters, Jevan is back—and so are those same desires, that same passion and intensity. But nothing is as it seems, and Annabel and Jevan are in grave danger.  At risk of being ensnared into the dark legacy of the Saltonstall family, Annabel faces the ultimate test.  Will her fledgling powers be enough to save those she loves most? Can she even save herself? 

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