Nancy, what can you tell us about yourself? When did you start writing, how long and what do you write?
As a teacher of 11-12yr olds I had always been doing some form of writing. I was swept into volunteering to produce non fiction work for educational purposes outside school requirements and learned to love the writing process. I made a pack of photocopiable teacher lessons, associated CDROM and audio materials back in 1999 for a local Millennium history project during the summer vacation. (50 copies went to local schools and libraries) In 2005 I wrote an extensive History of Kintore School (the school where I taught) dating back to the early 16th century, which again took me the whole summer vacation. (It sold 350 copies-all profits going to the school fund) I found that researching and writing for it was great fun! In 2008 I cut back teaching to approx 3 days a week, tapering it off to zero by the autumn of 2011. By then I had started writing for ME! I’ve completed the first in a series of time travel novels for 9-12yr olds, and one historical romance. Three contemporary romances are also finished-two of those light-hearted. One has darker, sinister elements leaning towards the sub-genre of romantic suspense. My current work in progress is a family saga.
You are one busy woman…
What can you tell us about Take Me Now that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt? Was it an easy write? How long did it take you to write it?
TAKE ME NOW is the tale of Nairn Malcolm who’s recently been in a bike spill and is sporting some rather dramatic injuries. He needs a pilot/chauffeur to ferry him all around the world to keep his business flowing. Coincidentally he also needs a new PA. In steps Aela Cameron, a woman of many talents who can fly his jet and floatplane, pilot his catamaran and also has sufficient office skills to help. She only wants a temporary job for a month or so-Nairn finds he wants to keep her a lot longer! This is a lighthearted story even though they are also hunting out the saboteur who has been harming Nairn’s business, and has also caused his accident. Aela finds she’s in the firing line as well but she’s a feisty lass who copes with all the incidents that befall her.
The story idea was hatched after a fabulous family weekend jaunt in 2010 when 9 of us hired a seaplane (with pilot) to fly us around the western islands of Scotland. I loved sitting in the co-pilots seat at such low levels above ground. It seemed as if the lochs, sea water and hills were just right below the floats. We flew over a good number of Scottish castles so I just had to include one in my seaplane story.
My first manuscript was written almost totally from Nairn’s point of view but I wasn’t happy with it, so between May and November of 2011 I rewrote it from the point of view of both Aela and Nairn, the bulk by then in Aela’s POV. By then the problem was the categorizing of it. It’s basically a lighthearted contemporary romance novel, but it has elements of danger- though not enough to be fully classified as suspense.
Your book sounds exciting. Oh, and I understand all about the problem of figuring out where your book will fit. My paranormals are suspenses, but my contemporary Westerns are on the fence.
Are you a pantser or plotter? What can you tell us a little about your writing process
I’m more of a pantser-especially with my first published novel MONOGAMY TWIST (a contemporary history mystery) and with TAKE ME NOW.
Over the last few years I’ve also written a historical romance and a time travel novel for children. Both of those have a Celtic/Roman Britain setting though they are not the same time period. I loved teaching Celtic and Roman history to my classes at school; I have a lot of research materials for Celts and Romans, so for those two novels I was more of a plotter.
My latest completed contemporary novel called TOPAZ EYES needed some historical research so that was done first. TOPAZ EYES is a contemporary history mystery with more suspense elements, and a lower heat level regarding the passionate elements. It’s a complicated ancestral mystery, a quest for lost family heirlooms, It’s set in some of my favorite European destinations-Heidelberg, Vienna, and Amsterdam. The heroine’s home town is Edinburgh, Scotland but since the hero is American they also visit Duluth and Rochester-Minnesota. For TOPAZ EYES I had to make a large complex family tree, and other paper documentation, to make sure the plot was integrated properly as I wrote that one.
Your other books sound interesting too!!
If you could be any fictional character—including your own, who would you choose and why?
I would love to be Aran, the 12year old boy, in my (as yet unpublished) novel for children called ‘Dabbling With Time’. He’s blessed with a pretty near photographic memory which comes in very handy when he finds himself in a different time period and has to work out from visual clues where he is, and when. I’d love to be in his shoes…though maybe not the dangerous bits! My own memory has always been a bit erratic so the lure of great recall is why I’d choose him. Aran is also very brave-and in the nature of novels-he’ll be a handsome hero when all ‘growed’ up!
Sounds like he’d be a fun person to be for sure…
What is your favorite TV show or movie?
Afraid I’m very boring about that. I don’t watch much TV but tend to watch classic re-runs, and things on the history channel. I used to watch loads of crime stuff, but not at present having had a surfeit of CSI. (Oops! I don’t intend to offend anyone!) I prefer to watch movies. Over the years I’ve had many favorite movies but I do love most of Johnny Depp’s films. I also love the Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle TV version of Pride and Prejudice and re-watch that often. The Bodyguard is also a great favorite that gets pulled out if I’m in a sentimental mood!
Nothing wrong with preferring movies over TV… I too tend to favor movies. In fact, for years I didn’t watch anything—nada—on TV.
Okay, since I write both, I have to know—Vampires or Cowboys?
Definitely cowboys. I love reading stories about cowboys. As a teenager I watched mega amounts of Western films on TV and thought it so amazing to see all that sun and…sweat! Coming from Scotland the huge prairies and ranch lands of Texas etc were so different. This really dates me but I can vaguely remember watching series like the High Chaparral, reruns of Wagon Trail, and the Dallas TV series that ran for years- though I’m not sure if you would call that cowboy material! I’ve managed to visit a few places in the US, seen lots of real cowboys but haven’t quite made it to any rodeos in Texas –not yet!
LOL! I write about Texas cowboys and haven’t been to Texas either!
Thank you very much for having on the blog today…I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions!
I’m happy to have you!
Currently available contemporary history mystery novel.
Luke Salieri has a mystery he wants resolved immediately. There must be a woman out there who can meet his needs. But how far will he have to go to persuade her? Rhia Ashton can’t see herself living with gorgeous Luke Salieri and not wanting his body as well. Can she live and sleep with him for a whole year and then walk away?
MONOGAMY TWIST Book Trailer can be seen at:
TAKE ME NOW Blurb:
Nairn Malcolm’s looking for the impossible. He needs a highly skilled, enterprising aide who’ll be at his beck and call 24/7. No ordinary Jane Doe will do. He doesn’t expect the only candidate who drops in at his Scottish castle for an interview to be so competent…or so stunning. Aela Cameron’s got exactly the right mix of talents to satisfy all Nairn Malcolm’s needs, and more. She loves the jobs he needs done, adores his castle, and finds his frenetic lifestyle energizing. But she’s only looking for temporary: not to fall in love with the man. Can Nairn convince Aela she’s tailor-made for him in every way…and not a passing fancy?
TAKE ME NOW Excerpt:
Unadulterated vigor oozed from every last bit of him—overall a dangerous concoction. Something stirred way-down-low inside Aela again. He was a real honey, and the bee in her wanted to be very sticky.
Her mind whirred. The man bore a vague resemblance to the ruggedly handsome thirty-two year old Nairn Malcolm of the internet photograph, but would the blonde limpet in the recent celebrity snapshot want to curl herself around this forbidding wreck of a man? Aela thought not. She wondered, though, if his blank expression was caused by current circumstances, or if this was his normal demeanor, since he hadn’t been smiling in the photograph either.
With the high granite wall as his backdrop she could easily imagine this man lording over the castle, ruthlessly challenging any invaders to his domain. Taking any woman he wanted? Now there was a thought she was happy to entertain. A tiny smile broke free. Tamping down her crazed imagination she re-assessed him.
What had the guy been doing to get himself in such a state? Who was he?
Nancy Jardine was a teacher of 11-12year olds for many years, but in autumn 2011 she gave up teaching to write full-time. During the last three years one historical and three contemporary romances have been completed. The first in a planned series of time-travel novels for children 9-12yrs is finished, and a family saga is the current work in progress. Nancy lives in the picturesque castle country of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband who now does all the cooking…the menu far more exciting and tasty than it used to be when she wielded the wooden spoon! Hobbies include ancestry research, doing exciting fun things she’s never done before with her two daughters and sons-in-law, and working in her large garden where she tends real flowers and some spectacular weeds! Looking after her first granddaughter, now 8 months, takes up a very special place in her week.
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