July 28, 2012


History with a mysterious Twist … Nancy Jardine


Having taught 11-12 year olds for many years, Nancy Jardine finally gave up the chalk in the autumn of 2011. During the last few years she has written a historical novel, three contemporary novels- two of which are what she calls her history/mysteries. She’s also written the first of a time-travel series of novels for children aged 9-12 years, and a family saga is her current work in progress.

Nancy lives in the picturesque castle country of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband who now does all the cooking…the menu far more exciting and tasty than it used to be! Ancestry research-if you hadn’t already guessed-is one of her hobbies, as is participating in exciting events with her family which drag her away from the keyboard. Working in her large garden, she tends real flowers and now grows spectacular weeds which she’s becoming very fond of! She cherishes the couple of days a week when she child-minds her gorgeous granddaughter.


Current Release Details:

Monogamy Twist is my debut novel released by The Wild Rose Press Aug 2011. It’s a light hearted contemporary romance.

Luke Salieri thought he'd seen everything. But when he inherits a dilapidated English estate from a woman he's never heard of—and with quirky conditions besides—it’s a mystery he wants resolved immediately. There must be a woman out there who can meet his needs. But how far will he have to go to persuade her? Lucrative employment for a whole year? The job of researching the old house and its fantastic contents is enticing – but Rhia Ashton can’t see herself living with gorgeous Luke Salieri and not wanting his body as well. Can she live and sleep with him for a whole year and then walk away? Rhia has her own ideas about what will make it worth her while.

Please tell us your latest news!

I’m over the moon to announce two imminent romance releases. On 3rd August, Take Me Now, a contemporary romance with a little bit of mystery and danger, will be released by The Wild Rose Press. And on the 31st August, my first full length Historical Romance, The Beltane Choice, will be released by Crooked{Cat}Publishing. Buy details for these will be viewed soon on the publisher’s websites.

Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?

In Take Me Now Nairn Malcolm is based on a fictitious Scottish island, but is whisked all over the world by the feisty-and pert-Aela Cameron, from Vancouver, Canada, after he has a mysterious accident. She loves transporting him around in his floatplane, catamaran and jet. What she doesn’t bargain for is when she also gets targeted for some of the dangerous action.  Undaunted, she hangs around to solve the mystery of Nairn’s saboteur.

The Beltane Choice is a historical romance set in Britain, AD 71. Romans invade what is now known as the border country between Scotland and England, and battle with the Celtic Selgovae and Brigante tribes. Nara, a Selgovaen princess, has a few dicey moments over choosing her Beltane lover. Lorcan of the Brigantes finds his plans to seduce Nara thwarted by more than one problem.

Topaz Eyes, another ‘history mystery’, is a contemporary novel involving the unraveling of a complex ancestral tree in order to find a cache of missing jewels. Settings for this novel are mainly European cities-Heidelberg, Amsterdam, Vienna- but also the US. Topaz Eyes is with a publisher just now at full manuscript stage.

Dabbling with Time is a novel for children 9-12 years. It begins with a contemporary setting, children time-travel back to AD 210 when north-east Scotland was overrun with marauding Romans. That’s out looking for a contract just now.

How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?

I’ve done a fair bit of research for all my novels. My three contemporary novels have included places I’ve been to, but I still check up the details in books and the internet-just to make sure my information isn’t too outdated, since that can happen quite quickly. Historical research is essential. Since history has always been my passion, I’ve a lot of research books at home. 

One of my current works in progress is a historical saga, and is very loosely based on ancestral researches, including information about my own ancestors. It has been quite spectacular what I’ve found out about my relatives of yesteryear! Black sheep you might expect in any family…but someone who flaunts the marriage/ bigamy laws…maybe not so common! The rest is secret at the moment!!!

What main genre do you write in?

I don’t have a main genre, to date. I’m not in any niche, yet. My first published projects were non-fiction full length teaching materials, and a full length history of my local school dating back to the early 1600s. They both involved a lot of historical research.

Since 2008 I’ve written three contemporary romances. Two of those have historical mysteries to solve; the third is a contemporary mystery. All three have a bit of danger/intrigue.

My first historical romance is the first of a series of three. And, likewise, my novel for children is also the first of at least three. My family saga will be a stand alone! 

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

My husband is very supportive, but has only read my children’s novel, so far. The first family member to read my debut romance, Monogamy Twist, was one of my sons-in-law, who was desperate to have the mystery solved, and read it pretty quickly. He gave it a ‘great thumbs up’ and wants first ‘dibs’ on my next release. My daughters are also brilliant, and have read bits as my sort of very ‘early critique partners’.

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

Pantser! But it’s hard to tie up loose ends at the second, and subsequent, draft stages. Novel 1 for children was a pantser job. Written when I taught full time, it was abandoned when non-fiction projects got priority. Resurrected when I went part-time teaching, it needed a huge tidy up before submission to publishers. I decided to avoid that effort, if I could, in the future.

I plot now, though still use a basic plot structure. For my history mysteries a family tree was constructed, to ensure the threads all worked, and intertwined properly. Same story with my family saga WIP- a ‘family tree driven’ plot has been constructed. My 3rd contemporary mystery needed a mind-map of images. Not what characters were like, but more which treasures they uncovered by the end of the novel. Big plotting was essential, there! 

Regarding character development? Still a pantser, but I now get an image of my hero and heroine before I begin to write. I pin the print-outs on my cork board, so they are ‘in my face’ as I write. I use photo images purchased from my favorite Royalty Free site- that way I can use them later for blogs, book trailer YouTube videos, Pinterest Boards etc.

If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?

I’d be Aran from my novel for children, Dabbling With Time. Although only 12 years old, he has the most fantastic memory for details, and can use his knowledge really well under stress and danger!  He is, of course, going to be a handsome accomplished hero in years to come, and will have the ladies swooning!

If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?

It would have to be two people since I couldn’t possibly choose between them. I’m (sad tears dripping here) old enough to want to invite a ‘younger’ Kevin Kline. He’s such a versatile actor and so funny. I’ve loved him in many different movies, and I don’t think there would be a dull moment with him. I’d especially love it if he burst into song (His version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance was hysterical). For the same reasons I’d also want Johnny Depp. I think he’d be much more of a challenge at table conversation (who would want to be talking though?). Those eyes of his would swamp me…as would Kevin’s…so there lies the dilemma!

What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?

Twitter: @nansjar


And now it's over to the blog readers. What's the most cool tidbit you've found during your researches? Best reply will be the winner of an e copy of Monogamy Twist.

                  Monogamy Twist

Luke Salieri thought he'd seen everything. But when he inherits a dilapidated English estate from a woman he's never heard of—and with quirky conditions besides—it’s a mystery he wants resolved immediately. There must be a woman out there who can meet his needs. But how far will he have to go to persuade her?

Lucrative employment for a whole year? The job of researching the old house and its fantastic contents is enticing – but Rhia Ashton can’t see herself living with gorgeous Luke Salieri and not wanting his body as well. Can she live and sleep with him for a whole year and then walk away? Rhia has her own ideas about what will make it worth her while.




12 comments:

Nancy Jardine said...

Hello! I'm so pleased to be able to post something(internet issues!!). It's lovely to be on Romancing The heart!

Paula Martin said...

Hi Nancy - great interview. I've had to do quite a lot of research for my contemporary novels, mainly linked to my heroes' occupations, especially my volcanologist and my archaeologist. My current hero is a veterinary surgeon, and I recently spent a whole afternoon watching YouTube videos of mares foaling!

Vonnie Davis said...

Hi Nancy, as always you give a fantastic interview. In doing research for my historical romance I found the madam of a whore house in Deadwood, South Dakota who coined the well-used term "cat house." To keep her girls focused on their clients--and the job at hand--and not the rats, the madam put a cat in every bedroom. Just the thought makes me shudder! Good luck in your upcoming release.

Sandra Dailey said...

Kevin Kline and Johnny Depp, that's a winning combination. I'd like to go too.
I hope you find a publisher for Dabbling In Time soon. My granddaughters would love it.
Good luck and great sales!

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi Paula. It's amazing what we do in the name of research, though some things might be better than others! Bet the YouTubes were quite enlightening!

Nancy Jardine said...

Hello Vonnie! Thanks for dropping in. Good heavens. I'm not sure what was worse- the cats, the rats or..the others?? Just joking!

Nancy Jardine said...

Wow, Sandra! If I ever have that dinner I'll not forget to invite you. Thanks for the good wishes!(release day is coming real soon now....)

Diane Burton said...

Congrats on your new releases, Nancy. Cool tidbit from researching for my space adventures--a website called Wookiepedia for all things Star Wars.

Alicia Dean said...

Oh wow, love this interview. Love the trailer. I'm SO thrilled about your upcoming release. The Wild Rose press is a phenomenal publisher to be with, and I wish you the utmost success!

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi Diane! The name Wookiepedia has so many weird/eerie connotations. :-))

Nancy Jardine said...

Thank you, Alicia! That's wonderful of you to pop in. I totally agree about The Wild Rose Press. :-))

Nancy Jardine said...

Congratulations to Diane Burton! Your name has been picked as the winner of the e-copy of Monogamy Twist.