In The Chair 31: Jan Edwards

Welcome, Jan Edwards.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Jan: Conversational, chilling, humorous.

If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?


Jan: Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties is a collection of supernatural short fiction, so probably not! Many people have been in situations where they have seen or heard something that cannot be rationally explained, and most are only to happy to tell those stories, which by their very nature are looking to chill and thrill. If I have managed to do that with my offerings then job done!

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Jan: Right now I am working on a crime novel set in WW2 and I would love to be ‘Rose’ for a week in order to soak up the atmosphere. But… being the badge-carrying Fae detective romping through my Urban Fantasy series (currently with an agent) would also be huge fun. As I don’t plan stories in advance, and seldom know the ending in anything more than hazy ideas, I tend to inhabit the skins of main protags and watch the story unfold through them. For me writing is more fun if I am surprised by what comes next.

Jan in Hat 001

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Jan: Ooh – tricky. I have organised a few conventions and had dinner with a lot of living fantasy and horror writers, who are seldom how you might imagine them from their writing; those horror bods are usually far more sane than the things they commit to paper would have you believe!  I would love to have met Daphne Du Maurier, who wrote in the spheres of horror, crime and romance with equal skill; Jane Austen because she was such an acerbic observer and Arthur Ransome purely because Captain Nancy was my hero(ine) when I was nine years old. If I named all the writers I’d like to meet we’d be here all day.

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Jan: Having had a taste of scripting (as part of a team for a Dr Who spin-off coming out in August) I should love to tackle a larger project.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Jan: Lack of money? It is increasingly difficult to make a living as a writer and I cannot see that changing in the near future, at least where novels are concerned. But – I may strike lucky one day and hit that elusive zeitgeist that editors are always telling us writers to aim for…

Favourite word?

Jan: Discombobulation! It just rolls of the tongue.

Jan Edwards was in the chair: author of Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties; & Sussex Tales