Jane Corry was a magazine journalist who spent three years working as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men. She had never been inside a jail before and this often hair-raising experience helped inspire her Sunday Times bestselling psychological thrillers, ‘Blood Sisters’ and ‘My Husband’s Wife’. ‘The Dead Ex’ is her latest book.
- To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
My name is Jane Corry and I write psychological suspenses. They are about families whose lives suddenly change without warning. I am published by Penguin. My previous two books ‘My Husband’s Wife’ and ‘Blood Sisters’ got into the top 10 of the ‘Sunday Times’ bestseller list. I’ve always written for as long as I can remember. I began with poetry and little stories from about the age of three or four. After university, I became a magazine journalist for many years and then, after my first marriage ended, I took a job as a writer in a high security male prison. This made my writing darker! I then got married again which made me very aware of how family relationships can change. I wrote ‘My Husband’s Wife’ on the strength of this. A friend of a friend put me in touch with an agent who then sold it to Penguin.
- Can you tell us about your new book ‘The Dead Ex’
Vicki is an aromatherapist with a troubled past. One wet windy night, the police come knocking at her door. They ask when she last saw her missing husband. Vicki tells them it was five years ago. When they leave she picks up her mobile and calls him. Scarlet’s mother is a drug addict. Scarlet is taken into care at the age of eight. Each of my main characters tells her story until we get to the point where the two of them meet.
- If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
I’d ask other writer friends like BA Paris, Kate Furnivall and Teresa Driscoll. I’d also invite Martina Cole because I interviewed her once and thought she had some great tales about the underworld. If it was possible, I’d also like to invite the ghosts of writers have passed away such as Helen Dunmore and Mary Wesley.
- What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
“The mole had been working very hard all morning, spring cleaning his little home.”This is the opening line from ‘Wind In The Willows’. It was the first book which my father read to me. Now he is 94 and I read poetry to him.
- If you were starting your writing journey again, would you do anything differently?
I’d have stopped being a magazine journalist in my thirties and begun writing novels earlier. It requires a leap of faith to give up a steady job and do something that’s quite uncertain. Bit it was worth it!
- Who’s your favourite villain?
My cousin Rachel in Daphne du Maurier’s novel with the same name. Some might say she’s not a villain at all but I’m not so sure….
- What made you decide to become a thriller writer?
It was partly my time in prison (see answer to question one) and also because I love creating twists and turns. I’m one of those annoying people who likes to guess what’s going to happen at the beginning of a book or drama.
- If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
The complete editions of ‘Trollope’. ‘The Bible’. ‘Palgrave’s Golden Greasury’.
- From books to films, what’s been your favourite adaptation?
‘Gone With The Wind’. My second husband recently took me on a road trip to the southern states of America. We were lucky enough to visit Margaret Mitchell’s house. It was a dream come true for me. I’ve always admired her.
- What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
Viewpoint. Readers need to be inside the character’s head in order to believe the story.
- When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
My dog. He sits on the sofa behind me and tells me when it’s time to get up and have a walking break along the beach! We have to wrap up warm as it’s really cold at the moment!
- And finally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
I’m currently writing next year’s book for Penguin. I can’t say anything about it right now but I live it in my head every day while writing. Actually, I will give you a clue! I became a granny two years ago and it’s changed my life.