The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Friday, 28 December 2012

Welcome Crooked Cat Publishing author, Nancy Jardine!

 I am thrilled to welcome Nancy back to my blog again today - we have been online friends for a long time now and she is always so supportive to me and my ventures! Okay, let's find out what Nancy has been up to since we last spoke...

1)   What is your writing routine?

Tuesdays and Thursdays are grandchild minding days so pretty well no writing is done. I manage a little promotional/ marketing stuff in the evenings, if I’m lucky. On other days I sit down with OJ, followed by coffee, while I make guest blogs (or my own) properly ‘live’ for the day. I’ve tried scheduling on blogger but it hasn’t always worked out, so I generally post manually at approx 8 am . Emails come next. I groan over the amount that I can’t answer in all the author loops I’ve joined, want to be active in, but can’t find the time to be on top of them all. I respond to those most pressing. Ditto on Facebook and the other social Media. After all that I write if there’s any time left, focusing on any guest blogs I have to write first.

2)   Which author/s inspire you to write?

There have been so many authors I’ve admired over the years but I’ve always been the kind of reader who has read, enjoyed and then moved on to the next book.  I don’t think any of them inspired me to write since I never even contemplated writing fiction till relatively recently, though I’ve been a voracious reader since around the age of 5.

3)   Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

I used to devour around 20 Harlequins of different sub-genres every month, plus other novels picked up in supermarkets. Strangely enough that was when I was full-time teaching 11-12 year olds. Now that I’m writing, I find I’ve hardly any time for reading. Though, when I can manage, my reading spectrum has widened to include fiction that’s not romance.

I’ve been writing in various subgenres, though historical is probably my favorite. Since Aug 2011, I’ve had three contemporary romances published - two of those involving ancestral mysteries. The third contemporary is more of a light-hearted romance with a bit of a sabotage mystery and some elements of danger! I’ve also had my first historical romance published. My love of history tends to sneak in somewhere, along with all the wonderful places around the world that I’ve been fortunate to visit.

 4)   How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

I take it on the chin and deal with it as positively as possible. I’ve only had a few rejections regarding the romances I’ve had published, but I’ve used any pointers given and implemented them immediately to improve the work.  However, I’ve had too many typical rejections regarding the time-travel novel I’ve written for kids. Breaking into publication is difficult for romance writing, but much harder when writing for children. Though I’ve recently been told that what I’ve been pushing for ages 9-12 years really should be for a YA market. That is a sort of rejection as well, but more positive, since I can now take steps to correct my submissions if that’s what’s wrong with the manuscript.

5)   What do you expect from an editor?

I’ve only worked with three editors and they’ve all been excellent in pointing out what’s not 
acceptable for their publisher. I’ve been entirely happy with that, since there is a difference in what a US publisher is looking for, and what a UK publisher looks for. When my US editor told me to make changes she was very candid. To some the comments might have sounded brutal but it made me sit up and really take note of what would make the manuscript much better! I much prefer that relationship with my editors where the best outcome is what is produced!

6)   Tell me about your latest release

My latest release of 7th Dec 2012, Topaz Eyes, is a contemporary ancestral mystery which has many tense and exciting moments. The Crooked Cat Publishing blurb describes the basic plot really well.

“A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.

Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.

Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?

As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?”

Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love. “

7)   Which is your favorite character in the book?  Why?

That would be Teun, the Californian, who has both endearing and downright irritating qualities. He has some issues with trust; is candidly honest most of the time, yet is also a strong alpha male when his woman needs protection. This little snippet from early on might give you an idea. Keira’s not sure what she’s signed herself up for in the quest. (The he referred to is Teun)

…What came next was a blurt without caution, but her words needed an airing. “You don’t trust Jensen. You dislike Zaan for no reason I can immediately put my finger on, since you tense up every time I mention him. Am I also in your list of people that you don’t trust?”
The look he sent her was an incredible mix of surprise, hurt, irritation and something which just might be doubt. But, underlying all the other emotions, she detected a flare of honesty. It was something she felt instinctively about him – he was sincere, and wasn’t someone who would lie his way out of an awkward conversation.  He said nothing as he pushed the door open. The dissention over Jensen’s intent, and her unanswered question, were enough to blacken the mood between them as he spoke to the reception clerk.

9) What are you working on right now?

I’ve started a sequel to my historical -The Beltane Choice –which was published on Aug 31st 2012. I needed to do a lot more research on Roman Britain (A.D.71- A.D. 84) for it, which took some weeks before I really got started. I got to about 36 thousand words but had to abandon it in favor of promoting my latest December release. I’m only now getting back to it since Topaz Eyes was launched! I’ve also started a family SAGA which starts in 1850 and spans several generations. That’s well plotted out, but I’ve so far only got to around 9 thousand words of it written. 

10) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Make sure you back up your work and keep copies on separate hard discs, if possible. Losing work is something which happened to me a few years ago and I try to avoid it. I’d also say be far more disciplined than me. I’m too easily seduced from my main new writing - dabbling in research that might not be necessary; and too distracted by social media ‘lurking’! Learn to be an effective and accurate typist. I wish I could type faster, but when I do I make so many typos! Try to get the hang of social media better than I do. I still need to learn how to properly use LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads and many Yahoo loops… so if an aspiring author has a mate who is savvy in all of these, ask for some lessons on how to use them before you get published!

11) Where can readers find you?

Amazon UK author page author page 


An ex-primary teacher, Nancy Jardine, lives in the fabulous castle country of Aberdeenshire – Scotland. Her husband mans the kitchen, her offspring only an hour’s drive away. When time permits, ancestry research is an intermittent hobby. Neglecting her large garden in favour of writing, she now grows spectacularly giant thistles. Activity weekends with her extended family are prized since they give her great fodder for new writing.

A lover of history, it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel.

Author links:

Amazon Author page for books and to view book trailer videos:

e-book formats from most e-book retailers.

So great to have you visit with me again, Nancy! Wishing you all the best with Topaz Eyes - thrilled that you are working with Crooked Cat Publishing which is ran by a very good friend of mine. Good luck with sales!



  1. Hi Rachel! It's lovely to be with you again and thanks for your good wishes.

  2. Fabulous interview, ladies!

    Good luck with Topaz Eyes, Nancy.