Coffee and Music with Jenny Kane

Many thanks for helping me celebrate five years since the publication of Another Cup of Coffee! It doesn’t seem a moment since my tale of caffeine, friendship and “laying the ghosts of boyfriends past to rest,” hit the bookshelves.

My absolute pleasure, Jenny. It’s a gorgeous read.

Here’s the blurb!

Another Cup of Coffee 2017 (003)Thirteen years ago Amy Crane ran away from everyone and everything she knew, ending up in an unfamiliar city with no obvious past and no idea of her future. Now, though, that past has just arrived on her doorstep, in the shape of an old music cassette that Amy hasn’t seen since she was at university.

Digging out her long-neglected Walkman, Amy listens to the lyrics that soundtracked her student days. As long-buried memories are wrenched from the places in her mind where she’s kept them safely locked away for over a decade, Amy is suddenly tired of hiding.

It’s time to confront everything about her life. Time to find all the friends she left behind in England, when her heart got broken and the life she was building for herself was shattered. Time to make sense of all the feelings she’s been bottling up for all this time. And most of all, it’s time to discover why Jack has sent her tape back to her now, after all these years…

With her mantra, New life, New job, New home, playing on a continuous loop in her head, Amy gears herself up with yet another bucket-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest…

***

Music has always played an important part in my writing life. I have different playlists to listen to depending on what style of writing I am creating. When I am ‘being’ Kay Jaybee and creating erotica, I listen to Depeche Mode (just as Kit, the erotica writer within Another Cup of Coffee does). When I was writing the five Another Cup of…stories, I listened to non-stop 80’s and 90’s music- just as I did when I was a student back in the 1990’s. And it is that very music (Alice Cooper, The Euyrthmics, The Clash…) that inspired the main male protagonist in the novel- Jack Brown.

***

Extract

The power shower thundered, sending a searing-hot cascade of water down onto Jack’s head. Squeezing far too much shampoo into his hands, he began to viciously scrub his short hair. What the hell had he been thinking? Well, actually, he hadn’t been thinking, had he? He never looked beyond himself. The moment. The day. He was so stupid. So angry with himself.

Why had he posted that tape? And more immediately, where was he? And how soon was he going to able to get away from whoever it was he’d spent the night with? Jack could feel the familiar sensation of suffocation closing in on him as he abandoned his hair and began to furiously soap his torso.

He was a shit.

But then you have to be good at something.

And now Amy was coming here. It hadn’t crossed his mind that she’d even visit, let alone move her entire life back south. And not just south, but bloody London. Being back in touch, and hopefully forgiven, was one thing when she was safely tucked away in Scotland. But here. Face to face. Jack hadn’t banked on that at all.

He really didn’t want to see Rob today. It was his fault this had happened. Rob had come into work one day, back in the summer, going on about how worried he and Paul were for Amy. How she seemed to have placed herself completely off the emotional scale. The combination of bright sunshine, happy reminiscences, and the weight of a conversation he and Amy had never had, had brought his buried guilt racing to the surface.

Then, a few days later, Paul had visited Jack and Rob’s bookshop, passing through on one of his rare visits between his archaeological digs. He’d been sorting out some of his university mementos, and had come across a load of photographs.

They were all there, at university, more years ago than was acceptable if Jack was still going to pass himself off as thirty at the clubs he frequented. Amy, Rob and Paul huddled together in a muddy ditch, laughing. Rob, Paul and him, pints of Tiger lager in hand, outside their favourite pub. Paul, Amy and him, all cuddled together on Rob’s battered and suspiciously stained brown sofa. Amy and him. Amy and him together. Smiling. Together.

That had been the killer. That was the photo that had made him think. Her eyes had shone at the camera. If Jack was honest, so had his. So, in a state of happy but unrealistic nostalgia, he’d gone home, dragged a box of assorted junk out from under his bed, and pulled out the tape.

He had weighed the clear plastic box in his hand. It was time to explain. If Amy was half the girl he used to know then she’d forgive him. And suddenly, from nowhere, Jack had found that he really, really needed to be forgiven.

That was why he’d put Unfinished Sympathy on Amy’s tape. He wanted her to understand that he knew he’d hurt her. That he, himself, had been hurt by having to leave her. But for reasons he hadn’t totally understood at the time, he’d felt he had no choice. A fact which had led him to the record the unbearably twee, but wholly accurate, I Will Always Love You. It seemed to say how sorry he was. It said everything he’d wanted to say then, but couldn’t. He was sorry, really he was. But for Amy to turn up here! Bloody hell.

Stepping out of the shower, Jack began to dry himself with a suitably punishing rough brown towel. Now he was going to have to tell Rob he’d returned the tape, and have another go at talking to Kit.

He hadn’t deliberately failed to tell Kit about Amy. Specific conversations about individual exes had never come up. Jack was pretty sure that Rob hadn’t mentioned Amy to Kit either. Amy had been part of their old life, and Kit was part of their current one. Simple.

Jack knew he had to see Kit soon, before someone else filled her in. He wasn’t sure why he’d walked out on her now he came to think about it. At least she’d understand. Kit always understood. After all, they’d remained friends. Great friends. They had moved on smoothly.

‘Talk about my past catching me up,’ he muttered to his sleep-deprived reflection as he dragged a borrowed razor over his chin. ‘It’s pretty much tripped me up, into a pile of shit, and it’s entirely my fault. Bloody sentimental tape….’

****

If you want to find out how Jack manages to mess up even the simplest conversations with his overuse of lyrics, and discover if Amy sorts her life out, you can buy Another Cup of Coffee as an eBook or a paperback from –

Another Cup of Coffee is available from all good book and eBook retailers, including-

http://www.amazon.com/Another-Cup-Of-Coffee-contemporary-ebook/dp/B00EVYZC7M/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=15EFJ85882KQYAJ71KED

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Cup-Of-Coffee-contemporary-ebook/dp/B00EVYZC7M/ref=pd_sim_kinc_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=12DHKX85NFP0DNJJCKDS

http://www.bookdepository.com/Another-Cup-Coffee-Jenny-Kane/9781783751129

Another Cup of Coffee has 3 novella length Christmas sequels (Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds and Christmas at the Castle), as well as a full length sequel, Another Glass of Champagne.

***

Happy reading everyone.

Jenny xx

Bio

KayJayBee-17 (003)From the comfort of her cafe corner in Mid Devon, Jenny Kane wrote the contemporary women’s fiction and romance novels, Romancing Robin Hood (2nd edition, Littwitz Press, 2018), Abi’s Neighbour (Accent Press, 2017), Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2016), and the bestsellers, Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), and Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013).

She has also written 3 novella length sequels to her Another Cup of…..books:  Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle (Accent, 2016). These three seasonal specials are now available in one boxed set entitled Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection (Accent, 2016)

Jenny is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015)

Jenny Kane is the writer in residence for Tiverton Costa in Devon. She also co-runs the creative writing business, Imagine.

All of Jennifer and Jenny Kane’s news can be found at www.jennykane.co.uk

@JenAshHistory

@JennyKaneAuthor

Jennifer Ash https://www.facebook.com/jenniferashhistorical/

Jenny Kane https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011235488766

Imagine www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk

 

 

 

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My Lovely Blog Hop

I’ve been tagged by the super-lovely Kelly Florentia to take part in My Lovely Blog Hop. So here are a few thoughts about my past, present, my writing, and why, responding to one point here, I almost fibbed but decided to tell the truth in the end.

First Memory

Me and my sister, Helen, with our father, aged about 5 and 3.

Me and my sister, Helen, with our father, aged about 5 and 3.

Riding on the back of a bicycle behind my father, his presence large and dark and safe. It was one of those seats fixed to the mudguard that are no doubt outlawed now. I have no idea how old I was, but at least three or four, I’d say. He died when I was six and I have so few memories of him that I treasure this one. It’s faint, visceral rather than concrete. Sometimes, I stare at photographs of my mother’s and try to conjure memories, but truthfully I cannot recall the actual moments of any of them. He’s rather more like a shadow, a friendly ghost, in childhood memories and I know my sister feels this too.

Books

books 001

Favourite books of 2014 (some of them!)

Though I didn’t always want to be a writer – I definitely didn’t enjoy it at a school and was in the lower half of the class, attainment wise, in English – stories have been a consistent presence in my life, personally and professionally. As a child I was a voracious reader, and remain so today. I didn’t own many books – see the section on libraries – other than those given as Christmas or birthday presents from distant aunts and uncles, but I devoured anything I could lay my hands on: classics like the Narnia Chronicles, Tom’s Midnight Garden, and The Secret Garden as well as popular titles like Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and St Clare’s series. The allure of boarding school to a state school kid was irresistible. Nowadays, I read more contemporary fiction than anything else – I had my fill of the classics after three years studying for a degree in English Literature. Authors I admire and enjoy are too numerous to list here but those who consistently awe include Maggie O’Farrell, Jojo Moyes, Jenn Ashworth, Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Margaret Atwood.

Libraries

Gladstone's Library in north Wales

Gladstone’s Library in north Wales

Predictably, I love them. As a child and young woman I was a regular borrower. Like so many of us, I don’t borrow anywhere near as often as I used to but I do visit the fabulous Jubilee Library in Brighton, my home town. The first writers’ group I joined met at the Jubilee and it hosts fundraising events like that for the super-fantastic Little Green Pig project as well as author events. It’s a joy to hang out in. Another favourite library is the Gladstone in north Wales, just down the road from where I grew up. It is breathtakingly beautiful and it hosts an excellent literary festival in September with a host of inspiring author talks and workshops – including yours truly at last year’s shindig! The Gladstone offers writers’ retreats and I have been fortunate enough to secure a scholarship there this summer. Other authors have sung its praises as the ideal place to be inspired and write and I can see why. Roll on August.

What’s your passion?

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A Patrick Heron print – one of my fave artists

Tempted as I am to sound much more interesting and exciting than I actually am and make something up, I’m going to be truthful and admit that other than reading and writing and my family, I don’t really have one. I do love clothes and fashion and seeking out fabulous bargains, and have been known to post some of my more unusual finds on Facebook (a German 60s shift dress, anyone?). Also, I love art, enjoy watching films and drinking wine and eating cake – eating out, full stop, but I’m not sure that these count as passions. Writing and books is it. Sad but true, perhaps?

Learning

I believe that learning is for life not just for school days and the moment we stop learning we stop living. Enough said.

Writing

Given that I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time blathering about my writing work I’ll say little more than the sentences below. Feel free to rummage around the rest of my site if you need or want more *hear me laughing*

My next two novels are to be published by Accent Press. The first, Redemption Song, in January 2016, followed by Skin Deep later that year. There’s more info on them here.

Wait!

Many thanks to Kelly for nominating me. It’s been fun ambling down memory lane, picking the daisies. Now, I’m breaking into a sprint (not!) to hand over the baton to author mate Annette Sills. Annette’s debut, The Relative Harmony of Julie O’Hagan, is set in Manchester – where I studied – and is a lively, often moving, read, and she’s a super-nice person too.

Dust, Dirt and first Drafts

No one died of a dusty house, right?

MSOn Wednesday, I completed the first draft of my latest novel – working title Redemption Song. It’s a story of guilt, love and forgiveness – or Buildings, Bats and Love – set in a remote seaside town in Wales. It’s fair to say that for months my house has been absolutely rammy and I should be awarded an A star in slovenliness. But as I said in the sub-title: no one ever died of a grubby house. And in mitigation I was immersed in my characters’ worlds.

Now that I have to stay away from the manuscript for at least a couple of weeks (oh how my fingers itch for the keyboard) my house is spotless, mounds of paperwork have been filed, the lawns have been mowed and I even baked a cake with Ginger2 on Saturday – with disastrous results. Nigella Lawson, I’m not.

All this cleaning is fine preparation because soon enough, though not soon enough for me, I’ll be tidying up messy areas of the novel. I might rearrange the furniture in some scenes, repaint others, polish certain characters, bin others, or even go out shopping for a new look for one, to give the character a little more va-va-voom. I do love this process because, when I’m lucky, a kind of alchemy occurs: the base metal of a story is transformed into narrative gold, though I’ll settle for a second draft of silver because after draft two comes draft three …