Saturday 24 March 2018

#Saturday Shorts – with #Jane Bwye

It's Saturday again, so it has to be a #Saturday Shorts interview time! 
Today, it's the turn of my absolutely lovely author friend Jane Bwye, who has taken time out from her travels to sit on the big comfy chair! I've known Jane for some years now, since she's also a Crooked Cat Books author. She's been a visitor to this blog quite often, but not lately for an interview. She's here today with some great photos as well as a lovely glimpse into her recent writing and non-writing days. 
 Let's learn a bit about Jane... 
Jane - Take a seat, please, and for my readers tell them a little bit about your life in general. 
Hi Nancy! Thank you so much for inviting me over; it seems like years since we exchanged notes. I never fail to admire your dedication to marketing your books in your local area.
Nancy: Ah, you have to mean selling my novels at my local Craft Fair venues? I've had my winter rest time, and the Fairs will start up again in mid April. I love to be out and about talking to customers directly over the selling table! But back to the interview...
You have given me some interesting questions to answer, so here goes…
Jane Bwye
When would be your best writing time? 
My best time for writing is in the mornings. My subconscious sometimes works overtime while I’m sleeping, and I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night, grab a pen and rough paper, and write until breakfast (can’t do without my breakfast). When the characters and the story take hold, I can write any time of the day. But I always stop to give my self a break after 5pm.
Is there a particular social media platform you like best? 
Without a doubt – Facebook is my preferred social media platform. I feel comfortable there, and have made many friends through the groups. I’ve found many people I’d forgotten I ever knew, and I’m still meeting new friends who know people that I know. It is also easy to link my blogs with my Facebook pages. I know Twitter does the same. Although twitter is powerful, with its hashtags and fast responses, it is an animal which absorbs too much of my time in the day. I’ve proved to myself that, given dedication it works well, when cultivating contacts and selling books. I became addicted to it. Through Twitter I even met up with a complete stranger for coffee in town, who’d flown over from Singapore. It was most interesting exchanging notes on writing and marketing our books.
But once I approached the boundary of 2,000 followers I fell foul of the administration. When someone said Twitter had blocked my activities because I followed more people than followed me… I did a massive cull. Then I lost interest, and decided to escape from temptation. I must admit, I sometimes check it to find out the latest of what’s going on in Kenya. My blogs and other activities still create auto-tweets, and my follower numbers stay steady. Perhaps when my next book is released – a new genre – I will test those waters again.
Nancy: Facebook I can handle but I haven't found a way to be a regular properly on Twitter. Re-tweets are easy- chatting on Twitter is another ball game. 
What's your latest book about?
Going it Alone is non-fiction! A small “How-to” guide for beginners who want to start their own business. My wonderful publishers, Crooked Cat Books, invited non-fiction submissions early in 2017, and I was reeling from finalising Grass Shoots, the sequel to Breath of Africa, with a standalone novella, I Lift Up My Eyes, coming in between.

You can access my books on Amazon from your part of the world by clicking the links above.
Did you do any particular research for your non-fiction novel? 
I didn’t want even to think about writing another novel. But I decided to give non-fiction a go. It would be easy, I thought, as I’ve been a small business start-up mentor for the past fifteen years and I have numerous experiences to draw upon. It was easy – I researched a different model recommended by a friend, and glanced over other business guides. But the model meant nothing to me: my mind doesn’t function properly when faced with an assortment of named balloons and pie-charts. And most of the books were written in a dry, dull style, aimed more at established businesses than at those thinking of starting up for the first time.
I planned my Guide round typical sessions I have with my clients. (I’m a small business mentor at People Matter, a little local charity with a big heart for people who want to earn a living).
To make it more interesting, I decided to illustrate my points with anecdotes taken from true life.
My characters include – among others - a gardener, a leather-worker, a removals man, a disco-jockey, a signage expert, and a computer buff.
Nancy: That sounds like a very different approach to a work of non- fiction! In fact it sounds very 'novel' like. Do you enjoy the final phases of writing a book, like the editing for example? 
Courtesy of Jane Bwye
Yes, I enjoy editing my own work; I suppose I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but I find it relaxing.
Nancy: I mostly like editing, too, but having regained the rights to my 3 Celtic Fervour Series books from Crooked Cat at the same time has meant an awful lot of editing all, more or less, simultaneously. Added to that, is the fact that Book 4 of the series is only just becoming ready for its very first edit stages. 
Can you tell us a bit more about the Jane who is not the author/ writer? 
You ask me about myself – I’ve always loved horses, and there was nothing better for me, than to ride over the hills and far away – even when it snowed. 
Nancy: Fabulous photo, Jane. Having the correct gear has to be a big help when riding out in the snow! 
I no longer ride, so I have to be content with judging dressage instead. Until recently, I’ve enjoyed walking over the hills – my favourite place to “hide” out from life - but I’ve turned into a strictly fair-weather walker, so I tend to socialise with friends round the bridge table instead.
Courtesy of Jane Bwye
Nancy: I think that a good walk sounds great some days, but it doesn't tend to happen! 
Jane Bwye has been a writer all her life, freelancing as a journalist ever since she left school. She was brought up in Kenya, went to school there, and forsook an Oxford career as a historian to get married and build a family in the country she will always call her home. After fifty-five years in Africa, Jane moved to Eastbourne, and started writing novels.
Website and blog:
Thank you so much for being a great interviewee, Jane. My very best wishes for your latest writing, and for all of your future writing projects. I'm sure that something will transpire from your latest adventures. 

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