Wednesday 30 October 2013

Guest Post: Jayne-Marie Barker

When I was a little girl I always wanted to write stories. You could say I was 'haunted' by a need to write, to twist and tangle words until they created an image. In actual fact, that's probably the wrong way around.... To find the words to describe your own imagination, yes, I think that's the best explanation.

People are always asking me where I get my ideas from but I can never find an answer to please them. In truth what happens is that my imagination works overtime, constantly. Even when I'm supposed to be sleeping, I find ideas popping into my mind. Some of my best moments of inspiration have erupted when I'm in bed, trying to go to sleep, or just waking up. Again, you could say I was 'haunted' by these thoughts but I find them rather reassuring. The day my mind ceases to function this way, I'll lose something precious, the ability to tell a good story.

Any published writer will tell you that it'ss not easy to win over the hearts of a publishing house. My first novel, 'Beneath The Daisies', was published in 2011. I was so excited when I signed the publishing contract, that I think I leapt to the ceiling. The plot runs over a duel timeline with diary entries from the 1930s' that take the reader on a journey towards a violent murder. In the modern day, the central character is unravelling the unsolved mystery, and finds herself threatened by an unknown hand claiming to know everything.

By the time the second novel was published in 2012, I had learnt a considerable amount about the publishing industry, and the world of commercial writing. This time around, I was better equipped to promote 'Distant Shadows', and had gained valuable experience in contacting with the reader in a variety of methods. Today, we are lucky to have an online world to aid communication. It truly is a wonderful tool for reaching people. For example, you're probably reading this on a screen now... It's funny how the world has changed so much in quite a short period of time. 'Distant Shadows' weaves the past and the present into one story of love under threat, a frightening stalker and murder. One shot in the dark in 1935, a tale of tangled love and a stalker in the fifties, and the police trying to solve an almost forgotten murder in the modern day. The link between the three timelines will keep the reader guessing until the very end.

'The Dancer's Ghost' is due for imminent release. I'm very excited about it as it represents a truly new piece of work. 'Beneath The Daisies', was first written four five years before it's publication and re-shaped three times into the final version. 'Distant Shadows', was redrafted twice and initially written at least ten years before publication. 'The Dancer's Ghost', I'm pleased to tell you, is completely fresh and from new thinking. I do hope you'll like it!

You'll find more information about the novels, myself and purchasing links on my website:
In the meantime, a sneak preview for you....

The Dancer's Ghost - back cover
Where we come from can change everything.
When a baby is snatched the famous parents keep the tragedy secret, but this doesn't prevent Joyce Capelli from searching, attracting trouble at every turn. An anonymous writer claims to know everything, but it will cost Joyce more than she realises. When a shot is fired all she finds is an open window, and a room of photographs.
In the modern day Rebecca Houseman finds herself widowed, suffering persistent dreams, and threatened. What she doesn't know is why. When the unconventional DCI Allen says her husband's apparent natural causes was in fact murder, she wonders what he was trying to tell her in his final breath.
A stranger is watching the Houseman family, an unsettling familiarity that could change everything. As the attempts grow increasingly deadly, the inspector strives to solve the case, but can he crack the mystery before the assassin finds Rebecca?
Meanwhile, in the 1960s, Joyce's delight at finding her baby is tragically short lived. What could ink Rebecca Houseman and the young dancer's missing baby all those years ago?
HS ISBN 9781849633291

Pop along to the FREE 'The Dancer's Ghost' launch party on Thursday 7th November 2013 at Hitchin Library, Paynes Park, Hitchin, SG5 1EW. Doors open from 7pm. FREE feature cake and refreshments, book signing opportunity, talk and Q&A.

Looking forwards to seeing you there!


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