Monday, 11 November 2013

Jayne's Corner: Interview with Regency author Jane Lark

For Jayne’s corner this month I am trying my hand at interviewing and the author Jane Lark has agreed to talk to me.

Jane lives near Stonehenge in England, and near the Regency city of Bath. To research her books she spends  her  spare time visiting historic houses and properties about the UK. She is chartered member of the United Kingdom of  Institute of Personnel and Development and holds the equivalent of a Masters degree in People Management . Her first book Illicit Love was released earlier in the year and it had great reviews and she has just released a follow up The Passionate Love of a Rake . Both books are about the Marlow Brothers and their quest to find love ,

Jane writes a blog on   interesting people who lived in Regency times and at the moment is writing about Courtesan Harriette Wilson . You can find this at
. She also has a website which can be found at

Jayne  Your story is about the love between a courtesan and a Lord / What made you decide on that?

Jane  The idea came from the memoirs of a real Regency courtesan, Harriette Wilson. I have been sharing her story on my history blog. But there was one particular man she fell in love with, and it was that story which made me want to write the, “and then… and then… and then…” which Harriette Wilson spoke of.

Jayne  How long did it take for you to write this book?

Jane  It took me about four months to complete the first draft, but I wrote it about six years before I found a publisher for it, so it’s had many drafts since the first. The advantage to this is I’ve had six years to keep writing, so the rest of the Marlow Intrigues books will follow very quickly on its heels.

Jayne  Have you always wanted to be a writer?

 Jane  Yes. My imagination has always been rampant. When I was eight I was told by a teacher that when I was older I would write a book, because my story about giant crabs taking over the world stood out so much from anything anyone else was writing, and I basically day dreamed my way through school.

Jayne   What made you decide to write a Regency romance? 

Jane  The writer who made me fall in love with writing history and love stories was Anya Seton. I have dabbled with medieval stories, and considered the popular Tudor era, but then I started reading some of the Regency books and researching this era, and it was such an exceptional period for romance. Men really did believe in going the extra mile in flirtation, of course it was all for show, nothing was really any different in behaviours than today, but what a show.  I was sucked in. I love the era.

Jayne Where did you grow up and did it influence your writing?

 Jane I think everything in your life influences your writing. I grew up on the boarder of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, in a village, and then in the small market town of Faringdon between Swindon and Oxford, in the UK. Out of the two cities, I would always via towards the one with historical character, Oxford, as now I via towards Bath. My Parents always loved history, so I have grown up doing amateur archaeology and exploring historical places, castles, houses, the white horses and hill-forts around us… While my imagination ran rampant - with knights in shining armour wondering about in my head, a reader told me Edward in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan had a knight in shining armour feel, and even though I am writing Regency in my head, the men will always be knightly to me :D . Anyway there is one very obvious influence you’ll come across in book three. I grew up in the shadow of a folly which will appear in book three in February 2014, so keep an eye out for pictures on my Facebook page ;)

 Jayne How do your family cope with you being a writer ?

 Jane  I won’t lie; they do get fed up with my attachment to my laptop. I’m still working a day job at the moment so I am writing in the hours I should be spending with my daughter and my husband. But they both know how committed I am, and how much writing means to me, and in the years I was unpublished my husband was the one always saying “It will happen.” And my daughter is incredibly proud, she tells everyone her mum is an author.

Jayne   The next book about the brother of the hero  has just come which I really loved .What made you decide to write about Robert ?

 Jane  I always knew when I was writing Robert’s part in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan that he had his own story. I tend to mentally work two or three books ahead. I don’t write down plots, but when I go to bed at night, plotting in my head helps me get to sleep, and I build up stories in scenes. I haven’t finished writing all the Marlow Intrigues series yet, but in my head I have two more full family series plotted out… It also helps to make sure the personality of characters can run through a series. You’ll realise that there’s a tiny hint to the story of book two in book one, when you read it, but it’s so small you won’t have noticed it. And book two is also developing John’s character, you hear him begin to change through it as book three is his story.

  Jayne   What pleasures help you write ?

 Jane Writing is my pleasure, I cannot wait for the day I earn enough for it to be my full time job. For at least ten years writing has been the thing that gets me through life. Really I’m still just a daydreamer, only now I get to share my daydreaming with other people :D . The only seconds to it are reading and visiting historical places, and when I give up the day job I can write in the day, read at night and at weekends volunteer at a Historical House – perfect life.

Jayne   Do you plan to delve into other era’s in your writing ?

 Jane Yes, quite soon. I love writing about people falling in love as much as history and my first publisher felt my writing voice would suit the New Adult genre so encouraged me to write a story about a young couple’s journey as they grow up and find their place in the world. My first contemporary is a Christmas story, set in New York, called I Found You. It will be out on the 5th December, and as you can image three more contemporary stories have already been plotted in my head. I am going to be a very busy person.

 Jayne   If you hadn't been a writer, what would you have been/done/become? That is, was there another ambition or career route you sometimes wish you had taken?

 Jane  I have always wanted to be a writer I started my first novel at sixteen a historical set in the Roman era. It took me about another twenty years to complete one, but it was always what I wanted to do. I kind of fell into my day job though, I dropped out of college when my brother had a serious car accident and just took an admin job in a Government Benefits Office because that was the job I was offered. But after a few years I became a team manager, and had a skill for it, and then was offered a job as a Human Resources manager, so then I started studying and achieved a masters degree and chartered recognition, and I enjoy what I do as I work on well-being and engagement, making things better for people at work. But also this career has actually helped my writing because I’ve learned a lot about psychology which helps build believable characters. And my day job definitely influences my contemporary story, but I can’t tell you why, it would be a huge spoiler.

Thank you so much to Jane for talking to me . If you love Regency Romance books as much as I do then these books are well worth the read.


  1. I truly lovely and revealing interview. I enjoyed it so much.

  2. Well done Jayne on your debut interview and thanks to Jane Lark for being on the Review!

  3. I'd like to echo what Louise and Stephanie said: that's an excellent debut interview

  4. Great interview Jayne, and lovely answers Jane - thanks to both of you :)

  5. What a lovely story 'behind' the writing, Jane! Always fascinating to know a writer's past and how they work when they are planning future novels.

  6. A fascinating insight into Jane and her books. A great interview!