This week I’m so excited to be chatting to the delightful Janey Rosen, author of The Sebastian Trilogy, the trio of books that are rapidly making headway up the best sellers lists… Hi Janey, welcome to the blog …
Hi, my name is Janey Rosen and I’m the author of The Sebastian Trilogy (Secrets, Dark Bonds and Retribution). When I’m not making up stories and telling tales, I’m mum to 4 amazing children ranging from 6 to 21 years old! I try and write when they are asleep. I also run a business which cares for disabled adults, which I set up in 2005 having left nursing. Overall I’m a busy bee.
What was the inspiration behind the creation of the Sebastian Series?
It was a story which came to me last summer, during a holiday in Brittany. The seedling idea quickly blossomed and I had to write it down.
I know that the places you’ve visited in the South West helped to shape the settings of your novels, but what about the characters themselves? Are they based loosely on people you’ve observed through people watching?
Penmorrow was based on a crumbling manor house I visited in North Cornwall. It is owned by a friend of a friend of a friend – a tenuous link which is why I got a huge buzz from sneaking around inside the amazing house, which has never been opened to the public (they would likely break their necks as many floor boards were missing!). I loved finding the secret passage which led down to a smugglers’ tunnel. With regard to the characters, I have often been asked on whom I based Sebastian … my husband likes to tell people that he is Sebastian … I like to tease him and say he’s Alan. My lips are sealed further than that. There are bits of me in Elizabeth and friends who have read the books know which bits those are. Similarly, a couple of friends recognised themselves in various chapters!
Have you got a favourite character?
I adore Scarlett – she is just so wicked! I also like Ruth, Elizabeth’s BFF – nothing phases her, she is the best friend a girl could have. I like Marcus least of all.
I have still got my old English book from school where I wrote pages upon pages of stories – mostly about earthquakes & exotic countries, even though my only foray abroad at that time was a day trip to Boulogne in France! As a child did you write lots of stories with an ambition to be an author? If so, what were your stories mostly about?
Yes! Just like you, I scribbled story after story and recall boring my English class with regular updates on my fictional character, Ned, and his adventures. Drawing and writing were my passion from a young age, I was not a sporty child, preferring to have my nose in a book or a pencil in my hand. Now, I love nothing more than making up stories with my daughter – our favourite are the adventures of Bowbelie and Maria, a girl and her fairy friend who lives in Oak Wood. That mischievous fairy gets herself in trouble daily – usually I lead her astray, and my daughter finishes the story with a happy ending.
Reading is a minefield! … What sort of book genre do you like reading? Favourite books or authors?
My early reads, as a teen, were the Flowers In The Attic series by Virginia Andrews. Lately, my favourite authors are Stephen Leather (The Dan Shepherd series) and Peter James, both of whom write edge-of-your-seat thrillers and crime stories. I also love ‘What Have I Done’ by Amanda Prowse. I love trying work by new authors and believe in supporting indies.
Are there any new novels planned? Are you sticking to the same format or going to be trying something different?
Yes! I am writing a thriller entitled ‘The Hidden Bride.’ It’s a story which has been rattling around in my head for nearly 2 years. It’s entirely different to my ‘Sebastian’ novels. I’m really enjoying getting inside the mind of the new protagonists – one in particular is intriguing to write as he is a hugely complex character.
I belong to a book club – we are passionate about books and we do like discussing them over several glasses of wine! Do you belong to a book club? What do you think about the growing popularity of Book Clubs in the UK?
Unfortunately not, but it’s on my ‘to do’ list! I have a circle of friends who love books and we always suggest new books when we find a gem we love.
Is there a writing genre you would love to try and haven’t yet done so?
The thriller I’m writing is a new genre for me and therefore a new challenge.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Monday to Friday I will always be found in a skirt, blouse or top and heels – the ‘boardroom’ look helps me to mentally shift from mother to business woman. I have a weakness for dresses and own more evening dresses than I have have the opportunity to wear! Favourites are Sonia Pena and James Lakeland.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
Coast and Monsoon are my favourite high street shops. I try and support small, local boutiques and am fortunate to have some great ones in the town where I live.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I have my eye on a fitted suit by Armani – I just need to work out how to sneak it into my wardrobe without my husband noticing 😉
Boots or Shoes?
At 5’10” tall I struggle with high heels. I’m envious of every woman who can wear Jimmy Choo or Louboutins! I own one very high pair of black heels but have yet to find the courage to wear them. I love boots in the winter (Nine West are so comfy), and my Unze sparkly sandals as well as a black crystal pair by Sam Edelmam.
Links you would like to share:
Thank you Janey! I wish you continued success with your writing – I look forward to reading your thriller but in the meantime I’ll settle for a summer of good reading with Sebastian & Co…
Photos published with kind permission from Janey Rosen