Writing Only One Woman with Christina Jones (Accent Press) heralded a change of genre for me. I’m a crime/thriller writer and when I came up with the idea for the novel I seriously intended to write a crime story set in the music scene of the late 1960s.
I was looking through some of my musician husband’s memorabilia and diaries – for research – and began to make notes. An idea formed and I began to write, but somewhere along the way I realised I was writing ‘women’s fiction,’ and there wasn’t room for a murder - which was a surprise for me.
Only One Woman is somewhat of a social commentary on the late 1960s in Britain, and how life was changing for those growing up at the time, the way in which world events and the Cultural Revolution shaped their lives; when Britain influenced the world with music and fashion.
At its heart there is a complex love-triangle which takes the reader deep into the world of live music, record making, and the lives of musicians on the road in the grooviest decade of the 20th century. My character, Renza, is a lonely teen who meets and falls in love with lead guitarist, Scott, on the eve of her family’s move overseas soon after he arrives in England for his first tour with his band, Narnia’s Children, and to record his first record.
I soon realised that another character’s point of view would help the story and sent it to Christina to consider, as my co-author. She agreed and added her parts (Stella) into the novel – not easy to do – and once she’d finished we sent it to our publisher who loved it and asked for additional chapters. Considering it ran to 130,000 words already, we were surprised, but managed to bring the final total to 160,000 – 500 pages – which, our readers tell us, is a fast read.
Christina Jones and I go way back. She was fan-club secretary for my then boyfriend’s band and a rock/pop journalist and short story author. We share a love of fashion, music, and most things 1960s, and have always wanted to write together but when I eventually managed to find time to write (crime/thrillers) – I’d been working with my husband in the international music industry and the opportunity hadn’t arisen - she was writing Bucolic Frolics and was an award-winning, best-selling author by then. Never the twain we thought - until Only One Woman.
We didn’t meet to discuss writing; I’d already finished the book from Renza’s POV. Christina had to get inside my characters and plot and write her character, Stella, with everything which had happened in mind. Not easy. In fact the whole book was written in a very 21st century manner – via email, text and Facebook messages.
I’m sure that our shared past, our love of music and fashion helped us no end. We knew how life was back then, the food, the perfumes, the clothes and the music – we’d lived it after-all. We just happened to have been teenagers during the most exciting, intoxicating era of the 20th century, when everything and anything was possible, when the fashions were outrageous and the music innovative.
It was fun to write but we both cried too. It is a work of fiction but we both drew upon our experiences and some events in our book are based ‘lightly’ upon real situations; the venues, the charts and some of the bands at that time, the political events and the Moon Landings are, of course, real. That’s why guys and musicians love it too.
Jane Risdon writes mostly crime thrillers often set in the music business or with an organised crime or espionage element. With a former career in the international music business managing songwriters, singers, musicians, and record producers, she often draws upon her experiences in Hollywood and SE Asia for her plots.
She is also the author of short stories which have been included in 15 anthologies to date, as well as in magazines and online newsletters. She also contributes articles and writes flash fiction.
In November 2018 Jane publishes her first collection of short stories – Undercover: Crime Shorts – via Plaisted Publishing House.
Jane is married to a musician and with author Christina Jones has co-authored Only One Woman, set in the UK Music Scene of the late 1960s using her experiences married to a musician in the sixties, and her subsequent career in the international music business, as background research. This is Jane’s first outing into writing Women’s Fiction and the paperback was published 24th May 2018. It is also available on most good digital platforms as an e-book and in Waterstones branches.
Iconic rock singer Graham Bonnet has written the foreword to Only One Woman which was written for The Marbles in 1968 by The Bee Gees.
Jane’s Amazon Author Page with all her books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8
Author Blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2/
Only One Woman: UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP
Waterstones Paperback: ISBN: 9781783757329
YouTube Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018: https://youtu.be/4W2t9sLhW0A
(pre-order until 31st Oct 2018)