Tuesday Chit-Chat with Janice Horton

A big welcome all the way from Scotland for the delightful Janice Horton!  Hello, hen, how are you? Pull up a chair, biscuits, tea or coffee a plenty.  I think there’s cake too, I’m sure Celia has made some.

So, Janice, whereabouts in Scotland are you based?

Hello girls! I’m from Dumfriesshire and it’s the part of Scotland that they call the Southern Highlands. I live in a wee cottage high up on the side of a hill. It’s very remote and in the wintertime we can be snowed in for ages. It’s all very conducive to writing romantic novels!

You have a very distinct Scottish feel to your blog and your books, what is it about the country that inspires you?

As a romantic novelist, it’s impossible not to feel inspired by the hills, the heather, the mists and the ancient castles around me. I drew on it all when I wrote Bagpipes & Bullshot and readers said that was one of the things they most enjoyed about my writing. It’s a very beautiful country, but the lifestyle can be very harsh here, which provides lots of material for both conflict and humour in my stories.  So, I continue to give my readers the Scottish settings they enjoy. Bagpipes and Bullshot is set here in Dumfries and Galloway. Reaching for the Stars has an Edinburgh setting and How Do You Voodoo? has a scene in Glasgow’s Necropolis or ‘The City of the Dead’!

If you didn’t live in Scotland, where would you like to live?

Somewhere warm and dry. Sometimes, just sometimes, I’d like to throw on a t-shirt and a pair of shorts or wear a thin silky dress and high heels. At home in Scotland, I mostly wear layers of warm clothes and wellies, even in the summer.

Is there a particular place in the world that you would like to visit and/or include in a novel?

I’m sure there is! But actually, for me it’s the characters that come first. Although my novels are primarily set in Scotland, it entirely depends where the characters come from or where they are going that dictates any other settings. The heroine in Bagpipes & Bullshot, Orley, is from Texas USA and the novel starts there. Luckily, I have been to American many times and know the Gulf Coast area well. However, if I haven’t been to somewhere I’m going to write about, I do feel I’d have to go there for research purposes!

What about reading, not Reading in Berkshire, but reading as in books – what do you like to read and what books or authors have influenced you as a writer?

At the moment I’m reading indie novels on my Kindle – my tbr list is ridiculous but they have all been recommended as ‘must reads’ – and so I must! There are also some fabulous new small publishers springing up who are focussing on high quality fiction in eformat. In paperback, I enjoy novels with great covers and stories that feature fabulous heroes. And as to who has influenced me as a writer – it would have to be those who write gripping stories with equal measure of wit and humour – like the wonderful  Jilly Cooper, for example.

How Do You Voodoo? Great title by the way – can you tell us a bit about it.

Thank you! Interestingly, I had the title at the same moment I had the idea for How Do You Voodoo?  The story was sparked by a real life event. I was on a flight back from the Caribbean which had originated in Port au Prince, Haiti, when two female passengers got into an argument. When one of the women went onto to be quite ill later in the flight, my imagination took over and I started scribbling down a story about a girl with a voodoo curse on her and what happened afterwards.

Story Synopsis:  How Do You Voodoo?

Loveless fashion model Nola Nichols thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career.

Nola rejects all rational explanation on what might be causing her lost looks and decides she has to find a way to get uncursed. This imaginative quest takes her from the Caribbean to Glasgow’s own City of the Dead. Along the way, she finds herself taking part in a rather unconventional funeral, involved in a voodoo ritual, reveals one or two unrests in her own past and falls madly in love with a doctor. Erm, that would be a witch doctor, right…?

It’s a novella as opposed to your usual full length novels, was it difficult it keep the word count down?

This is my first novella and although at 20,000 words it was much quicker to write that my full length novels, I found the writing process very similar in the respect of creating character, plot, story arc, etc.  The only difference is how I tell the story. In my longer novels, I have more characters and more viewpoints and there is at least one subplot. In How Do You Voodoo? the story is told only from Nola’s viewpoint and there is no subplot, only a bit of backstory that I weave in as the story progresses, so that we understand why she behaves as she does and what she really wants in life.

What made you decide to write a novella?

I’m working on another full length novel at the moment but I’m aware that I’m not the fastest novelist in the world and so it’s unlikely to be finished, edited and formatted, until mid-2013. It occurred to me that there are certain times of the year, like Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day, when it’s an ideal time to bring out a novella to keep your readers interested in your writing between full length novels or perhaps to introduce them to your writing.

Thanks for popping in Janice, it’s been great chatting to you.

Janice Horton lives in Scotland and writes contemporary romance with humour. Her novels ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’ and ‘Reaching for the Stars’ are both Amazon Kindle bestsellers. Her latest title ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ is a romantic and humorous novella for Halloween and out now!

Find out more about Janice and her novels:

Author Blog: http://www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.co.uk
Follow her on Twitter: @JaniceHorton
Like her Author Facebook Page
Featured Author & Associate Editor at: Loveahappyending.com

Link to her ebooks on Amazon.co.uk

Link to her ebooks on Amazon.com


18 thoughts on “Tuesday Chit-Chat with Janice Horton

  1. Hi Girls! Thank you very much for hosting me today and for the tea and shortbreads. I have great fun writing this romantic, hopefully humorous, and a wee bit spooky novella – and hope readers enjoy reading How Do You Voodoo? as much as I enjoyed writing it!

  2. What a fabulous interview… I’m very envious of your little cottage in Scotland, Janice. I live in the Algarve where it’s all dry and not as green as Scotland. Granted, we have less rain and warm weather (although it’s been horrible for the past few weeks!) but I do miss the inspiring landscapes of the UK, and the historical buildings that are scattered everywhere. Hubby and I are planning on moving back to England … we’ve two lovely houses to sell if you’re interested! lol

    • Actually Suzy – I would love to live in the Algarve this winter! We have the log store full and we have oil for the Aga and propane for the boiler – we have done well this year all considering – but there is something about dealing with frozen everything in the months to come that fills me with a sense of dread and I must confess to hankering afer warmer climes!

      Janice xx

  3. Loved that post – made me feel like cracking out the shortbread with all that talk of mist and heather and castles! I cannot wait to read How Do You Voodoo – it’s on my Kindle and ready to go for my next read!

    Mandy x

  4. Lovely to see you here, Janice, and I *have* opened the shortbread, LOL. My boys were very appreciative of that fact and say ‘thank you for inspiring my mummy.’ In actual fact, that goes in every respect; you are a total example of how it’s done and I love following your blog, your journey and your work. Thanks to the Romaniacs for hosting you here today! XX

  5. Thank you Mandy! I hope you enjoy reading How Do You Voodoo?!
    Aw, thank you Nicky, that’s so kind – and you are making me blush!
    It was so great meeting you and Mandy this year at The Summer Audience in Tetbury.

    And I’ll second your thanks to the Romaniacs for having me on their fabulous blog. I loved meeting you all at the Romantic Novelist’s Association conference in Penrith in July – you are SO much fun and have such fine singing voices – lol!

    Janice xx

  6. I agree with Nicky, Janice. You are prolific, m’dear (and fab!). I’m not sure I’d be able to knock out novellas that earn five star reviews in between excellent novels. Well done you! 🙂 xx Psst, if you are going away anywhere warm and sunny – for research purposes, of course, can I be your assistant? 🙂 xx

  7. Lovely seeing you at Romaniac HQ, Janice! I’ve actually just started reading How Do You Voodoo on my *ahem* new kindle (yes, still ridiculously excited about getting one at last!) and am well and truly hooked. You have such a fab writing voice. I know I’m really going to enjoy this novella. Lovely to learn more about you and about your cottage too – sounds heavenly! Now, who’s swiped those yummy looking shortbreads I saw round here earlier..? 😉 x

  8. Oooh I’d love a little cottage miles from anywhere. It must be sooo peaceful. Great post ladies. Loe all Janice’s books and wish her the best of luck. She deserves it! 🙂

  9. Thank you Sheryl for your kind comment and yes, of course you can be my assistant, as long as I can be yours – especially when you are researching your heroes in uniforms! 🙂

    Oh Jan – I’m excited for you if you have just discovered the Kindle! My husband bought me mine a couple of Christmases ago and I wasn’t exactly pleased – as I couldn’t imagine enjoying a book on an ereader – but I was soon hooked and now I absolutely love it. I have literally hundreds of books on it and although I still occasionally read paper books – I won’t be parted from my Kindle!

    Janice xx

  10. Good to see you here with us, Janice – and loved the story about the lady on the plane; inspiration strikes on public transport a lot for me too! It helps to be so nosey, I find….although leaning over the seats to listen better sometimes causes offence.

  11. What a great post, Janice. Made me smile about the lady on the plan. By co-incidence I went to see Skyfall, James Bond yesterday and the latter part of it was filmed in Scotland. I thought to myself then, how inspirational it must be to live somewhere like that and you’ve confirmed it, although I’m not so sure I’d like the damp (I have arthritis) or the midges much! 😉

  12. This was a brilliant idea Janice and something that your readers will love – I cosied up with Voodoo one evening and loved every minute of it! Ah, if we get snow can I come and join you in your isolated cottage? I’d love nothing more than some real peace and quiet – I’ll bring warm jumpers and will help lighting the log fires….. lucky, lucky you!

  13. Thanks Anneli – I already have plans to write two more novellas that will eventually make up a novel length story – Voodoo Wedding (Valentine’s Day 2013) and Voodoo Child (Summer 2013).

    Hi Celia – yes I know what you mean about snooping on other people’s conversations – there is nothing more inspiring!

    OOH – Bluestockingmum – I went to see Skyfall yesterday too (in Glasgow – about an hour or so from me) and loved it – especially the Scottish location and I SWEAR the location looks exacly like where I live. In fact, my son and husband – sat either side of me – whispered to me exclaiming the same thing and how we hadn’t seen the location vans or Daniel himself during filming! PS. You are right about the midges in summer and the biting cold in the winter!!

    Hi Linn – you are most welcome and I’d LOVE you to visit but once the snow comes you won’t make it up the hill! If you get here before we are completely cut off you can be sure I will have the soup simmering on the Aga for you and the log fire roaring. You best hurry! 🙂

    Janice xx

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