Friday, 26 August 2016

Summer Suns are a Glowin' with Jane Bwye

I'm delighted to say that the sky is blue as I post this addition to my 'Summer Suns and how they affect your writing' theme. 

Though, if I'm totally honest, there are also some white scudding clouds out there but the day is predicted to be 'quite nice' for my part of north-east Scotland. 

I'm always thankful to have any blinks of sun but my guest today will tell us about her sunny experiences over her lifetime which are very different from mine. Jane Bwye, my Crooked Cat publishing friend, is a very welcome return visitor and she's here to tell us about her summer suns and what adds to or slows down her writing production.

Hello again, Jane. I do love this photo that you've sent today, you look so relaxed andset to enjoy the day! Tell us please about your summers..
Jane Bwye- courtesy of Jane Bwye

This summer, Nancy – or any summer? For fifty-five years my life was one continual summer – in Africa. There, my writing output was spasmodic at best. But I can put the blame for that squarely on my family. I can never do anything by halves, and my family has always been my number one priority.
When we moved to the UK sixteen years ago, a place with four seasons, it took time to become used to the changes, and I absolutely hated the drawing in of the days. I was continuously tired and depressed and had to do something to stop the rot – so allowed myself to wallow in nostalgia. The task of writing BREATH OF AFRICA spilled over many seasons and provided me with a steep learning curve. The book’s success gave me momentum, and I’ve written three since then.
Now, it’s summer again. Although I hail from Africa, I really don’t like the hot humidity around me. Bathed in a stupor of sweat, I cower in the shade and raise my cheeks towards the slightest whiff of a breeze. Aches and pains distract my mind, and it is an effort to do anything at all.
So, no – I don’t feel like writing. I haven’t recovered from the supreme effort of birthing my latest book, GRASS SHOOTS. It’s the sequel to BREATH OF AFRICA, and will be published by our great publishers, Crooked Cat next year.
But, to get back to your question, I honestly don’t think my output has anything to do with the seasons. It has more to do with that intangible thing, the muse. And when family make an appearance, as always, writing takes a back seat. We’ve had two summer visitors this year: my eldest daughter from Australia, and my youngest son from Kenya. We’ve had a lightning wedding to celebrate (that could provide material for another story…) and I’m still reeling from all the excitement.
Hope I’m learning at long last how to take it easy – to spell myself and not try and accomplish too many things all at once. The mind and the body – with the consequent medications – are just not working as before. What did Scarlet O’Hara say in GONE WITH THE WIND? I must learn to think about things “tomorrow”. A difficult lesson for one who has been used to living life to the full.
But in summertime, with nature surrounding me, the one thing I love to do is read…

I love to read outside, too, Jane but the shading of my eyes needs to be prefect! My sun hat has a huge brim and has been on the go since I bought it in 1995 - so that shows how often it gets used during my Scottish summers. 

I feel so in tune with some of what you've said there, Jane, especially about the 'muse' having a lot to do with writing production. My family also gets my priority time at the expense of writing progress and it's too easy to blame that for my lack of focus and poor time management. 

Thanks for popping in today, Jane. Best wishes with your new book when it launches and please come back and tell us more about it nearer the time. I'll be in the queue to get a copy having really enjoyed reading Breath of Africa. 

Find Jane at the places below.


  1. Nancy - thank you very much for having me!

  2. Lovely inteview and Jane looks so relaxed and happy. I envy you. Despite being in a hot climate for so long my skin is still Scottish... spot the wet lobster!


Thank you for reading my blog. Please pop your thoughts about this post in the comment box. :-)