Today I’m delighted to feature author Jane Risdon. Jane is the co-author of ‘Only One Woman,’ with Christina Jones (Headline Accent) and ‘Undercover: Crime Shorts,’ (Plaisted Publishing), as well as having many short stories published in numerous anthologies. She writes for several online and print magazines such as Writing Magazine, Electric Press, and The Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine.
Jane is a regular guest on international internet podcasts including UK Crime Book Club (UKCBC), Donnas Interviews Reviews and Giveaways, and on radio shows such as theauthorsshow.com, chatandspinradio.com, and The Brian Hammer Jackson Radio Show.
Undercover: Crime Shorts is being used by Western Kentucky University, Kt. USA, in an Introduction to Literature Class, for second year students from Autumn 2021 for the foreseeable future.
Before turning her hand to writing Jane worked in the International Music Business alongside her musician husband, working with musicians, singer/songwriters, record producers, composers, and actors. They also facilitated the placement of music in movies and television series.
Earlier in her career she also worked for the British Ministry of Defence in Germany, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London.
Over to Jane:
Which piece of music/song would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Wow! That’s a difficult one. I’m married to a professional musician and have been for the last 50 years – we met when his band moved into the village where I lived, in 1968 – and we’ve been together 54 years, which is a shock because we’re both still teenagers really.
As well as being married to a musician, we — as a pair — have worked together in the international music business over many decades managing and producing recording artists, singers, songwriters, record producers, and actors, as well as facilitating the placement of music and songs on to soundtracks for movies and TV series. So, you can understand that the answer to your question is not an easy one to answer.
I’d have to pick the song my husband wrote for me when he first met me, which blew my mind. I moved to Germany soon after we met, so we were apart for quite some time. His band were recording and touring in Europe and around the world, and I was stuck in a small village in the Ruhr Valley. So, his song kept me company. It’s called ‘You Never Should Have Gone Away.’ He recorded it for me, and it hasn’t been released commercially.
Another song, is what we call ‘our song,’ which we both love and has special meaning and is sung by The Association and is called, ‘Never My Love.’
I’d like to include so many songs with meaning for me, but we’d be here forever more. So, I shall pick ‘Only One Woman.’ This was written by the Bee Gees for The Marbles in 1968 and features the vocals of (now) iconic rock vocalist, Graham Bonnet, who went on to sing with legendary rock bands such as Rainbow, Alcatraz, Michael Schenker Band, Ritchie Blackmore, Graham Bonnet Band, and so many others. I asked Graham to write the foreword to the novel written by me and life-long friend and best-selling, award-winning author, Christina Jones, named for the song, ‘Only One Woman.’ It is a fact/fictional story of two girls and one lead guitarist and is set in 1968/1969 and is not only a love-triangle, but an insight into the lives of teenagers in the grooviest decade of the 20th century, the music scene, the fashions, clothes, food, the Cold War and how it changed their lives; the social changes in the last decade of the 1960s. Christina was fan-club secretary to my husband’s band back in the day as well as a rock and pop journalist.
I write crime usually, and Christina and I have always wanted to write together, but as she writes romance and I write crime we never thought we’d come up with something which suited us both. ‘Only One Woman,’ was perfect because it is the story of our lives in so many ways — fictionalised mostly — but I won’t say which parts are real or not!
I’m a hard rock fan and we managed many heavy rock, metal, and thrash bands in our time, as well as R&B and pop artists, and I thought about including their material, but I cannot decide what.
However, I adore Doris Day, Andrea Bocelli, Nat King Cole, so many R&B and Soul singers, and the Big Bands of the 1940s, as well as the music of Fred Astaire, the rock voices of Paul Rogers (Free/Bad Company), Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Roger Daltry (the Who), and bands like Foreigner, Journey, Beach Boys, The Bee Gees, and The Beatles — so many to pick from! This is killing me!
I’m going with George Harrison, ‘My Sweet Lord,’ because we have a sneaking suspicion that our son may well have been conceived listening to it…don’t tell anyone! That’s four songs. You asked for five…excuse me whilst I make a cuppa and have a think…
Ah! Yes. ‘I’ve Gotta See Jane,’ by R. Dean Taylor which was a hit in the late 1960s and which my husband, then boyfriend, was always singing to me. You have no idea how difficult this has been because I’d love to include rock and R&B songs… but I’ve narrowed it down to songs with special meaning. Phew!
What (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
This is much easier. Music, it has been my life since I was little. I wanted to be Doris Day, Dame Margot Fontein, and every singer, dancer, and actress you can imagine, then and ever since. I settled for working with musicians, dancers and actors instead.
Books, because I have been a bookworm since I could first read Janet and John, Dick and Dora. I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton, Robert Louis Stevenson, Agatha Christie, Daphne Du Maurier, Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler, and similar writers, as well as John Le Carrè, Frederick Forsyth, Leslie Thomas, and now I include authors such as Peter James, Michael Connolly, Kathy Reichs, Jeffery Deaver, Stella Rimington, and so many others. As you may have guessed I love crime and espionage.
Computer and internet. We keep in touch with our son and grandkids in America via computer, and I draft my books on my computer.
Make-up – I wouldn’t be seen dead without it.
Perfume, because I feel better with it on.
(I could add tea, liquorice, and cheese, but they are a given I hope)
Can you offer a piece of advice for your younger self?
Five pieces of advice to my younger self. Cripes, this is a hard one. Where to begin?
The first one is that once I’d left home at age 18, I should have made the parting permanent. My advice to me would be, go with your gut instinct and never look back.
The second one is that I should never have allowed my self-esteem to be so totally destroyed by a parent. But I come from an era when children were seen and not heard, and I wish there were places one could’ve turned to for help when life at home was sheer misery, but there weren’t. However, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. My advice to me would’ve been, this too shall pass.
I wish I could have seen myself as others saw me, not just that particular parent! I wasn’t fat, ugly, or useless as I had been indoctrinated to believe. My husband spent years rebuilding what was left of my confidence and self-esteem. He is my hero. I should’ve realised that from day one — although I think that deep down I knew it. And that is why we were destined for each other. We are each other’s rock and belief system. My advice to my younger self would be, treasure him even more.
If only I’d known back then that I would eventually be able to write. I spent my whole career in music longing for the day when I had time to myself; the peace and quiet to write. Touring, travelling, and working 24/7 year in and year out ‘babysitting,’ testosterone fuelled young men, and PMT riven teenage females, left little time for sleep, let alone writing. My advice to me would be, have patience and to know I’d be supported by my husband in every way. He’s my biggest fan.
I wish I’d known I’d have a long and happy marriage and that those who gave me and the ‘long-haired musician lay-about,’ less than six months before we got divorced, would be proven wrong. The fact we didn’t have a big wedding — I’d never thought about weddings when I was young — without any frills, or guests, with the whole thing costing less than a cup of coffee in today’s money — when relatives spent the earth on theirs, all ending in divorces — it would’ve been fab to have known we’d still be going strong when they were all on spouse number two or three! We started married life, broke, with the clothes we stood up in and here we are, half a century later. My advice to me would be, believe in your choices.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I’ve studied Forensic Science and Criminal Justice — with basic Archaeology — to ensure my crime writing is as accurate as it can be. I took courses designed for crime writers.
I spent an afternoon on an American USAF base in the mid-west, working in the control tower talking to pilots doing landing and take-off exercises where B52 bombers barely touched the runway before taking off. I was the person bringing the planes in and out. We were on tour across America with a band and the radio station guy who was accompanying us took us to the base on an afternoon off. He had been in Vietnam with the guys in the control tower.
I’m a qualified Image consultant.
I’ve done the voice-over for an in-flight music magazine on international long-haul flights from the USA, for United Airlines.
My crime collection, Undercover: Crime Shorts is being used by 2nd year students at Western Kentucky University, Kentucky, USA, in their classes ‘Introduction to Literature,’ and has been used since mid-2021.
Tell us something you’d still like to do or achieve.
I never imagined I’d ever be a published author, yet a publisher found me, and I signed to a traditional publisher in 2014. I never considered looking for an agent, and yet one found me, and I signed with them in 2020. I don’t really consciously set myself goals, but I suppose I must, without being aware of it. This question is giving me a bit of a problem. Time for another cuppa and the thinking cap I think…
I’d like to get all the books and short stories on my computer completed and published. My agent is waiting for a 3-book series I’ve been writing for a while, and it would be great to get these finished and placed this year. I have about 5 novels and 50 plus short stories waiting in addition to the series, including a sequel to ‘Only One Woman’.
I’d love to go to Patagonia, and many other beautiful places before I croak it. I’m lucky to have been able to live and work around the world since I first travelled to Singapore as a 2-year-old. I’ve seen so many countries.
It would be lovely to return to California to live so we can spend a lot of time with our son and family (our grandchildren).
It would be amazing to live another 50 years and experience the ‘new age,’ and especially if I could make it possible for my husband to meet a real alien, travel into space, and to find the answers to every question he has ever had about UFOs. We’ve had a couple of sightings ourselves, so we’re both curious.
It would be wonderful if we (hubster and I) were able to live longer, healthier, enjoying full mobility and with all our marbles in place, so we can experience the future together. I think it would be fun. He’d have to write songs about it, and I’d have to write books about it. Writers and musicians are dreamers. It would be nice to dream on.
Many thanks for joining me today Jane. I feel I should apologise for causing you such agonising over your music choices. I enjoyed your final choices and was delighted to listen to I’ve Gotta See Jane, I loved R Dean Taylor but my favourite was always There’s a Ghost in My House. I can appreciate your youthful music/ dance desires. I always wanted to be a ballerina after seeing Dame Margot Fonteyn! I’m delighted that your self esteem and confidence overcame the parental crushing, your ‘long-haired musician lay-about,’ husband has done a fine job. I hope you get to achieve your dreams, now that travel is back on the agenda, Patagonia sounds wonderful. Good luck with getting those books and short stories finished.
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Undercover Crime Shorts
Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong.
Only One Woman (with Christina Jones)
Two women, one love story.
June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But, after a romantic summer together, they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.
December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.
As the colourful and final year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?
This is Electric Eclectic’s Storybook celebrating the 75th VE-Day anniversary 8th May 2020.
These tales are dedicated to all the brave and unsung heroes who made victory possible by their sacrifice.
While each story carries a personal dedication, each is written with respect and gratitude to all those who gave their lives for our libery and freedoms.
When Stars Will Shine : Helping our Heroes One Page at a Time
When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.
With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.
When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!
Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
Believe by Mark Brownless
What Can Possibly Go Wrong? by Lucy Cameron
Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
The Art of War and Peace by John Carson
A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton
Free Time by Stewart Giles
Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen
The Village Hotel by Alex Kane
A Present of Presence by Hr Kemp
The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
Brothers Forever by Paul Moore
Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen
Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne
Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
Time for a Barbeque by Carmen Radtke
Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
Inside Out by KA Richardson
Penance by Jane Risdon
New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg
Family Time by Graham Smith
Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018
Plaisted Publishing House and The Ghostly Writes Crew have done it again, bringing us yet another collection of haunted tales and spooky poems. From ghostly encounters to haunted carnival rides, wicked forests and ghoulish manors, there is something inside for everyone. So curl up beneath your blanket and get ready to experience all the spine tingling encounters hidden inside…. The Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018
Christmas is a time for family, snow and presents but it’s also a time for murder, lawbreaking and criminally good fun. What you have in your hand is a collection of festive inspired crime stories by some of today’s best indie crime authors
Cons, Dames & G-Men
A collection of Hard Boiled, Golden Age and Noir inspired crime shorts by eight of today’s top Indie’s
The Ghostly Writes Valentines Anthology 2017
From the minds of writers from around the globe, Plaisted Publishing presents a collection of ghost stories that will chill you, haunt your heart, and steal your soul from eternal devotion to undying love.
Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016
Enter the chilling Ghostly Writes Anthology and be prepared to be scared with twenty-seven short stories from around the world. Creepy houses, murder mysteries, paranormal activity and much more to haunt and thrill those who dare.
The I Am Woman Anthology Vol 1
This collection features fictional stories and poems written by women from all over the world. It is a celebration of womanhood, of overcoming hard times and enjoying the good. Each story or poem, in its own way, illustrates the capacity every woman has for courage and strength, no matter what the circumstances.
In a Word : Murder
A collection of crime stories from the world of writing, editing, publishing and reviewing