Next week sees the launch of Jane Isaac’s new book Before It’s Too Late. This is Jane’s third book, her second for Legend Press, and it’s set in lovely Stratford upon Avon, England, where Detective Inspector Will Jackman has a very tricky case to solve… I for one can’t wait to read it!
Here’s Jane to answer some questions.
What was the inspiration (or idea) behind Before It’s Too Late?
When Min Li is kidnapped and kept captive in a disused pit in the Warwickshire countryside, she has nothing better to do than churn over her background, her dreams and aspirations and consider her fate. I’ve always been fascinated with the East, so to have a strong character of Chinese origin was an absolute pleasure because it gave me the opportunity to learn so much more about the nuances of their culture.
Running this storyline alongside the police investigation, as Detective Inspector Will Jackman seeks to find her, seemed the perfect idea for a suspenseful story, especially when another student is kidnapped and time begins to run out.
Tell us a little about where your book is set.
The book is set in the very picturesque town of Stratford upon Avon. I’d visited Stratford several times over the years, mainly to see the Shakespearian sites, but this book afforded me the opportunity to spend lots of lovely weekends there, exploring the town centre, looking at the surrounding suburbs, taking riverside walks, chatting to locals and trudging over the Warwickshire countryside. It really is a wonderful place to stay and the local people of Stratford were incredibly obliging and helpful with research for the novel.
How do you write – do you edit as you go, or have a specific routine?
I fit my writing around a day job and a busy family which sadly doesn’t allow the opportunity for much routine. Instead, I take advantage of every spare moment and can often be seen penning lines at the side of the pool when my daughter is at swim club, or jotting down notes in the supermarket queue. I edit as I go along, because I don’t seem to be able to progress a story until I feel comfortable with what I’ve written so far.
I did recently invest in a new laptop (I usually work on a PC) which has been wonderful because I can now write in bed for an hour or so at night, before I go to sleep. My brain seems most active at that time!
What kind of research did this book need?
Oh, heaps! But I find researching a novel, the people you meet and places you visit, almost as much fun as actually writing the book.
I spent a lovely afternoon sitting under a tree in Midsummer Meadow in Northampton with the Chinese Student Liaison Officer from Northampton College who gave me loads of tips and background on Chinese culture. I also had some wonderful lunches with a former Chief Superintendent of the police to chat about kidnappings and international liaison. That coupled with all the trips to Stratford… Well, what can I say? It was a labour of love.
You’re introducing a new police team this time, why is that?
Strangely, the idea for the new team started off as banter between my husband and I. In my last two novels I have comfortably written through the eyes of lead character, Detective Chief Inspector Helen Lavery. He presented me with the challenge of writing through the eyes of a lead male in Detective Inspector Will Jackman and I couldn’t resist having a go!
How do you relax?
I can often be found trudging over the fields near the village where I live with my Labrador, Bollo, running around my heels. Also, I do have a keen passion for travel and get away whenever I can, especially if I can engineer a trip associated with novel research 😉
I’m working on outlines for two further psychological thrillers / police procedurals, one of which will hopefully be ready for publication next year.
Thank you Jane – and all the very best with this new book!
Jane Isaac lives in rural Northamptonshire with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo. She studied creative writing with The Writers Bureau and the London School of Journalism, and was runner up ‘Writer of the Year 2013’ with The Writers Bureau.
Her debut novel An Unfamiliar Murder was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards’. The Truth Will Out was published in April 2014 and has gained an extensive online following. In the month it was released, the book was e-Thriller.com book of the month.
Before It’s Too Late is published on 1st June 2015.