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Checking in with Jayne Thomas, Author of 'The Eve Stone.'

It was so nice catching up with Jayne, our YA Author! 'The Eve Stone' is published under our Daisa Publishing imprint and we are excited to hear Jayne is currently working on book 2 in the 'Tarnade Series' called 'The Eve of the Oak.'

It is so interesting to hear how each of our Author's work so differently depending on their genre and writing style ... Jayne talks about how she tackles writer's block along with where she finds inspiration for her characters.

'The Eve Stone is available to purchase from our online website, Amazon and other online retailers (or order through your local indie bookshop). Find out more here.

You can follow Jayne on Instagram, Facebook.

"You get to know your characters in more depth and your fantasy world is easier to immerse yourself in. You become invested in the world and the people you have created."

How long have you been writing?

I was writing from a young age. I was always a very happy loner and loved reading so it was a natural progression to want to write. I wrote poetry first, I was praised at school for a poem I wrote and so that encouraged me. I found if someone gave me a subject, any subject I could write a poem about it. My keepsake case is littered with half written, discarded novels which I started from the age of about 11. Most are cringe worthy now! But to write a complete novel was something I promised myself I would do before I died, as I knew if I didn’t it would be my one regret.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Writers block is something I suffer from regularly and often for long periods. I recently read a book by Steven Pressfield called ‘The War of Art’. He tells you how to break through blockages. He labels writers block ‘resistance’ and goes through all the guises resistance comes in. Basically, every day is a battle against resistance and the answer to it is to just simply ‘put in the work’ in other words sit at the computer and write – don’t worry about what you are writing or how much but just do it. He says if you do this the angels or muses who want to help you will be able to and you will be fulfilling your reason for being. When he writes he surrounds himself with mascots and lucky trinkets. I use incense and inspiration bringing crystals. It has really worked for me as I have written 30,000 words within a month, doing 1000 words a day!

How do you research for your book?

Oh, I love research! I could research all day – it’s the actual writing that’s the problem. With my genre being fantasy I enjoy researching magic in all its forms. I have a wonderful little library now covering crystals, witchcraft, spells, oghams, astrology, Merlin – the list goes on. I also use the internet for images. I am a very visual person and I find pictures inspire me. I collect pictures, cut them out and put them into a scrap book and I make notes around them about a character or a place. If I go anywhere thought-provoking, I make notes and if I watch anything interesting on television, I make notes as well. I am currently reading Robert MacFarlane ‘The Old Ways’ and ‘The Wild Places’ for research on the natural world. His descriptions are second to none and nature is an important theme running through The Eve Stone.

How many books have you written and which is your favourite?

I have lots of half completed novels but ‘The Eve Stone’ is my first whole book and I was so proud of my achievement when I finally reached the end. The trouble was there were so many unanswered questions and possibilities that I knew I had to write a follow-up. So now I'm writing book two in 'The Tarnade Series' - ‘Eve of the oak’ and its definitely my favourite so far but, I have a feeling book three might be even better. The reason is that you get to know your characters in more depth and your fantasy world is easier to immerse yourself in. You become invested in the world and the people you have created.

Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share?

Yes, I am three quarters of the way through my sequel, number two in 'The Tarnade Series' – ‘The Eve of the Oak’. In this one Raykal really comes into her own, she has lots of adventures involving dragons, rock falls and high magic! There’s unrequited love, loss and reunions and the fantasy world I’ve created really opens up for the reader. There will also be a book three no doubt about that as I have more story lines to explore. I also want to create a spin off novel about The Harridan’s and how they came about. I find them interesting characters that need to be explored more fully.

Yes, she falls in love but she doesn’t need a man to save her or a woman come to that, because it becomes obvious Raykal is bi-sexual. This and her independence makes her a very modern protagonist in a fantasy world.

Who is your favourite character?

Can I have two favourites? Its so hard to pick. Obviously Raykal, my heroine is a strong favourite. She starts out as a repressed, frightened loner, in love with her best friend and with little confidence. However, she grows into an independent, feisty female that ‘does things for herself.' Yes, she falls in love but she doesn’t need a man to save her or a woman come to that, because it becomes obvious Raykal is bi-sexual. This and her independence makes her a very modern protagonist in a fantasy world.

My other favourite is Taliesin, he is a merlin type figure who knows everything. He is also very understated in the novel. Just a gentle, reassuring figure that pops up at the right time. However he holds great power (no one knows that yet) and its his potential for magic that I love so much.

Where can readers purchase your book?

They can order direct from myself I have an author Facebook page and also Instagram. I am in the process of setting up a website and blog where readers can follow my progress – so watch this space. They can also purchase from Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones.

What is the key theme or message in the book?

Without doubt the key message is how important the natural world is. Hopefully, I bring alive its beauty in ‘The Eve Stone’ and how it holds secrets if only we are prepared to look for them and believe in the magic nature gives us.

I believe that saving our planet is the one thing we should be doing above all else, because, if we kill our ecosystem, we kill ourselves. However, I don’t think I’ve expressed my message in a patronising or prescriptive way. My book is, first and foremost, a fantasy adventure and nature is a subtle underscore to the story.

If your book was made into a movie who would start in it?

Isn’t it every writer’s dream to have their book made into a film? I am a very visual person and as I write I picture everything in my mind. So, let’s see…

Raykal - Maise Williams

Taliesin - Bill Nighy

Brokk - Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Ammute - Tilda Swinton

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love travelling. I think you learn so much about cultures and societies and I love people’s history and stories. When I’m home in GB I like to travel to the middle of nowhere and immerse myself in nature. I’m a sucker for a forest, waterfall or an empty winter beach. Hartfell Spa in Scotland and St Nectan’s Glen in Cornwall are two of my favourite places.

I also craft, I make Alice in Wonderland art, and put positive quotes on to pebbles and shells. I find it all very relaxing. I sell at local craft fairs and on Facebook.

Share something readers won’t know about you?

I am an avid supporter of hunt saboteurs, those that fight the Badger Cull and Extinction Rebellion. My dream is to own a woodland where I can keep wildlife safe.

What 3 people would you like to invite to dinner?

Do they have to be alive? If not it would be Emmeline Pankhurst, Marie Curie and Jane Austin ... If alive it would probably be Greta Thunberg, Jeremy Corbyn and a random homeless person so at least they could get a good meal!


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