Jane Green was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about her new novel Summer Secrets. (And if you haven't already entered - I have two great Jane Green giveaways happening. Enter here for a Jane Green Summer Secrets Beach Bag giveaway- ends July 4/15 and here for a copy of Summer Secrets - ends July 11/15!)
Summer Secrets is set partly in London and partly in Nantucket. Why did you choose these settings?
I can’t ever get too far from my London roots. It’s hard for me to write about it now, it has changed so much since I moved away fifteen years ago, but I grew up there, and I love that nostalgic jolt I get when I delve into my memories for my characters. And Nantucket is the most magical place on earth – if I could set every book there, I would.
In Summer Secrets, Cat confronts a secret in her family’s past. Was this plotline inspired by any personal experiences?
My husband has a cousin who recently discovered, in his 50s, that the man he thought was his father wasn’t his father. Coincidentally, I have cousins who don’t know they are related to me — the result of an illicit affair one of my uncles had years ago. I am fascinated by the secrets people keep, and the impact those have on our lives.
Summer Secrets is your 17th book. All of your novels have been bestsellers. Once you hit the
How and when do you write? Please describe your writing routine, rituals, and traditions.
I write in the mornings, taking myself off to a small writer's room in town where I sequester myself for three or four hours. I need frequent large cups of coffee and spare batteries for the huge noise-cancelling headphones I wear, listening to either classical or ambient music. I buy a new notebook dedicated to each new book Large, thin enough to slip into my computer case, the very first page always contains notes on the story, before moving on to characters. All my thoughts and notes go into the book, always in longhand, before being typed up on the computer. And it’s usually pink.
Before you became a women’s fiction favorite, you were a journalist. Do you miss the 9-5 routine?
The only thing I miss is going to work every day with my best friends. I worked on the women's desk of the Daily Express and we were such a tight knit group, going to work was actually my favorite part of the day.
What have you read lately that you’ve loved?
I was lucky enough to read I Take You by Eliza Kennedy as an advance copy, and it had me crying with laughter in a way I hadn’t since Bridget Jones’s Diary. Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin is another I was lucky enough to read early, and another I plan to revisit, savoring the stories of hoity toity women on the Upper East Side of New York.
Any other books you are looking forward to reading this summer?
Laura Dave is not only one of my favorite writers, but one of my favorite people. Her latest, Eight Hundred Grapes, is first on my list. Jamie Attenberg’s The Middlesteins was a wonderful, poignant book. So I can’t wait to dive into Saint Mazie. And what can I say? Who won’t be reading Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event this summer?
What can you tell us about the next Jane Green novel? And how long will we have to wait for it?
With any luck I’ll be finished in August of this year. It’s called The Hemlock Sisters (although that could change), and it’s about three estranged sisters who reunite when their mother announces she is ill.
Thanks for stopping by Jane!! Read an excerpt of Summer Secrets.