Thursday, 23 November 2017

Guest Post - The Writing of Only One Woman by Christina Jones and Jane Risdon - Blog Tour

Hello, Rachel – lovely to meet you here on your fabulous blog, and thanks a million for inviting us both to have a chat with you on the – ta-dah! - publication day!!! – of  ONLY ONE WOMAN. You have no idea how excited we are…

Jane :  We’re excited and proud and a bit stunned to be honest, because this is a day we thought we’d never see, because… well, let me start telling you all about writing Only One Woman with Christina Jones – oh, and there aren’t any bodies...

Christina: *sniggers*

Jane: Ahem – right, for years Christina and I have wanted to write a book together, even when I hadn’t started ‘proper’ writing, we’d discussed it, and even though she was already a best-selling, award-winning author we often played around with the idea. We both felt we had a story to tell, a shared story, one which had to see the light of day.

But we all know how it is, life is busy, we’d our own agendas and finding time to write with someone else was a bit daunting putting it mildly, especially when there was a considerable distance separating us physically, not to mention the fact that I was working in the international music business and had not yet turned to a life of crime (writing) and Christina, known for her Bucolic Frolics series of books, was always busy with publishers and deadlines. Besides, she was a successful author – I worried I might wreck her career!

Christina: Oh pfffftttt, Jane! There was no way you’d wreck my career or anything else… you write brilliantly – the only problem was that as well as us being miles apart geographically, our genres couldn’t be further apart… because as everyone probably knows, Jane writes gritty crime, and I write froth-and-bubble rom-com…

Jane: You’re too kind… Anyway, maybe I should fill in our shared background here: Christina and I have known each other since the late 1960s when my then boyfriend – now husband – and his band came to England to record and tour and which is when we met. Soon after this, their manager recruited Christina as their fan-club secretary. She was a rock/pop journalist and short story author at the time and was perfect job the job.

Christina: *blushing modestly* I wrote for the teenage magazines… It was hardly Booker Prize material.

Jane: It was perfect for what they needed – so, during the years that Christina was their fan-club secretary we all had our own adventures, and it was these we promised we’d write about one day…

 Christina: It was an idea, that was all. We actually gave no thought to how we’d manage it – but as we were living through some of the most exciting and innovative years of the century, we promised ourselves we would write it down  if only as a piece of social history for our – as then non-existent - children and grandchildren.

Jane: More time passed and eventually we met up again and decided to stop talking and start doing it. But, by this time I was into the aforementioned crime/thriller writing and was concerned how I would fit in with Christina’s style of writing. Her books, as she’s said, are all fluffy feel good happy uplifting stories set in villages featuring comical and lovable characters – mine usually end up dead and far from fluffy. Would our writing styles meld?

Christina: We felt possibly not… So the co-authoring thing was dropped again.   

Jane:  A few months later, I’d just moved house and whilst going through boxes of memorabilia from my husband’s musical career I came across diaries, photos, tour schedules, posters, and fan letters, which I began to read. And before I was really aware of it, I began to make notes in diary format. A story began to form and I rang Christina and asked her – doubtfully - what she thought about turning our adventures into fiction with a huge dose of poetic licence of course.

Christina: If she’d been in the room I could have kissed her! It was honestly a lightbulb moment! Here was the subject we both knew and could write about and had discussed all those years before. We’d both experienced the late 60s’ music scene, we’d been there when world events rocked the globe, we’d worn the fashions, listened to the music, watched the bands - we could do this! We were both writing fiction - we’d turn our “social history” into a novel! So – now we knew what we were going to write about, and at last we had the opportunity – it just left the problem of how we’d make it work.

Jane: But it wasn’t a problem for long, was it? We decided to write a two-hander, with each of us assuming the character of our fictional alter-ego and writing the chapters as diary entries… That way we knew we could write a truly original book, using our experiences and knowledge of the music scene back in those heady, exciting last years of the grooviest decade ever.

Christina:  It was fun, choosing our alter–egos, and then knowing we could use our own memories for time-line authenticity, we couldn’t wait to let rip with our imaginations… Anyway, pretty soon Jane became Renza and I became Stella, and because it could only work by Jane writing her story first then letting me slot Stella into it, she started writing properly while I played about with notes, and plots and sub-plots and collected diaries and calendars and other archive information from 1968 and 69.

Jane: Yes, I scribbled away over a period of months, Renza took on a life if her own – and as Christina has said, although we decided to use some of our remembered experiences from that time, 95% of the story would be fiction. I sent what I’d written to Christina who then wrote Stella’s parts.

Christina: I’ve lost track of how many drafts we did – well, actually, no – there was only one version – we just kept adding to it – winging it back and forth as Stella and Renza – who, by the way, were in love with the same boy, sex-on-legs, Scott – lead guitarist with Narnia’s Children - had more and more adventures, and we came up with more and more exciting plotlines for them.

 Jane: *Laughing* - oh, yes, we are so very 21st Century – we wrote the entire book via email, text and Facebook messages. I think we spoke about it on the phone once, and met up once to chat about it. Otherwise our collaboration was long distance and very easy really. Christina had various documents to call upon to aid her research – as she’s just said - while I used all sorts of memorabilia I’d collected from back in the day.

Christina: It didn’t seem like work at all – it was just fun… I loved doing it and lost myself in the whole era all over again. And because I’d had a couple of years of not really writing anything much at all for various reasons, it kick-started me out of my writing doldrums too.

Jane: It started out as a pie-in-the-sky idea and turned into therapy!

Christina: It did. I really thought I’d fallen out of love with writing – but no….

Jane: Thank goodness! Anyway, once we’d reached the end of Only One Woman, we then went back and together checked the dates for this or that hit record, or which band was on the scene then and who wasn’t and which fashions were hip and who was on Top of the Pops or on Radio One and when. In fact many of the bands mentioned in the book have been interviewed by Christina at some time or other. You should ask her.

Christina: *chuckles* Yes, ok – I was very, very lucky to meet and interview many of the big names on the 60s’ pop and rock scene for Romeo and Jackie magazines. My husband now refers to this as my groupie period….

Jane: *laughs* Still, we wanted the book to be the authentic story of two girls living through those exciting times, calling upon real events in music, fashion, and the huge world-changing events at that time, to flavour our story. So our readers will find themselves immersed in music throughout. In fact both Renza and Stella have their own Playlists on YouTube featuring songs that they loved in the story.

Christina: But even after we’d got it all down on paper – er – computer screen – it wasn’t all plain sailing, was it, Jane?

Jane: Far from it. Since the book was started in 2012 we’ve had publication dates come and go many times during 2014, 2015, and 2016, which was hard to take, but at last Accent is publishing on 23rd November. Today! This last year has been epic. We have had several editors come and go since we began writing Only One Woman, and the last one got us to write additional chapters – still all in Renza and Stella’s diary format – and we moved from 120,000 words to 160,000 at the last count, before she too left her job, leaving us both to work on without an editor.

Christina: But we’d come that far, we weren’t going to let anything stop us now. We’d written the novel, we had a publisher and publication date – we were nearly there… And now – here we are!

Jane: Somehow we have completed what we think – and hope – is a fabulous story which those readers who lived through the sixties will love, and those who haven’t will discover what all the fuss has been about, and will enjoy the sixties through the eyes of Renza and Stella and their shared love, lead guitarist, Scott.

Christina: Yes, and we have publication day at last! *champagne corks popping in the background*.

Jane: Although it might seem a massive task to undertake, it has worked out brilliantly; Christina and I work well together and we remain firm friends. We’ve helped and supported each other throughout, and we’ve had hysterical giggles along the way as well as both going through our fair share of man-sized Kleenex too. Oh, and there aren’t any dead bodies; I managed to control myself.

Christina: *grins* Thanks a million for this chat, Rachel, and for allowing us both to ramble all over your fabulous blog. And we hope your regular visitors will be intrigued by the story behind Only One Woman and now dash off to Amazon to meet Renza, Stella and Scott and take a time-travel trip back to the 1960s…

Thank you so much ladies for taking the time to explain just how Only One Woman came about and how writing long distance can work. Having heard what you have had to say I am now really excited to start reading my copy, and really look forward to seeing just what Stella, Renza and Scott get up to.  And of course Happy Publication Day!

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 final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

Purchase from Amazon UK -

About Christina Jones

Christina Jones, the only child of a schoolteacher and a circus clown, has been writing all her life. As well as writing romantic comedy novels, she also contributes short stories and articles to many national magazines and newspapers.

She has won several awards for her writing: Going the Distance was a WH Smith Fresh Talent Winner; Nothing to Lose, was shortlisted and runner-up for the Thumping Good Read Award with film and television rights sold; Heaven Sent was shortlisted in The Melissa Nathan Comedy Romance Awards and won a Category Award; Love Potions won the Pure Passion Award; The Way to a Woman’s Heart was short-listed for the Rom-Com of the Year; and An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding won The Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Christina has written 21 romantic comedy novels:
Dancing in the Moonlight; Going the Distance; Running the Risk; Stealing
the Show; Jumping to Conclusions; Tickled Pink; Nothing to Lose;
Walking on Air; Lavender Lane; Honeysuckle House; Forever Autumn;
Summer of Love; Hubble Bubble; Seeing Stars; Love Potions; Happy
Birthday; Heaven Sent; Moonshine; The Way A Woman's Heart; Never
Can Say Goodbye and An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding.

She has also written and/or contributed to 11 e-book-only novellas/short
stories/compilations: Those Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days; Mitzi’s Midwinter Wedding; Bucolic Frolics; Happy Ever After; Snippets; Shiver; Holiday Fling; Wishing on a Star; Chicklit Lovers Vol One; Chicklit Lovers Vol Three; and the Milton St John Box-Set.

Her latest novel – the love and peace and rock’n’roll 1960s story: Only One Woman – co-authored with Jane Risdon, will be published in November 2017 and is currently available to pre-order on Amazon.

Her next novel – Marigold’s Magical Mystery Tour – will be published in September 2018.

All Christina Jones’ novels are currently available, either in paperback or e-book format, and after years of travelling, she now lives in rural Oxfordshire with her husband and several rescued cats.

Twitter: @bucolicfrolics

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon has spent most of her life in the international music business. Married to a musician she has experienced the business first hand, not only as the girlfriend and wife of a musician, but later with her husband as a manager of recording artists, songwriters and record producers, as well as placing songs on TV/Movie soundtracks for some of the most popular series and movies shown around the world.

Writing is something she has always wanted to do but a hectic life on the road and recording with artists kept those ambitions at bay. Now she is writing mostly crime and thrillers, but recently she’s collaborated with award-winning author Christina Jones, on Only One Woman. A story they’ve wanted to write together, ever since they became friends when Christina became Fan-club secretary for Jane’s husband’s band.

Author Jane Risdon

Only One Woman Accent Press

Only One Woman Facebook

Please do follow along with the rest of the blog tour and show your support to these two lovely authors. 

1 comment:

  1. Rachel thanks so much for sharing our story with your readers. Really appreciate it. We hope those who read our book will love it as much as we loved writing it.


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