Mystery Mondays is helping celebrate by hosting mystery writers leading up to this exciting week. Today we Jane Jordan, Author of The Beekeeper’s Daughter.
Advice For Aspiring Writers by Jane Jordan.
I started writing in 2004 after I stayed in a remote old house on Exmoor which is located on the South West coast of England. The remote location along with the odd happenings I experienced made a significant impression. The caretaker’s stories of both the resident ghost and other related visitor reports fueled my imagination further, and so began the gothic vampire trilogy that were to be my first three novels.
The Beekeeper’s Daughter, was supposed to be my second novel. I already had completed a couple of chapters and had a basic plot. But that first story grew and grew, and I became absorbed in that saga and the research. I knew I had to finish those three books, before I could move on and concentrate fully on what was to become my fourth novel
In my first three books, I delved into the world of vampire superstition and legend, and combined it with a modern and complex love story. In my fourth book, I gave myself the challenge of writing about witchcraft and another time period. The more research I completed the more fascinated I became to write a historical thriller. It was a story that seemed to have a life of its own, leading me to interesting sub-plots and digressions that took me into realms I could not have imagined.
The Beekeepers Daughter tells the tale of an impossible love triangle, a dark legacy and a dangerous secret stretching back through generations of madness and betrayal. It was challenging to write because the book starts in the year 1698 in England.
The first scene portrays a witch being burnt at the stake. In order for my readers to feel it was authentic, I did a lot of internet research and studied several books. I uncovered old sixteenth century records of witch trials and visited the witchcraft museum in Boscastle, England. This museum houses the most comprehensive collection of artifacts in Europe. The story moves to the Victorian era, and I relied on research from books and the internet to make sure I accurately portrayed all the historical details, right down to the clothing and social etiquette of the times.
Annabel Taylor is a bee charmer and the Beekeeper’s Daughter. She has grown up on wild Exmoor, but when she meets Jevan, the blacksmith son, her life changes forever. They form an unbreakable bond, until they are forced apart when Jevan must leave for London. Annabel is heartbroken, she believes her life is over, and her only solace is her beloved bees. I loved the idea of the bees being a witch’s familiar, because bees are so key to nature and that fitted perfectly with the story.
By chance she meets Alex, the heir to vast estate lands and the foreboding Gothelstone manor house. Socially they are worlds apart, even though Annabel is inexplicably drawn to him, and even if she feels that Alex’s attention is merely a distraction from her true love. Although Alex has other ideas.
When Jevan eventually returns, Annabel realizes just how precarious her situation has become, and when Jevan’s life is threatened, she has to make a heartbreaking choice that could mean she will lose him forever.
It soon becomes apparent that Alex and Annabel are merely pawns in someone else’s sinister plan. Left with no other choice, Annabel must embrace her inherent power and destroy a powerful witch, before she and everyone she loves is destroyed.
My advice to any aspiring writer is to be true to yourself. Write about what interests you and not what you think you should write about, because it is the current trend. The reality is that the publishing process can take a long time and by the time you have finished your novel that market will have left you far behind.
When I first wrote about vampires they were not fashionable, and it was a couple of years before ‘Twilight’ hit the headlines, but I didn’t write that story worrying about that, or even thinking it could sell and make money. I wrote the story because it needed to be written. All my novels are like that, I stay true to myself and my genre, no matter what may or may not be in-vogue.
WHO IS JANE JORDAN?
Jane was born in England, and grew up exploring the history and culture of London and surrounding counties. In the 1990’s she immigrated to Detroit, USA, eventually settling in South West Florida. She returned to England after a fifteen-year absence, to spend six years in the South West of England living on Exmoor. Here, inspired by the atmosphere, beautiful scenery and the ancient history of the place, she began writing.
Jane’s writes in the dark romance genre. She has four published novels. She also writes short stories and being a trained horticulturist, she has had articles published in a gardening magazine.
Jane Returned to Florida in 2013, and now lives in Sarasota.