Welcome to Day 27 of #RomancingSeptember
Our guest today is Jane Cable and her book The Faerie Tree
Where is your home town?
I immediately think of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, where I was brought up, but the reality is that I’ve lived near Chichester on the south coast of England for the last twenty years. But as they say: you can take the girl out of Wales but you can’t take Wales out of the girl!
How long have you been writing romance?
I completed my first novel-length romance in 2004. It was great fun to write but completely unpublishable. Nevertheless it was good practice and I kept on writing until I had something I was ready to share. That was The Cheesemaker’s House which reached the final of UK daytime TV favourite The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition in 2011 and was published in 2013.
What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?
As a writer it’s romantic suspense because plot construction is so challenging. Of course, the heart of any romance is the characters but weaving a mystery around them means they can play out their love story in a really interesting way. And there are so many different sorts of mysteries you can choose; The Cheesemaker’s House is a bit ghostly but The Faerie Tree is far more psychological. As a reader I also love sagas – I find it totally captivating to be able to follow a family, a village or group of friends through the generations. RF Delderfield was master of it and Margaret Graham’s pretty amazing too.
Where is your book set?
The Faerie Tree is mainly set close to the River Hamble in Hampshire on the south coast of England, with a few excursions to Newquay in Cornwall. Hampshire is very close to where I live and I was introduced to the real faerie tree by a friend. It’s such a magical place where children leave gifts and letters for the faeries – and the faeries reply.
Introduce us to Izzie.
Izzie is 43 and has just been widowed. She thinks she’s been strong for her teenage daughter, Claire, and that she’s coping well – but the reality is very different. She is like so many women we recognise; on the outside a polished professional (she teaches at a college) but on the inside a welter of insecurities about being a good mother, a good friend – and basically staying sane without too much help from the wine bottle.
Tell us about her recent meet up with Robin.
The book opens in the city of Winchester just before Christmas when Izzie, distracted by a stressful visit to the probate office to deal with her late husband’s estate, literally walks into a tramp. Almost straight away she realises it’s Robin, a man she was in love with 20 years before, but she isn’t entirely honest with Claire about the true nature of their relationship. Later she realises that she just has to find him again.
What is special about the Faerie Tree?
I believe that faerie trees have a resonance with all of us because in so many early cultures trees were objects of worship and wonder. Celebrating festivals around them and leaving offerings is something buried very deep in our psyche, whatever our beliefs are now. The real faerie tree on the banks of the Hamble is not especially pagan – for most people it’s probably just a piece of fun and the most special thing about it is that someone answers every single letter the children leave. For Robin and Izzie it’s the place their story started and the point where their lives split apart. It’s a human story, not an elven one, and it just had to be told.
Tell us about their relationship when they first met 20 years before.
Robin and Izzie were in their early twenties and Izzie at least was full of hope for the future. She had a dead end job and a dead end boyfriend but she just knew life would get better. Robin was first a business contact, then a friend, and then, one day in the faerie tree woods, she knew he was the man who would change everything. Although still young, Robin had already learnt about the harsh blows life deals out but whatever the obstacles, he still fell for Izzie in a big way. For him the trouble started when he began to wish those obstacles away.
Tell us what you are working on at the moment.
It’s a very exciting time for me because I’ve just been signed by an agent so I’m working on a totally new manuscript which we hope she will be able to sell to a major publisher. Set in beautiful Studland Bay in Dorset it’s the story of a recently separated British woman and an American soldier, both haunted by the tragic events of the run up to D-Day sixty years before. The characters bridge the Atlantic so it’s a real Romancing September story!
Where can readers find out more about you?
I have a website, www.janecable.com;
and I do try to be active on Twitter as well @JaneCable
Catch up with more about Jane and her writing in a few hours with Stephanie http://stephanie-hurt.com/