Tomorrow sees publication of a new book by my good friend, Jane Cable. We used to belong to Chindi Authors and are on similar writing journeys and it was good to catch up with her on the night before The Missing Pieces of Us makes it appearance. I love the clever cover.
Jane, you wrote this under a pen name: Eva Glyn. But you also write as Jane Cable. I’m wondering if you do this for different genres and if so, was it your decision or your publisher’s?
As Jane Cable I’m known for romances with a slightly ghostly twist and their feet firmly in the past. One More Chapter wanted something broader, to include women’s fiction, and certainly nothing spooky, so knowing Jane Cable had contractual commitments to fulfil elsewhere I decided on a new name.
Eva was my father’s mother’s name, and he was a writer too. And Glyn is borrowed from the Welsh novelist and poet Glyn Jones who was a close family friend. It’s a constant reminder of the high bar I’ve set myself.
That is so lovely: that you are continuing the family name and honouring a past friend’s writing skills at the same time.
We were indie publishers (in fact, I am hybrid). What do you think are the positives and negatives?
I did like the control over the whole process that being an indie author brought. You were never in anyone else’s hands over title, cover, pricing… but I think when we were doing it the market was less crowded and it was easier to make an impact. The biggest negative for me was it meant your book lacked the affirmation of having been acquired by a publisher, and that might not matter so much to readers, it just mattered to me. There was a constant question in the back of my mind as to whether I was really good enough.
Spot on! It’s a lonely business and the marketing and technical side is very hard for me. To try and reach a wider market is a struggle and I do admire indie publishers who go it alone. The Missing Pieces of Us was originally published as The Faerie Tree. Which title do you prefer? Did you have to make many changes and if so, was it hard to come to terms with the changes?
I changed the title myself, before submitting the book to One More Chapter. I worked on it during the first lockdown because I felt an uplifting novel dealing with how people cope with grief and loss might be something readers wanted, given everything we were all going through. The new title felt more modern, somehow, and the book needed that. But when I looked inside the pages I found very little else that I wanted to update. All my editor at One More Chapter asked me to do was expand on the impact of finding out whose memory was wrong, and the recovery from that, which was something I was delighted to do.
Your books deal with very poignant issues. They are not always easy reads, but always beautiful, intelligent and complex. And you often include the spiritual. In The Missing Pieces of Us, how symbolic is the faerie tree? How real is it?
The faerie tree is absolutely real and was the starting point for the book. It stands near the River Hamble in Hampshire, just as it does in the story, and I was taken there by a friend one April many moons ago. I knew it had stories to tell, but for a while I wasn’t quite sure what they were, although I wanted the book to be an inspiration for anyone suffering from mental health problems that recovery was possible and there could be a rich and fulfilling life ahead. The strength of the oak, the way it bends, breaks but ultimately survives the storms, spoke to me that way.
I love these images of the woods and the faerie tree, just as I pictured from your descriptions in your wonderful book.
You have an amazing review (amongst many others). One reader, Jayne, writes: “At one point… I found myself unconsciously kissing the cover because of the loveliness of the section I had just read.” How wonderful! How do you deal with poor reviews?
Honestly, as far as reviews are concerned, I take the rough with the smooth. The Missing Pieces of Us had some shockers on Netgalley (where as you know ‘professional’ readers review books), but they had been brilliant on there for The Faerie Tree and the book hadn’t changed that much.
I think you are very skilful at writing love scenes. In The Missing Pieces of Us, we read about “a slow, sensuous affair, the softness of Robin’s fingers trickling over my skin and lodging deep into the corners of my mind…” To me, this reads as if it was an easy passage to write. But was it?
Thank you! That’s a lovely compliment, because there is always a certain amount of angst that goes into writing love scenes as I don’t like anything to be too specific unless it is essential to the story. Here I wanted to contrast their love-making with what had gone before – and what came after. Izzie needed to remember a Robin she would want to fall in love with all over again.
Thank you so much for chatting, Jane. It reminds me of the times spent together with you at RNA Conference, talking to our hearts’ content about writing. Good luck with your fabulous book and wishing you oodles of inspiration and ideas for the future.
The Missing Pieces of Us is available across all ebook formats and will be published in paperback by One More Chapter on 14th October. You can find out more about Eva Glyn’s books at www.evaglynauthor.com, or follow her on Instagram (@evaglynauthor) or Bookbub @EvaGlyn.