An Interview with Jane Wallace-Knight

Author Image 6Jane Wallace-Knight lives in the East of England in a small town on the coast, in a house by the sea. She finds that walking along the beach with her dog each morning is the best time to let her imagination run wild and give her the inspiration needed to write.

In her free time, Jane loves baking and cake decorating and often makes cakes for the special occasions in her friend’s and family’s lives. A vegetarian from the age of eleven, and an avid animal lover, Jane finds it hard to turn away a stray, and as a result lives with a dog, two cats, and a very understanding family.

Q: At the beginning of The Holy Trinity, we are introduced to Jackson and Alek, a werewolf and vampire who, although deeply in love, are not true mates. When Jackson’s mate, Sam, suddenly shows up, the couple’s future looks uncertain. Were you specifically interested in exploring what the concept of “mates” means in the paranormal genre? What role do you believe destiny plays in love?

A: I think there is something very romantic about the concept of finding a soul mate. However, in a lot of books the main characters tend to just accept it at face value. I think if it were to happen to us in the real world we would question it a bit more. Wonder whether or not it was fate or pheromones or something else. I liked the idea of exploring a triad relationship, specifically one of this nature where two of the people are fated for each other and the other one has to earn/develop their love and whether or not the fated love was in anyway deeper than the love that developed naturally. After being together for fifty years, I couldn’t believe that all that love would just magically go away because Jackson found his “mate.” It was something I hadn’t seen tackled before in books about the concept of mating.

Q: The series name, The Wolves of Gardwich, seems to suggest the series will focus on the members of Jackson’s misfit wolf pack. Can you give anything away about the next book in the series? Can we expect some other unusual pairings between supernaturals?

A: In the first book we are introduced to Sam’s straight, and always supportive foster-brother, and best friend, Kieran. As well as a misunderstood Australian werewolf named Joey. Again, in the next book I explore the concept of “mates” and how difficult it must be for a human to just accept it, especially if they already have a girlfriend waiting for them at home. I had originally planned to write about a different pair of characters next, but I fell in love with Kieran and Joey and decided that they were perfect for each other.

Q: Sam, the third hero in The Holy Trinity, learns a great deal about himself throughout the course of the novel, most notably that he is a half-angel. However, there is still much he does not know about his own origins. How do you come up with character backstories? Do you plot them out or do they develop over the course of writing the story? What are you favorite kinds of characters to write?

A: It is different with each character. With Sam, he was pretty well plotted out in my head before I began writing the book, although his backstory developed along the way. Alek, however, turned out to be a completely different person to the one I had in mind at the start. He seemed to evolve and develop organically on his own, and ended up being, perhaps, my favorite character in the relationship. As to Sam’s origins, I wanted to keep something back to thread through the rest of the series. Even though the second book is predominately about other people, Sam and his mates will feature heavily and he will learn more about his past.

Q: What brought you to ManLove? Are there any authors writing the genre whose work you are particularly drawn to?

A: I remember reading a book by Susan Lewis called Last Resort when I was sixteen. At the start of the book the heroine comes home to find her boyfriend having sex with another man and she storms off after breaking up with him. I remember, at the time, thinking, “Why the hell didn’t you just join them.”

On my hard drive I have a folder labeled “Read Again.” It’s where I put the eBooks I liked so much that I want to keep them. In that folder I have books by Lynn Hagan, Jourdan Lane, J.L. Langley, and Jordan Castillo Price.

Q: What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned about/from writing that you didn’t know when you first started?

A: I think the biggest thing I have learned is to have confidence in myself, and to not be afraid of failure. It is always better to try and fail than to never try at all. I have also learned a lot about storytelling, about the structure of it, and the rise and fall needed to keep people interested, but to also give them a break between heavy scenes.

Q: What do you do to relax or get the creative juices flowing when you are struggling to meet your writing goals or deadlines?

A: For me the best thing is a physical task where you can focus your mind on something simple. Walking along the beach is always good. I also like to knit and decorate cakes. I find that when I concentrate on something else, the story starts evolving naturally in the back of my head.

Q: Tell us about your writing routine.

A: I like to develop ideas and let them cook in my head for a while before I start writing. I actually often start by writing the end of the book so that I know, all along, where it will eventually end up. For some reason I find it easier to write in the morning, perhaps because there are fewer distractions and the world around me is quiet. If there is music playing, or the TV is on, then I can’t focus at all so I need peace and quiet to write.

Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you that might surprise us.

A: When I was nineteen, I was hit by a car and suffered some mild brain damage. The only effect of it is my long term memory (which is awkward when I run into old school friends and I don’t remember them) and the fact that I sometimes forget words. I once forgot the word “scissors” for half an hour. It was like I had never actually ever learned the word and had to ask someone what the thing you cut paper with was called; it’s a very strange feeling. I’m very lucky that it only affects my life in such a small way.

Q: Who do you look up to? What are some of their qualities that you strive to possess as well?

A: I look up to both of my grandmothers. One of them was an unwed mother in the early fifties, who despite being ganged up on by her family, and the nuns and nurses who insisted my dad would be better off being put up for adoption, she held strong and raised him all alone. I admire her for her strength in fighting for herself and for her child. I actually based both the characters of Rita, and Annie, at different stages of her life, on her. My other grandmother had thirteen children, which is amazing enough on its own. She was kind and patient and always affectionate with us all.

Q: If you could be any of your characters, who would it be and why?

A: I would say that I am most like Sam, or at least I was when I was his age. However, if I could be any of them, then I would be Joey, from the second book. Joey is quite carefree and relaxed and is completely comfortable being himself, no matter that most people think he’s a lunatic.